A Closer Look at Women's Ordination by Ty Gibson

A Closer Look At Women’s Ordination

by Ty Gibson  |  June 5, 2015

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Today I have decided that it is time for me to knuckle down and study the subject of women’s ordination for myself. After all, my church is engaged in a titanic conflict over the subject. As I gear up for the task, I wonder what I will discover if I lay aside my biases on the topic and simply examine what the Bible and the writings of Ellen White have to say about it. Whatever I am about to discover, of one thing I am certain: the church should go with whatever the Bible teaches on the matter, so I need to find out what that is.

My name is Ty Gibson. I am a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, baptized fresh out of the world at the tender age of 18. From that point on, I have given my entire adult life to full-time ministry. I am Co-director of Light Bearers, an evangelistic ministry based in the state of Oregon. Light Bearers enjoys an extremely positive and productive working relationship with church leaders and members around the world. We have supplied over a half billion evangelistic publications free of charge to Conferences, Unions and Divisions around the world. This material, translated into more than 40 languages, faithfully presents the total doctrinal message of Adventism, centered in Christ. I am also a pastor in the Oregon Conference, and my conference president likes me, last I checked.

Fast forward. It is now the first of June and I have completed my study. What I thought I would discover was support for the view I already held. What I actually discovered is that I was wrong in some of the things I assumed the Bible says on the topic. As I began to read, and read, and read, I underwent a series of shifts in my thinking under the guidance of God’s word.

Whatever your position happens to be at present, if you are a serious believer in the inspiration of the Bible and the writings of Ellen White, may I suggest that you really owe it to yourself and to your church to objectively consider the following historical information and biblical perspectives. If you are a delegate to the 2015 General Conference Session, may I urgently and humbly request, as your brother in Christ, that you read this article before you vote on women’s ordination.

Our church is facing a serious crisis that threatens to cause a painful division among us…

So I invite you to take a deep breath, offer a sincere prayer for enlightenment, and open your mind to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That is, after all, the only appropriate posture before God.

THE SHAPE OF THE ISSUE

Our church is facing a serious crisis that threatens to cause a painful division among us. At the upcoming General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, a vote will be taken on women’s ordination. It will go one of two ways:

  1. A YES vote will allow each of the church’s 13 world Divisions to decide what is best regarding women’s ordination in their particular area of the world, while not requiring any Division, Union, Conference or local church to ordain women.
  2. A NO vote will reject the proposal to allow each Division to decide for their territory what is best regarding women’s ordination. A NO vote will also likely be interpreted by some of its advocates as a universal rule forbidding women’s ordination throughout the Seventh-day Adventist Church, although that interpretation will be challenged and debated for years to come.

The prominent voices in favor of a NO vote are telling us that the Bible clearly forbids the ordination of women to the gospel ministry, and that allowing women to be ordained would render the Seventh-day Adventist Church unfaithful to Scripture and to God.

The prominent voices in favor of a YES vote are telling us that the Bible does not forbid the ordination of women and, therefore, the church is free to do what it deems best on the matter for the advancement of the gospel.

Both sides of the issue are endeavoring, no doubt with honesty before the Lord, to discover and follow what the Bible teaches on the matter, and both sides no doubt share responsibility for the threat of division the church is now facing.

A NO vote has the potential to split the Seventh-day Adventist Church on a denominational level, possibly leading to the separation of some Unions from the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.

A YES vote will not likely produce a denominational split, but will likely cause some church members to feel obligated to sever ties with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, especially those who have decided that the issue is a matter of faithfulness versus unfaithfulness to God.

Does the Bible mandate male-only ordination and/or forbid the ordination of women?

To say the least, this is a very big deal for our beloved Church. It is imperative, as we endeavor to faithfully follow Scripture, that we think through our decision carefully and set our hearts to do whatever is ultimately best for the glory of God, the unity of His church, and the advancement of the gospel. I certainly do not want to add to the confusion, nor do I have any interest in advocating for one side or the other in the debate, but I do have something to say that I don’t hear being said, something I think is vital and may make all the difference in the world to sincere church members who simply want to

Assessing the above vote options, the most direct route to figuring out what is best for the church is to ask the basic, underlying question, Does the Bible mandate male-only ordination and/or forbid the ordination of women?

If it does, then we are dealing with a clear matter of doctrinal orthodoxy and moral imperative, in which case the ordination of women would constitute unfaithfulness to Scripture and rebellion against God. If it does not, then the church is free to do what it deems best for the spread of the gospel, and those who are elevating the issue to the level of testing truth are making divisive what Scripture does not.

Let us address ourselves, then, to the question at hand, beginning with some historical background.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The following recommendation was brought before the General Conference Session way back in 1881:

“Resolved, That females possessing the necessary qualifications to fill that position, may, with perfect propriety, be set apart by ordination to the work of the Christian ministry” (Review and Herald, Dec. 20, 1881).

Apparently, this is not a new topic for us as a people. Leading up to 1881, the Advent Movement had women engaged in ministry. That practical reality is what promoted the above recommendation. It was not the result of the feminist movement trying to invade the church. Nor was the recommendation prompted by the inroads of popular secular culture. It simply arose as an acknowledgement of what was happening: Adventist women were preaching the gospel.

Ellen White was not able to attend the 1881 General Conference Session, due in large part to the fact that her husband, James, had died in August of that year. Her son Willie, however, did attend the session. He reported the political dynamic he witnessed, describing two groups at odds with one another—one “progressive” and the other “conservative” (W.C. White to Mary White, Dec. 2, 1881, White Estate, General Conference Archives). After being discussed, the recommendation was not voted on, but was sent on to a small committee of three men, and that was the end of it.

Even though Ellen White did not attend the 1881 GC session, shortly after, in her April 4, 1882 Review and Herald article, she deliberately republished something she had written a year earlier:

“If there is one work more important than another, it is that of getting before the public our publications, which will lead men to search the Scriptures. Missionary work—introducing our publications into families, conversing, and praying with and for them—is a good work, and one which will educate men and women to do pastoral labor” (Review and Herald, April 4, 1882; published the first time in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 390).

You likely didn’t see that coming, and neither did I. Ellen White envisioned women in pastoral ministry of some kind. And please pause to catch the significance of the historical context in which her above statement was made. A proposal was just brought before the General Conference Session stating that females “be set apart by ordination to the work of the Christian ministry.” Then, with that recommendation on the minds of Adventists, Ellen White stated in the church’s official magazine that women, as well as men, may “do pastoral labor.”

Also notice that the main topic of her article was the need to circulate gospel literature by means of house-to-house labor. But then, apparently off topic and for no apparent reason—unless you know that the General Conference leadership was at that very time pondering the question of whether or not women may be ordained—she just throws in this brief comment stating that doing ministry in people’s homes “will educate men and women to do pastoral labor.”

This statement indicates, at the very least, that Ellen was not opposed to the 1881 recommendation to ordain women. If she was, it would have been reckless of her to make this comment in the immediate context of a recommendation to ordain women to “the work of the Christian ministry.” Furthermore, it is inconceivable that Ellen White would not have warned the General Conference brethren to refrain from passing the recommendation to ordain women if, in fact, doing so would constitute unfaithfulness to Scripture and rebellion against God. But she did not. In fact, she pointed in the opposite direction at the very time when the matter was under consideration.

Some have attempted to negate the significance of her 1882 statement by claiming that she was merely using the term “pastoral labor” as synonymous with door-to-door literature work. But the objective reader will notice that her actual point was that door-to-door literature work provides an education for transitioning into pastoral ministry.

No, the 1882 statement does not constitute a direct appeal on Ellen White’s part to ordain women to the gospel ministry. It could be argued that she was fine with women doing pastoral labor as long as it did not involve ordination. Fair enough. We don’t want to extract from the statement, one way or another, more than it says. But what the statement does tell us is that Ellen White envisioned “both men and women” engaged in “pastoral labor,” and she made this statement, without stipulating any restrictions, in the immediate historical context of the General Conference entertaining a recommendation to ordain women.

This would be a good point at which to pause and ask ourselves if we really want to know what the Bible and Ellen White actually say on this topic, and to ask the Lord to flood our souls with objectivity and honesty.

In 1901 Ellen White made a second statement regarding women occupying the pastoral position:

“All who desire an opportunity for true ministry, and who will give themselves unreservedly to God, will find in the canvassing work, opportunities to speak upon many things pertaining to the future, immortal life. It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 322).

This is basically a repeat of her 1882 statement, only this time she says that “both men and women” may “become pastors to the flock of God.” The word “flock” is a symbolic term for God’s church, specifically indicating a local congregation of believers. Clearly, then, Ellen White envisioned both men and women occupying the pastoral role to local congregations. Again, as with her 1882 statement on the topic, prominent voices in the current debate have simply dismissed this statement as of no relevance to the topic at hand. “She was merely using the word ‘pastor’ as a synonym for the door-to-door canvasser,” they say. But this is clearly not the case, at least not in this particular statement. She plainly says that the canvassing work may serve as a preparation for both men and woman to “become pastors to the flock of God.” The first category of labor is a preparation for entering into the second category.

But if that’s not clear enough, in the next two paragraphs of the passage Ellen White removes all doubt regarding her intent. After stating that the canvassing work may serve as a preparation for both men and women to “become pastors to the flock of God,” she expressed a caution. Certain ministers were telling some who were doing canvassing work that they should enter, instead, into pulpit ministry and become preachers. She cautioned against luring canvassers into the pastoral ministry, explaining that some who were doing the canvassing work should, in fact, remain in the canvassing work because their gifts were suited to it. Then she appealed to each individual, both men and women, to choose either to remain in the canvassing work or to go into pastoral ministry based on an assessment of their gifts and calling, not based on flattering words from those telling them they ought to become preachers. It is evident, therefore, that Ellen White was dealing with canvassing work and pastoral work as two distinct categories, which makes it equally plain that she was explicitly saying that women, as well as men, are eligible for both categories.

Also in 1901, Ellen White made a passionate appeal for workers, and in the course of her appeal she stated that both “men and women…brothers and sisters” are called to be “Priests of the Lord” and “Ministers of our God.” Notice the progression of her thought and notice the biblical source she is drawing upon:

“If men and women would act as the Lord’s helping hand, doing deeds of love and kindness, uplifting the oppressed, rescuing those ready to perish, the glory of the Lord would be their rearward…

“Christ said of His work, ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek….

“Wake up, wake up, my brethren and sisters. You must do the work that Christ did when He was upon this earth. Remember that you may act as God’s helping hand in opening the prison doors to those that are bound. Wonderful is the work that God desires to accomplish through His servants, that His name may constantly be glorified. He is waiting to work through His people. Those who are willing to be used will obtain a rich experience, an experience full of the glory of God….

“Of those who act as His helping hand the Lord says, ‘Ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord; men shall call you the Ministers of our God’” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, October 15, 1901).

One of the arguments being offered against allowing for the ordination of women is that the Old Testament priests were all men.

The biblical passage from which she is quoting is Isaiah 61. It is a prophecy of the ministry in which the Messiah would engage. We are generally familiar with the part of the prophecy Jesus applied to Himself. But Ellen White goes on to quote a part of the prophecy with which most of us are not familiar, the part in which Isaiah foretells the formation of the New Testament church in the wake of the Messiah’s ministry:

“Ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God” (Isaiah 61:6, KJV).

One of the arguments being offered against allowing for the ordination of women is that the Old Testament priests were all men. Therefore, it is reasoned, only men should be allowed to occupy the pastoral role in the church. The problem with this argument is that it fails to recognize that within the biblical narrative, the Old Testament Levitical priesthood gives way to the New Testament priesthood of all believers. Isaiah 61 is a specific prophecy that foretold this transition. What Ellen White has done with Isaiah 61 is quite illuminating. She quotes the prophecy, invoking the language of “Priest” and “Minister,” and applies it to both brothers and sisters, men and women, within the church. This is of extreme significance, because it demonstrates, unequivocally, that Bible prophecy envisioned the body of Christ as a priesthood of all believers, and Ellen White simply assumed that the prophecy pointed to both men and women occupying the priestly and ministerial role, in the Christian church.

Again, as with her 1882 statement, these two 1901 statements do not equate to a direct appeal for women’s ordination. But what they do tell us is that Ellen White envisioned women, along with men, engaged in the ministerial, pastoral, priestly role. Additionally, it is vital to note that within the entire corpus of her 25 million written words, Ellen White never made a single statement saying that women should or should not be ordained to pastoral ministry.

The case against women occupying the ordained pastoral role largely hinges on two main arguments…

So, then, let us proceed to candidly examine what the Bible says regarding the topic. The case against women occupying the ordained pastoral role largely hinges on two main arguments:

  1. Paul’s husband-of-one-wife statement in 1 Timothy 3, in the context of his creation statement in 1 Timothy 2 (also in Titus 1:5-9).
  2. Paul’s statements regarding headship in 1 Corinthians 11.

Let’s carefully and objectively take a look at both.

HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE

When asked to provide the most direct and explicit biblical statement against women’s ordination, advocates of the position point to Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 3:2:

“A bishop (episkope) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife….”

Paul’s point here, we are told, is that the bishop (what we now generally call the pastor) must be male, because the pastor must be a husband. But there are at least two sound hermeneutical reasons we know with certainty that this is not Paul’s point.

First, in this same passage, a few verses later, Paul says, “Let deacons (diakonos) be the husbands of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:12), and then he turns around without a blink and says to the believers in Rome, “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant (diakonos) of the church” (Romans 16:1).

One very important and sound principle of responsible Bible study is as follows:

“To understand doctrine, bring all the Scriptures together on the subject you wish to know, then let every word have its proper influence, and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error” (William Miller).

This principle is echoed in the official Methods of Bible Study voted at the 1986 General Conference Annual Council:

“Recognize that the Bible is its own interpreter and that the meaning of words, texts, and passages is best determined by diligently comparing scripture with scripture…. The reader must allow each Bible writer to emerge and be heard while at the same time recognizing the basic unity of the divine self-disclosure.”

Pause, then, and carefully consider the comparison of the two passages before us. To Timothy, Paul says that the episkope and the diakonos must each be the husband of one wife. Then, to the believers in Rome, Paul introduces to us a woman diakonos. We can only conclude, then, that Paul has no intention for his statement in 1 Timothy 3 to be interpreted as a declaration about gender.

For clarity, this is what we have before us:

“A bishop (episkope) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:2).

“Let deacons (diakonos) be the husbands of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:12).

“I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant (diakonos) of the church” (Romans 16:1).

While diakonos is sometimes used in a general sense for any informal servant role, we know Paul is using the word here in the formal sense of the ordained position because he describes Phoebe as “a diakonos of the church” and as occupying an active role in ministry. He then appeals to the believers in Rome “assist her in whatever business she has need of you.” Clearly, she is a leader in the church.

It is evident, then, that when Paul says in 1 Timothy that the episkope and the diakonos must each be “the husband of one wife,” he is simply speaking in a general context in which most of those occupying these roles would have been men, but he was not issuing a universal gender rule.

What, then, does Paul mean to convey in 1 Timothy 3?

Well, look at the passage again: “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…”

The grammar of the text presents the “bishop” as the subject. “Husband of one wife” is set forth as one criterion in a list that Paul offers to define what a bishop of “blameless” character looks like (see verses 2-7). “Husband of one wife” is a grammatical descriptor of “blameless.” Paul’s subject is not the gender of the bishop (pastor) or the deacon, but rather the moral character of those who occupy these two roles. When they are men, as most of them would have been, they are to be “the husband of one wife,” the point being that just one wife is permissible. When they are women, as in the case of “Phoebe our sister,” obviously the husband-of-one-wife criterion applies in principle, but with a different application.

It really is that simple, if we allow the Bible to speak for itself and refrain from reading it selectively with a point to prove. Clearly, Paul did not intend to make a gender restriction with his “husband-of-one-wife” statement. We simply cannot be true to Scripture and not concede that when Paul said the elder and the deacon must be “blameless, the husband of one wife,” he meant to convey that those who hold these positions must be of good moral character, not that that they must all be males, or else Paul contradicted himself by acknowledging sister Phoebe as a diakonos.

It really is that simple, if we allow the Bible to speak for itself and refrain from reading it selectively with a point to prove.

But there is a second reason we cannot use 1 Timothy 3 as evidence for male-only ordination. Even if we were to concede that Paul’s point is that all pastors and deacons must be males, Paul also says in the same letter that men are to lift up their hands when they pray (2:8), that women are to “learn in silence” and not “teach” (2:11-12), that elders who lead well, especially in word and doctrine, are to be paid double wages (5:17), and that slaves who are under the yoke of bondage are to submit to their masters (6:1).

We consider none of these things to be timeless moral mandates. We are not having seminars and symposiums and writing essays urging upon the church the necessity of men raising their hands when they pray, of women learning in silence and not teaching, of especially effective preachers being paid double, or of slaves honoring their masters. If we just stop and think without bias, we know that Paul is speaking here within his particular historical context. That’s why we do not consider these aspects of Paul’s letter to Timothy directly applicable to our time and situation, though the underlying principles are still valid and must be appropriately applied even today. The only way to read the Bible responsibly is to read it with an awareness of its historical context. Otherwise, we are liable to blur the line between timeless truths, on the one hand, and temporal forms, on the other. And the fact is, as Seventh-day Adventists we have always endeavored to read and interpret the Bible in this kind of contextual, historical, responsible manner.

Now pause to notice the obvious problem 1 Timothy 3, if wrongly interpreted, might pose for the Advent Movement as it launched in the 1800s with a woman prophet. Sure enough, there were people in their day who were quick to quote Paul in order to negate Ellen White’s ministry and prove that she, precisely because she was a she, should not be giving spiritual instruction. On one occasion Ellen White preached to a large public gathering in California. Notice what she wrote about the event, with obvious excitement, to her husband, James:

“Elder Haskell talked in the afternoon and his labors were well received. I had in the evening, it was stated, the largest congregation that had ever assembled at Arbuckle. The house was full. Many came from five to ten and twelve miles. The Lord gave me special power in speaking. The congregation listened as if spellbound. Not one left the house although I talked above one hour. Before I commenced talking, Elder Haskell had a bit of paper that was handed in quoting a certain text prohibiting women speaking in public. He took up the matter in a brief manner and very clearly expressed the meaning of the apostle’s words. I understand it was a Campbellite who wrote the objection and it had been well circulated before it reached the desk; but Elder Haskell made it all plain before the people” (Ellen White to James White, April 1 [Letter 17a], 1880; Manuscript Releases vol. 10, p. 70).

The only way to read the Bible responsibly is to read it with an awareness of its historical context.

It would be helpful to the current debate, would it not, to discover how our early pioneers interpreted Paul’s statements in 1 Timothy. After all, they had to respond to those who were using Paul to negate the ministry of Ellen White. We have no record of precisely what Elder Haskell said on that particular occasion to make “it all plain before the people.” But we do have a record of James White’s response to the general issue, which gives us insight into the way our early pioneers viewed the matter. Brother White had a way with words and wit that could cut right to the core of an issue:

“We object to that narrow-souled theology which will not allow the old ladies to have dreams because the prophecy says, ‘your old men shall dream dreams;’ and that will not allow young women to have visions because the prophecy says ‘your young men shall see visions.’ These stingy critics seem to forget that ‘man’ and ‘men’ in the Scriptures, generally mean both men and women. The Book says that it is ‘appointed unto men once to die.’ Don’t women die?” (James White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 25, 1862; Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 24).

This is brilliant on a number of levels. First, James White is setting forth a foundational perspective regarding how to read and interpret the Bible responsibly (hermeneutics). He takes Scripture for its obvious intent, discerning the principles on display in the text while taking into consideration the use of words in their historical setting. Secondly, he discerns that the inclination to interpret the Bible with a literalistic exactitude that ignores both the broader context of Scripture, as well as the historical context, has its source in a spiritual condition he called “narrow-souled” and “stingy.”

Early Adventists, with their woman prophet, simply did not believe that the Bible’s general tendency to address men—he, him, and husbands—was intended to exclude women. The fact is, pretty much the whole Bible is written to men since nearly all ancient cultures, including Israel, did not regard women as equal with men, while Scripture indicates that God was leading to a correct estimation of women (Matthew 19:3-10). So as we read Scripture it becomes obvious that in addressing men, both men and women are included. Three examples should suffice to make the obvious point.

  1. The Tenth Commandment says, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” (Exodus 20:17). But we do not, therefore, conclude that the commandment does not address women. We believe that the commandment includes, by implication and extension, that women should not covet their neighbors’ husbands.
  2. Jesus said, “I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). But we do not take His specific address to men to mean that He is not also addressing women. Women should not look and lust any more than men should.
  3. The New Testament says, “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). Yet, we do not take this to exclude women from receiving the gift of prophecy. We accept that women such as Miriam, Deborah, and Ellen White were true prophets and we do not quote Peter’s gender specific language to rule out women from prophetic ministry.

If the Bible study method being used to interpret 1 Timothy 3 was applied to the gender-specific language of the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and 2 Peter 1:21, we would be forced to conclude that while men are not permitted to covet their neighbors’ wives, women are free to covet their neighbors’ husbands; and while men are commanded to refrain from looking and lusting, women are free to look and lust; and while men may be prophets, women may not. At this point, we all know that this interpretive approach to Scripture is deficient. And that is the point James White and our early pioneers were making as they addressed the “stingy critics” who were trying to negate the ministry of Ellen White by quoting the Bible in this “narrow-souled” manner.

We conclude, then, with confidence: Paul’s subject in 1 Timothy 3 is not gender, but character. He is not saying, “Make sure only males occupy the ministerial role.” Rather, he is saying, “Those who occupy the role must be morally blameless.” That is Paul’s point. Anything beyond this involves imposing on the text more than it intends and ignoring other passages of Scripture in order to force this Scripture into the service of a preconceived position.

Those who insist that Paul, in 1 Timothy 3, is setting down a timeless moral rule of male-only ordination are faced with a fact that should give them humble, respectful pause: there are numerous equally committed and conscientious Adventist scholars, pastors, leaders and laity that do not agree with their interpretation of the text. This reality, alone, is sufficient reason to refrain, It in brotherly love, from making the women’s ordination a test question worth dividing the church over.

CREATION ORDER

At this point in our study, we need to back up and take a candid look at 1 Timothy 2:11-14:

“Let 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.”

Those who are advocating male-only ordination point to this passage as proof that when Paul later says, “the overseer must be blameless, the husband of one wife,” he is issuing a universal moral rule against the ordination of women to the gospel ministry by appealing to the creation order. We know with certainty that this is not the case, for four solid hermeneutical reasons:

  1. As we’ve already noted, by a simple comparison of Romans 16:1 with 1 Timothy 3:2, 12, it is absolutely clear that Paul did not intend for his “husband-of-one-wife” statement to constitute a universal rule against women occupying the ministerial role, but rather as a description of the moral character a person must possess in order to hold spiritual office.
  2. We have other instances in Scripture in which women do speak and teach with God-given authority. Luke matter-of-factly informs us that Paul and his entourage stayed in the home of “Phillip the evangelist” with his “four virgin daughters who prophesied” (Acts 21:8-9). Think this through: if Paul believed in a universal divine mandate that all women, everywhere, at all times, are to learn in silence and not teach men by virtue of the fact that Adam was created first, and then Eve, we would not have this record of four daughters of Phillip prophesying. Rather, we might read that Paul said to these women something like, “You are women and we are men, so be silent. We will teach you, but you will not teach us.” But no, what we do have is a simply stated report of four women “who prophesied,” clearly indicating that God was speaking through them with teaching authority.
  3. The Greek word hēsychia, translated “silence” in 1 Timothy 2, does not refer narrowly to verbal silence, but rather to being calm and refraining from causing disruption, to “not officiously meddle with the affairs of others” (Strong’s). Clearly, Paul is addressing a local, specific problem. There were some women who were dominating and disrupting the teaching process, and Paul essentially rebuked them by saying they should calm down, stop interrupting, and quietly engage in the learning process.
  4. In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul is again addressing a local church situation. Three times he issues an admonition to be “silent,” but on this occasion the first two times he tells men to be “silent,” addressing the women the third time (verses 28, 30, 34). Also on this occasion he explains why he is telling them to be silent. In that local situation there was a lack of order, resulting in confusion and detraction from the edification process in which the church was attempting to engage. In this passage it becomes clear that when Paul issues his “be silent” admonition, it is in the interest of a practical concern for out-of-control, loudmouth people, both men and women, to cease disrupting the church’s discipleship process.

We see, then, that in the larger context of Paul’s thinking, 1 Timothy 2 does not constitute a timeless moral rule for all women to forever be silent and refrain from teaching men. That is manifestly not what God wants, made evident by the fact that He has called and empowered women to be in teaching, preaching, leading positions for the church. Ellen White is the most obvious and immediate example for Seventh-day Adventists. She was an active itinerant preacher throughout her ministry, teaching both men and women, and she was (and still is) the most prolific teaching authority in Adventist history. “Ah,” someone will interject, “but she was not ordained!”

Actually, she was ordained…by God Himself:

“In the city of Portland the Lord ordained me as His messenger, and here my first labors were given to the cause of present truth” (Review and Herald, May 18, 1911).

Ellen White’s case is extremely enlightening. Let the fact register with all the force it carries that God chose a woman to be His end-time prophet, to speak and to write authoritatively as His foremost representative to His end-time church. And He did so at a time in history when women generally did not occupy leadership roles. Women couldn’t even vote, nor could they occupy political office, in her time. And yet, God chose a woman to be the channel through which He would teach, lead, and even reprove men.

“But she was not ordained by the church!”

No, she was not, but ordination originates with God, not with humans, so she had the higher, not the lower, level of ordination. If you’re ordained by God, but not by humans, you’re still ordained. If you’re ordained by humans and not by God, you are not ordained.

“But she was ordained as just a prophet, not as a pastor, because pastoral ordination would have put her in spiritual authority over men, which the Bible forbids!”

Yet we all know that apart from the Bible the writings of Ellen White constitute the highest authority in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. That’s why we’re all quoting her authoritatively in this debate.

“But when the men in leadership told her to go to Australia, she obeyed and went, because they were men and she was a woman!”

Yes, she did go to Australia when they told her to, but there is nothing to indicate that she went because she was a woman and men told her to go. She went because of a humble spirit of submission to her brethren, the same as any male minister of the time would have gone if the brethren had told him to go. On different occasions men told her to do other things and she rebuked them, and on many occasions she told men in leadership positions what they were to do and she expected them to comply.

The plain truth of the matter is that Ellen White was, in fact, ordained by God himself, which clearly indicates that while we may be against ordaining women to authoritative spiritual office, God is not, which, if you think about it, is a very awkward position to be in.

Awkward, indeed!

Those Adventists who interpret 1 Timothy 2-3 as a universal mandate against women’s ordination overstep the evidence in the face of the fact that they are members of a Church with a woman prophet, and a church that has always accepted women in general in teaching, preaching, evangelistic roles, all of which are, by definition, activities of spiritual authority. They have to outrun the text to sustain their overall position against women’s ordination while at the same time allowing for Ellen White’s ministry to be acceptable and for women in general to teach and preach.

In other words, there is a glaring gap in the logic of their position.

They begin by insisting that male-only ordination is a moral mandate due to the fact that Adam was created before Eve, from which they insist that women may not authoritatively teach men. But then they are faced with a woman prophet they accept in an authoritative teaching role—namely, Ellen White. So they have to figure out some explanatory angle to make exceptions for some women to teach men. But here’s the colossal problem: if we’re dealing here with a moral mandate, then there can be no exceptions, and to make exceptions is to inadvertently confess that it’s not a moral issue after all. And if it’s not a moral issue, then there is no legitimate reason to urge it as a universal rule for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Why, then, did Paul reference the fact that “Adam was formed first, then Eve”?

We need simply to read the context of the passage to grasp what Paul is getting at. As we pay attention to his opening comments to Timothy we discover that a specific situation prompted his letter:

“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3).

He then states further that there are those in the Ephesus church who are exerting their influence to “cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm” (verse 4-7). At the close of chapter 1, he encourages Timothy to “wage the good warfare” against the false teachers he’s dealing with in Ephesus, naming two of them as “Hymenaeus and Alexander.”

Clearly, then, Paul is addressing a local situation in which there are individuals who are positioning themselves as teachers, causing theological disputes, and detracting from the godly edification that should characterize the local church dynamic.

Then in chapter 2 Paul proceeds to address the fact that there are some women attending the Ephesus church who are escalating the problem. They are obviously sympathetic to the false teachers because later in chapter 5 Paul laments the fact that “some” of the women at the Ephesus church “have already turned aside after Satan” (5:15). So Paul is offering counsel to Timothy regarding how to deal with the women who are contributing to the theological disputes by exerting themselves in domineering manner over the men.

It is this situation that calls forth from Paul the admonition that the women are not to “teach” or exercise “authority” over the men!

The word “authority” here is not a word that indicates leadership, but rather it points to a controlling attitude. These women were not exerting godly leadership, and Paul was not, therefore, saying that women cannot ever be godly leaders. He’s not laying down a rule that negates women in general from ever teaching or leading. Rather, he is addressing a disastrous local situation. This is why, writing a letter to another local group of believers, he affirms a women named Phoebe for exerting a positive leadership influence: “assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also” (Romans 16:1-2). This woman does not need to be told to be silent. To the contrary, Paul positions her as someone the believers should “assist in whatever business she has need of you.”

To make the point about how the local dynamic elicited the specific nature of Paul’s admonition, imagine if Phoebe and Ellen White had been the influential women present in the Ephesus church. They would have been a positive and strong female force for the heretics to reckon with. Paul would not, therefore, have written the same counsel. But as it was, the local sisters were contributing to the problem and opening the door to the heretics. So Paul said those women should stop disrupting the teaching process and submit to the brothers who are attempting to teach the truth and combat the heretics.

In other words, Paul is not attempting to make a deep, philosophical point, but rather a practical one. In this passage we are witnessing Paul, the pastor, in action. Timothy is faced with some out-of-control, loudmouth ladies disrupting the educational process at the Ephesus church. So Paul tells him to tell them to quiet down, just like he told some loudmouth men to do at Corinth. Then to achieve his pastoral goal, he appeals to the fact that though Adam was created first and then Eve, it was Eve, not Adam, who was deceived by Satan. He is speaking homiletically, pastorally, to a specific problem, and the Genesis account of Creation and the Fall makes his point. But there is no evidence in the passage, or in the whole of the biblical narrative, that God has issued a universal rule against women ever, anywhere, at any time teaching men, and Paul certainly is not making any point in this passage for or against women’s ordination. Women’s ordination is nowhere on his radar.

The intent of Paul’s letter to Timothy is simple and clear if we just read it in its own immediate historical and situational context, which includes the fact that Paul was very happy on other occasions to direct attention to women who were good and trustworthy leaders in the advancement of the gospel, as in the case of Phoebe. To use 1 Timothy 2 and 3 to rule out the ordination of women is a hermeneutical stretch at best. The passage simply does not support the weight of the position—a position so heavy it claims that ordaining women to pastoral ministry would constitute to unfaithfulness to Scripture.

CAN A WOMAN PASTOR A LOCAL CHURCH?

At this point, most advocates of male-only ordination, because the exegetical evidence demands it, will concede that 1 Timothy, after all, does not constitute a case against women being in the pastoral role. But then they insist on a condition: “Okay,” they say, “yes, women may be pastors, but they cannot be ordained as such, and they cannot be in leadership/administrative/management positions to the local church.” They hold out for this restriction because they cannot accept a woman in a leadership role to a congregation, because, of course, any given congregation will consist of both men and women.

Apparently, Ellen White was of the opinion that leading a local church was more a matter of actual character qualification than gender:

“It is not always men who are best adapted to the successful management of a church. If faithful women have more deep piety and true devotion than men, they could indeed by their prayers and their labors do more than men who are unconsecrated in heart and life” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, p. 56).

Again, we encounter balance. This statement rules out the possibility of operating on the assumption that a woman cannot lead a church. The statement does not negate the need for godly male leadership of local churches, but it reaches further and insists that sometimes women are the better choice for the job. It is character and giftedness that qualify.

Now take this in:

The word “bishop” in 1 Timothy 3:2 is episkopos, and literally means “overseer” (ESV). Paul tells us that “the overseer (episkopos) manages (oikonomos) God’s household” (Titus 1:7, NIV). In other words, part of the biblical job description of the episkopos is the management of the church, and Ellen White clearly sees women, as well as men, in the church management role. 

So we are faced with the biblical allowance that women can preach and teach, and we are faced with Ellen White’s statement that sometimes women are better adapted to the successful management of a church. At this point, some attempt to maneuver around the obvious and say that it is permissible for a woman to teach and preach, or it is permissible for a woman to manage a local church, but it is not permissible for a woman to occupy both roles at the same time, because that would acknowledge in a woman the two primary gifts that equate to a local pastor. Of course none of this reasoning exists anywhere in the Bible or the writings of Ellen White. At this point we’re just making up angles and arguments as we go in order to get around the clear implications of the inspired material before us.

But now, lest there be any doubt, consider one more point that allows us to achieve perfect clarity regarding whether or not women are eligible to occupy the ordained role of “overseer” (episkopos). Follow carefully:

  • Both sides of the debate agree that all the spiritual gifts are gender inclusive (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4).
  • All acknowledge, as well, that one of the gifts is that of “pastor” (poimēn), as listed in Ephesians 4:11, and therefore all agree that women, as well as men, may be “pastors.”
  • But in order to restrict the women “pastor” (poimēn) from the ordained “overseer” (episkopos) role, those opposed to women’s ordination have insisted that there must be a distinction between spiritual gifts and offices, the reasoning being that a woman may receive and exercise the spiritual gift of “pastor,” but she cannot be ordained in that role as an office equivalent to the “overseer” (episkopos) role.

Got that so far?

Now notice what 1 Peter 5:2 says to the local church leader:

“Shepherd (poimainō, the same word as “pastor” in Ephesians 4:11) the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers (episkopeō, the same word as “bishop/overseer” in 1 Timothy 3:2).”

The following is, therefore, evident:

  • One of the spiritual gifts for both men and women is that of “pastor.”
  • And Peter says that the “pastor” is one and the same position as the “overseer.”
  • Therefore, to concede that a women can receive the spiritual gift of “pastor” is to concede, if we allow all of Scripture to inform us, that a woman can be in the ordained office of “overseer” to a local church.

HEADSHIP

The concept of male headship is the second piece of evidence offered in favor of male-only ordination. The problem here is that the Bible never speaks of the pastoral role as a headship position.

Not once.

In fact, to apply the language of “head” to the pastor is a grave theological error with heavy implication. Let’s think this through carefully, allowing all that the Bible says about headship to inform us.

There are a total of seven biblical passages that employ the word “head” with reference to headship. Five of these designate Jesus Christ as the One and only Head of the church. The remaining two tell us that the man, as a husband, is the head of the woman as his wife, thus limiting the role to the marriage relationship. But—and this is crucial to know—not one text employs the word “head” with regards to the pastoral position or in any relation to ordination.

Emphasis, not one!

Here are all seven headship passages:

“And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be Head over everything for the church” (Ephesians 1:22, NIV).

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15, NIV).

“And He is the Head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy” (Colossians 1:18, NIV).

“He is the Head over every power and authority” (Colossians 2:10, NIV).

“They have lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow” (Colossians 2:19, NIV).

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior” (Ephesians 5:23, NIV).

“The Head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the Head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3, KJV).

“I wish you to know that of every man the Head is the Christ, and the head of a woman is the husband, and the Head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3, Young’s Literal Translation).

In these seven texts we have before us everything the Bible says about headship!

As already stated, we are immediately struck with an obvious and glaring fact: the word “head” is never used to designate the position of the pastor or elder in relation to the church, nor is the word ever used in relation to ordination. In the light of the current debate regarding women’s ordination, please pause and let this register: the idea that the pastoral position is one of headship and, therefore, all pastors must be males is completely absent from Scripture.

But some claim that the final passage quoted above (1 Corinthians 11:3) deals with men and women in general, suggesting that all men have headship over all women. Of course, those who claim they believe this would quickly reveal that they do not believe it in practice if I were to suddenly begin positioning myself in headship over their wives. Paul is saying, as the English Standard Version renders the text, “the head of a wife is her husband.”

How is it, then, that those who oppose women’s ordination consider “male headship” as biblical evidence in favor of male-only ordination?

We can only guess, with all graciousness and respect, that they have inadvertently overlooked the absence of any biblical linkage between headship and the pastoral position. Basically, they have taken hold of the word “head” and applied it without biblical warrant to the pastoral role and thus inserted it into the topic of ordination. It is an exercise in innocent extrapolation, but it is not sound exegesis. So yes, the concept of male headship is present in Scripture, as we’ve just read, but it is exclusively applied to the husband-wife relationship and is never applied to any person’s position in the Church of God—other than Jesus Christ.

The headship argument against women’s ordination employs the same Bible study methodology that is used when Sunday-keepers oppose the Sabbath by pointing to “first day” language in the New Testament. Upon examination we discover that there are a total of eight New Testament passages that speak of “the first day,” but not one of them says anything about the first day being the new day of worship. Similarly, there are a total of seven New Testament passages that use the word “head” with regards to the idea of headship, but not one of them employs the word to describe any human leadership role within the Church. What this amounts to is a complete absence of biblical evidence that pastors occupy a headship role to the Church. They simply do not. Christ alone is described as the “Head” of His church, which is composed of a membership that includes both men and women, all of whom constitute the corporate bride of Christ. That’s literally all the Bible says about headship.

But think this matter through a little more deeply, because the claim that the pastoral position is one of headship is not only unbiblical, it’s dangerous.

Biblically speaking, there is no intermediate category of heads that exist between Christ and His church; there is no human layer of officiants to be regarded as husbandly heads between Jesus and His bride. Describing the relationship between Himself and His church, Jesus explicitly stated, “One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren” (Matthew 23:8, KJV). There is no sense in which Adventism—as a Protestant, priesthood-of-all-believers church—has any designated head or heads among its members. Understanding the exclusive nature of the headship position in the church, Ellen White explicitly stated:

“Christ is the only Head of the church” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, p. 274).

And again:

“Let it be seen that Christ, not the minister, is the head of the church” (Signs of the Times, January 27, 1890).

And again:

“God has never given a hint in His word that He has appointed any man to be the head of the church” (The Great Controversy, p. 51).

And yet again:

“The Lord Jesus is the one spiritual Head, and we are the members of His body” (Review and Herald, March 19, 1895).

This present inclination among us to sharply distinguish clergy from laity and elevate the pastoral position with language of headship and privilege over other church members is decidedly papal. Refusing to allow women to occupy the ordained role on the premise of headship dangerously assumes that all women are under the headship of all men, which the Bible nowhere states. Also, refusing to allow women to occupy the ordained role on the premise of headship assumes that half the members of the church (the female half) do not hold priesthood-of-all-believers status by interposing a human headship, composed of men, between the women members of the church and their Lord. The Bible nowhere explains this kind of arrangement. One must move out of Adventism into Catholicism to have ministers in this role.

The crucial thing to understand regarding headship is this: the Bible does not teach that males in general are in a headship position to all women in general, but only that the individual husband is in a headship position to his individual wife. The husband-wife relationship is then carried over into the church symbolically in the form of Christ, our spiritual husband, being named the Head of the church, His spiritual wife, which is composed of both men and women.

This is a major and potentially dangerous oversight on the part of those advancing male headship as an argument against women’s ordination. They employ the biblical concept of headship as evidence that women cannot occupy the ordained role because, they say, it would violate the biblical truth of male headship. But the fact is, there is no passage of Scripture that articulates the concept of male headship in relation to ministry, church organization, or ordination. Rather, headship is only spoken of with regards to marriage and there is no scripture that makes it transferable into church relations.

For the logic to remain consistent, if the ordained minister occupies the role of head to the church, then he occupies that role to all the un-ordained members, both males and females, which would place the pastor in the spiritual role of husband to the bride of Christ. This is the very thing that we, as Protestants, reject in Catholic ecclesiology. The ordained minister in the Seventh-day Adventist Church most emphatically does not occupy a headship role to the church.

We conclude, then, that there is no biblically-informed need for concern that ordaining women would usurp the male headship role, because not even the men who occupy the pastoral position possess a headship role to the church. What we should be concerned about, however, is moving the Adventist Church in a direction that would define the pastor in headship terms, because that would constitute elevating the clergy to the position of Christ. Said another way, there is no headship role to preserve or protect, except that of Christ Himself. Ordaining women would, in fact, be an affirmation of the priesthood-of-all-believers ecclesiology we professedly adhere to as Protestants, and it would sharpen our perception of the pastoral role as simply a full-time, vocational extension of the role all church members have as a priesthood-of-all-believers community.

What happens, then, to male headship if we ordain women?

It remains, as precisely what the Bible says it is—the husband is the head of the wife and Christ is the Head of the Church!

For the church to acknowledge women pastors by the laying on of hands would simply affirm a ministerial calling to preach the gospel and win souls to Christ in a vocational capacity. It would alter nothing in a woman’s ontological makeup or home relations. If a woman is ordained as a vocational soul-winner, her husband is still her husband and she is still his wife. All the husband-wife dynamics remain the same. He is still called upon by God to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, and she is still called upon to voluntarily submit to his selfless leadership within the secure relational environment of his husbandly love (Ephesians 5).

But let us be certain of this: the Bible nowhere reasons that since the husband is the head of the wife in the home, therefore only men can occupy the ordained role in the church. That Bible verse simply does not exist. The idea is a forced construct that lacks even one biblical passage. I am the head of my wife, not the head of every other man’s wife in addition to my own. And I have a hunch that all my married brothers in Christ want to keep it that way.

We conclude, then, that the headship argument against women’s ordination amounts to a sheer absence of textual evidence. All we have before us in Scripture regarding headship is seven passages, five of which inform us that Jesus alone is the Head of the church, while the remaining two tell us that the husband is the head of the wife, with not a single verse that articulates headship in relation to either ordination or the pastoral position. Sure, we can construct an arrangement of words and ideas to manufacture an argument that forbids the ordination of women. But there is nothing in the plain reading of the biblical text that equates to a straightforward mandate on the issue.

THE HOLY SPIRIT DECIDES

The moment we enter into the realm of the church, Scripture articulates a priesthood of all believers, offering lists of spiritual gifts that each member may possess for the advancement of the gospel (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4). When Paul gives these lists, he offers no gender restrictions. He does not offer a men’s list and a women’s list. There is one list for everybody. Each member of the church is invited to discover his or her individual areas of giftedness. And then, after naming the various gifts, Paul says this:

“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11).

“He alone decides which gift each person should have” (NLT).

“…as he determines” (NIV).

“…giving what God wants to give to each person” (GW).

So as we read the biblical list of spiritual gifts, we should not be surprised if, for example, a woman prophet pops up in the church. And if we’re not surprised by a woman prophet, why would we be surprised by women preachers, evangelists and “pastors” (Ephesians 4:11)? After all, Paul stipulated no gender qualifications and he bluntly informs us that the Holy Spirit is not subject to the parameters and restrictions we humans might impose. Here, again, as with the ecclesiastical headship claim, we are in danger of creating manmade rules to restrict the movings of God’s Spirit. But let us ask ourselves the sobering question:

Who are we to dictate who may or may not receive any particular spiritual gift?

If the Holy Spirit wants to raise up a woman to be a political and military leader in Israel, as in the case of Deborah, who are we to say He can’t?

If the Holy Spirit wants to call a teenage girl to be His prophet in a time when women couldn’t even vote or hold public office, as in the case of Ellen White, who are we to say that’s a bad idea?

If the Holy Spirit decides that a woman named Phoebe has what He’s looking for to be a diakonos to the church at Rome, why would we try to stand in His way?

If a young lady comes to you, as one recently came to me, with conviction in her eyes and passion in her voice, and says, “I am so in love with Jesus and I sense the Holy Spirit calling me to preach the gospel, plant a church, and lead people to know all about Him,” are we really prepared to tell her that the conviction she feels is not from the Holy Spirit?

Paul says “the Holy Spirit alone decides which gift each person should have.”

Our part is to acknowledge and enable what God is doing, not to impose rules and restrictions that are found nowhere in the Bible. Yes, if there was a biblical rule on the matter, we should obey that rule. But since there isn’t, why would we feel at liberty to create one? We’re not the rule makers. God is! And if He wanted us to have a rule on this issue, He would have given us one.

So then…

Assessing the biblical data, we are driven to the conclusion that the Bible does not say that women ought to be ordained, and the Bible does not say that women ought not to be ordained. And that’s the point all of us need to let register in our minds and hearts, if we are going to be honest with the inspired information at our disposal. To make any claim that the Bible issues a moral mandate for or against the ordination of women is simply reaching beyond what Scripture actually says.

And yet, on the basis of the headship concept and 1 Timothy 2 and 3, there are those who are insisting that male-only ordination constitutes a biblical truth over which faithfulness versus unfaithfulness is determined. This brings us, as a people, to a very serious and dangerous place, not only for the division such a stand will inevitably cause, but also for how we interpret Scripture in general. If we are going to allow ourselves as a people to be divided over an insistence that the Bible forbids women’s ordination, then we will have essentially given the church over to the dictates of one group’s strong opinions beyond what is written in the word of God.

TESTING TRUTH

Consider how serious a situation we are facing:

  1. If the General Conference in Session votes a universal rule against the ordination of womento pastoral ministry, it is likely that some Unions will feel compelled to go ahead with the ordination of women in “conscientious protest” against the vote.
  2. In response, it is likely that there will be one of two outcomes: either the Unions will be allowed to proceed with women’s ordination or they will be brought under disciplinary action.
  3. If allowed to proceed with women’s ordination, this would equate to allowing the vote of the General Conference in Session to mean nothing.
  4. If the Unions are brought under discipline, this will likely involve three steps: (a) censure, which is an official statement of disapproval and a warning to change course; (b) disbanding of the non-compliant Unions; and then (c) reconstituting the Unions under compliant leadership.
  5. Because Unions have their own Constitutions and Bylaws, and their own voting constituencies, if the General Conference moves in the direction of discipline it is likely that the church will enter into internal legal battles that could potentially divide Adventism into at least two denominations.

And all of this potential division we are faced with because of an insistence that 1 Timothy 3’s “husband-of-one-wife” statement constitutes a moral mandate against women’s ordination, coupled with an insistence that the concept of headship applies to the pastoral position in the church!

whatever cannot be shown from Scripture to be a moral mandate, and whatever cannot be shown from Scripture to be clear gospel truth, must not be voted and enforced as tests of fellowship.

May I respectfully state that the interpretations being offered in favor of male-only ordination do not constitute the kind of biblical evidence, either in mass or in method, from which we can responsibly determine either doctrinal orthodoxy or moral imperative. In other words, male-only ordination does not have sufficient biblical basis to possess the status of a “testing truth” worth dividing the church over.

There are two points upon which we cannot compromise: the law and the gospel.

  • The law distinguishes between relational right and wrong.
  • The gospel defines the way of salvation.

The moral mandates of God’s law must be maintained as non-negotiable imperatives, and all explicit Bible doctrines that collectively compose the gospel must be maintained as testing truths that determine formal “fellowship” within the parameters of church membership. But whatever cannot be shown from Scripture to be a moral mandate, and whatever cannot be shown from Scripture to be clear gospel truth, must not be voted and enforced as tests of fellowship.

Ellen White wisely observed that honest Bible students will differ in their interpretations of some topics, and she urged that we should not magnify those differences, but rather focus on preaching “the testing truths” for our time:

“If we allow the mind to take its own course, there will be countless points of difference which may be debated by men who make Christ their hope, and who love the truth in sincerity, and yet who hold opposite opinions upon subjects that are not of real importance. These unsettled questions should not be brought to the front, and urged publicly, but should, if held by any, be done quietly and without controversy…. A noble, devoted, spiritual worker will see in the great testing truths that constitute the solemn message to be given to the world, sufficient reason for keeping all minor differences concealed, rather than to bring them forth to become subjects of contention. Let the mind dwell upon the great work of redemption, the soon coming of Christ, and the commandments of God; and it will be found that there is enough food for thought in these subjects to take up the entire attention” (Evangelism, p. 183).

When subjects like the “daily” in Daniel 7 and 8 were being agitated, she pointed to the prayer of Christ for the unity of His church and urged that we focus on “testing truths” rather than on subjects that would reveal marked differences of opinion:

“I would bring to your attention the last prayer of Christ, as recorded in John 17. There are many subjects upon which we can speak—sacred, testing truths, beautiful in their simplicity. On these you may dwell with intense earnestness. But let not ‘the daily,’ or any other subject that will arouse controversy among brethren, be brought in at this time; for this will delay and hinder the work that the Lord would have the minds of our brethren centered upon just now. Let us not agitate questions that will reveal a marked difference of opinion, but rather let us bring from the Word the sacred truths regarding the binding claims of the law of God. Our ministers should seek to make the most favorable presentation of truth. So far as possible, let all speak the same things. Let the discourses be simple, and treating upon vital subjects that can be easily understood” (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 167).

How can we distinguish between testing truths and issues that are not to be regarded as such?

First, a testing truth must have a plain “Thus saith the Lord” to distinguish it as such. We cannot make a testing truth out of a topic concerning which God’s word is either silent or allows for freedom—“quarreling over disputable matters” (Romans 14:1, NIV).

Secondly, it also seems logical that we must not make a testing truth of a topic concerning which God’s end-time prophet was silent, beyond three encouragements that women, and well as men, may occupy the pastoral, ministerial, priestly role.

Thirdly, we must not make a testing truth out of a topic concerning which honest Bible students differ while at the same time sharing belief in the great doctrinal truths of Scripture, such as the Sabbath, the Sanctuary, the Second Coming, the Three Angels’ Messages, and much more besides.

The crucial point is this: the Bible does not expressly command or forbid the ordination of women. Scripture contains no explicit statement, explanation or mandate regarding the matter either for or against. And this is precisely why the church should refrain from dictating a universal rule on the matter. It is not a matter of doctrinal orthodoxy, nor is it a matter of moral imperative, to ordain or not to ordain women. Therefore, it does not constitute a test issue that determines fellowship.

Where Scripture makes no command, neither should we. We simply cannot draw a line in the sand where Scripture draws no line. We should be aiming for maximum freedom and minimum restriction in matters that involve no heresy and no sin. Women’s ordination is simply one of those matters concerning which we must say, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:5), and that includes women. The problem we are currently facing—and it is a serious problem—is that the ordination issue is being advanced as a testing truth that determines one’s faithfulness to Scripture.

A simple hypothetical exercise will help put the matter in perspective.

Ask yourself the question, “If the General Conference in Session votes to allow women’s ordination, will you remove your membership from the Seventh-day Adventist Church?”

If your answer is, “No, of course not,” then on some level you understand that it is not a moral issue and not a testing truth.

By contrast, ask yourself another question: “If the General Conference in session voted to adopt Sunday observance in place of the Sabbath, would you remove your membership and separate from the church?”

Most biblically literate Seventh-day Adventists would answer, “Yes, I would.”

Here’s the point: most of us correctly understand that there are issues of doctrinal orthodoxy and moral imperative, on the one hand, and then there are issues of individual opinion and conviction, on the other. Women’s ordination clearly falls into the second category for sheer lack of biblical support in either direction.

In the current debate, however, we are faced with an insistent claim that male-only ordination is a matter of doctrinal orthodoxy and moral imperative.

In one presentation after another, both spoken and written, we are being told that if we allow for the ordination of women, doing so will constitute unfaithfulness to Scripture. We are being told that we must vote and enforce a universal rule against women’s ordination for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, or cease following the Bible.

Please hear this:

Posturing the issue in this manner is very dangerous to the unity and mission of the church and threatens to severely damage our witness to the world!

And while the ordination of women cannot be shown from Scripture to be a doctrinal or moral violation, dividing God’s church over such an issue is. To exert one’s influence in a manner that contributes to polarizing the church over matters that lack clear biblical mandate, most certainly is a sin against the body of Christ.

Sensing that there really is no biblical mandate one way or another regarding women’s ordination, some have resorted to arousing fear with extra-biblical arguments in order to frame the issue as a moral one. The most prominent of these is the claim that,

Ordaining women will lead to ordaining gays.

First of all, there is no comparison at all between being a woman and being gay.

Secondly, the argument reasons from a false premise. Beginning with the assumption that the Bible mandates that only men may occupy the ordained pastoral role, it is reasoned that ordaining women requires a liberal method of biblical interpretation (such as higher criticism), thus opening the door for the church to liberally reinterpret other biblical teachings, such as what Scripture says about homosexuality.

If the premise here were true, then, yes, ordaining women would be a dangerous move. But, as we have discovered, the premise is false. The Bible does not forbid the ordination of women. The Bible does, however, clearly forbid the practice of homosexuality. Therefore, a liberal biblical hermeneutic is not required to allow for the ordination of women. All that is required is a sound, balanced, conservative reading of Scripture! In fact, as we have seen, it requires what can only be regarded as a less than conservative hermeneutical method of interpretation to prove that the Bible forbids women’s ordination.

we lose moral authority when we run to extremes…

To forbid the ordination of women in order to guard against the ordination of gays essentially amounts to avoiding what is innocent in order to avoid what is not. We need to draw the line where it is, not where it’s not. We don’t forbid eating wheat as a precaution against drinking whisky. We don’t forbid making money as a precaution against greed and materialism. We don’t forbid matrimonial sex as a precaution against adultery. We forbid what is forbidden and we manufacture no manmade rules beyond that.

Actually, by refraining from creating unnecessary restrictions we strengthen our influence and credibility with the world we are called to win to Christ, as Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. By giving every inch of ground we can without compromising truth, we show ourselves to be broadminded and reasonable, so that when we do need to draw a line on a moral imperative, we will be taken seriously. Conversely, we lose moral authority when we run to extremes and issue mandates beyond what is written in Scripture. We are not strengthened in our position of fidelity to Scripture by taking an extreme position in one direction in order to protect ourselves against a potential extreme in the opposite direction. One extreme does not correct another, but actually has the tendency to feed the opposite extreme.

So where do we go from here?

The church of God does not need extremes, either from the right or the left, to define and dictate our way forward…

Considering the fact that we do not have a single Bible passage or Spirit of Prophecy statement that articulates male-only ordination as a matter of doctrinal orthodoxy or as a moral imperative, how, then, in good conscience, can we impose a universal rule against something God’s word articulates no rule against?

The church of God does not need extremes, either from the right or the left, to define and dictate our way forward. We need rational, balanced, sound biblical thinking to guide us. On the basis of the evidence before us, it would be irresponsible and reckless for us to vote a universal rule against women’s ordination. In a worldwide church with millions of members, the only rational and charitable thing we can do is to allow for Divisions to decide what is best in their fields of labor.

At this point in the process, it does not matter so much what you and I prefer regarding ordination. Rather, the question is, are we willing to divide God’s church over the issue?

APPEAL

As Seventh-day Adventists, we have a high prophetic calling to preach the everlasting gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people on earth. God has given us a message with the potential, centered in Christ, to paint for the world an unprecedented picture of God’s beautiful character. Why should we divert our attention from this vital calling and divide God’s church over an issue that does not fall within the parameters of the message God has given us?

Therefore…

If you are a delegate to the 2015 General Conference Session, please vote YES in favor of allowing for individual Divisions to decide whether or not to ordain women within their territories.

By voting YES, you will be standing in favor of refraining from dividing the church over a subject that does not constitute testing truth.

By voting YES, you will be voting to refrain from creating restrictions that go beyond what is written in God’s word.

By voting YES, you will be voting to affirm the freedom of God’s Spirit to do as He pleases with His people.

How tragic and sad it would be for us to allow our beloved church to divide over a subject that loyal, Bible-believing church members differ on in good conscience. On this matter, let us honor one another by applying the ancient Christian maxim:

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

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Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers
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  • Lynelle

    Thank you so much Ty. Very ordered and comprehensive study.

  • Alfred Turley

    This is a Biblicaly sound analysis of the issues and is presented in a logical manner. I fully agree with Ty’s conclusions. It is the Holy Spirit that gives the gift of pastoral ministry. The role of the church leadership is to recognize the gift and let it be used to advance the work that God has assigned to His church. Let us not put ourselves in the role of quenching the Spirit and robbing the Lord’s work of the talents He has given to His people. The Levitical priesthood has passed away and should not be a model for the end time church. Christ is the High Priest and we are all called to priestly service according to the gifts that He has provided.

  • Trisha Cupra

    Thanks very much for this very well written summary of all the major points I have learned over the past few years.

  • Elizabeth Salisbury

    Thank you so much Ty. One point that comes to me over and over, as I remain open to the inerrant leading of the Holy Spirit, thus willing to accept God’s dictates whether my flesh likes them or not, is that we can effectively silence the voice of the Holy Spirit spoken through women by limiting them to work within only a limited set of spiritual gifts because of our erroneous interpretation of Scripture. We become instruments of the Enemy in such cases. We minimize the value of the women before their Creator and High Priest. Do we really want to be guilty of silencing such a large crowd of witnesses for the gospel of Jesus Christ? Imagine if we’d done so with Ellen White (and did at one point)! But that is what is being suggested. Do our brothers and sisters want women to disobey God and refuse His calling in order to allow these people to remain comfortable with their chosen theology? I speak as a woman totally astounded by God’s calling upon my life many years ago and His anointing and ordination of my person for life. Am I to reject His choice and abandon His ordination for the sake of belonging to an earthly institution? Many women’s service to the SDA church is severely limited today and has been throughout the life of the SDA church. Does that mean we are to reject our ordination by God in the gifts HE Himself has assigned to us and stop serving Him? No, we’ve simply been forced to find creative and unobtrusive ways in which to obey God while we continually run into human-built fortresses in our church institution, and try to respond in a Christ-like manner of peace and humility (or not). The confusion and frustration resident in women’s hearts and souls cannot be adequately expressed. I think many will be shocked when we meet our Lord Jesus at long last to discover just how many women have served Him faithfully and peaceable, having been quietly ordained by Him (remembering David’s secret anointing as king by Samuel!), without the knowledge of the SDA church leadership, or that of any other human institution on this earth. We will all ultimately be held accountable to the true Head of the Church. Meanwhile, as always, I obey my Lord and Master and the authorities that rule over this institution, because Scripture tells us to so, for God has established all authority and works through it to do His perfect will, whether said authority be obedient to Him or not. Praise God He remains sovereign despite our fumbling. God bless you, Ty, and the work of Light Bearers for Jesus!

  • Sandylee Petty

    Thank you so much for your prayerful and detailed study into this subject. I have read many discourses and this was by far the clearest and the simplest and cleared up a few things that were confusing me. I will be sharing this and hoping people will read it without bias! May God bless you and your Ministry

  • The fact is we all were commanded to go out to preach and teach God’s word, we don’t have to be ordained to do that. We are supposed to change the world not the world change the church yet again looking at your argument it looks like we are allowing the world views to change the church. A woman does not need to fight for leadership she must faithfully do her part in spreading God’s word just as the men need to. If you remember before EGW 2 men were chosen first but they turned God down. We must step up to the plate and be leaders in the church, there is little time left to be fighting over this matter. We all must go out to spread God’s word.

  • Martin Hanna

    Thank you Ty. Your message is present truth for God’s people at such a time as this.

  • Julie Swafford

    Pastor Ty,
    Thank you so very much for this clearly Holy Sprit led study.
    As a woman it would almost seem obvious what I would desire, however, I have wrestled with this and prayed over it for some time.
    I have preached at a number of multi-speaker evangelistic series. I have also spoken for the Sabbath sermon at n our church. Or former Pastor encouraged me to take this gift for speaking and teaching and let GOD use it more often…..he even went so far as to say that I had all the qualifications to be an elder. THAT terrified me!!
    I love speaking. When I study under the Holy Dpirit’s teaching I often see things that I desire greatly to share!! Urgency to share what I am learning often nearly overwhelms me! However, I ask GOD to give the opportunities as HE desires and not as I rush in and demand.
    I have always seen women as very capable speakers, teachers, Bible workers…and yes as church planters and itinerat Pastor’s, yet NOT ordained ministers….though I greatly admire a number of capable and godly women who are ordained.
    Today, as you urged, I prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me through reading this. WOW!
    THANK YOU, DEAR BROTHER!
    I see things very clearly now…..after tears, concern and glimpses of this very teaching, I NOW see what GOD has been endeavouring to show me.
    PRAISE GOD for your heart and honesty to go deep and KNOW the REAL truth and then share it so powerfully, yet humbly!
    Blessings, brother!
    Your sister in Christ,
    Julie Swafford

  • Tommy Lane

    Well thought out, well written, thought provoking article. Thanks, Ty.

  • Guest

    Perfect timing for this! I’ve not read such a thorough and comprehensive overview of the relevant scripture passages. Thank you! God could very well use this to turn the tide at the upcoming GC!

  • Lutz Binus

    Thanks, Ty – a sensible, thoughtful, spirit-guided article!

  • Mari-Carmen Gallego

    Regardless of the outcome of the vote in San Antonio, my hope and prayer is that we will find this same humble spirit of submission that Ellen White exhibited when she was told to go to Australia: “She went because of a humble spirit of submission to her brethren, the same as any male minister of the time would have gone if the brethren had told him to go.” If the vote is no, having some unions separate from the church would speak to a contrary kind of spirit.

  • Hamlet Canosa

    A well-documented, comprehensive, balanced, and transparent presentation that can do nothing less than substantively add to the debate; and hopefully lead delegates to the GC session to a Holy Spirit led decision in this matter. Like so many others, my concern for unity within the Church is profound.

  • Tonya

    I have wanted a clear and easy to follow, bible study on this topic and I feel that I have finally had one in reading your artcle. Thank you.

  • Kuda

    Philippians 4:8 KJV
    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

  • Hopeson Bonya

    Thanks Ty. Either a NO or a YES vote has the potential of splitting “the Seventh-day Adventist Church on a denominational level, possibly leading to the separation of some Unions from the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.” However, either of them will not produce the split. In the past, the church has said “YES” and, sometimes, she has said “NO.” Either vote will not necessarily split the Seventh-day Adventist church at an organisational level. The worst that may happen is not a split of the church into two almost identical church organizations but a breakaway of the disgruntled ones from the Seventh-day Adventist church. There is no need for us to be afraid and there is no need for lobbying just a few days away from San Antonio. In steady of canvassing the “YES” vote, the best is to ask the delegates to pray earnestly for God’s guidance upon this matter. “We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us and his teaching in our past history” (Life Sketches 196).

  • Terri

    Thank you. I appreciate your obvious love and respect for the Bible and its foundational nature to us in this study. It is clear and easy to understand and your conclusions match what the various scriptures say.

  • Terri

    Women have always gone out faithfully and done various works without recognition or support — for God. I’m hoping that soon our church will support even more workers to step up and be leaders in the church, in order that there may be even more workers fully backed by the church to go out to spread God’s word.

  • Steve Foster

    Thank you very much. I hope this article has been translated into every language that will be represented at the GC session.

  • Don Oellrich

    Thank you for taking the time to analyze the matter point by point. I like the logical reasoning and the use of sound evidence. On only one point I still have a question: you seem to be saying that even though God ordained Ellen White, the church failed to do so, yet the White Estate has published the official documentation of her credentials as an ordained minister. Is there any question as to the authenticity of that document? But your arguments seem to be all the stronger for not having made use of it, leaving the reader to judge without simply relying on the judgment of others whose actions are apparently being held as wrong by the opponents of WO.

  • Jon Edwin Lloyd Ermshar

    What is the motivation of those who promote women’s ordination? Is this a safe time to do so in our society? Although there may be no prescription against women’s ordination in scripture is this a dangerous time to do so? Are we keeping up with the Joneses so to speak or are we running ahead of the Holy Spirit? It seems that other denominations that have done this have compromised in other more important areas later…

  • Grumps

    Unfortunately this point if view is not supported by evidence, and denied in Scripture. Read Ty’s researched commentary again, study and analyse the texts carefully, and you will join those expecting our church to treat all equally as God does, regardless of age, race, culture or gender.

  • Thank you. The best thing I have read on this issue. It has changed and clarified my view. Very sound exegesis! And a sound warning to the extreme conservative view that says a yes vote would be tantamount to disobedience. I have always been uncomfortable with that accusation and did not believe it, though I have leaned toward view #1 over view #2. I pray, those who hold that extreme view will prayerfully read Ty’s study. I have been favoring the 3rd view after reading all the position papers, as the more biblically accurate view. However, what Ty has written here is so much clearer, and as I have learned in Adventism, clarity of understanding comes when the Holy Spirit guides us to a better understanding of Scripture.

  • TMBarkley

    I think the motivation is the same for women’s ordination as for men: to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit has given an individual the gift of pastoring and give them congregational support and an appropriate role in spreading the Gospel.

  • daveroni

    Amongst other points I disagree with one is that the split only happens with a “NO” vote. No matter which way this goes there will be a split and worse yet it has already been happening and was started by our own church leadership in the NAD setting the example by turning their backs prematurely on the world church policy. Of course the same “understanding” won’t be encouraged or extended to the other side once the “yes” vote comes in.

    Truth should never be abandoned even for the sake of unity.

  • LduPreez

    What is the motivation of those who promote men’s ordination? There is no ulterior motive for either. Why would it be “dangerous” to have women ordained – the harvest is ripe the workers are few. God calls faithful men AND women to His service.

    What if we have been actually lagging behind (not running ahead of) the Holy Spirit?

  • NevadaSue

    Thank you for a well researched and presented article.

  • TMBarkley

    Thanks, Ty. I have also studied this topic over a period of many years. My bottom line? If the gift of pastoring were gender-specific, it would be the ONLY one in Scripture that would be. The application of the gift of pastoring may be different for men vs. women, as appropriate to a certain church or culture, but when the Holy Spirit gives a gift, should it not be USED? I have witnessed, and therefore concluded, that the Holy Spirit gives the gift of pastoring to both, men and women. Cultural issues and other talents may realistically affect the way in which women can apply the gift; but if a woman is capable of filling a pastoral role and the culture (and congregation) she is in is not only accepting of her ministry, but confirms they are blessed by her, why should ANYONE attempt to stand in her way? I have found that in many situations, women are more effective than men–especially with other women who have been in abusive situations. I say, let the local churches decide. I think it IS Biblical, as well as being supported by historical evidence. Ordination is either beneficial to both men and women, or it is beneficial to neither.

  • teresaq

    I thought this might be a nice addition regarding choosing women when no “good men” are available. I have never heard any negative comments when it comes to Jeremiah, who was warning the church at the same time, yet,

    “…Still later we read of “Huldah the prophetess” (2 Kings 22:14) to whom Josiah sent when he would inquire of the Lord concerning the book of the law which the priest had found.

    There is something remarkable about this case.

    At this time Jeremiah had been prophesying for five years, yet the king sent to Huldah
    instead of to him. Moreover the king’s messengers to the prophetess
    were, among others, a scribe of the law, and the high priest, whose lips
    should keep knowledge, and at whose mouth men were accustomed to seek
    the law. Micah 2:7. Yet it seems that on this occasion no one had the
    word of the Lord except this woman.
    SITI May 12, 1887, p. 278.22 (The Signs of the Times, vol. 13)

  • Rochard Sauveur

    A well written and comprehensive biblical view on the topic!! Great work!! One question I have though is that when Jesus chose the 12 apostles, why didn’t he choose any women? Thats another argument that I have heard against women’s ordination.

  • Jujumofle

    Nicely said. An honest and responsible assessment. Thanks for this very well-reasoned contribution to the issue and arguments. I am praying that delegates will have the same spirit-lead, thoughtful, prayerful minds and hearts, and be free from passion. And that the church will at last vote to approve God’s authority to call whom He chooses, for whatever role He equips them… And the “Joanna, the Baptists”, can come out from the wilderness, and into the public places, to help “make straight the paths”. Tangentially, if divisions have liberty to choose, the world church will have places to send their “Joanna’s” to set them apart for a time, as was once done in our own church history.

  • Tyler

    Did you not read the article?

  • Ben_Maxson

    Thank you Ty. This is a very well reasoned and biblical approach to this crucial issue.

  • Don Oellrich

    Daveroni: Please don’t be offended. I beg you to pray that God will open mind and heart (essential when studying the Bible too). Then go back and study carefully what Ty wrote. May God bless you as you consider the points one by one. It is noteworthy that he took several months to prepare this and if it contracts some ideas you held before, it may take you longer to understand and appreciate the finer points of his work.

  • Abraham Acosta

    This is one of the best explanations I have found on the web in regards of WO. Thanks Bro. God Bless!

  • Ritchie Christianson

    Very good presentation. If SDA eschatology is correct, very soon we will not have to worry about the ordination issue. Men and women will boldly speak as they are led by the Spirit of God in spite of the fact the united forces of Babylon are seeking the destruction of those teaching the 3 angels’ message. The great controversy will end and we may even laugh at some of things we argued about.

  • jamiesod

    There currently is no official policy on ordination of women.

  • Thank you for this thorough biblical study. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. I also pray we are willing to let Him guide us into the truth.

  • Marjorie Pryor-Spiller

    I have been against women’s ordination but this has made me rethink my position. Very thoughtfully done. It seems not to be a salvation issue and a distraction that I’m sure Satan loves! I still would not seek ordination personally, but would not criticize a lady who did. It’s not my place to judge!

  • Raphael

    Winding-twisting arguements..
    The simple fact in a nutshell is, (unless twisted over again) is SIMPLY:

    The entire thousands of years of history in the BIBLE, simply shows REGULAR n CONTINUAL MEN leadership with super-rare-sparsed and HIGHLY-IRREGULAR accounts of women leadership In between.. Maintaning God’s undeniable will where if men fails.. He will use others (women) in replace.. Even further to make donkeys n stones speak!

    The problem in a nutshell now: is women want CONSTANT n REGULAR leadership.. As OPPOSED to what the entirety of the Bible says!!!

  • Wittenberg

    It is not correct theologically that Adam was present with Even when Eve was tempted. Adam was absent – most protestant scholars agree on this point – including Ellen White. I’m not saying I agree with Mr. Mercado, but the notion that Adam was present with Eve at the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is simply not correct.

  • richard Duerksen

    Thanks Ty. You remind me clearly how God gave people different gifts. You are using your gifts of logical thought and clear presentation well in His service. Thank you for the clarity and Holy Spirit Heart.

  • Greg Reseck

    Ty Gibson, you have hit the nail on the head! Thank you for this powerful explanation of the topic. Let’s get this word out.

  • I wish that people would include the fact that Ellen White’s own Secretary, Clarence Crisler, said that just because Ellen White did not appear to openly endorse Women’s Ordination, that this does not mean that Women are not capable of filling that role, nor does it mean that there would not be Women’s Ordination in the SDA Church in the future. To me, that says everything. And when I read it I got the distinct impression that the only reason Ellen White did not openly endorse it at the time, was because of the fact that she knew the prejudices back then and didn’t want anything getting in the way of spreading the Three Angel’s Messages. It never had anything to do with Women’s Ordination being ‘unbiblical’. Just go to the Ellen White text site and type in the search ‘Clarence Crisler’ and you can read about the letter Brother Crisler sent to a Sister who was inquiring about it.

  • Pastor C.S. Lesko

    Thank you so much for posting this excellent study of the issue. I struggled with my call to pastoral ministry for 6 years, so I did not enter it lightly. I never argue with those who are against females as pastors. But I do point them to Joel 2:28-29. If we truly believe that we are living in the days just before Christ’s Return, then we must believe that these verses say that God will pour out His Spirit in an even more powerful way on all those who are willing to evangelize. Whatever has occurred in the past, God is using anyone who is willing to give God’s last appeal to humanity to choose Him. God has definitely poured out His Spirit upon you , and I’m sure that your position may not be a popular position among some of your peers. Claim the promise of Joshua 1:9! And may God continue to richly bless you and your ministry is my sincere prayer.

  • Wittenberg

    The article ignores/avoids the following important points:

    1. The NA division (of which I am a member) is one of the most worldly and spiritually compromised divisions in the global church. In turn, it exists within the confines of an exceedingly morally degenerate society that is confused about gender and sexuality. The societal impact on the NA Division is undeniable. And It is elements within the NA Division that are pushing so hard for WO.

    2. Most of the global church continues to adhere to what could be described as historical cultural and Biblical social norms – men remain the leaders. Rightly or wrongly – that remains the case. Latin, Asian, African, Eastern European, Middle Eastern (essentially non-western culture) – men are the leaders in churches and in the family. Having female leaders of churches is simply not going to be acceptable in those locations. Voting to make it a possibility will further serve to convince the rest of the world that the NA Division has lost its spiritual compass.

    3. Human church leadership is a Biblical reality. And it’s not papal. The leaders that God appointed weren’t meant to interpose between the flock and God. They were meant to lead, under the authority of Christ. To say that having a human leader or “head” of a church is papal (in that context) is like saying Moses or Samuel was the Pope.

  • KenPeterson

    It is so interesting that people can have such different impressions from the same presentation. I thought that Ty did an excellent job of accurately representing the main arguments of those opposing women’s ordination. At least he approached head-on the ones that I have read in booklets or online arguments I have seen. Similarly, I was struck with how well he represented EGW’s statements. What Ty is saying is powerfully presented, but there are a cloud of witnesses including many professors at the SDA Seminary, leading pastors of some of our largest churches and the former President and some vice presidents (current and former) of the GC who have publicly come out in favor of a Yes vote for similar reasons. I think your request for continued Holy Spirit guidance is good for all concerned because He will lead people with open hearts into an encounter with Truth personified.

  • Ken Bird

    Thanks for these reflections Ty. They mirror my conclusions. The main thing I have found that you did not cover was that there is not a biblical basis for ordaining anybody, male or female. It just doesn’t not seem to be there. The church recognised the call to mission. They set the person apart by the laying on of hands but don’t seem to have called it ordination.

  • Torben Nybo

    Thanks Ty, but you miss the key and the point. This old problem never should have been, it all started when we began ordainning pastor as the other churches, and left our calling as a movement. Sorry for my english- This will change one day when the wind come. Your comment bulid on you own interpretation of an EGW letter, which might have a total other implication. This is not to say that women could not recieve tiethe money, but just to say that we need to follow the lamb instead of bad argumenents in order to follow the ecumenical movement. Love from Brother Torben Denmark

  • James Rafferty

    Dear Barrington, you are correct and Ty’s article agrees that every man is the head of his wife. What the article does not agree with is that every man is the head of everyone else’s wife. Headship in the home does not translate to headship in the church. I am the head of my wife, not your wife or anyone else’s.

  • Jacob Hämmerle

    Declaring this article lobbyism reveals a certain state of mind. A huge part of this article is looking deeply into what scripture and the spirit of prophecy is saying. The other part is saying that we should NOT battle in this issue. So why would it be lobbyism if someone says their shouldn’t be two fractions upon this issue. Basically the vote is upon: let people think about what their interpretation is vs. let the majority decide opon what de right interpretation is.

  • Jacob Hämmerle

    Thank you for your honesty and that you say it’s about tradition. However, what I cannot follow is this thought: Why did God choose a woman especially for this times EGW? I think we can’t rely on tradition for this question.

  • Jacob Hämmerle

    That’s true, but somehow we need pastors for the churches like they had it in the synagogues. So since (like you said) GOD leads them to be a pastor I think it may be a women or a man …

  • Jacob Hämmerle

    Thank Ty for this amazing exegesis and research.

    Another point to point out: The vote is basically not about women ordination yes or no, or witch interpretation is right or wrong. It’s about the “no” interpretation is the only truth vs let people decide how they interpret.

    Since this clearly is an issue of different views it, imho, is a clear decision that it is never intended by God to force us into one interpretation.

    Greetings from Europe.

  • Laura B

    Thanks so much for this. Very well stated, logical and Biblical.

  • Dwaine

    Interesting, well-written and comprehensive, but not true to the scriptures. Nothing you write or say can change what God has written: “husband of one wife.” God is behind those four words and San Antonio will prove it. Lastly, a husband can never ever be a woman. I’m no scholar and I don’t trust my ideas. I believe wisdom is simply doing what God says.

  • Cherry Ashlock

    Ty, this is what I posted on another site after reading your post……The way Ty presented his reasoning was calm and moved from point to point smoothly and without editorializing. It was like drinking a cup of tea savoring the warmth while relaxing in an armchair enjoying a moment of peace in the midst of a storm! Thank you Ty Gibson!

  • Sick Stomach

    1 Timothy 3:1-13
    John 10:11-15
    Carefulness in Selecting Church Leaders.– May the Lord impress upon the minds and hearts of all connected with the sacred work of God, the importance of ascertaining whether those who are to minister as deacons and elders are suitable men to be entrusted with the flock of God. Jesus calls Himself the “Good Shepherd.” He does this in contrast with those who occupy positions of trust in connection with the church, but who have no right to these places, because they put a wrong mold upon the work. What is natural will appear. {7BC 914.11}

    Here Ellen White confirms that the elders and deacons are men. Can we selectively quote Ellen White or Scripture to support our angles? Of course! Ty’s points have major holes and I hope for the sake of balance and completeness the dissenting arguments are approved.

  • Kevin Figueroa

    Hi guys, i think I should have used the word Pattern. No one can deny there is a patern of male. It’s there in the bible. Since God is behind that pattern there is where I want to hold myself too. Ellen g white is not a pastor. So, I wouldn’t bother with your question.

  • Kevin Figueroa

    If I were to use the bible alone, where in it would I read ellen white was ordained by God?

  • TristanFermin

    Pagan female priests is a huge red flag for me in the current WO debate. I pray to be open minded but I’ve yet to hear an adequate defense for WO in light of pagan female priests as the only example of women priests in the Bible.

  • Beth, you strike at the root of an error church leaders have often made, quenching the Spirit because of preference or ignorance on any number of issues (music, Sabbath observance, dress…). May we be promoters of Spirit filled, Spirit gifted people, young, old, male or female.

  • Barrington H. Brennen

    I think James, you did not get what I said. That is, it is my view that the text is not saying that the husband IS the head of his wife. Note it did not even say FAMILY. Paul had to be addressing a specific issues. He was speaking to men who were taught they were heads (in charge of women) and were by law in charge of their wives. So instead of saying you are not head of your wife he said be “head as Christ is head. This statement makes headship a moot point.

  • Merry Herrmann

    Thank you Ty for all the time you took to in depth study this issue and all the prayers you sent up. Hours and days and weeks where you could have been doing something else. This study, you so bravely shared with us, is really a blessing and I thank you! Since God created male and female in His image it takes both male and female to represent Him. I believe that when we have both male and female serving as pastors then our churches and the gospel message can finally have a much more whole picture of God . And as we look to Jesus as our priest and head of our church we can be led to a deeper relationship with him and a much move loving church will emerge.

  • Kevin Paulson

    Do any of the above activities require ordination?

  • Patty Cardenal

    I agree with Ty. But I also think that this is a distraction from the devil to keep the members of the Lord’s Church away from the present times we are living in. We have fallen into temptation to dedicate time and energy to de devil’s mind tricks to forget our priorities, and this time satan is winning the minds of our leaders that they even question who is apt to minister to the brethren out there in the world.

    Gen. 1; 27: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female He created them”.

    Man = Humanity

    Let’ go the basics.

    Do you think the Lord will question us as to who marry who, as long as the couple is married?

    Do you think the Lord will question us as to who baptized who, as long as the person has dedicated his/her life to Christ?

    This world is totally crazy, falling apart, the Church needs more hands, more minds, more hearts, more people to draw more individuals to
    our Lord salvation. Jesus is coming soon!!!!

    The situation here is a human being introducing Salvation to another human being.

    I agree with TY. But I also think that we are distracted by politics, and we should be concentrated, focused, men and women in spreading the Gospel. If women need the formality of having a “credential” to do the work more efficiently for the Lord, they should have the credentials, it is just a formality. Let the Holy Spirit guide men and women to do His work.

    To the ones that argue with the Adam and Eve eating the fruit of tree; it took a devil to fool Eve, but Adam ate without even questioning it. He accepted it without resistance, or reasoning. The point is: they both ate.

    We are all in this together. Formalities and “traditions” are beside the point in the Lord’s plan of salvation. How much time, energy, resources, money is costing our Church to be arguing Women’s Ordination issues, that can be use to save people from suffering the devil’s curse out there in the world?

  • jamiesod

    No one is looking for “rulership”. Pastors are not rulers. Only Christ is the head of the Church. Unless of course, you follow Roman Catholic theology.

  • Barbara Lay Bolton

    Let’s remember that sin didn’t originate with Eve in the Garden of Eden. It originated with a perfect being in Heaven! In this world, both men and women are subject to Satan’s temptations – women are not weaker just by virtue of gender. And, we’ve had plenty of male pastors who’ve had problems with sexual sin and we don’t assume that continuing to ordain men is leading to pedophilia, etc. The leap you’re making is just scare tactics – not grounded in ANY valid argument!

  • teresaq

    Ellen White pastored the whole church.

  • jamiesod

    And just how does a young man decide?

  • Merry Herrmann

    Thank you for this! All the well thought out study and prayers. All the days and weeks and months of your study. I know the Holy Spirit was guiding you as you prayed and studied and wrote. For months I’ve been thinking that if God created humans in His own image, male and female, then it takes both male and female to give a complete picture of God. Not just male and not just female. Therefore it takes both to give a more complete picture of God, our Lord and Savior. Male and female pastors sharing with the flock about Jesus and how to fix our eyes upon Jesus and focus on Jesus. Jesus is the head. Spending time with Jesus and beholding Him we become changed. Its all about Jesus. Once we can share the correct picture of Jesus then the gospel will go out to the world and He can come!

  • teresaq

    No one has spiritual authority over others in the home or the church. This is where the Papacy errs.

    Jesus was very clear when He said to not call anyone either master or rabbi (teacher) as we have only One, Himself, and we are all equal brothers and sisters under Him.

  • teresaq

    The husband is understood to be a “woman” in the sense that he is part of the church which is represented as a woman (“espoused to Christ”).

  • Marianne Myhre

    We are told that doctrines that are not writtten in the Scripture in a “clear and simple manner” are not essential. No need to get hot under the collar over them:

    “In the presence of the monarch and the leading men of Sweden, Olaf Petri with great ability defended the doctrines of the reformed faith against the Romish champions. He declared that the teachings of the Fathers are to be received only when in accordance with the Scriptures; that the essential doctrines of the faith are presented in the Bible in a clear and simple manner, so that all men may understand them. Christ said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me” (John 7:16); and Paul declared that should he preach any other gospel than that which he had received, he would be accursed (Galatians 1:8). “How, then,” said the Reformer, “shall others presume to enact dogmas at their pleasure, and impose them as things necessary to salvation?”–Wylie, b. 10, ch. 4. He showed that the decrees of the church are of no authority when in opposition to the commands of God, and maintained the great Protestant principle that “the Bible and the Bible only” is the rule of faith and practice.” {GC 243.2}

  • James Rafferty

    Ryan,
    Pastors are not the “head of the church” whether men or women, Christ is. All ye are brethren.
    God gave instructions to Noah etc, because men’s role is head of the household, the priest of the home.
    Yes God called two men before He called EGW—that’s the point. Who are we to deny who God calls even if they are as you said, “the weakest of the weak?”
    We ought not overturn God’s order nor should we deny His calling to those who we consider to be the “weakest of the weak.”
    Ordaining women has led to gay/lesbian pastors in other (not all) denominations who have done this primarily because it has been culturally based rather than Biblically based. SDA’s are destined to do no such thing unless we abandon the law of God.

  • James Rafferty

    Thanks for that clarification Barrington. Reading yours again I do now get your point. Yes, that would be a challenge to Ty’s article and our understanding of the Bible and SOP. Regards, James

  • Elder Rafferty, what do you make of this Scripture: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17. (Please look up the Greek word for rule in this passage.)

  • miamimusicman

    Which begs the question: How many men has the church ordained who were not truly called to ministry? My grandfather was a lifelong educator and university president in the mission field, and he was ordained to pastoral ministry simply because that was the way it was done back then. He did not serve a single day as a local church pastor. He ranks among the godliest men I know, yet his specific call was not to pastoral ministry per se.

    I believe that there are godly women who are specifically called by God to pastoral ministry and I further believe that it is long past time that we as a church body recognize their gifts and bless them through the laying on of hands.

  • Lynelle

    Praise God Julie.

  • Susan

    yes…sometimes people want to make a law out of a preference.

  • ShiningLite

    Jesus didn’t baptize or officiate at any wedding Yet he was a pastor.

    It has not been all of a sudden It has been building for 133 years What moved me personally to greater involvement was Doug Bachelor’s famous talk.

  • saraericks

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for an awesome article. I have believed this way ever since the issue came out, and could not put it in words as well as you have. It’s about time someone had a balanced view on this topic. Most are just so sure their opinion is correct that they don’t really care what the Bible or Ellen White say on the topic. THANK YOU for making the distinction between this issue and the gay issue. God bless you.

  • Pastor David Glenn

    Well said. I do not think that the General Conference voting something contrary to scripture would dictate that I leave His church. The shaking will take care of who leaves but God’s church is going through even if the General Conference makes a bad decision!

  • ShiningLite

    What is not clear is if God was just accepting what customs people had. And if that was God’s will then, is it still His will now? The Bible demonstrates large changes in many areas over time.

  • When I accepted Christ as my Savior..nothing could keep me from sharing His love, His Word and serving my Lord. It amazes me that we are struggling with this issue…God calls all His children to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Melinda Laolagi

    Glad I took the time to read this. Very plain and well supported by the Authority (& authoritative sources). When the truth is written so plainly as done here by Ty (with supporting passages), naturally every fiber of my being agreed (Amen & Amen)!! Oh, BTW, I only heard about this article because our head elder (a male) announced it during our revival meeting tonight. So glad he got the word out, because it’s so way past my bedtime, but I just couldn’t put this “plainly written truth” down.

  • Brena Mueller-Grotjan

    I agree to ordain women. There is not reason not to!

  • Meshack Mbago

    I appreciate your work

  • Wittenberg

    Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not require ordination. Authority in leadership of a congregation requires ordination.

  • Here are a few questions for you to consider, Ryan.

    Why did God choose Ellen White to be His messenger? Since He asked men first, does that mean that if a man had been willing he would have been an even better prophet than Ellen White was?

    Why did Jesus choose women to be the first ones to tell His disciples about His resurrection? Why did He not choose one of His male disciples?

    Why did God promise to pour out His Spirit to empower both men and women to prophesy in the last days? If only men can be in spiritual authority, why not avoid all of this confusion and use only men to communicate His messages to His people?

  • James Rafferty

    Wyatt, great example. If we do a Scripture study of the Greek word for “obey” we find that only about 7 of the 55 uses are translated obey . The word itself means “to persuade, to have confidence.”

    Have “confidence” in those who “rule over you.”

    The Greek for rule is “2233. hgeomai hegeomai; from 71; to lead, suppose”

    Have “confidence” in those who “lead” you. Why?

    3 Reasons are given:

    1. they watch for your souls

    2. they must give an account (to the only Head of the church)

    3.that they may do it with joy not grief. It is a grief to try to to lead people who will not submit to God’s Word.

    Verse 7 of the same chapter affirms that we are to “remember” our leaders and follow their faith. Kingly authority is not our prerogative as leaders.

  • James Rafferty

    Melvee—the Bible pattern is male leadership with exceptions (Deborah, Phoebe). We at LBM recognize this male leadership pattern as well as the exceptions as a balanced stand for our present issue.

    Adam was the representative of humanity (Eve at that point).

    God did start by choosing two men. His third choice of a woman (EGW) is also in harmony with the Biblical pattern and confirms the point Ty’s article is making. God has and can make exceptions to male leadership and ordain women to fill authoritative leadership roles if men abdicate, as He “ordained” EGW to be His prophet when two men refused the call.

  • James Rafferty

    This is not Ty’s response so please be careful what you attribute to him. The phrase we are speaking about is “husband of one wife.” We are taking it out of its immediate and larger context when we insist that this means male only. The context, as Ty shared so well, is character qualification for the job. This point is well documented in Ty’s article.

  • James Rafferty

    Ray—good point. Male leadership is the Biblical pattern. Women in leadership is a permissible Biblical allowance. These allowances and appointments are found throughout Scripture and even in our own church history (Deborah, Phebe, EGW). Also in the home women step into the priestly position in the absence (spiritual or physical) of the husband. Women too must at times rule their households well (1 Cor. 7:13-17).

  • James Rafferty

    Lynelle-you may be taking the typology too far sis. The church is the bride not any individuals leaders be they men or women. Millions of members of the church are men but they are still part of the bride of Christ. No “Ick” about that-smile.

  • Daryl Corwin

    Thank you Ty. This has opened my eyes and widened my understanding. We need to be balanced and remain unified as a church…. This has helped me to see that fear and a limiting view of a few scriptures can endanger us as a church movement…

  • Kudzi Nyamukapa

    I believe that Elijah was a man like us and if we pray (as he did) about this and have total faith that God will have His way at this GC session, no one will get hurt and those with these views and different views if they do not have their views recognized, at the end of the voting, all glory to God and everyone should just say “Let your will be done”

    We here at our local church, we praying that God has His way, we want to go home (Zion)

  • James Rafferty

    SS—We cannot be selective in quoting the Bible and SOP. Which means we cannot omit any of the light God has given us on this subject. There is plenty of evidence to support male leadership in the church, yet there is also some evidence that God allows for female leadership too. We want to walk in all the light don’t we?

  • Princess Iwillnotgiveup Joseph

    Good question Rochard, I am confused about that also, but there isn’t any biblical answer to that question, all I do know is that ty Gibson made some every good points. I have not read anywhere in the bible where women were ordained, but God has used many women on many occasions to carry out a specific mission.

  • Princess Iwillnotgiveup Joseph

    I agree with you Marjorie, I am of the same thought, at the end of the day is how we apply ourselves to the knowledge of God’s word.I think it all comes down to preference, but let the Spirit of God work where it may, our salvation does not depend on who should be ordained or not.

  • Tim

    The best handling of this sensitive topic to date! Thanks Ty!

  • Tim

    James, correct me if I’m wrong but in 1Tim 3:1,4 there are no references to a gender specific pronoun found in any of 1 Tim 3 or Titus 1. In Timothy Paul uses a Greek word pronounced {tis} which is an enclitic indefinite pronoun meaning “any person or object” To argue for the male pronoun in these verses is to argue for a supplied word and creates other challenges where the male pronoun is used but specifically references both men and women.
    Also, Ty did not argue against the home relationship of husband and wives in the home, but it is Jesus who is the head of the church not the ordained pastor. The pastors only authority in the church is given as he/she imitates Christ, the true ‘head’.

  • Patricia

    Thank you Ty for the most comprehensive, objective look at this subject I’ve read so far. Especially explaining the headship scenario. You cleared the fog for me. May God help us all to be of a humble teachable spirit.

  • Andres Escobar

    One word Awesome! So needed this Ty Gibson!

  • Anita James

    I have followed Ty’s argument very carefully and it seems to make much sense. However I am interested in the fact that Paul mentioned that the way an elder manages his family will determine whether he will be able to be a good manager of God’s church. So in this case, there seems to be a direct correlation between how a brother rules his household and how he will rule or head up God’s church in his local congregation, even though the word head is not used in describing this role. Ty, can you address that question? Thanks for your help here.

  • Steve

    As time grows short we will see more and more foolish virgins desperately seeking the oil of the Holy Spirit which they still lack and which we as a church rejected in 1888. This is a great tragedy, but it is now taking place before our eyes. The true Holy Spirit will not be found in spiritual formation or in any other divisive issue being agitated from outside, but only in the “third angel’s message in verity” which is “attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.” TM91

    Many church members seem to go through the motions of a formal religion with secret fear that they will someday admit, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jer 8:20), and yet, when encouraged to consider the “most precious message”, they have no interest. The purity and loveliness of Jesus has no attraction to them. For years I have tried to encourage friends and acquaintances to study and understand the gospel for themselves, and even when meetings were held in their home church which could have been a great blessing and led to their conversion, only a few could be persuaded to sacrifice two – three hours each evening to learn of Jesus and experience the peace, love, and joy of heaven. I have reluctantly concluded that this attitude is typical in both liberal and conservative circles.

    Jesus said, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” John 6:38. In another place we are told, “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,” Mark 3:14, and at the last supper, He spoke to these men and said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit,” John 15:16.

    Many complex and convincing arguments have been expressed both for and against the ordination of women, but the issue can be distilled to 1 simple question: Is Jesus truly the originator and head of the church or not?

    If the answer is yes, (and it clearly is), than women’s ordination proponents are essentially saying that the Godhead made a mistake when establishing the new covenant church. Jesus was never timid to confront the culture of His day or the traditions of the Pharisees, and yet inexplicably failed to ordain 6 men and 6 women as apostles! This one fact cannot be easily dismissed, though I have no doubt that many will try.

    If women want Divine credentials which no man can disparage, let them take up the third angel’s message of the righteousness of Christ and present it to a dying world using every method available. No official ordination service is required if the message is endorsed by the Holy Spirit, and no ordination service can revive a dead church preaching a powerless gospel!

    The sad reality is that not 1 in 10 pastors of either gender truly understand or consistently teach the message that God sent over
    125 years ago. Until this disgraceful situation is corrected, we as a
    people have no business climbing any ladder but one which leads into the dust at the feet of Jesus.

  • Gloria Wilson

    Thank you, Ty. Obviously, the Lord was directing your study to make it so easy to follow, and that you were able to find all the right passages needed to explain everything. I’m lifting you up in prayer as I know Satan is not taking this sitting down. Hold fast to Jesus, as you always have. Blessings, Gloria Wilson (Grants Pass, OR church)

  • Gloria Wilson

    I agree

  • Gloria Wilson

    Never thought about it, but Jesus wasn’t ordained by humans either.

  • Gloria Wilson

    A split is a split, whether it is disgruntled members leaving (very likely or 2 churches forming (unlikely). Without divine intervention, the consequences could be insurmountable – and totally destroy our ministry to reach out to a lost and dying world. We must PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. Only God has the solution, and who knows, maybe His solution is going to be his final taking the reins in His own hands as described in Last Day Events, Chapter 14.

  • Charles Byrd

    Thanks Ty. Well articulated, well thought through. My only questions are when God set up his church in the wilderness he never made a woman a priest. When Jesus set up his Christian church he never ordained a woman as an apostle. Wouldn’t that say something to this present discussion?

    And here is my second question. You well articulated that in the name of unity, people who are not inclined to vote for women’s ordination should place “unity” in the ascendant position. If the church in this General Conference session voted to not allow at this time women’s ordination, why wouldn’t the same argument apply to those leaders & conferences that are pushing so hard for women’s ordination?

    In the broad picture, I don’t think women have ever been denied rolls of ministry, even of pastoral ministry. It appears to me, that the major argument for women’s ordination is based more on “equality” than on a desire to follow God’s leadership. That opinion is based on remarks by some that if the GC vote does not give them what they want, that they will just do it anyway. This to me, is of far greater concern for it is not the spirit of Christ.

    Again thanks so much for your well thought out and well articulated position. Something more for me to consider and pray over.

  • Karl Wagner

    A very good point you make Steven. But just a historical correction which doesn’t affect your point, one man did obey God, the second man did not. May I recommend the book, The Unknown Prophet by Delbert Baker. First published around 1988, but back in print a couple years ago and available at your ABC. Or check Amazon for a used copy.

  • Lucy

    Ty, one could argue that the Pharisees were also quite inclined toward misinterpretation of scriptural principles. Perhaps they were driven by fear; fear that the laity could not be trusted to follow ‘correctly’ from their own hearts. Therefore, they seemed to over-reach in their zeal by adding to the scriptures a moral intensity to follow their man-made rules as added insurance against any feared outcomes. Their rules were even made to look like moral imperatives. To this, Jesus was very, very annoyed, to put it kindly.

  • SB

    I do have reservations and questions about how we sometimes speak about those who do not share the same views, and what stance is of most effectiveness as the conference approaches (on our knees asking for the sweet, pervasive influence and guidance of his Spirit).

  • James Rafferty

    Nathan-yes the exception is not the rule, that is why it is the exception. Korah’s rebellion is not God’s exception—let’s not confuse the point. God has made exceptions to His rule and those exceptions stand with the rule—we cannot remove God’s rules or His exceptions. Some want the rule to void God’s exceptions; others want the exceptions to void the rule but both must stand together.

  • James Rafferty

    Bob-will copy this to Ty this morning so he can follow up— Email me and I will forward it to Ty: james@lbm.org

  • James Rafferty

    Tim—no correction from me on these points. I am assuming that you are adding to the conversation relating to Ray’s original comment?

  • James Rafferty

    Charles—hope you don’t mind me responding to your thoughts here. Appreciate your spirit bro.
    Yes both the OT and the NT reveal a definite pattern of male leadership—we concur with that pattern.
    Yes both sides ought to place unity first regarding issues that are not a test of fellowship (i.e. 144K, the daily, meat eating and WO).
    Yes church authority is an underlying issue here and one that has been and will be tested in the coming months. Historically both liberals and conservatives have failed this test (as did LBM in its beginnings), but God’s church will not fall.
    In much prayer brother-James

  • Tim

    SDA Beliefs #14
    Unity in the Body of Christ:
    The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children. (Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Matt. 28:19, 20; Ps. 133:1; 2 Cor. 5:16, 17; Acts 17:26, 27; Gal. 3:27, 29; Col. 3:10-15; Eph. 4:14-16; 4:1-6; John 17:20-23.)

    …must not be devisive among us.

  • Robert Peterson

    Just a point on the vote itself – independent of the issue: A yes vote will give the authority to decide such controversial issues as WO to men (and women) who do not answer to a constituency within the area they serve. Let me explain:

    We often think of Divisions (such as the North American Division, etc…) as separate legal entities within the church when in reality they are not. The North American Division is really the North American Division OF the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists. It is a department of the General Conference. They do not answer to a constituency within North America. They answer to the General Conference leadership and worldwide constituency. To vote yes, then, is to give a message to these Division leaders which essentially says, “Yes, you can make this controversial decision (and in time other controversial decisions) without interference from us – the only ones to whom you would ordinarily be held responsible.” This is setting up a hierarchy!

    This was explained to me by my conference president, who happens to be in favor of WO, but intends to vote ‘NO’ in July for this very reason.

  • Harry Hernandez

    You sir, have done it once again. Thank you! Spreading it like wild fire.

  • Jerry Chase

    Ty, thanks for sharing your journey on this topic, and for your balanced counsel in this matter. I pray that we as a people will fully embrace the work of the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Prophecy in the larger sense) to gift and appoint workers in God’s kingdom to fulfill His mission. Blessings to all.

  • Kariann

    I am glad that I have come across this. You were very clear in your explanations and like Borther Alfred Turley said it is a Biblicaly sound analysis of the issues. This was very thorough. Thanks again.

  • People should realize that they don’t need recognized by the church to do God’s work. Most people say oh thats the pastors job or thats the elders job. but really its all of our job.

  • Tinka

    Light bearers make some things
    very complicated and confusing when addressing certain doctrines as I’ve
    watched with amazement. Ty Gibson took a lot of angling to get to this
    point with long opininizing out of contexts and lacks much thought about how the
    word “Ministry” he connects with “Ordination for legality
    benefits,” EGW connected ministry with many other understandings of all
    aspects that contribute to ones ability to use what gifts they have without
    credentials. Doug Batchelor is correct in every context. I also have studied
    all her writings and can very easily discern what she meant and it was never
    confusing in her contexts. Books have to be read cover to cover.
    Ordination simply began because of the beginning of foundation several decided
    to come away with their own beliefs of the inspired messages the same as
    happening now. Ordination was simply an oath to promise to keep the inspired
    message in tact to preach to the people and not to depart from it as some did.
    EGW claims she was ordained of God and would not slap God in face by
    taking credentials from man. (Very
    plain understanding and to her point) Some took the oath and soon departed and
    some kept the foundation beliefs. Long theories out of context to go
    against is a red flag. I am disappointed greatly in this. But it is
    the departure of many SDA as predicted.

  • Thats all well and good but not being ordained isn’t stopping them from doing God’s work. Besides this issue isn’t a salvation issue. The GC shouldn’t have to deal with this worldly view point. We must focus more on bring people to christ even those in our own church. A lot of people in the church that have grown up in the church don’t know Christ or have a relationship with him. Thats more important.

  • Ray Edwards

    So you are saying that the verse could read “she must be the husband of one wife”? But the passge says “if a man desire the office of a bishop”.
    No, he didn’t argue against home relationship but that the church relationship reflects the home. The model to me is clear: “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his
    household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right
    and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has
    promised him.” (Genesis 18:19)

  • Joe Graffi

    Not correct! 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar * people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” This was and is still addressed to ALL believers. So, according to Peter men AND women are called to be ‘priests’.

  • Gerry Chudleigh

    In the Seventh-day Adventist Church no one is ordained because they think the Lord has called them to ministry. They have to be hired by a conference, demonstrate their calling to ministry in one or more congregations, generally complete a seminary education, be recommended by a conference ordination committee and approved by the union. The process would be the same for men and women.

  • John W. Africa

    Thank you very much. I fully agree with your conclusions. John W. Africa

  • KJ1959

    I think you point out a danger of having this voted at all. The statement to be voted upon appears to have been assembled in haste with no careful consideration of all of its ramifications.

  • Debra McKinney Banks

    THANK YOU!! This was so balanced and clear that even a child could understand.

  • Julie Mann

    I read this and it is very good and persuasive – then I read Kevin Paulsen’s article on Advindicate and it was also good and persuasive. Face it, the only way we will know what God wants is to study for ourselves and ask for the Holy Spirit to lead.

  • Marc l.

    To me women’s ordination is a Sunday thing a pagan tradition. Also I notice Ty quotes from the NIV??? very questionable.

  • Lilly

    In some cases, they do need support. You can not do a full time job without income!

  • Lilly

    There is another arguement here… based on the principle of fair, honest wages. It is much easier to under-pay someone who has not been recognized by the church. This often hampers how much they are able to do, because they need to make a living. It also can be demoralizing.

    Saying that anyone can do this work is kind of like telling someone, ‘You can teach kids, but we won’t give you certification or pay you!’ Bricks without straw…

  • Encouraged

    The article written by Ty Gibson, in my opinion is a gift from God at a very important time in the Adventist Church history. Most assuredly the most comprehensive, accurate, logical, and spiritual review of the “female ordination issue” ever written. Mr. Gibson just like Ellen White in my opinion was led by God to write this article.

  • teresaq

    Yes I am sure as “spiritual authority” is exercised by the Papacy and means dictating to others what they shall, or shall not, believe. No one, but no one, has that right. Even the Godhead does not exercise that over us.

  • Gloria Wilson

    I appreciate your overview, substantiated in easy to follow scriptures and spirit of prophecy counsel. I especially appreciate that you did not attack anyone and recognized their conscientious study. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and how God deals with it.

  • Gloria Wilson

    I like this thought. I’ve never heard that before.
    It makes sense.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    I agree, it was a very impressive study. One of the best well thought out perspectives I’ve seen. It was refreshing. However, I don’t agree with the conclusion. To state why would take up more room and time than I have here. I would like to know how it is that should the vote be “yes,” how it is that we will be different from all the other denominations that have gone in this direction and have suffered both in membership and evangelistic ventures? I wonder, how will we be different? It seems that the more the SDA church gleans from popular culture here in the US the harder time we have growing and maintaining our membership. I wonder, I really do.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Steven, I am a woman and with my credentials and in the right conference, I could seek ordination and probably be granted it. But I don’t want it because I truly believe that is not what God intended, for me or for any other woman. If I did, I would surely consider it. I don’t want to go the way of Israel, in asking for a king…that was not God’s design. Neither is women’s ordination.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Really? So are you saying that the Catholic church does not raise Mary above Jesus? Careful….

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Perhaps the term “ordain” should be better understood. We do know that Ellen White never sought out ordination, she went so far as to cross out the word “ordained” from a certificate she was granted. So let’s ask, why must a woman be ordained to do ministry? I suppose the same question could be asked of a man. The only difference here is, one thing the Bible clearly points out is the fact that there is one headship and that headship is male in gender – not female.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Oh dear! I see I am not the only one that finds Mr. Mercado’s statement difficult. Unfortunately, one of the reasons there is ground to ordain women in the incredible failures of men (ordained pastors too) within our congregation. However, if you look around at the other denominations that have gone in this direction, it is true that you will see the gay agenda following in its tracks. Are we ready for that? Perhaps…and then we will have blurred the once clear and peculiar nature we have been called to exude so much that we will be not only in the world, but also of it.

  • Ramona Bady

    Pastor Ty,
    I would just like to say thanks be to the ALMIGHTY for your ministry. I have gained so much insight for this prayerful article.There is such a debate on this matter from so many strong faith-filled leaders of the faith against women ordinations and they use these very text to support their opposition. But my studies of the matter falls within your understanding. So I prayerfully await the HOLY SPIRITS guidance of our church to the conclusion of the matter. I would also like to say, I faithfully tune-in to you, James and David speak often on 3abn as well as Table Talk I love the Godly inspired discussion weekly.

  • LduPreez

    To Clarify: Ellen G. White had already published her message before the Dec 20, 1881 General Conference (4T 390), which EGW did not attend (her husband had recently died); and at which time the 1881 GC did not vote in favor of the recommendation (“which was sent on to a small committee of three men, and that was the end of it.”)

    So, a few months later, on April 4, 1882 – soon after the Dec 20, 1881 GC – Ellen White again published her message in a magazine for the world church in the April 4, 1882 Review and Herald.

  • Nathan Huggins

    I am not asking to void the exceptions (however incredibly rare they are), I am merely pointing out that the rule is the norm and is the Biblical precedent. It is a commonality throughout Scripture that men were called, assigned, delegated, ordained, chosen, etc. to fulfill the function of spiritual lead, head, overseer, bishop or any other term we wish to draw up.
    We are to follow the rule whenever and as closely as possible since it is God’s ideal. The U.S is not lacking in male ministers that are called to serve God in that capacity. So why then allow the exception to the Unions where the exception is not required? Said exceptions will divide Conferences and churches will split even further than they already are from one another. It is bad enough we have churches splintering every which way due to cultural influences (the world) promulgated throughout our structured body.
    The other problem those advocating for WO will run into is that even if a “yes” vote does take place, there are a lot more churches opposed to taking a woman pastor as opposed to a male. All these women graduates of religion/theology will be running to and fro and not finding a position open in much of the Adventist churches nationwide or said churches will simply refuse to accept them, this is the reality. So to vote “yes” thinking this will recognize them through individual Unions could and most likely will do to women (desiring recognized ecclesiastical ordination) a bigger disservice than to vote no.

    Just some of my additional thoughts on this matter. Blessings

  • LduPreez

    Randall, I am just wondering what you do with these statements by Ellen G. White – which clearly show that no man (or woman) is the head of the church:

    “Let it be seen that CHRIST, not the minister, is the head of the
    church.” (EGW, ST 1890).

    “God has never given a hint in His word that He has appointed any man to be the head of the church.” (GC 51)

  • LduPreez

    Wittenberg: “Having female leaders of churches is simply not going to be acceptable in those locations.”

    And, this is why it makes sense to vote YES to allow areas to determine whether or not ordaining women will assist in the mission of the church.

  • David A. Groth

    I believe that woman and men can both preach the message of God and Jesus. I have heard both types preach, and sometimes the ladies give a better sermon.

  • Den

    We need to discuss any issue within the context of the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan.Genesis 1 and 2 tell us that God created man, male and female. Each sex, in a complementary way, focuses on the different attributes of God, as we see throughout the Bible. They also illustrate the relationship between God and His creation and is seen in the relationship between husband and wife and between mother and child.
    EGW said of women…”The Saviour will reflect upon these self-sacrificing women the light of His countenance, and will give them a power that exceeds that of men. They can do in families a work that men cannot do, a work that reaches the inner life. They can come close to the hearts of those whom men cannot reach. Their labor is needed.”—Ellen G. White, Evangelism, pp. 464, 465.” Why would women want to do what a man can do, be a pastor, when they can do a far better job then men can by just being women? You can see why Satan doesn’t like women.
    As Creator, God has AUTHORITY over all of us. Now God is referred to as “He” in this inspired book. It follows that the male is the final authority in the human context. Authority is the big sore point for Satan so it follows that he, a created being who tried to take over from God, would target the male and promote what we have been seeing with feminism, homosexuality and in recent times with the ordination of women.

  • Sheldon Schultz

    If you became ordained you would not become a king but simply become acknowledged by the church as a servant of Him who is the head of the church. Humility is important but the blessings that come from the laying on of hands is important as well. Little girls need to know that God calls all of us to serve under Him. We have no leader but God.

  • Sheldon Schultz

    If what you say is true then Ellen White is not a prophet, you can not have is both ways. You did not prayerfully read what is above and you are being led astray. Pray about this as we all should.

  • Sheldon Schultz

    Making decisions based on church tradition would of left Sister White a Sunday keeper. Be careful of doing anything based on tradition when it involves a vote at the GC.

  • Blaine Dunzweiler

    This is the type of in-depth study that makes Adventism the remnant church. EGW speaks of new light. Will there ever be a willingness to go forward with new understanding for a new era?

  • Ray Edwards

    What do we do if we find a scripture passage that appears to go against a clear teaching of the Bible?
    Well,
    I was taught that we look at the “strange” statement and try and
    understand the context or other aspects we may be overlooking. For
    example, when Jesus promised the thief on the cross, “Today you will be
    with me in paradise”, because we know that Jesus did not go to paradise
    that day, we realize that it is a punctuation that makes all the
    difference (Luke 23:43). When Peter was told “Kill and eat!” we know
    later on the passage explains that the unclean animals in this vision
    represented gentiles (Acts 10:38).

    So
    this principle of interpretation tells me that if we find a statement
    from Ellen White that appears to suggest that women can be ministers,
    then we apply the same principle. Hundreds of statements can be found
    to show where EGW uses the masculine pronoun or talk of men as
    ministers.
    So
    if she appears to contradict this idea in another statement, should
    that one or two statement overthrow the preponderance of evidence
    elsewhere? She cannot be blowing hot and cold air at the same time. I
    think the answer is obvious.

    Every SINGLE time Ellen White speaks about THE MINISTER or THE PASTOR (not ministry or pastoring) she speaks of MEN.

  • KenPeterson

    I am astonished that refusing to ordain women is a testing truth in your mind when it is not among our Fundamental Beliefs and was not among the issues upon which our church was founded. I agree with Ty here that it is not a testing truth.

  • Nathan Huggins

    The prophet of God never held the authoritative position of leadership in a congregation.
    I am fairly certain that this will be found true as I have never come across such a statement that she was a minister who held that office.

  • Theresa, they really should have a like symbol on here. Thank you for your service. I agree.

  • Lilly, Financial support is different than being ordained. Even if they don’t get financial support they could be like paul and build tents while doing God’s work. This is where I think our church members should pitch in in that we should first try to support and go to business’s in the church first before we go outside the church. there would be a lot less adventist members that would feel the need to work on sabbath.

  • Lilly

    There are many men that also want women to be ordained.

  • Flynn Schnitzelring

    Steven Pitcher- I heartily agree with your sentiments here, and it is interesting that 2 women want to rebut your comments. James and Ellen White, in the beginning sold their personal possessions to advance the gospel.
    If you have a message from the Lord, you best get it out, regardless of the cultural restrictions of the day. If it really is from the Lord; He will make a way for you.

  • Sy

    We would have known nothing of SIN in this world had Even not disobeyed God’s command to stay close to her husband.

  • Sy

    The
    entire article can be used in favor Gay Clergy as well as WO. There is NO
    scriptural evidence for or against Gay clergy. “All have sinned and fall
    short of the glory of God” Does that mean God will approve..?

  • Sy

    In
    her day, a “Minister” was an AUTHORITY and ORDAINED LEADER. A Pastor
    is anyone -male or female- doing pastoral work.

    http://www.secretsunsealed.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/whalen-response-gibson.pdf

  • KJ1959

    So does this constitute EGW’s endorsement of male only ordination, or is it an expression of the realities of her day and time in the realm of her understanding? I would suggest that it is the latter, for if indeed she had insight and convictions upon this point of headship, meaning male only ordination, it seems strange that she didn’t make a clear statement to that effect. Absent any clear statements on this we can only conjecture or infer what we “think” she means.

  • KJ1959

    We don’t know who or when or why on that one certificate of several she was issued the word “ordained’ was crossed out.

  • Joseph

    Read up my brother…

    “In the creation God had made her the equal of Adam. Had they remained obedient to God–in harmony with His great law of love–they would ever have been in harmony with each other; but sin 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. Eve had been the first in transgression; and she had fallen into temptation by separating from her companion, contrary to the divine direction. It was by her solicitation that Adam sinned, and she was now placed in subjection to her husband.

    Eve had been perfectly happy by her husband’s side in her Eden home; but, like restless modern Eves, she was flattered with the hope of entering a higher sphere than that which God had assigned her. In attempting to rise above her original position, she fell far below it. A similar result will be reached by all who are unwilling to take up cheerfully their life duties in accordance with God’s plan. In their efforts to reach positions for which He has not fitted them, many are leaving vacant the place where they might be a blessing”. . . . {Conflict & Courage Ch 12}

  • Joseph

    “Adam was crowned king in Eden. To him was given dominion over every living thing that God had created.”…. Confrontation Pg 11.

  • Joseph

    Sister,
    this has nothing to do with “capable”… Undoubtedly there are women capable of
    discharging the same roles of men. It has nothing to do with ability, talent,
    knowledge, skill or even “gifts”… but instead it has everything to do with the
    divine assignment of different roles to men and women.

  • Joseph

    Wise…

  • Joseph

    Finally…!!!!!!

  • Colin Jordan

    This is an excellent, structured discussion on a matter critical to the continuing unity of the Church.

  • Joseph

    Thank you, Steve..!

  • tinka

    Truth is straight, plain, clear and stands out boldly in its own defense: but it is not so with error. It is so winding and twisting that it needs a multitude of words to explain it in its crooked form. EGW – Now before your eyes you see this in this report. The report given by DB was all plain clear scripture. But of course this did not agree on this blog. It was erased.

  • jamos

    Ordination is simply an oath and laying on of hands to keep the “foundational truths” entrusted from God to His “chosen” that He has called from the beginning against false and imposter preachers who hear their own calling of theirselves. A woman that needs or forces credentials for benefits, payment is not scriptural. This “woman’s movement” has caused division from beginning foundation and that should be proof enough of the agenda and the attitude of EVE biting the apple again. Adam (the protector) has learned his lesson and now standing to protect (EVE the foundational church of scripture) Just a scenario here of my own opinion. The agenda is clear.

  • jamos

    I have one question. Why do women have to drive for equality to men when women were already given “the highest” ministry” credentials of God” to be the “rock” ministry to her husband’s “ordination of truth”. Behind every good man is a good women which seems to be a truthful statement. She needs no credentials for the “blessings of God” and the attitude of equality is not a good women but a self centered agenda that seems impossible to correct. Now that’s “division” and “confusion” and sometimes the worst- “laughable”.

  • jamos

    I need to correct protocol on here. I was not sure how to post so Tinka and jamos are the same, sorry but when this report came up could’nt resist and shocked over Ty going this route.

  • Gabriela

    Dear Brother Ty,
    Let me say that I am praying that God will give me the right words to say what I will like to say. I’ve got to know and appreciate your ministry and I appreciate the effort and study you put in this dissertation. For myself is hard to say that I am not biased when it comes to this issue. It is almost impossible to get an objective perspective even many claim to do so. Each person will find the arguments to support one view or another and this was clearly presented by you. Let me say that it pains me to see the position you adopted. In regard to the issues in discussion I do believe that is of not small importance and I believe with all my heart that God is in control and He will not allow things to take a wrong turn. He is faithful and he will protect His people in the same way He faithfully protected His people Israel when traveling to Caanan. I speak for myself, we should better learn the lessons from their life. If I recall correctly there was a number of times when people of Israel raise and challenged the status quo which God established. The one Aaron and Miriam challenging Moses role as leader stands out at this time. God did intervene and he will do it again. As for each one of us we should be careful on what side we stand. In regard to women ordination issue the concern I have is in regard to the motivation that prompted this issue to preeminence. As far as I know God’s church along the ages , SDA included have not stopped work of women in the church. If there is an issue with submission and humbling ourselves, we should better learn the lesson for Our Saviour as is presented to us in Philippians 2. May the peace of God and the guiding of the Holy Spirit be with us.

  • It’s disappointing to me that men and women in the Seventh-day Adventist church are mostly concerned with their individual rights but not the rights of others.

  • ShiningLite

    Many have heard variations of the illustration of a man stranded, surrounded by water, praying for God to send him help. He would like a nice Yacht.
    While he watches and prays for God’s deliverance, a sail boat passes by offering assistance. He declines, sure that God will send the yacht he asked for. Then a fishing trawler, then a dory, then a canoe. Always he stays put, waiting for the yacht. As time passes he gets hungrier, more sunburnt, thirsty, and confused. He questions God, “Why haven’t You supplied my need ?”
    And God replies, “I sent you a sail boat, a trawler, a dory, and a canoe.” We smile. But isn’t this what we have been doing?

    We have been praying for for the Latter Rain, for Revival and Reformation, for help in finishing the work God gave us. But when we see women rising up to serve, our church has said, “No, thank you. That is not the vessel we were asking for.” Revival is a bringing back to life, reformation is a change. It is interesting that when Joe 2 and Acts 2 talked about the Latter Rain there were and were to be both men and women prophesying.

    Folks, consider what Ty has written here. Allowing women to be used in all areas of leadership as they show evidence that God has gifted them in pastoring and administrative skills is not a denial of obedience to God or His word. It is just accepting the help we have been praying for.

  • KJ1959

    Reality:

    The repeat of a verse that is under dispute and understood differently doesn’t help the conversation. It doesn’t prove your right and I am wrong. Many don’t see the meaning of Adam first formed the same way due to closer examination of the text itself. Sure we have Paul saying “Adam first formed” but he doesn’t say what his point was. This is the problem with taking a verse and making it a certain declaration without handling the other verse around it with equal weight.

    Why all the push on Adam first formed and not men raising up holy hands or women’s salvation found in their bearing of children? It is this type of cherry picking of verses to suit our convictions that fails to convince me of careful analysis having been done on the verse.

    Too, it is a bit troubling that you actually support slavery. I mean you say, “To have an individual privilege (such as slavery) and not execute that privilege…” sounds like you support the institution of bondage of human beings. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • Isaac

    i think he is arguing from new testament version

  • ShiningLite

    Without support their work can be neutralized, just as Paul’s was. Sometimes they are refused entrance in places of prayer ministry. Sometimes they are not included from meetings that plan the outreach of the church. Most of the time their work of giving the gospel is minimized. Sometimes they are told their convictions to serve come from the devil. Most of the time the work of men is rewarded with greater number of paid jobs, higher pay, and many more benefits so that women cannot survive as full time gospel workers. Often there is no one to encourage, advise, or offer support.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    Part 2

    Most English translations of 1 Tim. 2:12 make it seem like Paul never allows women to have any authority over men. But if we will check the cultural context, and what it was that Paul was counseling Timothy about, we will see that Paul was addressing the way that women in the Artemis cult claimed the right to dominate men, because of their myth that Eve was created first, and her eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge conferred upon all women a secret wisdom.

    Also women in the Artemis cult would reward men with sexual favors if they submitted to their control. This is why the unique word Paul used for “authority” here—authentein—in other Greek literature of the time carried obscene sexual connotations. The Vulgate translation rendered this as Paul saying he did not allow women to DOMINEER men. The Living Bible renders this: “I never let women teach men or lord it over them.”

    And as for never allowing women to teach—that cannot be a good translation, because Paul did clearly allow women to teach—if they knew God’s Word (such as Priscilla, Junia, Phoebe). But Jews normally did not teach women to read, and Gentiles did not believe in educating women at all. So the women in Ephesus were uneducated, except in the myths
    of the Artemis cult. Of course Paul did not allow them to teach in churches! But if what he said in verse 11 were heeded, where Paul says women should be taught (if the Greek is properly translated), and they did learn the Word of God, then they would be qualified to teach.

    And notice also how considering the cultural context makes perfect sense of what Paul said in verse 13: “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” Paul was not presenting this as an argument for never allowing women to teach or have any authority over men; used this way, the argument does not even make sense. If we are responsible for choosing among two available candidates for a sensitive job, would we choose someone who knowingly, deliberately committed treason, or would we choose someone who was deceived and tricked into committing treason? This would argue in favor of preferring women rather than men to teach and have authority! But what Paul was actually doing was correcting the errors of the Artemis cult, which wrongly claimed that Eve was created first, and that her eating from the Tree of Knowledge conferred upon all women a special secret wisdom that entitled them to “domineer” men.

    It is ironic that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is so frequently cited by some people as arguments against ordaining women for any office, considering how poorly those passages have been translated in most modern English versions.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    Part 1

    I believe that Ty Gibson would further strengthen his arguments if he took a look at what Paul was counseling Timothy about concerning the primary obstacle to the gospel in Ephesus,which was the Cult of Artemis.

    A prime example of a case where neglecting to consult the cultural context has led even most translators of most English versions of the Bible astray, is 1 Timothy 2:15. In the KJV this reads: “Notwithstanding she [the woman] shall be saved in childbearing….” Most modern translations render this essentially the same way. But if we take this literally, we have the Apostle Paul apparently teaching that
    women are saved by having babies. Would Paul really say that?

    This proper way to translate this text is only obvious if we consider the historical, cultural context. At that time, one woman in five died in childbirth. The cult of the goddess Artemis promised women that Artemis would keep them safe during childbirth. What Paul was really saying was it is the Lord who has the power to keep women safe during childbirth.

    Of the 12 English translations of the Bible I have on my computer, only one gives the sensible, obviously correct translation, and that only as a marginal reading: “But a woman…will be kept safe through childbirth.” (The English Version Good News.)

    Now what about verse 12, which some people like to take as meaning that Paul never allowed a woman to have any authority at all over a man? We see from other Bible passages that Paul approved of Phoebe, whom he described as a prostatis in the original Greek for Romans 16:2 which means “a woman placed in charge of others” (according to Thayer’s Bible Dictionary—the standard reference used by most
    translators).

    In verse 1 Phoebe is called a diakonon in the original Greek—which is the Greek word from which we get the English word, “deacon. Acts chapter six shows us that the New Testament church ordained deacons. Therefore Phoebe must have been ordained.

    Some have argued that Paul used diakonon to refer to any common servant. But a survey of all of Paul’s writings in the Greek shows that he used doulos and sometimes oiketes for a common household servant. The only other way he used diakonon was to mean “minister,” as in Romans 13:4; Ephesians 3:7; 6:21; Colossians 1:23; etc. In fact, one time when he uses a form of doulos (sundoulou) to refer to a fellow
    gospel worker, Epaphras, he additionally uses the word diakonon to refer to the same person in the same sentence, showing that doulos and diakonos were not interchangeable or redundant in his mind.

    Paul also mentions favorably an apostle named “Junia.” (Romans 16:7) Most scholars recognize that the name is feminine, and had to be a woman. Some ancient manuscripts give the name as “Julia.”

  • I would say they could do like they do in other countries and sell literature after all EGW advised us to sell books to make our way. Please also look at Luke 22:35. If its of God he will provide the funds. I have seen time and again God providing money when I didn’t have it. These times we need to have our faith built on God not on sand.

  • ShiningLite

    If Ty said everything that could be said with profit on the topic it would be larger then the 3 volume Oxford English Dictionary.

  • ShiningLite

    Not all who try to sell books can make a living at it. And in today’s world working enough to pay even modest bills would preclude them having time for the ministry they are impressed God has called them to. I don’t see us tell men to just support themselves by selling literature. And that is going to get increasingly difficult as those who still spend time reading go increasingly digital.

    I know some who sell books and pay all their bills but they are all heavily subsidized by the conference.

  • Trust me I understand, its hard but if God has called you to do it he will make a way. Just like this past week I have been asked to make a lifestyle/wellness center in the philippines. The land is provided but I have to find the funds to develop it. I know that if this is God’s will that he will help me find the funds to do so. I am trusting in him. God has a purpose for all of us. He will make a way for us to do them if we let him.

  • James Rafferty

    Will do. Email me: james@lbm.org
    Agree with order—that is huge.

  • jamos

    Satan has the best ways of winding and twisting every truth. The harder and more difficult for him to overcome truth- the longer the words to establish untruth. Acording to EGW. Early Writings. Some on here think they have more wisdom then the Holy Spirt gave to his “chosen”. An example: Table Talk the more depth they try to reach in all directions the more a simple fact has passed over their head with maybe one word they missed for simple understanding. Not in all cases but a few as I still watch only to compare where they are going until I realize what has happened to them. What more are they actually searching for? So my point is this. No place has SP left His messenger EGW with twisted and winding words to leave me in confusion and doubt. Must I go into every biblical character to find out what happened and bring it around to how the Sabbath got changed. This is extreme and see the same happening with many that stand to have caused this great division. Now if this is not so then why did EGW tell us before hand to see the Omega happening? Here we are in present state divided! The foundational people did not bring all this in. The woman was not satisfied with her “commission”. Thats simple reality! So Eve bite the apple again. Put on your black jacket, tie and slick your hair back as I’ve watched now from certain channels to seen over all the world. Then “click” off it goes in laughter and disgust.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    Probably so, but 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is one of the key proof texts used by opponents of women’s ordination, and Pastor Gibson did not really deal with the text in an optimum manner, in my opinion. He did discuss the text somewhat.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    Jamos, the issue is not at all equality of men and women; it is solely one of submitting to the Headship of Christ, by recognizing and acknowledging (as is the duty of the church) anyone He chooses to call to whatever office He chooses.

    Ordination is all about obedience to Christ. Ordination does not convey any new authority or spiritual grace. Here is what Ellen G. White said about it:

    “Both Paul and Barnabas had already received their commission from God Himself, and THE CEREMONY OF THE LAYING ON OF HANDS ADDED NO NEW GRACE OR VIRTUAL QUALIFICATION. It was an acknowledged form of designation to an appointed office and a recognition of one’s authority in that office. By it the seal of the church was set upon the work of God.” Acts of the Apostles, p. 161 (emphasis supplied)

    The church is required to ordain anyone whom God has already ordained. He is the One Who gives the original ordination. This was tacitly understood by the people who signed the credential issued by the General Conference to Ellen G. White which identified her as “an ordained minister,” even though there is no record she was ever ordained by the laying on of hands.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    It is not a matter of what any woman needs. The whole issue is the church obeying God, by acknowledging those whom He has already given evidence that He has ordained.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    When Scripture is misunderstood and misinterpreted, it sometimes takes a number of words to set straight the error.

  • Reality

    Quoting scripture is bad? Does it breach the rules that govern your little game? This is no game; this is blaspheme of the word. These are HIS words; take that up with HIM, I only posted them and you popped your head up. I am commanded to “speak, and exhort, and rebuke within all authority“ in Titus 2.

    I pointed out the failure of your logic in application of wisdom. I did not say I condone slavery; you only read into what you want and place it into your limited bounds of reality, just as those like you always do.

    More Scripture:

    Genesis 2:18 “And the LORD GOD said, IT is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
    Genesis 3:12 “And the LORD GOD said unto the woman, What is this that thou has done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
    Genesis 3:16 “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over the.”
    Genesis 5:2 “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”
    Numbers 30:13 “Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.”
    Matthew 5:17 “Think not that am come to destroy the law; or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”
    Matthew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
    Matthew 10:34 “Think not that I come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
    Matthew 10:36 “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
    Matthew 19:6 “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
    Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

    This brings us through CHRIST to GRACE and FAITH. When you are ready, let me know.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    We need to be concerned about obeying God, by acknowledging whomever He calls to whatever office He chooses.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    As Sister White said, the purpose of the church ceremony of ordination by the laying on of hands is to serve as “an acknowledged form of designation to an appointed office and a recognition of one’s authority in that office. By it the seal of the church was set upon the work of God.” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 161)

  • Dwight

    This is very sound and clear. I appreciate this Ty Gibson. God bless you.

  • jamos

    The church did this on their own even after her explaining in just simple terms how she felt, she did not want it and when they presented to her she put it on top of shelf never to acknowledge and then made her statement again about God ordaining her. That was simple and enough understanding the correct way and what she meant. Each church now seems much on their own to change to likes and dislikes instead of following SP. In that includes, music, worship, dress and Sabbath. Not much left as I see it and now this issue is the dividing of SDA. What SDA people should realize in simplicity is what finalized this dividing. No matter how many words said to counter we are now divided. Both cannot be right. All seems to be failing to appease the people. Now beside this point. If America is now the (woman) and she appeases what we were not founded on. Look where we are at now. The end. So bring it on. I hate what has been done in the name of God here too.

  • Dwight

    Saving you a seat. Hurry and come back home.

  • Tim

    Exactly, it doesn’t seem that EGW’s had any thought that The Church ordains anyone. We only acknowledge what God is already doing in the life of a Christian. So, why are we arguing the issue of ordaining women? We should not be thinking that we are ordaining anyone. That’s the job of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit has ordained someone, how, can we as The Church deny it? I don’t believe the bible speaks against any ceremony of recognition; however, the ceremony should never be used to give authority to anyone.

  • KJ1959

    Reality:
    My point was quoting in this context is not helpful as there is more to it than simply throwing out a verse or two. Secondly, your sentence on slavery needs work, then, if you have been misunderstood.

    Have a good day.

  • Nazziwa

    Love it. Thanks my dear brother

  • Hi Ron,

    I saw a video of the General Conference SDA President Ted Wilson in 2010 reading a propaganda letter from President Barack Obama addressed to the SDA church. Wilson responded to Obama’s outrageous deceit favorably, and thanked the government of the United States for their defense of religious freedom. The huge audience of delegates responded with a roaring applause. I interpret it as the Seventh-day Adventist church encouraging a beautifully veiled deception.

    Is that the kind of acknowledgement that you believe God wants?

  • Reality

    Then do not delete my posts; especially when I post scripture.

    Do not discriminate against my Civil Rights in Freedom of Speech and Religion. You do not own the internet or this web site. You are only paid employees.

    Do not solicit tax dollars to promote your individual ideologies; especially if such ideologies breach the Denominational Representation.

    If you wish to do so get a job, file for your own IRS status and sell your ideas; yourself, you are not paid to do such. You have a job; do it.

  • ShiningLite

    It is my understanding that he studied the things that he was drawn to. My journey was very different. There were many points that are important that I didn’t think of in my initial, private inquiry.

  • ShiningLite

    I will not insult you by asking you to sell books to pay for your ministry. May God bless you with good support.

  • ShiningLite

    The up arrow on this site is equal to a like button .

  • ShiningLite

    And if it is not the union leaving but the GC trying to force them to leave, would you still it was the Unions who had a contrary spirit – or those who are determined to get rid of them.

  • Reality

    If we can keep the spoilt children out of the sandbox and discussion this time; I will try again. Refute, dispute, whatever.

    Quoting scripture is bad? Does it breach the rules that govern your little game? This is no game; this is blaspheme of the word. These are HIS words; take that up with HIM, I only posted them and you popped your head up. I am commanded to “speak, and exhort, and rebuke within all authority“ in Titus 2.

    I pointed out the failure of your logic in application of wisdom. I did not say I condone slavery; you only read into what you want and place it into your limited bounds of reality, just as those like you always do.

    More Scripture:

    Genesis 2:18 “And the LORD GOD said, IT is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
    Genesis 3:12 “And the LORD GOD said unto the woman, What is this that thou has done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
    Genesis 3:16 “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over the.”
    Genesis 5:2 “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”
    Numbers 30:13 “Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.”
    Matthew 5:17 “Think not that am come to destroy the law; or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”
    Matthew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
    Matthew 10:34 “Think not that I come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
    Matthew 10:36 “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
    Matthew 19:6 “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
    Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

    This brings to GRACE and FAITH. When you are ready, let me know.

  • ShiningLite

    I dont know any SDA women who are asking to be priests.

  • ShiningLite

    actually there were six. Also Ellen never refused the pay of an ordained minister. Plenty of times she wrote objecting to people using her writing over the Bible but never is anything written of her objecting over and over year by year as they revoted her credentials along with those of the men.

  • Reality

    In Greek, aner (husband) is used to represent all of us; but gune (wife) very specifically denotes a woman.

  • ShiningLite

    We can know what did happen. No way of knowing what Adam might have done.

  • Kenneth Neal

    This is true for men also and therefore irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Recognition comes not from men, but God Himself. We are supposed to be an army of workers. This is what EGW was addressing and not the ministry specifically.

  • Kenneth Neal

    I see way too much of this. I have to agree that if God has given you a message, get it out. Many too many want to be on the payroll. I work full time to support my family, and church. In my spare time I give Bible studies, teach Sabbath School, did a 20 year stint as a Pathfinder director and area coordinator, elder, pretty much whatever needs to be done. I am not banging down the door to be recognized or paid. In fact I rather be a volunteer, it is much more liberating.

  • lurid

    Seeing such an exhaustive explanation and study really screams something to me… Truth is not so complicated, I guess one needs a lot to support an argument against a “thus saith the Lord.”

    My heart breaks for our church, what is this all accomplishing? Such controversy – just what Satan wants. What would be hurt if men were only allowed to be Pastors and Elders? Nothing, this is the way Jesus has done it from the beginning. What will be hurt if the church splits and makes individual decisions? Much discord, exactly what Satan intended.

    We have a job to do and we are NOT doing it by arguing and writing drawn out articles on why we should go against something that Jesus so clearly instituted – male only priests and apostles. God does NOT change, He is always the same. Truth is not so hard to discern, it’s staring you in the face… In a pre fallen world, Adam showed authority over Eve as he named her.

    We are equal in the eyes of God and do not have to fight for this, God is not trying to cheat us women in the least. He is not a chauvinistic bully but a loving Father that has set roles and positions for us all and though we may not understand everything He does we trust Him because He loves us.

    See Korah’s story in Numbers 16 – perfect example of someone that was “qualified” enough but not happy with the position God gave them and wanted more.

  • Rikko7

    A lot of liberation theology on this conclusion.

  • ShiningLite

    What you say is true but not in my family. Father, husband, sons all pray with their children. However, that said, most of the religious training has been done by mother and grandmother. Males of note have been their Bible teachers.

  • ShiningLite

    I totally agree, sister. People should consider Phil 1:17,18

  • ShiningLite

    It could be dangerous to ordain women and encourage them to do the work of the Lord, which can be dangerous.

    but what shall it profit if a man (or woman) gain the whole world and lose his (or her) own soul.

  • ShiningLite

    Added to KJ’s remarks is the problem of Ellen accepting the credential and pay of an ordained minister

  • ShiningLite

    Ty is a pastor. They make appeals. He campaigns for what he thinks is important. You campaign for what you think is important.

  • KJ1959

    True, and coupled with the fact that Phoebe was a “deacon” (which is in the masculine gender in the Greek) we see that it is character traits not being a husband or male that qualifies for holding that office of deacon. “If anyone one desires….” Ty’s comments are accurate structurally and textually.

  • Daniel Ratcliffe

    What a blessing it is to live in an age where a church has been so organised to support financially her members and leaders so that they can devote themselves to the full time study and revelation of God’s Holy Word. Yet, I am compelled to raise the challenge here as I have done with some desiring to enter into the “full time job” of ministry and preaching…

    If, after being employed by the corporate body of the church to be a pastor for the church, the financial incentive were removed-for whatever reason, would you continue to preach, remembering your profession that the Lord has called you to preach? For if the individual had indeed been ‘called’, then the cessation of financial incentive by the employer should only serve to confound the minister for a season rather than destroy his/her efforts in ministry.

    I know a pastor who in retirement and being physically unable to attend the pulpit any longer fills his days by pecking out, with a shaking single finger, sermonettes that he emails to anyone who would hear the Word of God! I believe this to be a true response to a calling to full-time ministry that the only thing capable of preventing him from spreading the Word of God, as per the calling placed upon him, is the death we know as sleep!

    As I first stated, I am filled with joy and praise that we are witness to an age where the preacher is paid for his/her time so that they might be at liberty from worldly concerns to explore the depths of God’s truths to reveal them to the flock. My point is only that if financial reward were removed from the “full time job” I believe we would see a distinction between those who are truly called and those who are seeking prestigious positions of employment within the society of piety.

  • Daniel Shannon

    Rich Constantinescu

    I appreciate the general tone and level of cognition of the Ty Gibson article, but I find in my reading thus far a few items that do not appear true enough.

    TG: “A NO vote will make a universal rule forbidding women’s ordination throughout the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

    RC: Actually, a NO vote will maintain, not make, a universal rule forbidding women’s ordination throughout the world-wide SDA church. This is the third time we will have voted this issue—and if NO this time, it will be NO the third time.

    TG: “The prominent voices in favor of a NO vote are telling us that the Bible clearly forbids the ordination of women to the gospel ministry”

    RC: To avoid understating the position of those favoring NO, it should be noted that not only are those against a NO vote claiming that the Bible forbids the ordination of women to the gospel ministry, but in the four thousand years of history in the Bible there is not found a single example of a woman offering a sacrifice, serving as priest, head of household, head of tribe, apostle, or bishop. So not only are those discouraging WO noticing that the Bible forbids it, but that there are no precedents or imperatives that begin to persuade with evidence held to the contrary.

    TG: “A NO vote has the potential to split the Seventh-day Adventist Church on a denominational level, possibly leading to the separation of some Unions from the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

    RC: A NO vote has no such potential of causing a split or separation of some Unions. Rebellious persons, conferences or unions might choose to be using this as a fright tactic and might use it in the future to attempt to excuse apostasy, but the decision of the church in this regard, if NO, will be no cause for apostasy.

    TG: “A YES vote will not produce a denominational split, but will likely cause some church members to feel obligated to sever ties with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, especially those who have decided that the issue is a matter of faithfulness versus unfaithfulness to God.”

    RC: Bro. Gibson should produce a record of a single anti-wo individual, much less a group, that warrants inclusion of such a statement who has said that they will “sever ties with the SDA church” as a result of a YES vote.

    TG: “Let us address ourselves, then, to the question at hand, beginning with some historical background.”

    RC: The “historical” background starts in 1881. Isn’t this too late? This is not historical background, although it sounds good. This skipped 4000 years of ecclesiastical history in which there is never a single example of a woman offering a sacrifice, a female priest, head of household, head of tribe, apostle, or bishop.

    TG: “’Resolved, That females possessing the necessary qualifications to fill that position, may, with perfect propriety, be set apart by ordination to the work of the Christian ministry’” (Review and Herald, Dec. 20, 1881). Apparently, this is not a new topic for us as a people.”

    RC: It’s not a new topic, and it goes back further than 1881. In 1878, Signs of the Times, edited by James White, Uriah Smith, J. N. Andrews, and J. H. Waggoner appeared the following relevant paragraph:

    “And this appears yet more evident from the explanatory declaration in his words to Timothy, ‘But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.’ 1 Tim. 2 :12. The divine arrangement, even from the beginning, is this, that the man is the head of the woman. Every relation is disregarded or abused in this lawless age. But the Scriptures always maintain this order in the family relation. ‘For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.’ Eph. 6 : 23. Man is entitled to certain privileges which are not given to woman; and he is subjected to some duties, and burdens from which the woman is exempt. A woman may pray, prophesy, exhort, and comfort the church, but she cannot occupy the position of a pastor or a ruling elder. This would be looked upon as usurping authority over the man, which is here prohibited” (Elders, James White, Uriah Smith, J. N. Andrews, J. H. Waggoner, ST 12/19/1878).

    TG: “[The recommendation to ordain women to the work of Christian ministry] was not the result of the feminist movement trying to invade the church. Nor was the recommendation prompted by the inroads of popular secular culture.”

    RC: Elders White, Smith, Andrews, and Waggoner, just three earlier in 1878 differed greatly with Bro. Gibson’s cavalier assessment that culture had nothing to do with change of relation between men and women. In December they asserted the following connection of disregarded relations of gender to “this lawless age.”

    “The divine arrangement, even from the beginning, is this, that the man is the head of the woman. Every relation is disregarded or abused in this lawless age . . . A woman may pray, prophesy, exhort, and comfort the church, but she cannot occupy the position of a pastor or a ruling elder. This would be looked upon as usurping authority over the man, which is here prohibited” (Elders, James White, Uriah Smith, J. N. Andrews, J. H. Waggoner, ST 12/19/1878).

    Since the first Women’s Rights Convention was held in July, 1848, in Seneca Falls, NY at a Methodist Church, followed by a Methodist preacher Luther Lee ordaining the first woman in 1853, which started a wave of ordinations by other churches, it is impossible to so easily dismiss the words of these men as Brother Gibson has attempted to do.

    Ellen White’s warning about the inroads of popular secular culture on the relations and rights of men and women mirrors the words of the forequoted pioneers:

    “Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of women’s rights and the so-called dress reform might as well sever all connection with the third angel’s message. The spirit which attends the one cannot be in harmony with the other. The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 421).

    TG: “‘If there is one work more important than another, it is that of getting before the public our publications, which will lead men to search the Scriptures. Missionary work—introducing our publications into families, conversing, and praying with and for them—is a good work, and one which will educate men and women to do pastoral labor’ (Review and Herald, April 4, 1882).”

    RC: In the same year, 1882, Ellen White wrote in gender definitive language of the purpose of our schools in training young men for ministers.

    “The primary object of our College was to afford young men an opportunity to study for the ministry, and to prepare young persons of both sexes to become workers in the various branches of the cause . . . Young men moved upon by the Spirit of God to give themselves to the ministry, have come to the College for this purpose, and have been disappointed” (PH117 39.1).

    TG: “Ellen White envisioned women in pastoral ministry.”

    RC: Obviously pastoral labor is not constrained to the gospel minister. The term “pastor” appears in Ellen White’s published works a total of 387 times in some form. Not once does the term “pastor” in any form appear in connection with the term “ordination” in her writings. Mrs. White understood, in the same year, 1882, that she mentioned women doing pastoral labor, that exclusively “young men” should find at our College “an opportunity to study for the ministry,” and “young persons of both sexes to become workers in the various branches of the cause.” Then, “workers in the various branches” “of both sexes” would prepare for this labor in various lines, and “young men” would “study for the ministry.”

    TG: “But then, apparently off topic and for no apparent reason—unless you know that the General Conference leadership was at that very time pondering the question of whether or not women may be ordained—she just throws in this brief comment stating that doing ministry in people’s homes ‘will educate men and women to do pastoral labor.’

    “This statement indicates, at the very least, that Ellen was not opposed to the 1881 recommendation to ordain women.”

    RC: This statement does not indicate that Ellen was not opposed to women’s ordination. Not once is the term “pastor” connected to ordination in her writings in the 387 times it appears in her published works. “Pastoral labor” may be performed apart from the office of gospel minister. Her counsel in the same year, 1881, states that young men were to “study for the ministry” and young persons of both sexes to “become workers in the various branches of the cause.” That is the purpose of our College.

    TG: “it would have been reckless of her to make this comment [women educated to do pastoral labor] in the immediate context of a recommendation to ordain women to pastoral ministry.”

    RC: There was no recommendation to ordain women to pastoral ministry at the GC in 1881. The motion was rather, “That females possessing the necessary qualifications . . . be set apart by ordination to the work of the Christian ministry.” The terms “ministry” and “ordination” occur together in some form 325 times in the published writings of Mrs. White. This is a significant contrast since no form of the term “pastor” occurs once in connection with any form of the word “ordain” in her published writings. Thus, it would not have been reckless of her to speak of pastoral ministry for both genders in the context of recommendation to Christian ministry, which is treated very differently in her writings. The GC 1881 recommendation was not a motion to ordain women to pastoral ministry.

    TG: “Furthermore, it is inconceivable that Ellen White would not have warned the General Conference brethren to refrain from passing the recommendation to ordain women if, in fact, doing so would constitute unfaithfulness to Scripture and rebellion against God. But she did not.”

    RC: We do not know that she didn’t warn the GC brethren, or if God knew the resolution would die in a committee and so didn’t need to directly communicate.

    TG: “In fact, she pointed in the opposite direction at the very time when the matter was under consideration.”

    RC: She did not point in that direction. She stated in 1882 that pastoral labor may be engaged in by both sexes, and the purpose of our College is to train young men for the ministry (PH117 39.1).

    TG: “But the objective reader will notice that her actual point was that door-to-door literature work provides an education for transitioning into pastoral ministry.”

    RC: “Pastoral ministry” is a term that is completely absent from Mrs. White’s published writings. It doesn’t exist. “Pastoral labor,” not “pastoral ministry” is rather the term used in RH 4-4-82, and pastoral labor is never connected with ordination in her writings. Pastoral labor in Ellen White’s writings, may be engaged in by both sexes, does not necessitate ordination, and is never referred to in connection with it, contrasted with terms, “ministry” and “minister,” which are found together with ordination hundreds of times.

    TG: “No, the 1882 statement does not constitute a direct appeal on Ellen White’s part to ordain women to the gospel ministry.”

    RC: Indeed.

    TG: “It could be argued that she was fine with women doing pastoral labor as long as it did not involve ordination. Fair enough”.

    RC: Indeed.

    TG: “This would be a good point at which to pause and ask ourselves if we really want to know what the Bible and Ellen White actually say on this topic, and to ask the Lord to flood our souls with objectivity and honesty.”

    RC: Correct.

    TG: “‘All who desire an opportunity for true ministry, and who will give themselves unreservedly to God, will find in the canvassing work, opportunities to speak upon many things pertaining to the future, immortal life. It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God’ (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 322).

    “. . . Clearly, then, Ellen White envisioned both men and women occupying the pastoral role to local congregations.”

    RC: Ellen White did not confuse the pastoral work with the office of the gospel minister, or envision women as ordained gospel ministers. In 1898 she wrote of women, wives of ministers, working together with their husbands as shepherds and guardians of the flock with them but distinctly separate from their office of gospel minister. She wrote that these women, shepherds and guardians, “can enter families to which ministers could find no access” (Ms 43a, 1898). No clearer distinction do we need than this, to realize that Ellen White clearly understood pastoral labor as separate from the office of gospel minister, nor should we ourselves be confused in this matter. In the corpus of her writings, she consistently reserved the office of gospel minister to men, although women are seen doing distinct work of equal value. Here is the delineation:

    “This is the grand and noble work that the minister and his wife may qualify themselves to do as faithful shepherds and guardians of the flock. . . . But the wives of our ministers, who can themselves act a part in the work of educating others, should in the love of God be co-laborers with Christ. . . . Those women who labor to teach souls to seek for the new birth in Christ Jesus, are doing a precious work. They consecrate themselves to God, and they are just as verily laborers for God as are their husbands. They can enter families to which ministers could find no access. They can listen to the sorrows of the depressed and oppressed. They can shed rays of light into discouraged souls. They can pray with them. They can open the Scriptures, and enlighten them from a “Thus saith the Lord” (Ms 43a, 1898).

    The wife of the minister is just as verily a laborer for God, but she does not occupy the same role as he, insomuch that she may do a work where he cannot.

    TG: “She plainly says that the canvassing work may serve as a preparation for both men and woman to “become pastors to the flock of God.” The first category of labor is a preparation for entering into the second category.”

    RC: She calls canvassing “true ministry” and says that the Holy Spirit, not canvassing, prepares them for it. She does not say that canvassing “may serve as preparation for both men and women to become pastors to the flock of God.” She says that the Holy Spirit prepares them for this in the context the “true ministry” of canvassing.

    “All who desire an opportunity for true ministry, and who will give themselves unreservedly to God, will find in the canvassing work, opportunities to speak upon many things pertaining to the future, immortal life. It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 322).

    TG: “After stating that the canvassing work may serve as a preparation for both men and women to “become pastors to the flock of God,” she expressed a caution. Certain ministers were telling some who were doing canvassing work that they should enter, instead, into pulpit ministry and become preachers.”

    RC: In T6 322 she didn’t state that canvassing work may serve as a preparation, but that, “It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers.” She called the work of canvassers “true ministry” in which may be found opportunity to “give themselves unreservedly to God.”

    TG: “She cautioned against luring canvassers into the pastoral ministry, explaining that some who were doing the canvassing work should, in fact, remain in the canvassing work because their gifts were suited to it.”

    RC: Pastoral work and the work of the ministry is again here conflated. Canvassers doing pastoral work for families in their homes, enabled by the Spirit, were being lured away to the ministry by ministers. Pastoral labor is here consistently separate from the office of the minister. Rather than support Brother Gibson’s argument, this quotation contrasts the pastoral labor of canvassing, visiting families at their homes, to the ministry.

    “Thus they are influenced to get a license to preach, and the very ones who might have been trained to make good missionaries to visit families at their homes, to talk and pray with them, are turned away from a work for which they are fitted, to make poor ministers, and the field where so much labor is needed and where so much good might be accomplished is neglected” (6T 323.1).

    (Continued)

  • ShiningLite

    You are mistaken. Even in the unpaid elder roles women have been denied. Ten of us used to pray with whoever the speaker was Sabbath morning but we were asked to leave because them elders wanted to be able to sit and talk about things we weren’t included in. We have also been asked to leave when prayer for the sick was made because of not being elders. When evangelistic meetings were held we who had been trained right along with the men stopped being included when new people came to our church who believed in male headship. And the preaching requests for churches with only part time pastors. Our gentle humble woman elder who visited the sick, gave more Bible studies then all the men elders put together was told she was being prompted by the Devil. A little girl in our church who believes God is calling her to pastoral ministry has been told not to listen to such impressions, that they are not from God.

  • ShiningLite

    Do companies that have both men and women leaders lack order. They have order, designated leaders, it is just not based on gender. There seems to BE no gender among angels and yet they still have structure.

  • ShiningLite

    Neither the NAD or any other division did what you think is illegal. The Unions who have been assigned to role of deciding who is ordained have done this.

  • Jim Bob

    I was directed to this article by a loving trusting friend the following was my response.

    Pastor,
    Thank you for your response and including the link to Ty’s article.
    I am very aware of Light Bearers ministry and have watched and followed them for many years especially before they moved their organization to Oregon from Republic Washington.
    While I certainly respect Ty and his work, through the years there has been a noticeable change in the direction and stance of their ministry. It has moved to the more liberal side and I can’t help but think it has to do with the area they moved.
    A few years back I had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks working for a company in Springfield. Before going there I sent a letter to all of the churches around the area asking if there was anyone in the congregation that could help with temporary housing. We were seriously thinking about moving to the area and I was seeking any help in that could be offered. There was only one response.
    While there I attended the Springfield church and stayed with a nice family. During the weeks they would fill me in on the people in the area and how the culture influenced their lives. It was interesting to see how liberal the area truly was. I was warned about the homeless in downtown Eugene and the annual Country Fair.
    Why am I telling you this? Because influence plays a major part in our lives and it has obviously influenced the people in the area in that part of Oregon.
    As for Ty’s article, he does make good points on specific areas of the subject. He has drilled down, albeit very wordy, to make sure the reader is lead through the weeds. I had to read it 3 times to finally keep a focus of what was being explained. The conclusions he is making however are his own and in many areas he assumes he understands the views of most individuals.
    His article does not step back and address the hermeneutics of God and his hieratical structure, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, all one but with different roles. It didn’t address the 24 elders and why Christ elected 12 apostles that were only men. While he did come to the conclusion that nowhere in the bible of Spirit of Prophesy was there a command to or not to ordain women he tiptoed around much of the bigger picture.
    There are many more areas that could be reviewed but as I noted in my essay, Satan has been at work changing the temperature slowly enough that most people don’t realize what is really happening.
    A few years back the church thought that opening up to the influence of the progressive movement and starting celebration churches would bring people in, if we weren’t open to new forms of worship we would become obsolete. Since then I have visited some of these churches and most have a low attendance. The people are friendly and greet you with all sincerity but you can sense that they are a little schizophrenic and unsure if what is going on around them is truth.
    One more point I would like to make is that certainly in these last days of this earth’s history we should be more diligent not to follow after ideas and concepts that are not overwhelmingly supported from scripture. On the subject of women’s ordination the bible does not overwhelmingly support it and is counter to the hierarchical structure that is thread throughout. I believe that the water is boiling and God is giving us a chance to stand up for him and be accounted worthy.

  • ShiningLite

    While i think Ellen could be referenced on a point of church structure before Amazing Facts or Light Bearers for that matter, I dont think we should let her writings count as much as the Bible. My own decision was first and foremost from Bible study.

  • ShiningLite

    for those of us not gifted in other tongues, get some good Bible software like Bible Works

  • ShiningLite

    The Bible is written in man language. If you take all the stuff out that seems to be written just for guys you have the problems Ty has already mentioned and many more.

  • ShiningLite

    You could as easily say, “Satan is always referred to as “he” so men are like him.”

    Phil 1:17, 18 shows us that some preach Christ for good reasons, some out of strife and envy and trying to make trouble. Yet the advice is to rejoice in all of them because Christ is preached. Seems like good advice whether men or women.

  • ShiningLite

    The issue is 133+ years old. More and more women feel convicted that God is calling them to things we have increasingly insisted on reserving for men. Only since 2005 has the GC required conference presidents to be ordained. We gave women licenses to pastor until the mid 1970s. More and more schools want ordained ministers rather then trained educators to be principals. Presses want their chief editors to be ordained. And when was the last time you saw a woman evangelist? I only know of one paid one in NAD.

    But what brought this push for me was a broadcast sermon against women leaders in general (I choose not to mention names).

  • ShiningLite

    We are not saved as a group. We are saved as individuals. And as individuals that make up one body let us consider how God has gifted and called each individual to work for the body.

  • ShiningLite

    So you did not feel called to work for the church as a paid worker, but many do.

  • ShiningLite

    There is the key, “if God has called you to do it.”

  • Paul

    I’m sorry Steven Pitcher that after this lengthy read you make the conclusion that Ty is allowing the world view to influence his opinion. Show us how this is because your argument against this long and thorough study is that two men rejected God’s calling before He went to a woman? If two men reject the call of pastor at a church and a woman is then asked to fill the role……..

  • Den

    If you look at the context you see that I am talking about the One who created male and female. The ‘inspired book’ is the Bible. Try going through what I said to see if it is Biblical. Why are you mocking?

  • Jim Bob

    I was lead to this article from a loving and trusted friend, below was my response.

    Pastor,
    Thank you for your response and including the link to Ty’s article.
    I am very aware of Light Bearers ministry and have watched and followed them for many years especially before they moved their organization to Oregon from Republic Washington.
    While I certainly respect Ty and his work, through the years there has been a noticeable change in the direction and stance of their ministry. It has moved to the more liberal side and I can’t help but think it has to do with the area that they moved.
    A few years back I had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks working for a company in Springfield. Before going there I sent a letter to all of the churches around the area asking if there was anyone in the congregation that could help with temporary housing. We were seriously thinking about moving to the area and I was seeking any help that could be offered. There was only one response.
    While there I attended the Springfield church and stayed with a nice family. During the weeks they would fill me in on the people in the area and how the culture influenced their lives. It was interesting to see how liberal the area truly was. I was warned about the homeless in downtown Eugene and the annual Country Fair.
    Why am I telling you this? Because influence plays a major part in our lives and it has obviously influenced the people in the area in that part of Oregon.
    As for Ty’s article, he does make good points on specific areas of the subject. He has drilled down, albeit very wordy, to make sure the reader is lead through exhaustive review. I had to read it 3 times to finally keep a focus of what was being explained. The conclusions he is making however are his own and in many areas he assumes he understands the views of most individuals.
    His article does not step back and address the hermeneutics of God and his hieratical structure, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, all one but with different roles. It didn’t address the 24 elders and why Christ elected 12 apostles that were only men. While he did come to the conclusion that nowhere in the bible of Spirit of Prophesy was there a command to or not to ordain women he tiptoed around much of the bigger picture.
    There are many more areas that could be reviewed but as I noted in my essay, Satan has been at work changing the temperature slowly enough that most people don’t realize what is really happening.
    A few years back the church thought that opening up to the influence of the progressive movement and starting celebration churches would bring people in, if we weren’t open to new forms of worship we would become obsolete. Since then I have visited some of these churches and most have a low attendance. The people are friendly and greet you with all sincerity but you can sense that they are a little schizophrenic and unsure if what is going on around them is truth.
    One more point I would like to make is that certainly in these last days of this earth’s history we should be more diligent not to follow after ideas and concepts that are not overwhelmingly supported from scripture. On the subject of women’s ordination the bible does not overwhelmingly support it and is counter to the hierarchical structure that is thread throughout. I believe that the water is boiling and God is giving us a chance to stand up for him and be accounted worthy.

  • Douglas B Briggman

    I have been on both sides of this issue, reading Bro Gibson’s research I have to honestly say I concur with his findings. Looking at the writer of Hebrews we are a priesthood of all believers. The headship belongs solely to Christ. This issue the devil is trying destroy God’s church. Vote yes, don’ let Lucifer secede in splitting Gods remnant church.

  • No one is fit for God’s work, but God makes us fit. I’ll paraphrase:
    “Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel… ‘…take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these [wo]men… keep away from these [wo]men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of [wo]men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.’” (Acts 5:34-39, NKJV)

  • Jose Segovia

    There is just one thing that bugs me….
    Both sides, in favor and against WO, say that they want to follow what the Bible teaches, so if this issue has been brought up for consideration or vote two times before in the past, why is it being brought up again? Has the Bible been changed since the last time it was brought up for a vote? Is the push for a change because of new light in the issue? or because of the changes in modern society? How can I be confident that the church is getting it wright now if it was wrong in the past? Could we be wrong on other issues? If this is a purely biblical issue, why is it being voted by delegates instead of being decided by experts? A vote by delegates would reflect what the church wants as a body but it would not mean it is the correct decision.

  • Wesley Leeds

    I praise God for you Ty. Thanks so much for studying this issue and posting your thoughts. I sense the Holy Spirit guided you to these conclusions and I’ve been blessed my many of your messages in the past. I have much more clarity of thought regarding this issue as a result of reading your article. May the LORD bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the LORD lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you peace.

  • Wittenberg

    The below is a quote from Signs of the Times, 1878, by E. J. Waggoner.

    “The divine arrangement, even from the beginning, is this, that the man is the head of the woman. Every relation is disregarded or abused in this lawless age. But the Scriptures always maintain this order in the family relation. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.” Eph. 5:23. Man is entitled to certain privileges which are not given to woman; and he is subjected to some duties and burdens from which the woman is exempt. A woman may pray, prophesy, exhort, and comfort the church, but she cannot occupy the position of a pastor or a ruling elder. This would be looked upon as usurping authority over the man, which is here prohibited.”

  • Wittenberg

    You are confusing the issue – this is not about preaching. This is about making women leading elders and pastors in the church.

    The below quote is from Signs of the Times, 1878, by E. J. Waggoner on the subject.

    The divine arrangement, even from the beginning, is this, that the man is the head of the woman. Every relation is disregarded or abused in this lawless age. But the Scriptures always maintain this order in the family relation. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.” Eph. 5:23. Man is entitled to certain privileges which are not given to woman; and he is subjected to some duties and burdens from which the woman is exempt. A woman may pray, prophesy, exhort, and comfort the church, but she cannot occupy the position of a pastor or a ruling elder. This would be looked upon as usurping authority over the man, which is here prohibited.

  • Rene Van

    How would the young lady be dressed? Would it be modestly or with low cut, sleeveless blouses, short skirts or pants? What type of music does she listen to, sing or promote? What is her behavior around the young men? Does she represent the Lord as outlined in the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy?
    Is it proper for women to stand on the platform in pants or other immodest clothing? Dress standards are ‘trailing in the dust’, the Councils on Diet and Foods, Sabbath observance for most are neglected and/or lightly regarded, as well as the earnest study of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.
    “The testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance, and all that truly receive it will obey it and be purified.” 1 T 181

  • Wittenberg

    I believe that this is part of the shaking. As I consider the brazenness and obstinacy with which some approach this matter it causes me to greatly tremble. With the rise of the papal power, the increasingly apostate state of the remaining Protestant churches, the gender and sexual confusion in our world (not to mention the strong push from the Episcopaleans to call the Lord God “She”), and the physical degeneracy of human kind, I tremble at those elements within our church who approach this issue with such a cavalier attitude. These are largely the same elements that are skeptical on other Scriptural points and advocate for other unBiblical positions. Our God is a consuming fire. We forget His great strength and authority. He is no different today. There is a line beyond which the sea cannot pass without His consent – “thus far shall you come and no further.”

  • Wittenberg

    No – it is unwise to permit Divisions or Unions to decide for themselves. We are a corporate body – a global movement. The erosion that would result in these perilous times from each Union or Division going its own way on this, and perhaps other collateral issues, is not acceptable.

  • Joe Graffi

    Agreed! AND, the good news is that her work in the establishment of the Church, and her writings are Bible based and DO agree with Biblical direction.
    The biggest problem with the use of her writings, as well as the Scriptures, is mis-quoting and quoting out of context. I have heard her quoted to prove or disprove almost every “issue” within our Church.
    Our theology must be Biblically sound from A to Z. And not based on the exact, specific wording of just one English translation of the Scripture.
    Moses, the prophets, Jesus and the apostles did NOT preach, teach and speak with a 17th century English accent!

  • SoCalJody

    I taught in the public schools for over 30 years and saw first-hand the new culture not based on gender. This year public schools must now have gender neutral restrooms; and if a boy thinks he identifies with girls, be allowed to use the girl’s restroom; and vise-versa. Elementary children’s books include Dick and Jane; and Jane and Jane; and Dick and Dick. So, you are singing your song (argument) to the wrong gal. Been there (in the new culture); done that (lived under the system). I prefer God’s order for our protection.

  • in the hierarchy of the family, Its God, the Husband, the wife and then the children. Should we now assume that the husband doesn’t matter now and it should just be God, the wife, then the children? Even in eden after sin, when God spoke he didn’t talk to eve first but he spoke to adam first and then eve. Brother God has a Design and this isn’t it. God has never chosen a woman as a priest. If we believe that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow as the bible says we can’t believe he all of a sudden says oh my bad times have changed I was mistaken. If you think he does change then you better be able to allow the same argument for Sunday worship or eating pork. We have to follow God’s word and not man.

  • lurid

    Hello guys! My previous comment was removed from this post and I see that a statement was somewhat aggressive and I want to apologize. I honestly am sorry as I do not want to “attack” you, I love your ministry and I know you are men of God. I do not agree with your stance on women’s ordination but love you guys just the same!

  • Bobbie Berecz

    Thank you for your stand. Some of the verses are stretched and SOP quotes misused. God is clear. There’s a most valuable role in God’s work for women if we would only humbly accept His limitations. There were numerous quotes of scripture and SOP as well as several men, but this one in 3Test., pg. 484 was missed: “A neglect on the part of woman to follow God’s plan in her creation, an effort to reach for important positions which He has not qualified her to fill, leaves vacant the position that she could fill to acceptance…..When God created Eve, He designed that she should possess neither inferiority or superiority to the man, but that in all things she should be equal…..But after Eve’s sin, as she was first in the transgression, the Lord told her that Adam should rule over her [see Genesis]. She was to be in subjection to her husband, and this was a part of the curse.” This subject was already voted down by the world wide conference and openly defied and rebelled against. That alone, with or without verses and a barrage of quotes should send up red flags. God has never been at the lead of any rebellion by the people. I don’t believe any amount of verses, eloquence or quotes will change minds. This is a matter of the heart. And yes, I believe it will divide the church along with homosexuality and the creation issues. It’s time for the shaking and for our Lord to come.

  • Ian27

    Pastor Gibson’s best argument in favor of a YES vote at San Antonio is that the world church making a rule that ordained ministers must be male will effectively recognize males as heads of the church instead of Christ.

    But this argument fails in that someone
    has to be the ordained minister (that is, primary earthly leader) of any
    given church, and if the position of ordained minister itself does not set up
    any human as head of the church in place of Christ, why would a rule
    stating that this position must be filled by a male in conformance with
    Biblical precedent somehow set up males as heads of the church in place
    of Christ?

  • Chet Damron

    KUDOS, TY!
    It is apparent that God guided you in your research and writing. PTL
    Is it possible that the word “ordination” has become archaic for Seventh-Day Adventists? It is very apparent that the use of it has become very divisive. Other words in the English language have become archaic due to changing times or cultural differences.
    My brief study of “ordination” as used in 8 translations/paraphrases of the New Testament revealed the use of different words. Examples: “appointed”
    28 times; “chose”/”chosen” 23 times, while “ordained” was used only 13 times in the KJV. Other words used included: selected, commissioned, designated. “THESE TIMES (AND WORDS) ARE ACHANGIN’!”

  • P. Arguello MD

    I read this article. I disagree the way Biblical truth is presented here. The Bible is clear from beginning to end about male headship as well as male priesthood. When there is no support for or there is God’s silence about woman’s ordination in the Bible we can not use dangerous arguments or misquote bible passages such as Romans 14:5 “Each one should be fully convinced of his own mind”
    The written word in the Bible should prevail above our sinfull opinions or culture pressure

  • Ty Gibson, time and again, shows that he follows only Christ. Ty does not follow David Asscherick.

  • michael f. clute

    This is by far the most comprehensive, scripture, SOP and logically based presentation that has ever been written. Thank you Ty Gibson.

  • Doug Becker

    I think you may be confused. I said the NAD practice was illegitimate not illegal… big difference. There are countless practices that are legal, but that does not give them legitimacy in the eyes of God. Case in point: It is legal for Florida Adventist Hospitals to continue to provide abortions on demand as they have for 20 years, but that does not mean that God condones the practice killing inconveniently conceived unborn babies for profit or convenience. See the difference?

  • ian27

    Pastor Gibson does an excellent job of showing that neither the Bible
    nor Ellen White anywhere directly say that it is morally wrong to ordain
    women or have female priests, female apostles, or female elders over
    God’s true people for that matter.

    But the Bible
    never says it is morally wrong to masturbate either. But should we leave
    everyone to simply decide for themselves whether or not to develop this practice without saying anything about this
    as a church body concerned for the welfare of God’s people?

    Masturbation
    is not according to God’s pattern! This is obvious as soon as one
    understands the selfless ministry of pleasure which godly sex inside marriage was
    intended to be. And we happen to know from Ellen White just how evil and
    innervating masturbation (self-gratification) is.

    Neither the
    Bible nor Ellen White say anything directly against women’s ordination as Gibson shows.
    But in the same way that the Bible’s silence on masturbation does not
    show its acceptability, so the Bible and Ellen White’s lack of
    indication that woman’s ordination isn’t a moral issue does not prove
    that it is not.

    It should be just as obvious that ordaining
    women is not according to God’s pattern as it is (even without Ellen
    White’s statements) that masturbation isn’t right.

    Sadly, many people do not take the Gospel Pattern as seriously as they should.

    Not everything we really need to know and live by is given us in the form of a direct written command or exhortation.

  • Jim Bob

    I was lead to this article from a loving and trusted friend, below was my response.

    Pastor,
    Thank you for your response and including the link to Ty’s article.
    I am very aware of Light Bearers ministry and have watched and followed them for many years especially before they moved their organization to Oregon from Republic Washington.
    While I certainly respect Ty and his work, through the years there has been a noticeable change in the direction and stance of their ministry. It has moved to the more liberal side and I can’t help but think it has to do with the area that they moved.
    A few years back I had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks working for a company in Springfield. Before going there I sent a letter to all of the churches around the area asking if there was anyone in the congregation that could help with temporary housing. We were seriously thinking about moving to the area and I was seeking any help that could be offered. There was only one response.
    While there I attended the Springfield church and stayed with a nice family. During the weeks they would fill me in on the people in the area and how the culture influenced their lives. It was interesting to see how liberal the area truly was. I was warned about the homeless in downtown Eugene and the annual Country Fair.
    Why am I telling you this? Because influence plays a major part in our lives and it has obviously influenced the people in the area in that part of Oregon.
    As for Ty’s article, he does make good points on specific areas of the subject. He has drilled down, albeit very wordy, to make sure the reader is lead through exhaustive review. I had to read it 3 times to finally keep a focus of what was being explained. The conclusions he is making however are his own and in many areas he assumes he understands the views of most individuals.
    His article does not step back and address the hermeneutics of God and his hieratical structure, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, all one but with different roles. It didn’t address the 24 elders and why Christ elected 12 apostles that were only men. While he did come to the conclusion that nowhere in the bible of Spirit of Prophesy was there a command to or not to ordain women he tiptoed around much of the bigger picture.
    There are many more areas that could be reviewed but as I noted in my essay, Satan has been at work changing the temperature slowly enough that most people don’t realize what is really happening.
    A few years back the church thought that opening up to the influence of the progressive movement and starting celebration churches would bring people in, if we weren’t open to new forms of worship we would become obsolete. Since then I have visited some of these churches and most have a low attendance. The people are friendly and greet you with all sincerity but you can sense that they are a little schizophrenic and unsure if what is going on around them is truth.
    One more point I would like to make is that certainly in these last days of this earth’s history we should be more diligent not to follow after ideas and concepts that are not overwhelmingly supported from scripture. On the subject of women’s ordination the bible does not overwhelmingly support it and is counter to the hierarchical structure that is thread throughout. I believe that the water is boiling and God is giving us a chance to stand up for him and be accounted worthy.

  • Jim Bob

    You should go to Amazing Facts .org as there is much more available on this subject to watch, read and follow

  • Jim Bob

    You should go to Amazing Facts .org as there is much available on this subject to watch and read

  • Jim Bob

    You should go to Amazing Facts .org there is much more available in this subject to watch and read

  • Jim Bob

    You should go to Amazing Facts .org there is much more available on this subject to watch, read and study

  • Jim Bob

    You should go to Amazing Facts .org as there is much more available on this subject that you can watch and read

  • Jim Bob

    Continued
    Why am I telling you this? Because influence plays a major part in our lives and it has obviously influenced the people in the area in that part of Oregon.
    As for Ty’s article, he does make good points on specific areas of the subject. He has drilled down, albeit very wordy, to make sure the reader is lead through exhaustive review. I had to read it 3 times to finally keep a focus of what was being explained. The conclusions he is making however are his own and in many areas he assumes he understands the views of most individuals.
    His article does not step back and address the hermeneutics of God and his hieratical structure, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, all one but with different roles. It didn’t address the 24 elders and why Christ elected 12 apostles that were only men. While he did come to the conclusion that nowhere in the bible of Spirit of Prophesy was there a command to or not to ordain women he tiptoed around much of the bigger picture.

  • Jim Bob

    I was lead to this article from a loving and trusted friend, below was my response.

    Pastor,
    Thank you for your response and including the link to Ty’s article.
    I am very aware of Light Bearers ministry and have watched and followed them for many years especially before they moved their organization to Oregon from Republic Washington.
    While I certainly respect Ty and his work, through the years there has been a noticeable change in the direction and stance of their ministry. It has moved to the more liberal side and I can’t help but think it has to do with the area that they moved.
    A few years back I had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks working for a company in Springfield. Before going there I sent a letter to all of the churches around the area asking if there was anyone in the congregation that could help with temporary housing. We were seriously thinking about moving to the area and I was seeking any help that could be offered. There was only one response.
    While there I attended the Springfield church and stayed with a nice family. During the weeks they would fill me in on the people in the area and how the culture influenced their lives. It was interesting to see how liberal the area truly was. I was warned about the homeless in downtown Eugene and the annual Country Fair.
    Continued below

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    Men and women should be on “equal footing” because God created us that way. Not because someone is either for or against it. Therefore it is not up to men or women to change what God has designed. Jesus was quite clear that there is no distinction- “no male, or female, bond or free… The “headship” is not all men are the head of all women. Read the texts in their context. A woman is subject to her husband not everyone’s husband! You will have to twist the scriptures and take them completely out of context for your assertion that somehow there is a male hierarchy ordained by God in the church. Every scripture verse that pertains to a male being over a female is in the context of marriage and no where else. If you personally want to be subject to ALL men that is you choice, but it is certainly NOT a biblical mandate, nor would your husband (or husband to be) appreciate you being subject to any other man let alone all. As for ordination – the meaning of this process has been totally lost in a debate misguidedly based on gender. Ordination by the church is for the acceptance of God’s ordaining of a person (male or female) and the laying on of hands in agreement and blessing. Ordination in no way means superiority or authority over another person. Only God has Authority over me, I chose to marry and to willfully be under the headship of my husband. I am not under the headship of any other human and that includes the male gender, the pastor of any given church or elder, etc. Do you actually put yourself willingly under obedience to all men? Do you know how absolutely dangerous and destructive that could be? Do you have any idea how many women have been abused by a pastor because they believed this false teaching of pastoral headship? Do you realize that Christ is the Head of the church and not man? Do you think that just because the church ordains a person that this somehow puts them as mediator between you and Christ? Are you Catholic??? Have you read the scriptures that talk about the absolute abuses by people that took these prerogatives? The pharisees? Temple prostitutes are just one of the affects of male domination and self proclaimed headship. God did not give these men the position of Christ as head of His Church. So then why would we as Christ’s bride/Church want to do that? Is you pastor King? Mine is not! There is only One and He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords; it is NOT any pastor, but Christ Jesus alone! Is it wrong for the body of Christ to acknowledge the work of women in the church as they do men? Is it right for the church to decide for God who is has ordained. Did God not ordain EGW? Why then is it wrong for His church to recognize this fact? How can we quote from the writings of a woman ordained by God to refute women being in servant roles in the church? God, in His word, is quite clear. God in His actions is quite clear. Gender has nothing to do with ordination, the call of God and the gift of the Holy Spirit are the ONLY prerequisites to be a pastor, elder or evangelist! Gender has no role. What then is the church to do? Vote against women receiving a spiritual gift, vote against God’s ordaining of a female? Or is the right thing to do to acknowledge God’s choosing and not our own? The issue is not about the “right” to be ordained by man. The issue here is, are we as a church going to uphold in a public manner that He can choose whom every He wills. Or are we going to try to tell God who he can ordain? Ordination, like baptism is an outward recognition of what God has Already done. Voting no is telling God that we do not accept His authority and would rather accept man’s UNBIBLICAL opinion. I think the church is on very dangerous and shaky ground if it thinks to usurp God and have the audacity to say to a person called by God that they are somehow disqualified based on gender. If God ordains women than it is not only right that His church follow suit and do the same. I guess my question would be – are we looking for scripture verses to back up an already preconceived opinion or are will willing to search the scriptures to see if “it” is so, without adding to or twisting it’s meaning, without taking scripture out of context, without replacing “wife being subject to husband” with “women being subject to men”? Are we going to let the Bible form our opinion or are we going to use our opinion to form the Bible? Did you even read this article, or did you do a cursory skimming of it because you have already formed an opinion? If so, you are doing yourself an injustice as well as the church.

  • lily

    Thank you for bringing out an important issue that needs to be considered. Both the Bible and the SOP leave many things open to private interpretation if one is not led by the Holy Spirit that inspired it.
    This is the exact reason why there are multitudinous denominations because instead of being led by God’s Spirit men put their own interpretations upon scripture believing they are Spirit led. But are they all Spirit led, the Bible says there is only “one” way that is of the Lord. It can boggle one’s mind how true this is. And why would the Lord not give a direct, concrete answer to every single teaching so that no one could controvert it? Why must we consider the whole of Bible teaching under the Holy Spirit in order to have a correct understanding? This WO subject, for instance is just such an example so that in the end it will be seen whether one was led by the Holy Spirit or by another spirit, possibly one’s own. And, more importantly, whether the body of Christ was led by His Spirit in this decision. If not, there will be consequences unseen by us today. This, in itself, makes this a major issue, not a side issue without any real consequences as some suggest, because if God has a gospel order and mandate then it is imperative that it is followed. And this will only be done if the majority vote under the influence of the Holy Spirit, in fact, not of their own interpretation of Scripture and SOP.

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    A pastor is NOT a priest. The priesthood was finished when the temple was destroyed. You might do a study so that you can learn the difference between the two. And yes, the bible says the wife is subject to her husband, so keep it in context please. IT DOES NOT say a women are subject to men. Which of the apostles did Jesus speak to first? and does this then make the others subordinate to the first? Seriously, God speaking to Adam first is also in the framework of marriage, he spoke to the husband first. But did He not speak to Eve also? Does 1st mean superior to in this context or are you reading into the text??? God created the animals before he created Adam. Does this mean Adam is less? We start down a very slippery slope when we add to a verse what is not there. Do you seriously believe that if the church acknowledges God’s choice to ordain a woman (of which He has already done) that it is a sin? Is sin and synonym for woman? Do you have any idea how degrading and demeaning that is to women of which God created and made? God ordained EGW and the church acknowledged that (the documents of there for public viewing). Was that a sin? Did she not teach, preach, and in some cases even rebuke men in the church? Do you actually believe that if the church acknowledges a woman’s spiritual gifts it is a sin? Are you so confident that you are going to tell a person that indeed God did not call them? God forbid! God did not call a woman Judge over Israel (His church) until He called Debra. Don’t think God cannot call a woman (to pastoral ministry) of His own choosing just because He didn’t in the past. If the church decides to take the position of telling God who He may choose and who He may not solely based on gender, we will be on very dangerous ground indeed. And you as a created being are on very shaky ground when you inject your preconceived beliefs into scripture. If you are married, do you truly believe that YOUR wife is subject to ALL men? Are all men than her husband? Let us be very careful not to change God’s word to fit our own prejudices.

  • Mack

    Brother Ty, I feel that you did not adequately address the headship/ subordination principle established in Gen 2 Pre-fall. Paul uses Gen 2 to explain equality and subordination of women to man in the home, as a microcosm of the church. This was pre-sin!!! In this blog, I shall
    summarize my rebuttal to your paper, followed by a closer focus on “Shepherd” and women’s roles.

    By order of design – The foundation of the NT teaching on Christian subordination is found in the purpose of God’s creation and not the
    consequence of the curse.

    1) Adam was formed first, 1 Tim 2:13; Gen 2:20.
    2) The woman was deceived, 1 Tim 2:14
    3) Is the representative of the human race, Rom 5:12. Man held responsible for passing on information to his wife Gen 2:16,17 about the tree; God called upon man to answer for the pair – accountable for transgression, Gen 3:9
    4) Eve was taken out of man, 1 Cor 11:8; Gen 2:21; implied, Eph 5: 28-31. Sameness/equality in nature and flesh, both in the image of God…
    5) She was made for his sake, an helpmeet, 1 Cor 11:9; Gen 2: 20-22. Adam named the animals and named Eve, Gen 2:23; 3:20 …sexually
    different & different in social function.
    6) Eph 5:31 they two shall be one flesh

    The oneness of male and female in Christ (Gal 3:28) does not eliminate the role differences established at creation. It does not teach that the individual characteristics of believers are abolished by the order of redemption…. Equality before God does not imply role-interchangeability. Husband-wife relationship in marriage is the paradigm for the man-woman relationship in the church. 1 Cor 11

    Paul gives an additional reason for subordination – Eph 5:21 – “out of reverence for Christ;” as well as another reason in 1 Tim 2:14 “And
    Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” – the Fall. When Eve asserted her independence from Adam, she was deceived. Perhaps Isa 3:12 has an expanded meaning! – “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

    Miriam was a woman of high honor, and leadership – she led the women
    in music. She also was a prophetess, however, she was “second” to Moses & Aaron, PP382. This is key to understanding how it looked in
    the OT as well as NT. Tradition tells us that the minimum requirement for the existence of a synagogue was a group of ten men to constitute the board of elders.

    – Elders/ overseers/ bishops/ shepherd/ pastor of the flock – used interchangeably in Acts 20:28

    – Work of elders = shepherd the flock, 1 Pet 5:2; Acts 20:28; John 21:16, which by definition is superintendent, Christian officer in charge.

    The Role of the Elder/ overseer/ Shepherd in the Church Family is Representative of a spiritual father (not mother) of the “household of God” 1 Tim 3:15; 1 Cor 4:15 (Paul); Titus 1:7; brethren, sisters – extended family, with Christ as the Good Shepherd example.. This is the NT model.

    Ellen G White had a few things to say about ministry:

    – EGW calls for women to be treated fairly and be paid for their labors, from tithe, i.e., visiting from family to family, and opening the Scriptures, imparting knowledge to her sisters

    – She talks about men and women involved in canvassing, personal home ministry – pastoring to the flock (a function, not an office).

    – She calls for young men to ‘the ministry’, but not women

    – Although holding ‘ministerial credentials’ EGW was never ordained by laying on of hands. Minister’s wives were granted this also, as public speakers, but did not serve as “overseers” of the church flock.

    Women’s Supportive Roles may, therefore, be appointed/ordained as a ministerial calling to preach the gospel and win souls to Christ in a vocational capacity such as:

    – Bible workers
    – Pastor’s assistance (PAs) – home visitation
    – Seminar-type evangelism
    – Counseling ministry – divorced women, abused
    children, unwed mothers, teenagers
    – Teaching – children classes, stress, health, Sabbath school
    – Prophetess
    – Praying, reading, singing , addressing the congregation on a subject in which she has studied

  • Patty Cardenal

    As an SDA believer I have been following the Lord based on the Ellen G. White’s authority and leadership since I became a Christian. I never
    questioned her credentials, or if she was appointed to office done by our human brethren. I never questioned how many worldly decisions she made in the sense of administration, or how many baptisms she performed, or how many people she
    married, which by the way, our dear Jesus never performed either; to me her authority and leadership rests in the wonderful Truth that she teaches in her legacy of writings. The Lord gave her the authority and the Truth she brought to us accredits her as a leader, even to this day. In my heart and mind, she performed the pastoral work that wins souls to the Lord. Our Church would not be what it is if she would not have performed God’s inspired decisions to shape our way of worship,
    our education, our health, etc. This reminds me of:

    Mathew: 21; 23. “Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and
    said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”

    Only the Holy Spirit of the Lord can give the authority and leadership to a person, not “the chiefs priests and elders OF THE PEOPLE”

    The writings of Ellen G. White conveyed to my heart and mind that she was a great pastor, with authority and leadership worth to be followed; that the Church she led was the Church I wanted to be part of. To win souls for the Lord is the “office” of a shepherd (pastor). The credentials and certificated are things required by the world we live in, but we are not part of.

  • Mack

    On this blog, Brother Ty, I would like to address where this may lead in terms of organizational structure, which I feel was initiated in your article.

    We have moved our focus from Christ as the Shepherd of the church to:
    1) a heirarchial structure, and 2) coercion mimicking that of Rome! This debate on women’s ordination may be a time for the church to consider an organizational restructuring. Are we trying to work with an already broken structure apart from the NT model?

    The General Conference is not to be under the leadership of a single individual, but rather, a committee with a chairman – not a ‘president’! EGW decried the authoritarian attitude that was being carried into the leadership style. “God will sanction no tyranny, no sharp dictation, for this naturally repels, and often it stirs up the worst passions of the human heart.” Misc Collections, Letter to RA Underwood, Jan 10, 1888,
    letter 3, EGWB – AU.

    There are basically three types of church government that have developed in the various Christian denominations: the 1) episcopal, 2) the presbyterian, and 3) the congregational.

    1) The Episcopals hold to the doctrine of apostolic succession. Some of these churches have a federation of self governing churches, each with its own patriarch. The Roman Catholic church is more centralized, and
    its bishops are appointed by the pope; and, there are doctrinal ifferences.

    2) the basic presupposition of Presbyters is the Headship of the risen Christ, with no concept of an elite group with authority through direct revelation or laying on of hands. But they do have a common commitment to creedal statements or confessions.

    3) Local church autonomy is the hallmark of Congregational governance. Each congregation acted democratically and
    chose its own officer and minister.

    The Seventh-day Adventist church has combined these three types of governance. There are a few key elements in the Biblical examples regarding church government according to Greg Bahnsen (Ordained Servant vol. 4, no. 1 (January 1995):

    – There is no distinction between “elders” and “bishops” (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17, 28); these represent the same office and order.
    – Each congregation and center of leadership is to have a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; 20:17; Phil. 1:1), not one-man rule.-

    – These elders have oversight of the church (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2-3) and are thus responsible to care for the congregation (1 Tim. 3:5; 5:17; 1 Thes. 5:12; Heb. 13:7, 17, 24). They judge among the brothers
    (cf. 1 Cor. 6:5) and, in contrast to all the members, they do the rebuking (1 Tim. 5:20). Christ calls them to use the keys of the kingdom; to bind and loose (Matt.16: 19; 18: 18; John 20: 23) – these keys being the preaching of the gospel (I John I :3), and the exercise of discipline (Matt. 18:17; I Cor. 5:1-5).

    – The elders are assisted in their ministry by “deacons” who give attention to the ministry of mercy (Phil. 1:1; Acts 6:1-6; cf. 1 Tim. 3:8-13).
    – The office-bearers in the church are nominated and elected by the members of the congregation (e.g. Acts 6:5-6), but must also be examined, confirmed and ordained by the present board of elders (Acts 6:6; 13: 1-3; 1 Tim. 4: 14).

    – Members of the church have the right to appeal disputed matters in the congregation to their elders for resolution, and if the dispute is with those local elders, to appeal to the regional governing body (the presbytery) or, beyond that, to the whole general assembly (Acts 15). The decisions of the wider governing bodies are authoritative in all the local congregations (Acts 15:22-23, 28, 30; 16:1-5).
    Below…

  • Mack

    …So where does this lead us in terms of governance and
    doctrine?? Where is a list of doctrines in the NT? Abstain from meat
    to idols, blood and fornication, Acts 15:29? Can we learn from this? Is SDAism now a creed of 28 fundamental doctrines? TM 421 states Christianity is not a creed, but “a living animating principle that takes possession of mind, heart, motive and the entire man”. Has it boiled down to, to break one of these doctrines is to break them all?

    Our 1872 Declaration of the Fundamental Principles Taught and Practiced by the SDAs were put forth as a declaration of what we believe, but not as “having authority with our people.” No place do I see EGW supporting the list of 22 then – 29 now Fundamental creeds, rather – The Bible is to be our creed, The Review and Herald, Dec. 15, 1885. {1SM 416.2}; and Christ our doctrine! {6BC 1113.1 on galatians }.

    Our beloved SDA Church has become so rigid, stifling independent
    thinking, with one university having doctrinal differences with another Adventist University, but the Church only utilizing the understanding of one University. All of our Universities (the whole general assembly) ought to come together and formulate a declaration of belief. If we cannot come to an agreement, then there ought not be a statement of belief. We have come up with an SDA manual of not just guidelines, but hard and fast rules to disfellowship, if there is any deviation from the 29 Fundamentals, for ‘heresy’!

    “The doctrine that God has committed to the church the right to control the conscience, and to define and punish heresy, is one of the most deeply rooted of papal errors. While the Reformers rejected the creed of Rome, they were not entirely free from her spirit of intolerance…..” GC 292.

    Perhaps, our church should adopt:

    1) a few ‘pillars of our faith’:
    – The cleansing of the sanctuary
    – The 3 Angels Messages. “The Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Remnant and mission
    – The law of God in the ark of His temple.
    – The light of the Sabbath
    – The non immortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks. Ellen G. White, MS 13, 1889, p. 3., 1888 Materials, 2:518; {CW 30.2} Misc Collections 1888 518.2

    2) With a few other Declarations that define us as SDAs, for example, the great controversy theme, Christian behavior, the millennium, the gift of prophecy, and new earth; and,

    3) Declarations of other principles of Christianity – Holy Scriptures, the Godhead, creation, the experience of salvation, church, baptism, Lord’s supper, etc.

    So what am I saying???? In light of the preceding discussion, we have
    bigger issues facing our church at large that need to be addressed above women’s ordination!

  • lily

    Amen and amen! God will not be trifled with nor will He accept the reasoning of men, however godly they may appear. I also believe WO is involved in the shaking and we need to pray, not only for our beloved church, but for those who are in defiance of the General Conference decision already voted upon and now again the GC must bring this issue up causing our church to “appear as about to fall” which may not be an exaggeration in the near future. And a shame and disgrace to those that are endeavoring to bring God’s sheep out of Babylon into His body. I, for one, hesitate to bring anyone to such a body whose various parts are torn apart and not in unity. The SDA leadership, the “angel’s” that the Laodicean message is directed to, need serious emergency treatment. It is a message of rebuke and discipline calling for a true and humble repentance corresponding to God’s accurate appraisal found in verse: 17. Ellen White says the message brought to our church in the 1888 conference “is the message of God to the Laodicean church” p. 1052 “The Ellen G White 1888 Materials”. When we have a repentance and shaking of the Shepherds, the sheep that hear His voice will follow. I pray for the soon coming day when the cleansing of God’s church has brought forth a body fit for her Head, Jesus our lowly Savior, now King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

  • Mack

    Brother Ty, I feel that you did not adequately address the headship/ subordination principle established in Gen 2 Pre-fall. Paul uses Gen 2 to explain equality and subordination of women to man in the home, as a microcosm of the church. This was pre-sin!!! In this blog, I shall
    summarize my rebuttal to your paper, followed by a closer focus on “Shepherd” and women’s roles.

    By order of design – The foundation of the NT teaching on Christian subordination is found in the purpose of God’s creation and not the
    consequence of the curse.

    1) Adam was formed first, 1 Tim 2:13; Gen 2:20.
    2) The woman was deceived, 1 Tim 2:14

    3) Is the representative of the human race, Rom 5:12.
    Man held responsible for passing on information to his wife Gen
    2:16,17 about the tree; God called upon man to answer for the pair – accountable for transgression, Gen 3:9

    4) Eve was taken out of man, 1 Cor 11:8; Gen 2:21; implied, Eph 5: 28-31. Sameness/equality in nature and flesh, both in the image of God…

    5) She was made for his sake, an helpmeet, 1 Cor 11:9; Gen 2: 20-22. Adam named the animals and named Eve, Gen 2:23; 3:20 …sexually
    different & different in social function.

    6) Eph 5:31 they two shall be one flesh

    The oneness of male and female in Christ (Gal 3:28) does not eliminate the role differences established at creation. It does not teach that the individual characteristics of believers are abolished by the order of redemption…. Equality before God does not imply role-interchangeability. Husband-wife relationship in marriage is the paradigm for the man-woman relationship in the church. 1 Cor 11

    Paul gives an additional reason for subordination – Eph 5:21 – “out of reverence for Christ;” as well as another reason in 1 Tim 2:14 “And
    Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” – the Fall. When Eve asserted her independence from Adam, she was deceived. Perhaps Isa 3:12 has an expanded meaning! – “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

    Miriam was a woman of high honor, and leadership – she led the women
    in music. She also was a prophetess, however, she was “second” to Moses & Aaron, PP382. This is key to understanding how it looked in
    the OT as well as NT. Tradition tells us that the minimum requirement for the existence of a synagogue was a group of ten men to constitute the board of elders.

    _ Elders/ overseers/ bishops/ shepherd/ pastor of the flock – used interchangeably in Acts 20:28

    – Work of elders = shepherd the flock, 1 Pet 5:2; Acts 20:28; John 21:16, which by definition is superintendent, Christian officer in charge.

    The Role of the Elder/ overseer/ Shepherd in the Church Family is Representative of a spiritual father (not mother) of the “household of God” 1 Tim 3:15; 1 Cor 4:15 (Paul); Titus 1:7; brethren, sisters – extended family, with Christ as the Good Shepherd example.. This is the NT model.
    See below…

  • Mack

    continuing…
    Ellen G White had a few things to say about ministry:

    – EGW calls for women to be treated fairly and be paid for their labors, from tithe, i.e., visiting from family to family, and opening the Scriptures, imparting knowledge to her sisters

    – She talks about men and women involved in canvassing, personal home ministry – pastoring to the flock (a function, not an office).

    – She calls for young men to ‘the ministry’, but not women

    – Although holding ‘ministerial credentials’ EGW was never ordained by laying on of hands. Minister’s wives were granted this also, as public speakers, but did not serve as “overseers” of the church flock.

    Women’s Supportive Roles may, therefore, be appointed/ordained as a ministerial calling to preach the gospel and win souls to Christ in a vocational capacity such as:

    – Bible workers
    – Pastor’s assistance (PAs) – home visitation
    – Seminar-type evangelism
    – Counseling ministry – divorced women, abused children, unwed mothers, teenagers
    – Teaching – children classes, stress, health, Sabbath school
    – Prophetess
    – Praying, reading, singing , addressing the congregation on a subject in which she has studied.

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    The Seventh Day Adventist Church does NOT have priests. We have pastors. There is a great difference between the Priestly role and the pastoral role. Priests officiated in the temple. The church is not the temple of God, His people are. Hence the priesthood of ALL believers (not male believers).

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    If you read the history of the documents you will notice that EGW did not cross of the word ordination, her secretary did. Is the fact the EGW did not seek out ordination the reason we should not ordain? ordaining someone is not putting them in a headship role, it is acknowledging what God called them to do. Is that wrong? Is it wrong for a woman’s Holy Spirit given gift to be acknowledged by her church? Why must a man be ordained to do ministry? The one headship is Christ Jesus. He is the head because He lived a sinless life, not because He is male.

  • Dwaine

    Good day. The real question is: What did it mean to them back then? Whatever it meant to them back then, it surely didn’t mean that women were now to be ordained as gospel ministers. Now unto Phoebe. Phoebe was a servant as you and I are servants of God. All are servants, but not all are deacons. In other words, she didn’t occupy the OFFICE of a deacon. 1 Tim. 3:1: “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” Notice, Paul said what he is stating is a “TRUE saying.” Therefore, any other saying that contradicts this saying is FALSE. Then he says, “if a MAN…” Can a man be a woman? NO. How do we know this word “man” isn’t in the generic form? Because, ”
    A bishop then must be blameless, the HUSBAND of one wife…” A HUSBAND cannot be a woman. No where else in Paul’s writings does he use the word ‘husband’ to mean male and female. A married woman pastor would give us ‘wife of one man.’ And ‘wife of one man’ is not WRITTEN. Stick with the simple truth revealed in God’s word. Stand on an “it is written.” Blessings!

  • lily

    “The church is duty bound to ordain anyone whom God has already ordained.”

    According to whom has “God already ordained”? According to the woman herself. Ordaining women is a phenomenon of recent times exactly in accord with the blurring of the sexes in the women’s movement. If one doesn’t see this then there is a willful denial of a blatant world movement that has overtaken society with it’s baleful results along with all other perversions unspeakable. I remember not too many years ago when a sister I knew was living with a man and it was considered to be shameful. Today it is so common that no one questions the morality of it, nor of abortion, same sex marriage, etc. etc. Does that give pause to the pro WO people. It does not and they brush all that aside for the supposed necessity of adding women to authority right beside men. According to Ellen White the end time gospel will be brought to the world via a “few” dedicated people who will rather die than sin, and I consider tearing apart in any way God’s church sinful. And for the supposed reason that God has “called” them to do this, never mind the repercussions. Women ordained to authority in the church and thereby also in the home, as this is a 24/7 authority, is not needed for spreading the gospel, never was and never will be. It only took 12 transformed, totally dedicated apostles (all men) to turn the world upside down during the early rain and I think that speaks volumes as to whether we possibly split our beloved church and certainly cause fractions unknown as yet in order to ordain women for the ushering in of the latter rain.
    “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” still holds today.

  • lily

    And I would still be saddened by it because after the first effort he has completely failed. I read his article carefully and did not see one iota of merit in it try as he might to convince one that there is merit in WO. I believe Dr. Paulson’s refutation was accurate and time will prove that.

  • Paul

    Next up- Discussing whether or not we need to be circumcised to be Christian.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    Lily, how did the church in New Testament times know whom God had ordained? How does the church today try to determine who is worthy of being recognized as a minister by the church? –Demonstrations by the Spirit, showing that the person has received the gifts of the Holy Spirit and other needed preparations that go with the calling.

    Let me remind you that the church is not our righteousness–the Lord alone is our Righteousness, and that is why we can afford to accept substantive criticism of our church (which is really substantive criticism of ourselves), which Jesus determines are needed for there to be proper denominational repentance, which is what Jesus explicitly calls upon the church of Laodicea to accept and heed (Rev. 3:19).

  • Paul

    God does not change. But we’re talking about God who spoke through a donkey, parted the waters, raised the dead, stopped the sun, made an axe float, made gorgeous sunsets and green hills, who made tiny ladybugs and giant whales, who formed us all out of nothing and then risked everything for what He created. I could be wrong on this but this God fellow strikes me as a very complicated individual, whom, I for one, am eternally glad for the opportunity to get to know. If God says ordain a woman and there is no strong Biblical evidence to refute that (I see only weak and man-led arguments in these comments) then ordain a woman and lets move on to the business at hand, which is spreading the gospel. What is not essential is adaptable. So is this an essential
    truth?I think this study speaks volumes on where this argument really sits.

  • Paul

    ……Meanwhile souls are lost and in need of a savior.

  • lily

    I agree that “demonstrations by the Spirit, showing that the person has received the gifts of the Holy Spirit and other needed preparations that go with the calling” would be reasons to believe a man is worthy of being recognized as a minister of the church. But since there is no biblical proof nor SOP proof that women can hold the position of an ordained minister than those reasons are moot. They would be the same, however, for many other ministries that women are called to. If I were a woman aspiring to be an ordained minister and I had to become ordained by fighting for my rights such as is now happening in our church, I would run as fast as I could because I know that God is not the author of this confusion. That only leaves one entity who is the author and as I said in another reply God does not need women to start with and certainly not at such a cost to His church. Remember He only needed twelve dedicated converted men to take the gospel to all the world and He will, if necessary, do the same today. Btw, not that it is only true of women in the pulpit but I have heard and read preaching by three very well-known ordained females, one actually sickened me it was so gross, the others teaching Emergent Church philosophy, one in our own institution, which even many evangelicals realize is not of the Lord. What can I say.
    I believe you must have misunderstood my reference to God’s rebuke in the Laodicean message. I too believe we can and should (all of us) leadership and laity alike be thankful that our Lord chastises us and calls us as He sees us and gives us the remedies and the rewards He so graciously offers to us. Blessings

  • KenPeterson

    Lily, you are right I think in saying that there is “only ‘one’ way that is of the Lord” if you are talking about THE GOSPEL ITSELF (see Galatians 1:8-9). But surely there are many ways of doing things and not just one way for how to preach and “do” the gospel. Example: I lived with my grandmother when I went to Walla Walla College back in the early 70s. She would not go to the College Church with me because the organ was “too loud”. I loved the loud organ. There is not just one Bible way to play the organ, or preach or identify who can preach. Don’t try to constrain the Holy Spirit when the Bible tells us that it will fall on men and women.

  • KenPeterson

    As I see it, the “simple truth” is that for everyone in union with Christ “there is no such thing as Jew and Greek, slave and freeman, male and female; for you are all one person in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:27-28) I think Ty makes the more persuasive case so I will stick with it rather than yours. Let us both keep praying and studying.

  • lily

    Ken,
    I agree wholeheartedly with you. And Ellen White was the most ardent supporter and initiator of the “many ways of doing things and not just one way for how to preach and “do” the gospel”.
    I have many many quotes of hers listing such and urging men and women to get out there and do for Jesus in any number of ministries. These other ministries were just as important according to her as the ordained minister. But the simple fact is they did not call for ordination but some did call for the laying on of hands. So, I would never “try to constrain the Holy Spirit when the Bible tells us that it will fall on men and women.” I believe in my fellow sisters, admire many of them, and aspire to do my bit as I can. In fact, it is more important to me than anything else on earth. Blessings

  • KenPeterson

    Voting on an issue or question is highly dependent on exactly how the motion was worded. My understanding is that the motion forwarded to the San Antonio GC Session by Annual Council has never before been voted on at a GC Session. However, let’s say that an earlier GC Session had voted on the exact motion except that the earlier motion started with “At this time”. If the current vote was different from the prior vote this would not be because of a change of the Bible or because the prior vote was wrong. Example: Jesus was not baptized until he was about 30 years old. What if our church has made an early decision that following His example no one would be baptized until they were at least 30 years of age. If there was a later change in policy to allow baptism after age 12 this would not mean the Bible was wrong to say Jesus was 30 at His baptism. The fundamental question as Ty point out very well, is that this issue concerning allowing Divisions to determine if within their territories women may be ordained is simply not a testing truth.

  • KenPeterson

    Thank you for that clarification.

  • KenPeterson

    Dear Dr. Arguello, The Bible is not at all “clear from beginning to end about male headship as well as male priesthood.” That is why you can get different opinions about it from people who are part of our church, including professors in our seminaries. Just when male headship is getting up a pretty good head of steam in the OT it seems God introduces a woman, whether as a judge or a prophetess or queen, to muddy things up. This emphasis on male headship was basically unheard of for the first 100 years in the SDA church, although it is the prevailing view of the Catholic church. Let us agree that we all need to keep praying and studying.

  • Mack

    In Acts 15:1, certain men came down and taught that one cannot be saved unless circumcised. This is what Paul was speaking to and further clarified in Col 2:11-13 in saying that baptism is now the symbol of putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ; buried with Him in baptism. Medically, circumcision is a good idea.

  • Mack

    Brother Ty, I feel that you did not adequately address the headship/ subordination principle established in Gen 2 Pre-fall. Paul uses Gen 2 to explain equality and subordination of women to man in the home, as a microcosm of the church. This was pre-sin!!! In this blog, I shall
    summarize my rebuttal to your paper, followed by a closer focus on “Shepherd” and women’s roles.

    By order of design – The foundation of the NT teaching on Christian subordination is found in the purpose of God’s creation and not the
    consequence of the curse.

    1) Adam was formed first, 1 Tim 2:13; Gen 2:20.
    2) The woman was deceived, 1 Tim 2:14
    3) Is the representative of the human race, Rom 5:12. Man held responsible for passing on information to his wife Gen 2:16,17 about the tree; God called upon man to answer for the pair – accountable for transgression, Gen 3:9

    4) Eve was taken out of man, 1 Cor 11:8; Gen 2:21; implied, Eph 5: 28-31. Sameness/equality in nature and flesh, both in the image of God…

    5) She was made for his sake, an helpmeet, 1 Cor 11:9; Gen 2: 20-22. Adam named the animals and named Eve, Gen 2:23; 3:20 …sexually
    different & different in social function.

    6) Eph 5:31 they two shall be one flesh

    The oneness of male and female in Christ (Gal 3:28) does not eliminate the role differences established at creation. It does not teach that the individual characteristics of believers are abolished by the order of redemption…. Equality before God does not imply role-interchangeability. Husband-wife relationship in marriage is the paradigm for the man-woman relationship in the church. 1 Cor 11

    Paul gives an additional reason for subordination – Eph 5:21 – “out of reverence for Christ;” as well as another reason in 1 Tim 2:14 “And
    Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” – the Fall. When Eve asserted her independence from Adam, she was deceived. Perhaps Isa 3:12 has an expanded meaning! – As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Miriam was a woman of high honor, and leadership – she led the WOMEN
    in music. She also was a prophetess, however, she was “second” to Moses & Aaron, PP382. This is key to understanding how it looked in
    the OT as well as NT. Tradition tells us that the minimum requirement for the existence of a synagogue was a group of ten men to constitute the board of elders.

    – Elders/ overseers/ bishops/ shepherd/ pastor of the flock – used interchangeably in Acts 20:28
    – Work of elders = shepherd the flock, 1 Pet 5:2; Acts 20:28; John 21:16, which by definition is superintendent, Christian officer in charge.

    The Role of the Elder/ overseer/ Shepherd in the Church Family is Representative of a spiritual father (not mother) of the “household of God” 1 Tim 3:15; 1 Cor 4:15 (Paul); Titus 1:7; brethren, sisters – extended family, with Christ as the Good Shepherd example.. This is the NT model.

    Ellen G White had a few things to say about ministry:

    – EGW calls for women to be treated fairly and be paid for their labors, from tithe, i.e., visiting from family to family, and opening the Scriptures, imparting knowledge to her sisters
    – She talks about men and women involved in canvassing, personal home ministry – pastoring to the flock (a function, not an office).
    – She calls for young men to ‘the ministry’, but not women
    – Although holding ‘ministerial credentials’ EGW was never ordained by laying on of hands. Minister’s wives were granted this also, as public speakers, but did not serve as “ove seers” of the church flock.

    Women’s Supportive Roles may, therefore, be appointed/ordained as a ministerial calling to preach the gospel and win souls to Christ in a vocational capacity such as:

    – Bible workers
    – Pastor’s assistance (PAs) – home visitation
    – Seminar-type evangelism
    – Counseling ministry – divorced women, abused children, unwed mothers, teenagers
    – Teaching – children classes, stress, health, Sabbath school
    – Prophetess
    – Praying, reading, singing , addressing the congregation on a subject in which she is studied

  • Mack

    Lily, what was the ‘important issue that needs to be considered’? Seems as if the post was deleted..

  • LduPreez

    … and the rocks may cry out too! We need women in this area so much.

  • LduPreez

    Amen Uncle Chet!

  • LduPreez

    Perhaps for the same reason that many who are strongly against WO (e.g. DBatch, S Bohr et al) are strongly promoting that the church re-address the vote for women elders and women pastors?

  • LduPreez

    What are you really saying? That Ty hasn’t a mind of his own? Surely you don’t mean that.

  • LduPreez

    Not sure what you mean. But, a YES vote for WO specifically allows for areas to decide for themselves whether or not to ordain women pastors. That is tolerance.

    And, to vote NO means to basically force everyone to do exactly as that group wants. That is intolerance.

  • LduPreez

    Really wondering: Why is it that when men pastors are eager to be ordained that seems ok; yet when women pastors look forward to being ordained it is somehow selfish, and feminist. Interesting.

    Men pastors don’t need to be ordained either to go out and serve God.

  • LduPreez

    This is not simply a “woman’s movement” – it is a Christ-like movement. And many males – including Ty, and the overwhelming majority of our SDA biblical scholars (mainly men) are in favor of ordaining women pastors. I see mostly fair-minded males as the ones who are now pushing for women to be ordained – and not the women themselves (likely because of comments that claim this is about feminism, and pushing their own agenda to climb the ladder, etc.).

  • LduPreez

    Neither does the Bible show us any word about Pathfinders – yet we do have Pathfinders. The SDA Church, as a body of believers, takes the principles in Scripture and applies them to both men and women.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    Lily, it is one thing to acknowledge that most women were not qualified to be ministers, because they were uneducated–Jews did not teach women to read, and Gentiles did not believe women should be educated at all–but it is quite another thing to claim that God cannot ever call a woman to the ministry if He chooses. For one thing, you are directly contradicting Ellen G. White, who said:

    “It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God.” (6T p. 322; RH January 15, 1901)

    “There are women who should labor in the gospel ministry. In many respects they would do more good than the ministers who neglect to visit the flock of God.”—Evangelism 472; Manuscript 43a, 1898.

    As for your mistaken claim that there are no Scriptures that show a woman in a position of ministry, let me remind you of Phoebe, whom Paul commends in Romans 16:1 as a “diakonon” (in the original Greek), and as a “prostatis” in verse 2 (in the original Greek).

    Some people have tried to claim that “diakonon” is just another word for servant. A survey of all of Paul’s writings in the original Greek shows that Paul used “doulous” or sometimes “oiketes” for a common servent. In fact, careful consideration of Paul’s writings in the Greek shows that the only other way he used “diakonon” was to mean “minister,” such as as in Romans 13:4 (“minister [diakonon] of God); Ephesians 3:7 (“I was made a minister [diakonon] according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power); Colossians 1:23 (“the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister [diakonon]); etc. In fact, most revealingly, in Colo 1:7 when speaking of Epaphras, he uses a form of “doulos” (“sundoulou”) to describe him, and then additionally in the same sentence he calls him a “diakonon,” showing that “doulos” and “diakonos” were not interchangeable or redundant in his mind. Most translations render this “Epaphras, our dear fellow servant [sundoulou], who is a faithful minister [diakonon] of Christ .”

    So Paul could very well be saying Phoebe was a minister. He used the same word for deacon and for minister.

    As for Paul also calling Phoebe a “prostatis” in Romans 16:2, note that according to “Thayer’s Bible Dictionary,” which is the standard reference used by most translators of the Greek New Testament, prostatis means “a woman set in charge of others.”

    Besides Phoebe, I could also mention Junia, whom Paul praises as an apostle in Romans 16:7. Most scholars agree this was a female name. Some ancient manuscripts give the name as “Julia.” Then there was Priscilla, who with her husband Aquilla was a co-worker with Paul, and taught people the Scriptures. (See Acts 18:18, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Cor. 16:19.)

    Even in the Old Testament, there was Deborah, both a prophetess and a Judge (Judges 4:4), and there was the prophetess Huldah whom several priests consulted to hear the Word of God (see 2 Kings 22:14)

  • Majka Hoare

    Very good biblical explanation. Thanks Ty.
    I just couldn’t see reason for voting. If we’re believe that Holy Spirit gives us gifts as you mansion, why do we need to vote? We did not vote for other gifts. Also it is not fundamental issue.
    The Bible doesn’t says Yes or No in this subject, E.G. White our last day prophet doesn’t says Yes or No. In whose autority we have to decided for Yes or No? It is Holy Spirit who’s calling people according needs as was in the early days, we have to listen Him and follow Him.
    I wish Goods blessings and leading for our leading brothers and sisters in this issue.

  • lily

    Ronald, You said,

    “For one thing, you are directly contradicting Ellen G. White, who said:

    “It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God.” (6T p. 322; RH January 15, 1901)”
    I don’t believe you have been able to read some of my other replies (lot of stuff on this board to read!) but I have stated over and over just what you have quoted by Ellen White. There is no question whatsoever that Ellen White urged both men and women to aspire to become pastors and ministers for the work of the gospel mission. Where there seems to be much confusion is on how Ellen White used the terms of minister and pastor. I see that some take it that she is talking about the “ordained minister” or “ordained pastor” as we call them today that is ordained as the shepherd of a church but she makes a clear distinction between the ordained minister and the pastoral minister or pastors be they men or women. There were even licensed pastors and ministers but they were not ordained. However, she did not distinguish the high calling of any who entered into pastoral work as a pastor or minister without the ordination credentials as any less useful, important or called of God. The same is true for those of us who serve in the laity today. But she made it very clear that those who served thus with their time and energy should be paid just as the ordained minister. Maybe this is the sticking point with WO even moreso than the added authority which comes along with ordination. I do not know about this but if that is so, then the church, according to Ellen White, is very much out of step with her counsel. She was adamant about this and should be addressed.

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    Lily, I suspect the real problem is a misunderstanding of what ordination consists of. Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that priests are given a quasi-divine power by ordination, which qualifies them to “create the Creator” by uttering a Latin phrase and then supposedly turning the communion wine and bread into the literal blood and body of Christ. Many non-Catholics, even many SDAs, may have some vestiges of this unconscious misunderstanding of ordination, supposing it conveys some kind of super authority. This is why what Ellen G. White said about ordination is so important:

    “Both Paul and Barnabas had already received their commission from God Himself, and THE CEREMONY OF THE LAYING ON OF HANDS ADDED NO NEW GRACE OR VIRTUAL QUALIFICATION. It was an acknowledged form of designation to an appointed office and a recognition of one’s authority in that office. By it the seal of the church was set upon the work of God.” Acts of the Apostles, p. 161 (emphasis supplied)

  • Teatsy

    Well said, Kevin.

  • Male/female popution is USA is approx. 50/50, but prisoners are 92% male. God called men officially to the priesthood to keep them on a short leash, and fatherhood is emphasized because of the enormity of its absence.

  • The curse to Eve: “Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule (which means it was not that way before in God’s perfect world) over thee.” In other words, “you will have a victim mentality and he will have an entitlement mentality.” All women and men who are against WO have a victim mentality and an entitlement mentality, respectively. What a curse!

  • Jurisdiction of husband as per 4th Commandment: you, your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your cattle, the foreigner in your property, and that’s it. Does NOT say your wife. Husband has no spiritual jurisdiction over wife (and vice versa).

  • Pastors quote prophets, and not the other way around. There is an argument that EGW was offered a pastor’s license and she refused it, hence it is concluded that because of that, women shouldn’t be pastors. But I say, good for EGW! I wouldn’t want to be demoted either.

  • Man is the head. What does that mean? Look at Christ, He took the bullet for us. Look at mama bear, mama lion, mama elephant, they take the bullet for their offsprings. That is what the head does. Yet all these entitlement minded men in church think that being the protector of their homes translates into the church such that they think they are my head and are entitled to have a say in my spiritual life. Stop usurping the place of the Holy Spirit with your justice which is as a filthy rag. But none of them will take the bullet for me. Stop deceiving yourselves. My Head is Christ.

  • son of eleazar

    “A NO vote has the potential to split the Seventh-day Adventist Church on a denominational level, possibly leading to the separation of some Unions from the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    A YES vote will not likely produce a denominational split, but will likely cause some church members to feel obligated to sever ties with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, especially those who have decided that the issue is a matter of faithfulness versus unfaithfulness to God.”

    I really wonder why according to the above statements it means those who are saying yes are not in a position to accept any other outcome(hence the split), whereas those who are saying no may, for unity’s sake, not lead to a denominational split!

    How tragic and sad it would be for us to allow our beloved church to divide over a subject that loyal, Bible-believing church members differ on in good conscience. On this matter, let us honor one another by applying the ancient Christian maxim:

    “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

    I wonder if the author is a proponent of unity as he has advocated for in this article.

    Light Bearers?

  • Leo

    I have been to churches Lutheran in particular for weddings and when the couple was standing before the minister who was marring them was a woman, it just didn’t look right or at a funeral or giving communion, for some reason it just doesn’t look or feel right. It’s the same feeling I get when I see pictures of women marring women and men marring men. What am I going to do when this woman ordination passes and one day we will have a woman pastor in our church doing priestly duties, will I get used to it and those feelings go away? I don’t think so. Why would God want this kind of confusion in the church when he so clearly set the pattern?

  • There is not going to be a split. When Rosa Parks wouldn’t budge the nation was turned upside-down but the UNITED States did not split; on the contrary, a wrong was righted. Those in favor of WO will not budge to go sit in the back seat of the Gospel bus, given that God Himself called a woman (EGW) over to the front to sit by the Driver. The church is not going to split. All that will happen is that a wrong will be righted.

  • jamos

    Well, here is an interesting point to think about. The whole church could be in now the count down jeopardy form this “Womens movement for her credentials.” To cause this great castrophe is the devil using all”political law” concocted by the “great liberals of this country”. (Liberals are already sealed in their conviction and you cannot crack their skulls as their minds are already sealed off. They are completely blinded by the big scenario. Just think what a women can do now if the vote is not for women’s ordination. The US gov can come in and claim ” discrimination against women” and sue the Adventist church for every asset under the sun. Now do not tell me this is not the work of the devil. No matter how you look at it. Women created this with every foul bird. No wonder God ordained as he did. As far as my messages go from this blog, it has everything to do with “women’s claim to be equal” IT DOES NOT TAKE CREDENTIALS TO BE “BLESSED BY GOD” OR ORDAINED BY GOD. But the proof of their so called calling is self and not the call of God because he already gave all previous protocol for our example. Every excuse in the book can be made and argued but this will be the result with the devil having the very soul of Adventist church now at risk. Interesting position we are now in “Eve” as you left not a bite for “Adam” this time. What has happened to “America” by appeasing the people of false religions? Same thing now with the church! Will they appease the people for their organized existence? It’s a hard blow to the church now and from whence did this come?? Not the steady “foundational people” that made no WAVES OF THIS MAGNITUDE. You can bring out all the argument however any see fit to create this but this is the end scenario. The devil did this through the same way he accomplished beforehand. I am a 75 year old woman and I can see the big picture more then these younger that studied until they found what they studied for to suit their “Emerging thoughts”

  • In the parable of the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), there was so much work to bring in souls that the Landowner went out in the morning to hire laborers, then again at the third hour, then anew about the sixth hour and about the ninth hour. But the work was still not completed, so He went out one more time about the eleventh hour and found others standing idle because no one would hired them. [And lo and behold! They were the women wanting to work for the Landowner!] So the Landowner called them in. But the other laborers insisted, “Wait a minute, they can’t get the same benefits. Surely at least they should not be ordained like we are. The church should not be praying over them so that God blesses their work in like manner as our work, and the same as their monetary contributions are prayed over also. No. No. No. No praying over the Holy Spirit blessing the work of women.” But the Landowner had already determined everybody gets the same reward. And He is the Boss.

  • jamos

    What this report is saying -is the founding of this last day church directed by Holy Spirit is subject to breaking the law of the United States!! This is what is laughable and very clear that the “emerging liberals” blinded by the devil has failed to acknowledge. God could not see in the future??? Amazing!

  • Scene when Jesus passes from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place. “I saw a throne… Before the throne I saw the Advent people… Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him… I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God… Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence.” (Early Writings, pp. 54-56)

    After Jesus entered the Holy Place, the Gentiles were called. The Holy Spirit decided the matter of equality between Jews and Gentiles by calling the latter. Some Jews moved on and followed Jesus accepting Gentiles as equals. The rest hung to the old ways. Even Paul was in danger of this and had to learn the difference between a living faith and dead formalism. (Acts of the Apostles, p. 190)

    After Jesus entered the Most Holy Place, Ellen White was called. Hence the Holy Spirit has already decided the matter of equality between men and women. Accept it. It is what it is. So I am appealing to those in the Holy Place to get out of there and give up the dead formalism. Look at who is breathing upon you! Dangerous!

  • Carlos Mendoza

    Pastor Ty, this is a most thought-provoking analysis. I appreciate your courage to publish it. I believe it sheds light on a subject that few understand. I am glad to see that it is also available in SPANISH at EqualOrdination .com /una-mirada-cercana/ . I hope many General Conference delegates from Central and South America will read it. Praise God for your ministry.

  • Dwaine

    That text (Gal. 3:27-28) has nothing to do with who is to occupy the role of chief spiritual leader in the household of God. It has to do with access to salvation. That said, I believe God’s words over Ty’s any day. So I’ll stick with God’s injunction rather than Ty’s or yours. May we study to know what is written so that we may pray accordingly.

  • KenPeterson

    The Chief spiritual leader in the household of God is Christ. He is the only Head of the Church as the Bible teaches. I hope we agree on that simple truth. I totally agree with you that we need to stick with God’s view. I just think that Ty’s understanding and explanation of God’s view is better than yours. You think yours is better than Ty’s. We disagree on that, but we both agree that the objective is to stick with God.

  • jamos

    Teresita, I have to give you this: That is the greatest twist of all. You must be of the Advent Reformers as this is one of their best points to do. Open your mind and read those suggested pages again. This has nothing to do with Women’s ordination or about any new “Emerging thoughts”. Look at the title. End of the 2300 Days. The whole previous context of Early Writings contributes to this. It is talking about the new light of the 3 angels message. That little meeting Jesus had with the Father was to “Hold Hold Hold as the 3 angels message was to go forth. Now the next step was to Wait here as He was going to His Father to receive the kingdom. Now start reading where the time frame changes as EGW in dream sees Jesus standing before the Father and it describes HIs garment- now this is important because His garment has a bell and a pomegranate on the hem. Check out Rev as for the white robed martyrs time frame. The other group that you are trying to twist into your scenario is and what is referring to Nominal Adventist before the new light -Not pertaining to day to the foundational Adventist.

  • Harold Wong

    “Who can have so deep a love for the souls of men and women
    for whom Christ has died, as those who are partakers of his grace? Who can represent the truth and the example of Christ better than Christian women who are practicing the truth in their earnest efforts to bring souls to the light? Who are so well adapted to be teachers in the Sabbath-school? With a heart imbued with the love of Christ, teaching the children of her class, praying with them and for them, she may see souls converted. The true mother is adapted to be the teacher of children. I do not recommend that woman should become a voter or an office-holder; but as a missionary, teaching the truth by epistolary correspondence, distributing tracts and soliciting subscribers for periodicals containing the solemn truth for this time, she may do very much. In conversing with families, in praying with the mother and children, she will be a blessing. Women can be instruments of righteousness, rendering holy service to God. It was Mary who first preached a risen Saviour.” {GW92 383.2}

  • Ranko Stefanovic

    Ranko Stefanovic
    Thank you Ty for this thought provoking and bible-based analysis. As a biblical scholar, I can honestly say that In analysis the issues you have objectively followed the principles of the biblical hermeneutics in the true meaning of the word. All I can say is: Amen.

  • James Warren

    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍Thank you, Ty, for the wonderfully clear and scholarly explanation of the issues from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. The emphasis on unity is so important.
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍In addition to your excellent insights, I believe that much of the current debate is needless and unnecessary because the vote in San Antonio is not going to decide whether women should be ministers. Women pastors have been fully authorized by the General Conference as “commissioned” ministers since 1990. They already perform the same functions and have the same role as ordained ministers.
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍Women pastors already go through the same kind of consecration ceremony with a laying on of hands. The only real difference is the word that is printed on their certificate (“commissioned” instead of “ordained”).
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍There is no point in debating whether women should be ministers, because that is not what the GC will vote on. When you boil it all down, the only real issue now is whether the individual world divisions can choose to call these female pastors “ordained” instead of “commissioned.” It is a matter of semantics.
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍There is no logical (or theological) reason to continue to discriminate between these two terms. The Spirit of Prophecy uses the terms “commissioned” and “ordained” interchangeably. They mean the same thing. There is no reason not to use the word “ordained.”
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍The General Conference Biblical Research Institute concluded 39 years ago: “If God has called a woman, and her ministry is fruitful, why should the church withhold its standard act of recognition?” (In other words, why call her “commissioned” instead of “ordained”?)
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍I believe this viewpoint puts the issue in perspective, in the context of what will actually be voted on. When viewed this way, it becomes clear that it is not really a theological issue. It is a question of semantics, and there is no logical reason to continue discriminating between the term “commissioned” and the term “ordained.”
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍William G. Johnnson (retired Adventist Review editor) put
    it this way: “If God has given His stamp of approval to women in
    ministry [through the General Conference policy of 1990], who are we to
    withhold official recognition?”

  • Mack

    Brother Ty, I feel that you did not adequately address theheadship/ subordination principle established in Gen 2 Pre-fall. Paul uses Gen 2 to explain equality and subordination of women to man in the home, as a microcosm of the church. This was pre-sin!!! In this blog, I shall
    summarize my rebuttal to your paper, followed by a closer focus on “Shepherd” and women’s roles.

    By order of design – The foundation of the NT teaching on Christian subordination is found in the purpose of God’s creation and not the
    consequence of the curse.

    1) Adam was formed first, 1 Tim 2:13; Gen 2:20.

    2) The woman was deceived, 1 Tim 2:14

    3) Is the representative of the human race, Rom 5:12. Man held responsible for passing on information to his wife Gen 2:16,17 about the tree; God called upon man to answer for the pair – accountable for transgression, Gen 3:9

    4) Eve was taken out of man, 1 Cor 11:8; Gen 2:21; implied, Eph 5: 28-31. Sameness/equality in nature and flesh, both in the image of God…

    5) She was made for his sake, an helpmeet, 1 Cor 11:9; Gen 2: 20-22. Adam named the animals and named Eve, Gen 2:23; 3:20 …sexually
    different & different in social function.

    6) Eph 5:31 they two shall be one flesh

    The oneness of male and female in Christ (Gal 3:28) does not eliminate the role differences established at creation. It does not teach that the individual characteristics of believers are abolished by the order of redemption…. Equality before God does not imply role-interchangeability. Husband-wife relationship in marriage is the paradigm for the man-woman relationship in the church. 1 Cor 11

    Paul gives an additional reason for subordination – Eph 5:21 – “out of reverence for Christ;” as well as another reason in 1 Tim 2:14 “And
    Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” – the Fall. When Eve asserted her independence from Adam, she was deceived. Perhaps Isa 3:12 has an expanded meaning! – As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Miriam was a woman of high honor, and leadership – she led the WOMEN
    in music. She also was a prophetess, however, she was “second” to Moses & Aaron, PP382. This is key to understanding how it looked in
    the OT as well as NT. Tradition tells us that the minimum requirement for the existence of a synagogue was a group of ten men to constitute the board of elders.

    – Elders/ overseers/ bishops/ shepherd/ pastor of the flock – used interchangeably in Acts 20:28

    – Work of elders = shepherd the flock, 1 Pet 5:2; Acts 20:28; John 21:16, which by definition is superintendent, Christian officer in charge.

  • Joe

    Bobbie, your comment deserves more than an up arrow. It deserves a hearty “Amen”!!!!!

  • Joe

    Go to You Tube and look up any of the many sermons Doug Batchelor has made against WO. They are much more clear than this.

  • Joe

    Or look up Sermons by Stephen Bohr. There is plenty of excellent material showing Bible and Spirit of Prophecy truth on this subject!!

  • Joe

    Risen Ignacio Villena Mercado, you have summed up the whole problem with WO!!!! Amen.

  • jamos

    Ranko when you can be understood with very hard listening I find not all is correct coming from the college either. I disagree on your 144,000 study as one example. It is not important to know who the 144,000 is but sure is damaging if presented wrongly and the true purpose of this group with exact time frame that somehow is overlooked. A doctrine of SDA that has never been settled one way or the other within. Isn’t that amazing? I also realize the brightest stars will fall with wrong theories. Other evangelists make it plain, simple and truth. I do not like theories or opinions of ones own analizing of Bible truth. This is the big difference now in evangelists. Straight away scriptures presented divide the teachers and preachers as they now separate. This report that you now stand for has put SDA church in high jeopardy anyway you look at it. Deny that! I lean to the evangelists that let scripture determine the theory.

  • You are wrong

  • Keith Didomenico

    I believe in women being ordained but not to spiritual leadership of the flock. In my observation I feel there is one critical thing you have left out Ty that is the foundational, the family is the building block for society. The Bible makes it clear that a man is to be the spiritual leader of his home, God lays the building block for society. So when ten families get together to form a church. You have ten spiritual leaders and then we choose from those ten leaders who will be the spiritual leader over them. Thus throughout the bible men are the spiritual leaders. Just as God is the Spiritual leader of the Godhead and Christ and the Spirit are in submission to Him they are all equal.

  • Mack

    I agree with you – certain roles that are appropriate for women…

    The Role of the Elder/ overseer/ Shepherd in the Church Family is Representative of a spiritual father (not mother) of the “household of God” 1 Tim 3:15; 1 Cor 4:15 (Paul); Titus 1:7; brethren, sisters – extended family, with Christ as the Good Shepherd example.. This is the NT model.

    Ellen G White had a few things to say about ministry:

    – EGW calls for women to be treated fairly and be paid for their labors, from tithe, i.e., visiting from family to family, and opening the Scriptures, imparting knowledge to her sisters

    – She talks about men and women involved in canvassing, personal home ministry – pastoring to the flock (a function, not an office).

    – She calls for young men to ‘the ministry’, but not women

    – Although holding ‘ministerial credentials’ EGW was never ordained by laying on of hands. Minister’s wives were granted
    this also, as public speakers, but did not serve as “overseers” of the church flock.

    Women’s Supportive Roles may, therefore, be ppointed/ordained as a ministerial calling to preach the gospel and win souls to Christ in a vocational capacity such as:

    – Bible workers

    – Pastor’s assistance (PAs) – home visitation

    – Seminar-type evangelism

    – Counseling ministry – divorced women, abused children, unwed mothers, teenagers

    – Teaching – children classes, stress, health, Sabbath school

    – Prophetess

    – Praying, reading, singing , addressing the congregation on a subject in which she is studied

  • Keith Didomenico

    great insights thanks for sharing!

  • Leo

    Spirit of prophecy days that Eve was alone when she ate of the fruit. and Adam ate the fruit because he did not want to loose Eve. Had he been with Eve when she was decieved by the devil he Adam would have told the serpent to take a hike

  • ShiningLite

    Don’t know who did the crossing out or when

    Only headship in the church is the man Christ Jesus

  • ShiningLite

    Good news. No priestly duties for any but Christ.

  • Sda Pioneers

    Pathfinders is A LITTLE different… Ordination is Fundamental Believe of the Church, Jesus is Head of the Church as Priests Head in the Old Testament and Elders in the NEW. That is something else as Pathfinders!

  • Cellophane

    Pay is not limited to ordination. All should be paid for their time devoted to gospel ministry–ordained or not.

  • sirris

    It is not God’s desire or will for the women to head congregations that include men because it will contradict God’s first curse to the women in the Garden of Eden. “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Gen. 3:16. The fact that the world has women presidents and rulers is because this world is now Satan’s and to have women as heads or rulers in the house of God will be against God’s will. Hope this settles this Women’s Ordination controversy.

  • sirris

    Just think about this. We would have known nothing of SIN in this world had Even not disobeyed God’s command to stay close to her husband. Why did God tell Eve to stay close to her husband if Eve is strong enough to handle the devil? Everybody should know now from this very beginning of the world the distinction between man and woman.

  • sirris

    Just think about this. We would have known nothing of SIN in this world had Eve not disobeyed God’s command to stay close to her husband. Why did God tell Eve to stay close to her husband if Eve is strong enough to handle the devil? Everybody should know now from this very beginning of the world the distinction between man and woman.

  • sirris

    Just think about this. We would have known nothing of SIN in this world had Even not disobeyed God’s command to stay close to her husband. Why did God tell Eve to stay close to her husband if Eve was strong enough to handle the devil? Everybody should know now from this very beginning of the world the distinction between man and woman.

  • When I say “changed my view,” I mean that I am much more open to ordination for those individuals, both men and women, who are called by God. My view is clarified because the article presents what I believe to be the best overall example of Bible study (exegesis) on the topic of women’s ordination. However, there are still questions that are difficult to answer for either side. And therefore, I am still praying for more clarity from the LORD. And I firmly believe He will supply such clarity if we humbly seek His will and humbly love our brethren with whom we share the Gospel message of the Three Angels of Revelation 14. And I do not believe it is necessary to have this particular question settled in order for us top be united in the work God has given us to do. However, I do believe it is necessary and yes, required by the LORD, for us to be united in the work spreading the gospel, and we can all do that in our spheres of influence. Though we are a diverse group, praise God, unity in a bond of love through our great God, Creator and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • Len C

    For many years, I have been blessed by the ministry and teaching of Ty and his colleagues at Light Bearer’s Ministry. During that time I have also been a grateful financial supporter of the ministry. While I find some things in Ty’s analysis of this contentious subject that I disagree with, I will continue in my support of LBM.

    On the subject of women’s ordination, I have a certain amount of ambivalence. On Ty’s analysis of the 1 Timothy 3:2 text regarding the
    “husband of one wife”, I find his argument to be somewhat weak.

    Ty states the following — “’Husband of one wife’ is set forth as one criterion in a list that Paul offers to define what a bishop of ‘blameless’ character looks like (see verses 27). ‘Husband of one wife’ is a grammatical
    descriptor of ‘blameless.’ Paul’s subject is not the gender of the bishop
    (pastor) or the deacon, but rather the moral character of those who occupy these two roles.”

    Thus, where Paul says, “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, . . .” (English Standard Version), Ty is asserting that Paul means for the clauses that follow to be clarifications of what “above reproach” means. This part of Ty’s analysis I believe is in error for the following reason.

    Paul knows how to make such a distinction when that is his intent. In 1st Timothy 5, Paul turns to address concerns about widows. Beginning at v. 9, Paul sets forth the criteria for enrolling widows on the official support list. There follows a series of criteria, similar to Paul’s criteria list for the role of elder, or overseer, in 1st Timothy 3. The third item in Paul’s widow criteria list is that she is well known for her good works (KJV, ESV, HCSB) [deeds (NIV)]. Following this third criteria are several more clauses, but the translators clearly understood that those following clauses were modifiers [“grammatical descriptor(s)”] of “having a reputation for good works.”

    The KJV follows the “good works” with a semi-colon “;” to recognize this construction and the ESV follows with a colon “:” The translators of the NIV make it more plain by rendering it as “. . . good deeds, such as . . .” The translators of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) make if even more plain, “ . . . good works—that is, if . . .”

    So it is clear within 1st Timothy itself that Bible translators are able to distinguish whether or not Paul means for a series of clauses to be independent or to be descriptors of previous clauses. For this reason, I conclude that my brother Ty’s analysis of the “husband of one wife”
    text is not correct.

    The battle lines are drawn, and the trenches are dug deep on this issue. Without the powerful intervention of the Spirit, I see nothing good coming from this issue being before the General Conference once again.

  • Mack

    moreover, I would also like to address where this may lead in terms of organizational structure, which I feel was initiated in your article. We have moved our focus from Christ as the Shepherd of the church to: 1) a heirarchial structure, and 2) coercion mimicking that of Rome!
    This debate on women’s ordination may be a time for the church to consider an organizational restructuring. Are we trying to work with an already broken structure apart from the NT
    model?

    The General Conference is not to be under the leadership of a single individual, but rather, a committee with a chairman – not a ‘president’! EGW decried the authoritarian attitude that was being carried into the leadership style. “God will sanction no tyranny, no sharp dictation, for this naturally repels, and often it stirs up the worst passions of the human heart.” Misc Collections, Letter to RA Underwood, Jan 10, 1888,
    letter 3, EGWB – AU.

    There are basically three types of church government that have developed in the various Christian denominations: the 1) episcopal, 2) the
    presbyterian, and 3) the congregational.

    1) The Episcopals hold to the doctrine of apostolic succession. Some of these churches have a federation of self governing churches, each with its own patriarch. The Roman Catholic church is more centralized, and its bishops are appointed by the pope; and, there are doctrinal differences.

    2) the basic presupposition of Presbyters is the Headship of the risen Christ, with no concept of
    an elite group with authority through direct revelation or laying on of hands. But they do have a common commitment to creedal statements or confessions.

    3) Local church autonomy is the hallmark of Congregational governance. Each congregation acted democratically and chose its own officer and minister.

    The Seventh-day Adventist church has combined these three types of governance. There are a few key elements in the Biblical examples regarding church government according to Greg Bahnsen (Ordained Servant vol. 4, no. 1 (January 1995).

    – There is no distinction between “elders” and “bishops” (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17, 28); these
    represent the same office and order.

    – Each congregation and center of leadership is to have a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; 20:17;
    Phil. 1:1), not one-man rule.

    – These elders have oversight of the church (Acts
    20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2-3) and are thus responsible to care for the congregation (1 Tim. 3:5; 5:17; 1 Thes. 5:12; Heb. 13:7, 17, 24). They judge among the brothers (cf. 1 Cor. 6:5) and, in contrast to all the members, they do the rebuking (1 Tim. 5:20). Christ calls them to use the keys of the kingdom; to bind and loose (Matt.16: 19; 18: 18; John 20: 23) – these keys being the preaching of the
    gospel (I John I :3), and the exercise of discipline (Matt. 18:17; I Cor. 5:1-5).

    – The elders are assisted in their ministry by
    “deacons” who give attention to the ministry of mercy (Phil. 1:1; Acts 6:1-6; cf. 1 Tim. 3:8-13).

  • Mack

    Sister Perez, you cannot just pull an application out of a sombrero! Sunday keepers may then apply this going from Sabbath (dead formalism) to Sunday observation…

  • Mack

    I’m ‘wrong’? Sister Perez, are you the same Teresita that is into Biblical Numerology? ,,,anyway… what is your understanding of unequally/ equally yoked? The Gay movement may come along and say that you have to be same-sex to be equally yoked…. My understanding is that Paul used the term in the context of the believer/unbeliever.. I believe Adam and Eve had equality of being, but not in function.

  • I TUTOR mathematics as in arithmetic, algrebra, geometry, trigonometry, etc. Numerogoly has to do with birth dates, planet positions, and astrology, which is strictly prohibited in the Bible.

  • Jamos:
    1. I have no idea of who the Advent Reformers are.
    2. The Messiah being cut-off in the middle of the 70th prophetic week, has nothing to do with the Gentiles per se. But after it happened and Jesus entered the Holy Place, God called all Gentiles officially into ministry, by calling a handful of them first (at the home of Cornelius); but many Jews remained in the courtyard to this day and reject Gentiles as equals. Likewise, the 2300-day prophecy has nothing to do with women per se, but when it came to its conclusion and Jesus entered into the Most Holy Place, God called women officially into ministry by choosing EGW, but many remain in the Holy Place rejecting women as equals.

  • Great to see men that do not have an entitlement-over-women mentality! Thank you Lord! When I express my belief in favor of WO, I’ve been accused many times of being in the “women’s liberation movement” and I just say, “don’t change the subject.” But they keep at it and these other replies stop these men. 1. “You can believe all you want, but not with my money”; 2. “Jesus is your husband.” (makes these men furious); 3. “You are the bride of Jesus” (you’d think I literally hit them below the belt.) But one day, a man stopped me. He falsely accused me with the intent of insulting me, and it was obvious he was savoring hurting me. He said, “you are in the lesbian movement.” It stopped me. It hurt so much. But it was not his insult that hurt me. It was because a couple of decades before, someone had told me that that particular man came from the gay community and was converted. Back then I told the gossiper to never say that again to anyone and that I didn’t need to know. I had protected him from the sinners who had never been caught and he didn’t know about it. But now here he was accusing me of his sin. It broke me. It destroyed me such that for one year after that, every night I cried myself to sleep.

  • jamos

    Teresita Perez You would be a great member of the SDA Reformers. They broke away. Twists on some doctrine. But yet the women are better at women’s dress. Breaking away was result the same way happening now. LIke I said this Womans movement is work of the devil anyway you look at it. I can’t imagine anyone not knowing the history of this. This church is almost as big as SDA church.

    The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement is a Protestant Christian denomination, part of the Sabbatarianadventist movement, and formed as the result of a schism within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Europe during World War I over the position its European church leaders took on Sabbath observance and in committing Seventh-day Adventist Church members to the bearing of arms in military service for Germany in the war.[1]

    The movement was formerly organised on an international level in 1925 at Gotha, Germany and adopted the name “Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement”. It was first registered as a General Conference association in 1929 in Burgwedel, near Hanover, Germany. Following the General Conference association’s dissolution by the Gestapo in 1936 it was re-registered in Sacramento, California, USA in 1949. Its present world headquarters are in Roanoke, Virginia, USA.[2]

    The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement is governed by a General Conference, a worldwide association of constituent territorial Units consisting of Union Conferences, State/Field Conferences, Mission Fields and Missions not attached to any other unit. Through its local church congregations and groups of adherents, affiliated publishing houses, schools, health clinics and hospitals, the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement is active in over 132 countries of the world.

    The movement’s beliefs largely reflect its distinctive Seventh-day Adventist Church heritage and foundational pillars, with some small divergences. See on “Beliefs” below.

    Contents [hide]

    1 History

    1.1 1914-1918 Seventh-day Adventist Church Schism (Europe)

    1.2 The 1951 Schism – SDARM General Conference Session Zeist, Netherlands and its Aftermath

    1.2.1 SDARM General Conference Headquarters in Roanoke, Virginia, USA

    1.2.2 International Missionary Society (IMS)

    1.2.3 Post 1952 Re-Unification Attempts – IMS and SDARM General Conference

    1.2.4 Post War World II relations with Seventh-day Adventist Church

    2 Name of Church Congregations

    3 Beliefs

    4 Officers

    5 General Conference Sessions

    6 See also

    7 References

    8 External links

  • jamos

    also you do not understand along with many SDA the correct purpose and meaning of 144,000 time framing and referring to the martyrs. There is no unity in SDA with this particular doctrine.

  • jamos

    And Jesus said unto Satan “It is written”………

    Therefore…

    If you are a delegate to the 2015 General Conference Session, please vote YES in favor of allowing for individual Divisions to decide whether or not to ordain women within their territories.

    By voting YES, you will be standing in favor of refraining from dividing the church over a subject that does not constitute testing truth.

    By voting YES, you will be voting to refrain from creating restrictions that go beyond what is written in God’s word.

    By voting YES, you will be voting to affirm the freedom of God’s Spirit to do as He pleases with His people.

    How tragic and sad it would be for us to allow our beloved church to divide over a subject that loyal, Bible-believing church members differ on in good conscience. On this matter, let us honor one another by applying the ancient Christian maxim:

    “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

  • Leo

    For the same reason Adam was held accountable for the fall of man. Why was a man made first? Why were all the

    patriarch’s men? Its a pattern

  • Andrew Merriman

    As a relative new convert to the SDA I find this big push for WO somewhat troubling.

    With the main body of those who oppose WO basically conceding that more should be done to get our women involved I ask myself, why the ardent stance for ordination?

    I know there’s a lot more to this than my lay ministry mind can fathom but on the surface it looks like a portion of the more “culturally minded” would simply like to break away from the “Old Brood” way of doing things.

    If this is the case then I would submit this is more about a problem with authority than anything else.

    I love this movement and it’s unique three angels message. When all this is said and done, despite our differences, I trust we will be a united front.

  • ShiningLite

    Assuming for the moment that men only are to be head of the church, that still doesn’t answer the questions.

    1. Why not have women pray over the food/emblems and/or serve them? Women are often expected to serve all the meals at home.It is not like we think our pastor or elder are changing the bread and juice into the body and blood of Jesus and then killing Him. It is a SYMBOL

    2. Why not baptize? It is not that much different then presiding over bath times. The authority is in God’s name and in our church the adding of the names is done by vote of the congregation.

    3. Why not preform weddings? In this case the authority is part God and part the state.

    4. Why not funerals? We don’t think the person conducting the funeral has any special power to get someone into heaven or anything.

    5. Ya didn’t mention baby dedications but that is like the above.

    They are special symbols but these are not sacraments in our church. There are places where all the church leaders have been rounded up and been killed, exiled, or put in prison. Who then can do these things? And if it is ok then, why not other times?

  • jamos

    Andrew, Keep the faith of the “Old Brood” It was the purest message from the beginning foundation. Jesus never changes but your right people do. You have this pegged right. This new movement does put the church in jeopardy either way so that alone makes it wrong. You do realize how the US gov uses “discrimination ” against now. A person pretty much has to read Testamonies from cover to cover to get correct contexts. Most of this on here is twisted exerts. EGW had same problem with individuals back in her day. I promise you if you do this you will have truth of the matter. She also stated this very thing happening in the last days and only 1out of 20 SDA would enter. Pretty sad, if more did this there would not be this division.

  • jamos

    I remember when women did not wear pants, jewelry, horrific hair styles mini skirts, bare chests and worship in church without the jazz, blues, rock and rap rap rap,drums hand clapping and now dancing brought on by this new jewish rendition of traditions with I see going on. So yes, this change comes with the people and not of our last day message. I will not enter a church for worship in this manner. Very few left and the same I see on her how the multitude is for this big new “movement”‘. so hang in there they will answer to these big fiascos of causing division. It’s called the “Emerging Church” for change.

  • jamos

    Go to You tube and click in SDA “Emerging Church” and get the details. You will get truth there from the ones who preach truth by scripture only. Their opinions will not be this long twisted renditions of their own views above the simple plain facts. When you search beyond simple plain and fact you find what you look for to suit ones own agenda.

  • Andrew Merriman

    I have to admit when I read your commit it reminded me of so many I have seen regarding same sex marriage.

  • Cindy Tutsch

    Teresita, I’m sorry you had to endure this very painful experience. I hope that God has given you peace and forgiveness toward the one who spoke hurtful words toward you.

    May God bless you specially!

  • Ending oppression to blacks and ending oppresion to women has nothing to do with the same marriage agenda.

  • Yes, LduPreez, the leaders of the spiritual taliban which you mention here by name, indeed are against WO and want to impose a spiritual burka on God’s daughters.

  • Ann Hudson

    Eve was told not leave her husband’s side….she did. That was deliberate disobedience. We can’t use trickery as our defense on judgement day, we will be found guilty just as Eve was pronounced guilty though the devil deceived her. Reason being, God warns us through his word just as he warned Adam and Eve in regards to wiles of the devil. Women are in no way weaker spiritually, but I believe in the bible and the bible only. God already gave us a blueprint to follow.

  • Xumenikomesho Shinana

    This makes sense.

  • Xumenikomesho Shinana

    Thank you Mr Ty Gibson.

  • David Esterline

    So nicely stated. God Bless you and your ministry. EGW says that even the elite will be deceived and that the majority of our church will turn away in the end. Maybe this is just the beginning of that shaking. . . from within.

  • Concerned SDA

    I’m wondering why there aren’t limits on the number of times that one person can comment. It seems that some names supporting WO are seen over and over again on various blogs. I’m of the opinion that these long comments, whether “fer” of “agin” do nothing to change anyone’s mind.

    The more often I see culturally influenced arguments supporting WO the more certain I am that Biblical examples of so called patriarchy are on the mark.

  • Concerned SDA

    Many of us find it troubling and even more. Andrew. We hope that strident voices on either side of the issue will not discourage you in your new found faith.

  • Sick Stomach

    James Rafferty,

    I have always admired and supported the work done by you and TY and have benefitted. I must say that I was surprised to discover Ty’s quotes are also one-sided, very. In looking at the way Ellen White used pastoral ministry, it is clear she was not referring to women being pastors in the manner we use the term today.

    Using what someone else wrote:

    In Mrs. White’s writings the phrases “pastoral labor,” “pastoral work,”“pastors to the flock of God,” “duties of a pastor” or “work of a pastor” mean personal labor in terms of visitation to nurture, encourage and strengthen God’s people. It was a work that required great tenderness and empathy and something that all church members could do if properly trained. The following quotes demonstrate this.

    “Responsibilities must be laid upon THE MEMBERS of the church. The missionary spirit should be awakened as never before, and workers should be appointed as needed, who will act as PASTORS TO THE FLOCK putting forth PERSONAL EFFORT to bring the church up to that condition where spiritual life and activity will be seen in all her borders.(5T 723)

    “Elder H used to live here and preach to the people, but he was not a shepherd of the flock. He would tell the poor sheep that he would rather be horse-whipped than VISIT. He neglected PERSONAL LABOR therefore PASTORAL WORK was not done in the church and its borders….Had the preacher done THE WORK OF A PASTOR, a much larger number would now be rejoicing in the truth. {9MR 343.5}

    A quote from William Fagal:

    “In cases in which she used the term pastor she seems to have done so with a specialized meaning in mind, using the term to refer to A PERSON DOING PERSONAL LABOR IN THE NURTURE OF THE FLOCK, rather than a particular church office or position (Ellen. G. White and Women in Ministry “Part I: Did Ellen White Call for Ordaining Ministry” by William Fagal, MDiv Associate Director EGW Estate published in Ministry Magazine, December 1988)

    “Ministers of Christ should feel it a duty binding upon them, if they receive the HOSPITALITIES of their brethren or friends, to leave a blessing WITH THE FAMILY by seeking to encourage and strengthen its members. They should not neglect THE DUTIES OF A PASTOR, as they VISIT from house to house. They should become familiar with every member of the family, that they may understand the spiritual condition of all, and vary their manner of labour to meet the case of each…(3T 232)

  • Mack

    yes… perhaps a shaking…

    So where does this lead us in terms of governance and
    doctrine?? Where is a list of doctrines in the NT? Abstain from meat to idols, blood and fornication, Acts 15:29? Can we learn from this? Is SDAism now a creed of 28 fundamental doctrines? TM 421 states Christianity is not a creed, but “a living animating
    principle that takes possession of mind, heart, motive and the entire man”. Has it boiled down to, to break one of these doctrines is to break them all?

    Our 1872 Declaration of the Fundamental Principles Taught and Practiced by the SDAs were put forth as a declaration of what we believe, but not as “having authority with our people.” No
    place do I see EGW supporting the list of 22 then – 29 now Fundamental creeds, rather – The Bible is to be our creed, The Review and Herald, Dec. 15, 1885. {1SM 416.2}; and Christ our
    doctrine! {6BC 1113.1 on galatians }.

    Our beloved SDA Church has become so rigid, stifling independent thinking, with one university having doctrinal differences with another Adventist University, but the Church only
    utilizing the understanding of one University. All of our Universities (the whole general assembly) ought to come together and formulate a declaration of belief. If we cannot come to an
    agreement, then there ought not be a statement of belief. We have come up with an SDA manual of not just guidelines, but hard and fast rules to disfellowship, if there is any deviation from the 29 Fundamentals, for ‘heresy’!

    “The doctrine that God has committed to the church the right to control the conscience, and to define and punish heresy, is one of the most deeply rooted of papal errors. While the Reformers rejected the creed of Rome, they were not entirely free from her spirit of intolerance…..GC 292.

    Perhaps, our church should adopt:
    1) a few ‘pillars of our faith’:

    – The cleansing of the sanctuary
    – The 3 Angels Messages “The Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Remnant and mission
    – The law of God in the ark of His temple.
    – The light of the Sabbath
    – The non immortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks. Ellen G. White, MS 13, 1889, p. 3., 1888 Materials, 2:518; {CW 30.2} Misc Collections 1888 518.2

    2) With a few other Declarations that define us as SDAs, for example, the great controversy theme, Christian behavior, the millennium, the gift of prophecy, and new earth; and,

    3) Declarations of other principles of Christianity – Holy Scriptures, the Godhead, creation, the experience of
    salvation, church, baptism, Lord’s supper, etc.

    So what am I saying???? In light of the preceding discussion, we have bigger issues facing our church at large that need to be addressed above women’s ordination!

  • Elebert Vundhla

    In Romans 16: 2 Paul explains what Phoebe’s work entailed. That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. (prostatis , pros-tat’-is – Feminine of a derivative of G4291; a patroness, that is, assistant: – succourer.)

  • Cindy Tutsch

    Theresa, No woman pastor that I know, including myself, has ever sought ordination or commissioning. What happens is, the conference recognizes her pastoral work as bearing fruit for God’s kingdom, her name is recommended to the Union for commissioning/ordination, and the conference then in cooperation with the union sets in order the service.

    It’s not a matter of pushing for recognition. When administrators see evidence of the Holy Spirit’s calling, then they wish to acknowledge that calling with the laying on of hands in a special service.

  • Cindy Tutsch

    There are many women now serving as pastors around the world, baptizing, marrying, officiating at communion, preaching the funeral sermon–all of which is within church policy.

    “Doesn’t look right” doesn’t seem an adequate criteria for determining truth. Ty Gibson has set out biblical principles–much safer than feelings!

  • Cindy Tutsch

    Karl, I would share your concerns except for one important caveat. There is an officially voted doctrine, a fundamental belief, for the Sanctuary, the Sabbath, Creation, and the Gift of Prophecy, as well as human sexuality. There is NOT such a doctrine for even ordination, much less women’s ordination.

    Therefore, even as it has been left with individual churches to decide whether to have women elders and that autonomy has not split the church, so I believe this issue could be decided “on the ground” by administrators of Divisions. Thus it does not seem to me that YES would lead to independence on other issues for which we already have a fundamental belief.

  • Cindy Tutsch

    The principle of Isaiah 3:12 is oppression. It would also be considered a woe if men lead in an oppressive way.

  • Cindy Tutsch

    Rene,

    Dress standards, modesty, appropriateness, are important for both male and female pastors.

    Representing the Lord is also important for both male and female pastors.

    And btw, a woman doesn’t have to be young to be a pastor!

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    I agree absolutely! The point I was trying to make was that if the opportunity came open, and I did believe that women’s ordination was sanctioned not just by man, but first by God, then I would surely be more than willing to be ordained.

  • Cindy Tutsch

    Some, if not most, members of BRI have come to conclusions similar to these that Ty has expressed.

    There is one person on BRI who has been quite vocal in expressing opposite views, but those do not represent the views of the majority at BRI. Check out the archived TOSC report to read the papers of Angel Rodriquez, p/t employee of BRI and the most recent former BRI director.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Dr. Barbara, one question (or three) – what happened to the historical grammatical method of interpretation? Have SDA’s from the GC level, academic level, what level – changed our historically agreed upon method of interpretation without agreement from the world church? And if so, when did this happen? Its inevitable that somewhere there are men who see it as a “sin” for a woman to teach and preach and even rebuke. But God does not say this.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Talk about a slippery slope….

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    Women were ordained as pastors in EGW’s day. As far as the many interpretations- if we would read the text in its context and not in SDA context, or adding to it what it does not say, taking scripture completely out of context or assuming it says something just because we were always taught that is the problem. Our church has just as much of a problem with traditions as an other. The only method of interpretation that is sanctioned by the scriptures is that the scriptures interpret themselves and is not up to “the church” to do the interpreting. I once felt that ordaining women may be wrong myself because of what was being taught, but I decided to do a diligent study on both sides of the issue and in my opinion based on my studies I do not see any evidence that ordaining women is not allowed. To take the position that somehow it is disallowed is done by taking scripture verses that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject and injecting them into the debate. We as God’s church have got to take our denominational glasses off too from time to time to really understand the text in its proper context and stop injecting our traditional beliefs into it. The scriptures are completely silent on the subject of ordaining a woman for any position in the church. So than why do we say it is allowable for this or that position and not allowed for others? I find that so many people are just regurgitating what some big name evangelist/pastor is saying about the subject and they accept what they want to hear without even thinking of looking at the other side of the debate. Sad but true. Read each scripture verse used by the ones against it and tell me which verse they are actually using in its context. For instance “God spoke to Adam first” so therefore blah blah blah… Well if we take that view of “interpretation” than you would have to use this principle throughout. Jesus spoke Mary first after his resurrection, Sunday is the first day God created and so on. As you can see this is absolutely not the correct interpretation or we are all wrong and need to go back to the “mother church” since Sunday is more important that Saturday, women are are now in authority over men. I pray you do some praying for the Holy Spirit to give you Godly wisdom in rightly dividing the Word. God Bless.

  • Dorothy Ackles

    I respectfully disagree. The underlying principle is not oppression, because indeed men had also ruled over them with oppression. Clearly the emphasis in the text is not oppression but that children and women were allowed to oppress and rule over them. Israel is being reprimanded for acting contrary to God’s order of things that He had established before and after the fall. And they suffered the consequences mentioned in the text. I find it more than interesting here that although there’s 4 or 5 words for rule in Hebrew, God uses the same word rule here in Isaiah for women ruling over men as is used in Genesis chapter 3 where God said men were to rule over women.

  • Zulunatiks

    Did sister White have to be ordained to do ministry? I’ve never read anywhere where she clamoured to be ordained to do ministry, those who are true to the gospel and are serious about spreading it won’t dwell and clamour on ordination issues as they realise that their calling is higher than the desire to be ordained. God’s work won’t stop just because a woman is not ordained. On issues of conflict it’s always safe to err on the side of safety. I don’t believe women should be sidelined in ministry and clearly the bible is full of amazing women who advanced the kingdom both in the old New Testament but none demanded ordination to work, they did what they had to do and God blessed their work. These issues are coming out now in full force because the devil knows it’s a good tool to divide the church. Has the gospel work slowed down because women are not ordained?? I don’t think so, let’s focus on real issues of how we can win souls for Christ.

  • Leo

    And what do you do with the biblical principles that are black and white and obvious to what God intended? override them with good intentions based on human reasoning? Most people on planet earth believe Sunday is the sabbath does that make it right?

  • Doug Kendall

    Nice try. Not convinced. I see a lot of big leaps in your arguments. EGW said the church would appear to fall and conferences would leave. That would be sad, but I’d rather have that than see the church follow the world for no good reason and put aside the Bible as the foundation of our beliefs.

  • Brad

    Thank you stay for a great article.
    Its sad to see many of the comments below. The spiritual arrogance of so many Adventist is so saddening.

    How is TY argument a world view?
    E

  • Xumenikomesho Shinana

    Who has a higher calling? A prophet or a pastor?

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    “The scriptures are completely silent on the subject of ordaining a woman for any position in the church.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Dr. Barbara – Is the fact that EGW did not seek…? No. Is it wrong to acknowledge someone who has been called…? No. Why must (it be) a man…? Because that is the structure clearly (forgive me for not acknowledging that it may not be clear to all) presented in scripture. Christ is the head of the church because He laid down His life for the church…His Bride (female). People can say many things that God is or is not. But one thing is certain, God has revealed Himself in both scripture and in His creation, the He is not only defined by HIs expressions of love but equally in His demonstration of order and pattern.

  • Xumenikomesho Shinana

    I agree. Its really sad. But not surprising. The Jews were a chosen nation of God and they themselves did not understand their own institutions, same with our movement. Jesus was confusion to the Jews. The way he observed the sabbath was heresy to them. He allowed a woman to sit at his fit in male dominated society. Said a Samaritan was a good person.

  • Xumenikomesho Shinana

    A prophet is Chosen of God himself. Just like the ten commandments are from the hand of God. A pastor is chosen by erring man. logic guys. If God chose woman as prophets why it’s so difficult for us accept woman as pastors? Woman that can be chosen of God to prophets. It is simply this, the same spirit that hardened the Jews is at work. Even Peter says the writings of Paul are difficult to understand. A surface reading of his writing is not sufficient. We as Adventist should know that.There is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female in site of God. Read Paul with caution. Man are dead hear in my country in Africa dead. Only woman stand for God here. So let woman be pastors. God chooses whom he deems fit not man and we see it in his dealings with prophets. Enough with us man feeding our egos about us being heads. The leaders of church must NOT lead the sheep of God into what the pharisees did with the Jews. Truth with open mindedness and with Christ humility.

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    Than why are you so firmly against it? Your comments on this issue show that you believe the scriptures are not silent and forbid it?! If the scriptures are silent why should we vote no, make a doctrine that is not biblical, or have any disagreement at all? Should we be making up church doctrines that the bible is silent on? I certainly hope not!!! That would be the slippery slope. God ordained EGW, do we refuse His ordination or do we welcome it by following suit? Do we dare say that ordaining women is somehow wrong when the Creator Himself has done so? Do we dare vote no due to our comfort zone or personal feelings or traditions? God forbid! I for one will not stand in the way of God’s work (as a hinderance) at ordaining whomever He will to get the work done so we can go home. I have no authority to tell another that God has not called them into pastoral ministry, and I dare say you do not have that authority either. I also suggest you look up the word ordained in the Greek and Hebrew. It means the laying on of hands, it does NOT mean giving some sort of “authority” over another. Beside that, who ordained Jesus, Paul, Philip? Jesus had all authority and did not baptize or officiate in even one wedding. Paul said he was ordained by God (as EGW). Philip baptized and there is no mention of his ordination. The whole thing about being ordained and being able to baptize and officiate in weddings is a “church rule” not a biblical mandate. Just because an evangelist says it does not make it gospel…

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    As with many denominations, there are denominations within denominations. For example, the Lutheran faith has at least 4 different denominational organizations. The largest one in the USA is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I will go down the list of churches have started with WO and have since sanctioned (or are in process of sanctioning) both gay clergy and gay marriage.
    Lutheran/ELCA
    Episcopal Church
    Church of Christ
    Presbyterian Church
    Methodist Church (Sanctioned WO and are now in process with for their own GC session in 2016.)
    So in response, this “linking” is a matter of Biblical interpretation. The same methods we use to interpret scripture to come to the conclusion that WO is a good idea, will be the same methods that are used to justify the gay agenda.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Dr. Barbara, First, my mom and dad laid out some pretty basic rules when I was growing up. One of them – pick up after yourself. Pretty general. But I knew that meant, put away my toys, clean up my mess, put my dirty clothes in the laundry, etc. God provided us with some basic rules too as we consider the organization of the priesthood (though many are quick to throw that out), and Paul’s guidance in 1Tim. 3, just to mention a few. Second – If the Bible says nothing about WO, then how is it you make this claim – “Do we dare say that ordaining women is somehow wrong when the Creator Himself has done so?” Where did He do this? How do we know that He did this? Third – I thank God that I don’t have the authority. But God did give men the direction/authority to acknowledge/appoint elders (Acts 20, Tit 1:5). If there was not an established system, anyone could claim that they were chosen by the Holy Spirit to be an elder. And I think we know where that would lead. Wouldn’t it be so much more simple if everything we don’t agree with we could say simply, “its a church rule” or a man made rule therefore it has no bearing on how I want to live. While it is so true that church’s down through the ages have crafted their own set of rules and by-laws in order to maintain their sense of what is right, the guidance on ordination is NOT one of those.

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    Service to God includes personal ministry. By personal effort we are to co-operate with Him for the saving of the world. Christ’s commission, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” is spoken to every one of His followers. (Mark 16:15.) All who are ordained unto the life of Christ areordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men. Their hearts will throb in unison with the heart of Christ. The same longing for souls that He has felt will be manifest in them. Not all can fill the same place in the work, but there is a place and a work for all. {COL 300.4}
    In ancient times, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses with his meekness and wisdom, and Joshua with his varied capabilities, were all enlisted in God’s service. The music of Miriam, the courage and piety of Deborah, the filial affection of Ruth, the obedience and faithfulness of Samuel, the stern fidelity of Elijah, the softening, subduing influence of Elisha—all were needed. So now all upon whom God’s blessing has been bestowed are to respond by actual service; every gift is to be employed for the advancement of His kingdom and the glory of His name.{COL 301.1}
    All who receive Christ as a personal Saviour are to demonstrate the truth of the gospel and its saving power upon the life. God makes no requirement without making provision for its fulfillment. Through the grace of Christ we may accomplish everything that God requires. All the riches of heaven are to be revealed through God’s people. “Herein is My Father glorified,” Christ says, “that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.”John 15:8.{COL 301.2}
    God claims the whole earth as His vineyard. Though now in the hands of the usurper, it belongs to God. By redemption no less than by creation it is His. For the world Christ’s sacrifice was made. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.” John 3:16. It is through that one gift that every other is imparted to men. Daily the whole world receives blessing from God. Every drop of rain, every ray of light shed on our unthankfulrace, every leaf and flower and fruit, testifies to God’s long forbearance and His great love. {COL 301.3}

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    A number of women were ordained as deaconesses during Ellen White’s Australian ministry. On August 10, 1895, the nominating committee at the Ashfield church in Sydney rendered its report, which was approved. The clerk’s minutes for that date state: “Immediately following the election, the officers were called to the front where pastors Corliss and McCullagh set apart the elder, deacons, [and] deaconesses by prayer and the laying on of hands.”{DG 249.3}
    Several years later, in the same church, W. C. White officiated at the ordination of the church officers. The minutes of the Ashfield church for January 7, 1900, state: “The previous Sabbath officers had been nominated and accepted for the current year, and today Elder White ordained and laid hands on the elders, deacon, and deaconesses.—AR, January 16, 1986.{DG 249.4}
    4. Women “licensed to preach” by the Seventh-day Adventist Church during Ellen White’s lifetime included the following:{DG 249.5}
    1878Anna FultonMinnesotaEllen S. LaneMichiganJulia OwenKentucky-Tennessee1879Libbie CollinsMinnesotaHattie EnochKansas
    Libbie FultonMinnesotaLizzie PostMinnesota1880Anna JohnsonMinnesota1881Ida W. BallengerIllinoisHelen L. MorseIllinois1884Ruie HillKansas1886Ida W. HibbenIllinois1887Mrs. S. E. PierceVermont1893Flora PlummerIowa1894Margaret CaroNew Zealand1895Mrs. S. A. LindsayNew York1898Sarepta Irish HenryGen. Conf.Lulu WightmanNew York1899Edith BartlettBritish Conf.1900Hetty HaskellGen. Conf.Mina RobinsonBritish Conf.1901Carrie V. HansenUtahEmma HawkinsIowaMrs. E. R. WilliamsMichigan1902Mrs. S. N. HaskellGreater NYMinnie SypeOklahoma1904Alma BjdiggFinland MissionMrs. J. E. BondArizonaBertha E. JorgensenSouth Dakota1910Pearl FieldNebraskaMrs. Ura SpringNebraska
    —General Conference Archives and SDA Yearbooks{DG 250}
    Some of the women listed above were employed by the church. Others, such as Margaret Caro, who was a dentist, were self-supporting.{DG 250.1}
    5. Ellen White made three statements which are sometimes construed as evidence that she supported the concept of womenas ordained gospel ministers.{DG 250.2}
    In 1898 she declared that “there are women who should labor in the gospel ministry” (Evangelism, 472).

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    We are all priests according to scripture. The old testament priesthood (shadows) was done away with in Christ. If were still in action today then we would only have Levites as the only candidates for the priesthood. One of the lost tribes of Israel. 1 Peter 2:5, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ,” and in 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood.”

  • Theresa, your very brief list of denominations who ordain women and are gay-affirming doesn’t prove your original contention. As a matter of fact, the Salvation Army ordained women since its inception in 1865. The Disciples of Christ ordained women since 1888, and I suppose I could go on, but it would really prove nothing.

    Did you even *read* Ty Gibson’s post?

    If so, you need to point out more clearly how the “method of interpretation” he employed can lead to “the gay agenda.”

    I find your conclusion rather baffling …

  • Risen, I’m wondering whether you believe that Satan can’t “make men to sin.” Are male ministers free from sin?

    By the way, did you read Ty Gibson’s post, or are you just offering your opinion without reading? (Nothing in your comment indicateds that you read the article.) Whether or not you have already read it, I encourage you to read it – again, if necessary. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you whether what he writes is truth.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Dr. Barbara – I think you have painted with a very broad brush the term “ordained.” I agree with 99.9% of the above statement. God would call ALL who are willing to be His servant. But a servant and an ordained servant (as we have come to understand the selection and appointment of elders) are two separate things.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    A “deaconess” is not an “elder” — there again is a difference in the roles and responsibilities.

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    The above statement is not mine. It is EGW’s. Your 1% disagreement is with her.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    The rule/law/pattern for headship (again, another word that is often put aside as it may to some imply heavy handedness and disregard for those without “headship) was set prior to the fall, prior to the Exodus. So also was the role of men and women, the Sabbath, our relationship to the earth and everything therein. While a significant part of the intricate and detailed pattern of worship installed to bring Israel into an experiential relationship and tangible understanding of salvation, the priesthood was again a model of something much more grand. Let me try to put it simply — A man as God designs is stronger physically, mentally he is able to compartmentalize and focus on one thing (where as women tend to be more multi -focused), he craves respect above all else, he desires to defend and provide. For a man to give up everything, to offer himself daily before God, to allow God to take full control, to humble himself — that is REAL strength. And yet as women, while we struggle with similar issues, we don’t truly understand what it takes for a man to do this. I know some will read this call me sexist, but it seems clear to me that is how God made us and I am perfectly fine with that. So to bring this home – men, chosen by God, accepting of His commission to be elders and pastors are in a way continuing in the model God put forth in the very beginning. When God through Paul counsels on marriage the pattern is revealed again. Some will argue that God’s original marriage design has no bearing on the issue of WO. I beg to differ as it is again part of the model. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25). The church is hard to love sometimes — and the church’s desire should be to her Husband. (Gen. 3:16). Its a model. Pull one piece out of it and it will fall apart.

  • Barbara Holdeman (Dr. Barbara)

    Yes, you are correct, but an elder is still called an elder regardless of gender. If you do not believe in WO than you have a problem with the church, its prophet (who was ordained by God) and had the credentials of an ordained minister for years (even after the supposed rejection of it). I say “supposed” because these documents were not filled out by EGW. And the questions you posed “f the Bible says nothing about WO, then how is it you make this claim – “Do we dare say that ordaining women is somehow wrong when the Creator Himself has done so?” Where did He do this?” Yes He did ordain women. He ordained Deborah as judge over Israel, He ordained Sister White, he ordained several. Sister White was quite clear in this matter. You will not find Deaconess in the bible – only Deacon (also a non gender role). So how do you interpret 1Tim 3:12? See using scripture to refute scripture is pointless and just demeans God’s word. How do you interpret Galatians 3:28? We need to study this topic like all others and study all the verses on the topic not just cherry pick a few as other denominations do. 2Pet 3:14-16 is a warning to not just use Paul’s writings as your doctrine, we must Isaiah 28:10 is not being followed at all. I feel that to take this any further with you is just a flat out waist of time since you refuse to look at both sides of an issue with diligent study verses preconceived notions. When a person refuses to be intellectually honest with themselves they will not be with others either. Enough said.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    I’m baffled too. Baffled, disappointed, frustrated that the church I was raised in is following the footsteps of the current popular culture. Its simply put this way, “Mommy said I couldn’t eat in between meals, but she didn’t say I couldn’t have a bowl of ice cream before I went to bed. I’ve already had breakfast, lunch and dinner – this is after all my meals.” I think this is the same kind of reasoning we are using when we say the Bible is silent on the subject of WO. Forgive me but I have never heard of the Disciples of Christ, wonder why? Regarding the Salvation Army – many are not even aware that it is a church and its membership is not something easily accounted for due to its organizational structure. When referring to the method of interpretation I am referring to the historical grammatical method I was taught in college.

  • Madeline Konshak

    Thank you so much for this study Ty! I’m sure you spent many long hours and nights studying the scriptures to write this article. I am still deeply split between the two arguments for and against women ordination. In my mind I keep hearing this statement that Ellen White said about how we should interpret scripture. She says,

    “The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and
    rights of men and women.”
    Testimonies for the Church, Vol 1, 421

    And another in statement she talks about the growing movement for the rights of women in her day. She says,

    “Those who feel called out to join the movement
    in favor of woman’s rights… might as well sever
    all connection with the third angel’s message.
    The spirit which attends the one cannot be in
    harmony with the other.”
    Testimonies for the Church, Vol 1, 457

    I am keeping an open mind about this topic and letting the Holy Spirit guide me in my decision. I agree with you Ty how this will shake the foundations of this church. This is a great trial and we must seek the approval of Gods will and not our own.

    Once again, thank you so much Ty! God bless

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Touch’e Dr. Barbara. Let me pose another question. During EGW’s day, they believed that Christ’s return was surely just around the corner. One would think that perhaps at that time as no other time before, it would be a good time to ordain women so as to get the good news out as fast as possible. And yet, we did not see the elders of that fledgling church pushing WO. EGW herself, was not ordained (no, she was not) and yet look how God took her to such heights! Again, we need to truly understand what she means by her use of this term here.

  • Tim

    no references to the male pronoun in the verses you are refering to, at least in the original.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Wow! I see we are at an impasse and what concerns me most is that you and I are a microcosm of a much larger community that when the vote takes place will splinter and divide. 20 years ago I considered going into the ministry first as a teacher and then perhaps as a minister/pastor. I would sit in class as a young woman amid all these eager young male theologians who were trying to make an impression upon their learned professors. And as a woman I would join in the discussion only to be half heartedly paid attention to. I felt very much like the puppy getting his head patted and thrown a bone to be quiet. Part of me wanted to become a re-known theologian just out of spite. And then I realized after talking to a very wise history professor that the walk in life is so much more important than the talk. What I am trying to say is, I understand the other side well. And today you and I have a Bible and we simply read it differently. We will not come to an agreement on WO, not now, perhaps never. But I don’t care about that. I do care about the thousands out there who may not understand just how big, just how much of an affect this decision will have on the church as a whole. So, Dr. Barbara, I bid you farewell, for now. May God bless you in your mission to serve Him.

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    (Just a cut and paste from the EGW Estate that may be of interest.) From 1871 until her death in 1915, Ellen White was issued ministerial credentials. From 1871 to 1887 she was credentialed by the Michigan Conference, and from 1884 until her death, she was credentialed as a General Conference Minister. On one of the credentials (1885), the word “ordained” is struck through. (In the 1888 Yearbook she was also listed among the California Ministers.) Throughout the years, her name was listed along with ordained ministers rather than licentiates, although her biographical information sheet and the testimony of her family indicates that she did not receive ordination at the hands of church officials.

    Compiled by the Ellen G. White Estate, Inc. October 2012

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Mercado, your point is sound. Gen 3:16 is foundational. If God’s design had been followed by the men He chose, if those men had loved their women, their country as God loves His church, then this discussion wouldn’t even be taking place. The world in many ways has fallen completely into Satan’s hands. And while there are many good leaders who are women, this was not part of God’s design. This is a result of a fallen world.

  • Tim

    Recently I asked a friend if this was a salvation issue? So is it?

  • No. It is not. But ending the oppression to blacks in the south because they were to sit in the back of buses, was also not a salvation issue. Yet is was noble to end the practice. Likewise, imposing on God’s daughters, called by God’s spirit, to “wear a spiritual burka” deeming them not worthy of being prayed over so that God blesses their work, that is also oppression, discrimination and inhumane. It is noble to acknowledge by ordination that God has called women to the forefront along with the men, to finish the work, and, in particular, because He already called EGW to the front of the Gospel bus to sit by the driver.

  • ShiningLite

    Paul was ordained by his local church in Antioch, Philip was one of the 7 deacons and was ordained but certainly did a whole bunch more then our deacons do.

  • Leo

    I must admit Ty Gibson made a scholarly presentation here he Almost persuadest me, and I am a bit confused now. The thing that scares me is can scholarly rebuttles against the Sabbath, eating pork, drinking a little vino every now and then be made? I think we should leave well enough alone and if we do err we should (as they tought me when I was in the military), err on the side of safety

  • ShiningLite

    do all men work by the sweat of their face? is air conditioning wrong for men?

  • ShiningLite

    or is it possible the HS is trying to send latter rain power and we are putting up umbrellas?

  • ShiningLite

    why no Gentiles?

    Why no blacks? no Romans?

  • ShiningLite

    If you aren;t worrying about ordination, why the comments?

  • ShiningLite

    D we have one view about Pathfinder uniforms? church building designs and materials? school curriculum? shoes worn in church? … I could make a long list of things that we have differences on. They have not divided the church.

  • ShiningLite

    “super-rare-sparsed and HIGHLY-IRREGULAR” accounts of women leadership shows that the use of women in leadership is not outside God’s will. It may be scary for there to be such change in God’s church. In the early church they had a lot of problem with change that ended the requirement of circumcision and feasts . The ministry of Paul was considered apostate and cut short because of that.

    Will we refuse to check out if women show evidence that God has called, gifted, and sent them to us? Will we call their work apostate? Acts 15 shows that 4,000 years of precedent doesn’t mean it is right for today. Phil. 1:17, 18 suggests we can rejoice even when we are sure people are preaching for the wrong reason.

    I wonder if the real fear of women pastors is not because of the NAD, which only has a few; but of China, which has about 4,000 humble devout, successful women pastors that we know of. BTW I have not heard of there being an LGBT issue in China tho there have been ordained women pastors there since the 1980s.

  • Frederick Volz

    Comments that expose the fallacies of this article and the viewpoint are removed. Still think you are dealing with honest people?

  • ShiningLite

    1. The greatest number of women pastors are in China. Everyone who has been there including Doug Batchelor and Ted Wilson say they are godly humble pastors.

    2. In places where the cultures highly restrict women we hear the most objections to women in leadership. Looks to me like culture is affecting everyone. If some think that having women preach or otherwise lead, please explain Ellen.

    3.The total ban of women in leadership is not Biblical but it is papal. If you appeal to the Bible’s reference to being the head, you must explain what it actually said about the head of the church, i.e. Christ is the head. In fact Ellen says He is the only head, that the minister is not the head.

  • Xumenikomesho Shinana

    There are about 10 churches in my district and only one pastor. Okay…

  • Frank Webb

    I posted this on the blog of the other article but wanted to include it here since this was the article that started my email “effort”.

    Ty is one of my favorite people and a true Christian man. We’ve been friends for almost 15 years. I too found Ty’s article interesting but Biblically not very sound. This is the email that I sent to Ty. He has yet to respond.

    Ty, just finishing up your article on women’s ordination. I want to engage on a few points as I was troubled by some points you made as being conclusive in support of women’s ordination. I will try to do this one point at a time. Please do your best to respond to the issue/point raised. Because I hold you and James in such high regard, I’ll be anxious to see your explanations. I will include James on each of these questions and give him a chance to respond as well. I’ll start with a Biblical observation in response to a statement made in your article:

    You said:
    As we’ve already noted, by a simple comparison of Romans 16:1 with 1 Timothy 3:2, 12, it is absolutely clear that Paul did not intend for his “husband-of-one-wife” statement to constitute a universal rule against women occupying the ministerial role, but rather as a description of the moral character a person must possess in order to hold spiritual office.
    I find it interesting that Paul makes a distinction between bishop(elder) and deacon/deaconess. One you seemingly ignore from the aforementioned verses. Where in the New Testament is a women called a bishop(elder) or pastor? I don’t know of one. By blurring the meaning(s) between the two, you make them in effect the same. Are they? If so, why does Paul make the distinction?

    I’ll wait for your response and then ask question number 2. I want to conclude this first question with a another Biblical observation. I would like for you to understand how I see this issue and others related to it. To me, this is very clear and essential in our understanding of God, Christ and the plan of salvation. I believe it can bring understanding to many important relational issues in the church and in the home. I would like for it to be a reference point in our discussions together. Here it is:

    1 Corinthians 15:24-28 states:

    24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
    25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
    26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
    27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
    28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

    The New Living Translation states it this way:

    24After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power.
    25For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet.
    26And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.
    27For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.)
    28Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.
    Although Christ is fully God and equal to His father, Paul says that He(Christ) is “subject unto him that put all things under him,”. These verses of scripture fascinate me because of the implication. Christ here defers to His father. Christ “steps down”, if you will, once the great controversy is concluded and things return, according to Paul, to the way they once were where God the Father is “utterly supreme over everything, everywhere”. Christ under the rulership of his father(See also Hebrews 5:7-9). Christ is our example in everything and this submission to his father must be seen in His kingdom here on earth. Is there opportunity to emulate this in the home and in the church? Of course! Will it be embraced, accepted, celebrated and seen for the blessing that it is? Of course not! Jesus was rejected and crucified by this world. His kingdom is largely rejected by this world. His ways and example are largely rejected by this world. In the Christian church today as well. I firmly believe that one of the clearest, inspired thinkers/writers was the apostle Paul. Paul deals in eternal principals. Submission to Godly leadership is an eternal principal for the Son, His angels and all who believe in His name. I look forward to your prayerful, thoughtful response.

    In His love today,

    Frank

    You see dear friends God has a blueprint for everything. The blessing is found in following that blueprint. To not follow His blueprint is to invite difficulty and disappointment. Regardless how the vote goes, the church will never be the same again. The fight over the book Questions on Doctrine from the 1950’s led to the birth of the “independent ministries” that we see today. The church continues to be more fractured and worldly than ever. By inviting women to lead local congregations we will see many unintended consequences that we won’t be happy with once they begin. Guess what? Too late. You reap what you sow. A careful study of the Testimonies to the Church reveals many wonderful ministries that need women in them to succeed and to also follow the blueprint that God has setup for our benefit and blessing. When was the last time any of us seriously studied the gift of the testimonies to better understand what God wants for His people? More to follow…

  • Frank Webb

    James Rafferty is also my friend and responded quickly to my email where he defended Ty and his position and conclusion. Here is my response to James:

    James, thank you for the quick response. You texted me and said, “My mind is captive (to) the Word of God-“. Me too. Ty quotes William Miller in his article with this statement from Miller:

    “To understand doctrine, bring all the Scriptures together on the subject you wish to know, then let every word have its proper influence, and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error” (William Miller).

    The apostle Paul most certainly makes a “gender distinction” when speaking about church leadership.

    Paul states in Titus 1:5

    5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a]elders in every town, as I directed you.(NIV)

    Footnotes:

    Titus 1:5 Or ordain

    Also notice in 1 Timothy 5:17 Paul says:

    17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.(NIV).

    The word used for “elders” in these two passages of Paul is the greek word presbyteros. Notice what this word means:

    4245 presbýteros – properly, a mature man having seasoned judgment (experience); an elder.

    The NT specifies elders are men. (The feminine singular, presbytera, never occurs in the Bible.)

    [The feminine plural, presbyteras, occurs in 1 Tim 5:2. It refers to aged women, i.e. not women with an official church office or title.]

    Again, to follow Ty’s reasoning is to violate Miller’s rule:

    “bring all the Scriptures together on the subject you wish to know, then let every word have its proper influence, and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error”

    Ty creates a contradiction with his explanation on the “husband of one wife” in Paul’s writings while seemingly ignoring Paul’s other writings which address church leadership WITH gender distinction. I believe on this point Ty is in fact, “in error”.

    That’s all for this morning. Much more to say but want to do this in “small bites” so that it will be easy to digest.

    Thank you my dear brother for your time. You have always been very gracious.

    In him today,

    Frank

    Please always remember to keep in mind. 1 Cor. 15:24-28

  • Frank Webb

    Bravo Theresa, I praise God for women such as yourself who see God’s call and “blueprint” and choose to serve Him whether a title is given or not. For many years I refused the position of local elder because I believed I would have a greater affect on my local congregation as a simple sabbath school teacher and volunteer. It wasn’t until later after moving to a new church that I felt comfortable accepting that position. Today I serve in many different capacities at my local church but NOT as an ordained elder. I don’t need a title or office to be recognized as being used by God. I wish that our brothers and sisters understood these “things” better. Sadly, they don’t, so the fight(s) continue. How sad indeed. Please dear Jesus intervene and straighten your children out. We need some Godly discipline to help us and only He truly knows what to do. Again, thank you sister for a very well written piece.

    Frank

  • Ben Romero

    My Mom was introduced to the Bible and the church by a woman that hardly could read and this woman was introduced to the Bible by her iliiterate father who asked her to read the Bible to him. From that experiece there are now 5 ordained pastors in the family. To talk to others of Jesus all we need is God loving people. Adventist theologians are confusing the members with arguments “based on the Bible” instead of coming together and solving the issue.

  • Frank Webb

    Thanks again Sister Theresa, notice how Sister Barbara uses(Dr. Barbara) in her title. You chose years ago to “go low”(humble yourself), Sis. Barbara chose to “go up” instead of humbling herself. Her comments reflect her need to be right and to be recognized as the “Dr.” I have a professional title as well but will not use it because I want to be viewed in simple, brotherly terms. Your exchange with our sister as you have stated is a microcosm of a larger problem. We are all prideful to a degree. Lord, help us to not be AT ALL someday soon. I will pray for you both today and hope you will pray for me as well.

  • Frank Webb

    Daniel, great point. How many would serve if the “check” were taken away. This is key to understanding this issue. Thank you brother.

    Frank

  • bobpickle

    On what basis are you saying that Ellen White was the one who republished that testimony? Was she in Battle Creek at the time? Did she send a letter to the editor asking the RH to republish it?

    The bigger issue is that 4T 390 has nothing at all to do with a woman being a gospel minister, since “pastoral labor” is referring to visiting in the home, not what we think of today.

  • bobpickle

    Were our pioneers wrong in maintaining that women could preach, but not hold positions of authority in the church over men, such as “pastors or ruling elders,” as J.H. Waggoner stated in ST 12-19-1878? Citing James White in support of women preaching skirts the main issue entirely, and does not do justice to what our pioneers believed. For example, while James White was editor, the following appeared in the RH:

    “We think the second clause of 1 Tim. 2:12, explains the first: ‘nor to usurp authority over the man.’ One definition of the word teach is to direct, or appoint” (RH 3-30-1876).

    “But the passage in question – ‘I suffer not a woman to teach’ – must be understood in a limited sense; for it is most assuredly the duty of mothers to teach their children. And the apostle in Titus 2:4, makes it the duty of aged women to teach the young women to be sober, and love their husbands and children. Hence we conclude that the teaching referred to bears a strong relation to usurping authority over the man, mentioned in the same verse” (RH 4-22-1862).

    Regarding the 1881 resolution to ordain women, Uriah Smith was one of the three members of the committee on resolutions that proposed that resolution, and he wrote in ST 8-26-1875:

    “The leadership and authority is vested in the man. ‘Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’ Gen. 3:16. This order is not to be reversed, and the woman take the position which has been assigned to the man; and every action on her part which shows that she is usurping this authority, is disorderly, and not to be allowed. Hence Paul says plainly to Timothy, 1 Tim. 2:12, ‘But I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.’ There is no doubt but it was the very same point, the usurping of authority over the man, that the same apostle had in view in 1 Cor. 14:34.”

    Did Smith change his views between 1875 and 1881? Since Adventist ministers were not generally serving as pastors of established churches at that time, it is definitely possible that Smith saw nothing contradictory between his views on the biblical roles of men and women, and women serving as itinerant evangelists.

  • adventtruth

    Women’s Ordination…the grand smoke screen

    We are involved in a great controversy. It is not only, as so many
    are prone to believe, regarding God’s Sabbath versus man’s tradition of Sunday sacredness. It is verily about the word of God versus the opinions of learned men so-called. The issue of women’s ordination is a typical example.

    This craftily manufactured issue with which the church struggles
    is not at all about women’s ordination. It is indeed a massive smoke screen masking the real issue of God’s word versus the ideas and traditions of men. As I read the arguments in favor of women’s ordination, I am reminded of the arguments so often used to support Sunday sacredness in opposition to God’s Seventh-day Sabbath. They are weak, flawed, totally un-Scriptural, and so often twisting a plain thus-saith-the-Lord to suit its proponents’ personal preferences.

    Similarly, the Ellen G. White’s statements quoted to support this
    weak, flawed and un-Scriptural position are likewise presented in a twisted and perverted fashion. When Ellen White talks about both women and men being trained for pastoral ministry, she is not in any way suggesting the usurpation of God’s order of men headship in His church. The proof of this is that Ellen White herself never sought to usurp the male headship of the church. Yes indeed, she declared, “I was ordained by God”. As such, she faithfully carried out her mission. Not unlike God’s faithful prophets before her, Ellen White spent her time in ministry to comfort, warn, rebuke, reprove, correct and encourage God’s people without once ever attempting to usurp the male leadership of the church. Ultimately this is what this so-called women’s ordination issue is all about. To site her writings in regards to pastoral service in support of women’s usurpation of male headship in the church is disingenuous, dangerous, and deceptive.

    As Christians, we are all called and ordained by God to be priests
    and pastors (1 Peter 2:9; Galatians 3:28-29; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20). That’s the context in which Ellen White was speaking. We all must be caring, nurturing, consoling, comforting, and having the Spirit of serving our fellow men (and,yes, women). No human ordination is required for that. Therefore, if women’s ordination is truly the issue we are dealing with as a church, as so many would have us believe, then this entire conversation that has taken so much time,energy, and resources has been woefully wasteful and unnecessary. All this issue is doing is taking away our focus from the mission which God has called us as a people to accomplish (Revelation 14:6-12). This being the case, the enterprise of women’s ordination certainly cannot be of God.

    Where then does it originate? The Scripture is abundantly clear
    (Revelation 12:7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19). Just as clearly, the
    Scriptures give us God’s teachings with respect to headship in His church. (Genesis 2:16-17; Genesis 3:16; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Corinthians 11:3). These are by no means exhaustive; but Scripture is uniformly consistent in this matter.

    Ultimately, Jesus Christ, the sum total of Holy Writ, is our Perfect Example (1 Peter 2:21). His ministry was saturated with women who
    faithfully served Him, pastoring Him, if you will. (Luke 8:2-3). They were some of the greatest evangelists during and after His sojourn on planet earth (John 4:29). It was a woman that took the message of a Risen Savior to His frightened male disciples (Matthew 28:5-7). It was a woman that He commended for doing the greatest service to Him (Matthew 26:6-13). There were women that He used as examples for effective ministry and faithfulness to His cause (Luke 15:8-10; Luke 18:1-8; Luke 21:1-4). It was to women He showed His most tender love and compassion (Luke 7:11-18; Luke 8:41-56). Jesus undoubtedly labored tirelessly to elevate women to the equality of person-hood with men. He is the greatest champion of women’s liberation. Ironically, it was towards men that He reserved His strongest rebuke. Nevertheless, when it came to the issue of headship for His church, He unambiguously chose all men (Luke 6:12-14). He Himself, being equally God with His Father, was subject to His Father’s will, never seeking to usurp His Father’s position on the basis of His equality and manifold abilities (John 14:5-10; Matthew 26:39). Higher criticism, intellectual philosophy, hermeneutical gymnastics, theological exegesis, cultural pull, nor human wisdom cannot overshadow our Perfect Example. They all must give way to faith
    in God’s word (Romans 1:17).

    What then should our church do? Ellen White gives us clear, definitive
    counsel, “They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the word of God. They dared not tolerate errors fatal to their own souls, and set an example which would imperil the faith of their children and children’s children. To secure peace and unity they were ready to make any concession consistent with fidelity to God; but they felt that even peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war (Great Controversy, 45.3). The Savior is even more adamant, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law (Luke
    12:51-53).

    GC 2015 is a watershed moment in our church’s history. Either the vote
    will be, ‘YES’, thus declaring to the world that we embrace and support the post modern culture of ‘it’s your thing, do whatever you want’. This will certainly weaken our position as we seek to bring men back to the Bible, represent the character of God to an on looking universe, point out to the world the man of sin, his schemes, and rescue souls from his grip. You can be assured that our opponents will not lose a beat in plastering our hypocrisy it in our faces. On the other hand, we can vote ‘NO’ to popular culture, stand on Sola Scriptura, thus letting the enemy and his agents know that we would, like our Savior and by His amazing grace, rather die than violate our Father’s will. Now, more than ever, in the heat of battle, we need to follow Jesus’ perfect example and let the chips fall where they may. God is looking for a few brave men and women.

    The Seventh-day Adventist church is God’s remnant church of Bible
    prophecy and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. We are assured,
    “The bulwarks of Satan will never triumph. Victory will attend the third
    angel’s message. As the Captain of the Lord’s host tore down the walls of Jericho, so will the Lord’s commandment-keeping people triumph and all opposing elements be defeated. (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 410). We are forewarned and encouraged, “The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place (Selected Messages 2:380). Question is, are we ready?

    What does the church need most at this critical moment?
    Inspiration forcibly answers, “The greatest want of the world is the want
    of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall” (Education 57:3). Of course ‘men’ is used generically.

    My sincere prayer is that the scales be removed from the eyes of
    those who seek, willingly or deceptively, to change God’s order of male
    headship in His church, thus replacing the word of Almighty God with fleeting cultural trends. Only then will the smoke screen of women’s ordination be seen for what it truly is-a sophisticated attack on God’s word and a ploy by the enemy of our souls to prevent us from fulfilling our divinely ordained commission and ultimately destroy those who follow his bidding.

  • Lens Tamanalevu

    I am not worried about ordination, but I am concerned. I am concerned about the many believers who could possibly leave the church because someone created a problem. Now we have come to talk about this issue which was not a big issue before. If only church members were faithful, obedient and humble in doing our work, this would not have been an issue. How could this have become an issue? Was someone not satisfied with their role in the church and wanted a bigger role? Are we compromising? This article explains that this issue is not influenced by rights movements and explains it really well. But that big question; Why didn’t Jesus have any woman disciple or apostle? Jesus was against man made traditions. Jesus acknowledged women and used them in His ministry. But the Holy Spirit did not lead him to any woman for discipleship. Why not?? There must be a reason and only God knows the right answer. #FAITH#OBEDIENCE#HUMILITY#TRUST IN GOD

  • Wittenberg

    I noticed you ignored the point about our degenerate, confused and immoral society, and the obvious impact it is having on certain constituencies in the North American division.

  • Wittenberg

    Barbara, the Saviour came in the form of a man. He could have been incarnated as a woman, but He was not. And He was not because Adam was the head of the pair in the garden, and it was Adam that was ultimately responsible for the shameful fall, and it was Adam’s failure on behalf of humanity that must be redeemed (see Romans 5). Your assertion that there is nothing to male headship in Scripture ignores Scripture. Closing your eyes won’t make it go away.

  • Wittenberg

    Your post sounds a whole lot like Numbers 16:3. You’d think that would be of some concern to you.

  • Wittenberg

    This is well stated, and it is the main point that this article, and the proponents of this idea ignore: families are little churches, and men are the appointed leaders of these little churches. The little “churches” come together to make up a larger church body.

  • Wittenberg

    The article leaves a lot out. Think about the things that were not said, think about the things that the article ignores. You will find the glaring flaws in Ty’s article at least as great in what he refused to address, as in the points that he did choose to address.

  • jamos

    At 1:00am this morning Stephen Bohr came on 3 abn on the truth of Women’s ordination. I believe this was his latest and new presentation. For anyone that has the least reservation on what is complete truth beyond a shadow of doubt with no twisting long explanations. It will leave absolutely no doubt with only Bible scripture in very much depth made very plain. If you go by the Bible you will be changed after this viewing otherwise you deny the Word of God and his plan. Be sure to listen then at the very last for EGW with not even a shadow of doubt to back up the scripture and of course her inspired writing on what to write on the role of a women. I grew up with her very last statement Bohr presents and have never swayed from it. Now Tys report cannot even match this presentation by Bohr. You can go on 3abn click on schedule with date of 21st and time. Click on that and ease your mind finally for good. IF the Church does not view in this manner it would be in apostasy. Look for yourself!

  • Xumenikomesho Shinana

    The point is don’t miss the point;
    Consider:
    How Jesus treats;
    1.The “laws” that surrounded the Law of the Sabbath.
    Matthew 12 John 5.
    2.The perception of Women in a male dominated society
    Look 10:38-42 (What is Mary doing at a rabbi’s feet?)
    John 4 the Samaritan woman.
    3. The Gentiles Acts 10:9-23

    And now Paul’s :seeming” confusing writings;
    1. Food
    Romans 14:1-4 1 Timothy 4:1-5
    2. The Law
    Romans 6:14 Galatians 5:18
    3.Woman(Thought they were both the image of God)
    1 Corinthians 11:6-7,14:34, 1 Timothy 2:12-15

    Don’t miss the point. The letters where intended for a specific group of people for specific issues at specific times in history. We have our own issues, we can draw principles from them, but we must consider our time and what God has revealed to us. The lukewarm church.
    And its not a matter of being convinced, I believe its simple, be objective, learn to unlearn. And stop with the threats, this issue is a blessing to the church. The church is a sleep. The Jews where suppose to be a light to the gentiles and all they did was be conservative. Where is the charisma in the church, is God the God of the living or the dead? Where are those that can scatter the money changers? If God wants to use a woman let him use a woman. The majority may vote no to woman ordination but that is not a problem Gods work will still be finished. Think about it, if the majority of people are Sunday keepers than it must true? And for the Mary’s out there, keep laboring your reward is in heaven, God has ordained you. Salomons temple had no glory compared to the one Jesus was in. A woman with God behind her is better than a man (with his headman-ship, forgetting the humility of Christ) with the blessings of erring men. So again sister you too are made in the image of God and the Holy Spirit if He see fit will grant you the gift of being a pastor and teacher of man who want to know God and are not concerned with trivial issues of who is serving the the Bread that is Life.

  • Xumenikomesho Shinana

    jmos. You speak as one who is foolish. Have you no mother? Has she not taught
    you anything. Are woman not also made in the image of God? Are they not
    fit to be queens? Have you not studied the old testament and and have
    seen how “Kings” failed God? You don’t know the pains that woman had to
    endure at the hands of mentalities like yours? Who is Stephen Bohr? Is
    he just not a servant? Is he infallible? If God can raise up stones to
    do his work why not woman? Again who is Stephen Bohr? Hardheadedness!

  • bobpickle

    I oppose women’s ordination, and I do not look at the pastor as being a “king” in the congregation.

    But since EGW stated that our ministers were supposed to, as a general rule, be out raising up new churches rather than hovering over established churches, in reality, most churches that want a tithe-paid minister to serve as their pastor are in essence doing something akin to what ancient Israel did: “We want a king like the other nations.” “We want a minister like the other denominations.”

    Contrast this with how Ev 381.4 says we are to teach new members that if they can’t stand without a minister, “they need to be converted anew, and baptized anew. They need to be born again.”

    Thus far I have not heard any calls by the pro-WO side that we stop making the exception to the general rule of Ev 382.1-2 the general rule.

  • Mike

    Good presentation. That said it seems to me that a vote “Yes” is a corporate vote to divide the world church in that it is an agreement for each division to go its own way. This seems like a poor precedent to set.

  • Just a quick reply, Bob, because we’re ready to go to Texas, and I don’t have much time.

    I agree with you regarding “hovering over the churches.” I believe that has happened because we have lost our sense of mission, and it should change.

    I believe that regarding any pastor as “head” over the church in a hierarchical structure is very much akin to Israel’s asking for a king. They wanted a ruler they could *see.* Likewise churches who look to a pastor as their priest/mediator/head (all terms I have seen used) seem to prefer a “priest” they can see, rather than the one true Mediator who ministers in the sanctuary above.

    I’d like to know what you believe “ordination” signifies.

    As I understand it, it *should* be a matter of the church’s recognition of the call of God in someone’s life. Thus, evangelists should be ordained/commissioned (the latter word is more in line with NT practice) for their work. As I’m sure you know, during Ellen White’s time several female evangelists did a great work. Why were they not ordained? The wisdom of the leaders at the time was that society was not ready for it – the same reason we hear today.

    Because “ordination” has taken on baggage quite foreign to New Testament practice, my personal preference would be that “ordination” be dropped in favor of commissioning.

    Since we’re leaving soon, I may miss a reply there. (You can always copy me via email. 🙂 )

  • Well, Theresa, it seems that we read the Bible very differently. I see the Godhead being in perfect unity because of their self-renouncing love, which is the law of life for the universe.

    Only sinful humanity needs a hierarchy in order to present a semblance of unity.

    And, btw, a hierarchy of equals is an oxymoron. Individuals can either be in a hierarchical relationship with each other or in an equal relationship with each other, but not both.

    Words mean things. Otherwise we are dealing with weasel words that mean whatever we want them to mean. 😉

  • Theresa Tacconelli

    Yeah, I suppose you are right. Especially those weasely texts like 1 Tim 3:2. What exactly does a “husband of one wife..” mean anyway? I’m sorry, but it was low hanging fruit.

  • Todd Oeftger

    Why don’t we require male pastors to build tents, why are you saying that women should to support their ministry but not men?

  • Deborah Skoretz

    “A NO vote has the potential to split the Seventh-day Adventist Church on a denominational level, possibly leading to the separation of some Unions from the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.” This is NOT a human rights issue or an issue of ‘obeying God rather than man’. I view this spirit of divisiveness as a threat rather than a commitment to unity, the fruit of r– leaders who would leave the body of believers to pursue their own interpretation of scripture. A healthy marriage doesn’t operate this way. And children who behave like this, stomping out of the room when they can’t have their way, are willful, unruly, incorrigible–not of the character that God is developing in His own children.

    “A YES vote will not likely produce a denominational split, but will likely cause some church members to feel obligated to sever ties with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, especially those who have decided that the issue is a matter of faithfulness versus unfaithfulness to God.” This is equally sad, because the poison of rebellion weakens the fragile, tender, struggling individuals that need the rich soil of a cohesive spiritual body to encourage their budding faith in God.

  • LduPreez

    SDAs have always said that the Spiritual Gifts (Eph 4:11 – below) are gender-inclusive – which of course includes Prophets (like Ellen G. White), as well as Teachers (many women teachers), and Pastors (we have women Pastors), etc.

    Eph 4:11: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work.”

  • LduPreez

    Like what flaws? Examples please. Thank you…

  • LduPreez

    Amen Dr Stefanovic.

  • LduPreez

    I believe that was already decided – way back at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) – which is why it is a good model for us to follow today – everyone was not required to do the same (new Gentile converts were not required to be circumcised – and the Jews could continue if they chose (even though it eventually died out).

  • CHRISPINE

    I THINK HOME CHURCHES IS THE ONLY SOLUTION FOR US WHO DO N0T AGREE ON THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN THAN URGUMENTS

  • Joshua Cruse

    We have to remember that nothing saves us but Christ’s righteousness, but there are principles that we follow because Christ changes us into His image. Now does that mean that we are saved by our works. No! The point is that there are God given principles in music, dress, etc. It’s not about law into preference. God bless you Sister in Christ!

  • bobpickle

    Inge, here are my thoughts:

    “Both Paul and Barnabas had been laboring as ministers of Christ, and God had abundantly blessed their efforts; but neither of them had previously been formally ordained to the gospel ministry by prayer and the laying on of hands. They were now authorized by the church, not only to teach the truth, but to baptize, and to organize churches, being invested with full ecclesiastical authority” (LP 42).

    Since only ordained ministers used to be able to baptize, until the adverse IRS ruling on the parsonage allowance, and since only ordained ministers can organize churches, I think the above understanding of ordination must have been widely held within the church.

    The above comments on NT practice go beyond just commissioning.

    EGW also said we should have an ordination service for physicians, which would have included women, and for Christian help workers, which were women. But ordination of such individuals would not involve “invest[ing] with full ecclesiastical authority.” Thus, it is the role one is being ordained to that is at issue, not the ordination service itself.

    Do you have any references that would show that the female evangelists were not ordained because society wasn’t ready for it? JH Waggoner was pretty clear in 1878 in ST that women could preach, but were prohibited biblically from serving as “pastors” or “ruling elders.” Uriah Smith, James White, and others made comments along these lines as well.

  • bobpickle

    If SDAs have always thought that women may serve as pastors, why did J.H. Waggoner state otherwise in ST 12-19-1878?

  • Keith Didomenico

    Ty, You came to my home many years ago when I was just starting college in Collegedale twenty something years ago. My mother is Barbara DiDomenico. I remember that you were convinced that tithe did not need to be paid to the conference. We discussed this for a long time. In the end I came away seeing you as a man of God but on the wrong side of the issue. You have since long come to a different conclusion and see the SDA church as the store house for tithe. Now you carry so much more influence than you did then. I feel again that on the issue of women’s ordination you are a man of God on the wrong side of the issue. PLEASE TAKE TIME TO GO DEEPER FOR THIS STUDY.
    The home is the foundation of the church. Families make up the church. God made it clear men are the spiritual leaders of their homes. When families come to form the church God has made it clear that the elders of that church must be from the spiritual leaders he has already ordained in the home. The Bible in both old and new is consistent with men being the spiritual leaders all the way to the top (Moses,12 disciples, etc). We must lay aside all our cultural baggage and read the Word in its plain truth no matter the political cost. Truth must reign over unity.

  • Keith Didomenico

    The greatest spiritual influence in my life has been my mother. Since I was 10 she raised me without a father. By default my mother was the spiritual head of our family but she taught me that when I came of age I would be. She showed this to me from the Word of God so that I might know and understand God’s will. Today I am forty something and my mother lives with me and the rest of my family. It is my God given honor to look after her well being. Women being the head of families comes by default and is not the ideal God has set up. If a woman comes to spiritual leadership of the family it must be because no qualified man is available. The same with the church.

  • Clyde

    Keep in mind that I am an ex-SDA fully admitting to be an Atheist… I don’t see that it matters. First, SDA pastors aren’t doing the same work of Priests in the Old Testament definition. For example, no one is sacrificing animals. Secondly, and more importantly, the SDA church has changed Biblical teaching in the past to fit current cultural norms. For example, the church has always been anti-slavery. However, slavery is supported in the Bible from beginning to end. To fit a more modern ethic, the church abandoned Biblical teaching and decided that slavery was not “right”. Jesus certainly never said anything like that and Paul very much said the opposite. There are many other cultural changes that the modern Adventist church has thrown out and a lot of those are on the status and place of women in the church. There are plenty of other cultural changes that the church has made too. I don’t have to get my sister-in-law pregnant if my brother dies without a male heir. My point is that the church has changed lots of Biblical laws and traditions based on a modern ethic. Why not just do it again?

  • Mike

    Following up on a couple of days back. I understand that a NO vote “might’ split the Church at a denominational level but isn’t a YES vote the same as saying “hey everybody go your own way” and we will all pretend we didn’t have a split. One of the founding fathers (of the USA) made the statement that if we don’t all hang together we will all hang separately. Seems like that might have an application here.

    Personally I think a split might be easier to deal with than the constant friction that is going to result from “politicking” to make the divisional vote go one way or the other.

    Regardless of the outcome I just keep reminding myself that what doesn’t kill you will probably make you stronger.

  • jk

    Looks like a long discussion about something that really isn’t supported in the Bible. At least not with these arguments.

    1. First we already had this vote in 1995 and it was No. (and previous votes) Is there something about No you don’t understand? God only speaks at GC sessions that have the vote you want?

    2 diakonos can mean servant, or deacon. We cannot know it was meant to mean deacon referring to Phebe so why even bring this up. God seemed ok with a Patriarchal society so why are we trying to change it. If not, would someone like to tell me when it suddenly changed or was it already there in Eden. We didn’t evolve from cave man which is kind of what we are intimidating if we think that we can improve on God’s original family hierarchy.
    3. Husband of one wife. Sure that wasn’t the point of the passage but it is there and it wasn’t an ambiguity in the translation. Bible writers showed in many places including this a forgone conclusion in the distinction of men’s and women’s roles. Maybe the point of the 4th commandment isn’t a specific seventh day, just any day can do just fine by this reasoning.
    Sorry I’m to upset reading this article to correct all the errors. Someone else please do it. Its just a rehash of many other articles I’ve seen that all say the same thing.
    In the end it will be a No vote and nothing will change. People who want to ordain women will continue to do it. The church won’t split as we’re too worldly to even care. Even if it is a Yes, nothing really will change. Maybe a few lawsuits to force conferences to conform to the new norm.
    The debate isn’t really about unity but for some reason there are people that distract us from the real debate of is it in the Bible. Something this important is in the Bible – it can’t be missing so if you haven’t found good solid arguments for it, then leave it alone. We’d be in heaven by now if we focused on our mission instead of debating something that shouldn’t even have risen if our members studied their Bibles and recognized this reasoning for what it is.

  • jwwj316

    And so could the men… Why should they not do the work without support also. And if women are doing the same work as the men in pastoral ministry whether ordained or not they should be paid the same.

  • jwwj316

    After listening to all these comments …one would wonder why anyone would want to be a pastor in this church. God laid out a wonderful design for the church to function and grow. And He has blessed this church. But there is so much negativity and cynicism towards pastoral ministry, I think we should fold up the conferences and paid ministry and just let everybody do their own thing.

  • The root issue is headship not ordination.
    The pastor of a local church is considered the head of the local church. They
    are by default the chairman on the board and looked to as the leader/priest of
    the local church.

    How could a wife come home from being the
    pastor of the local church and then humble herself to allow her husband to be
    the head and “priest” of the family?

    Her children would see her at the church as
    the leader / head of the local church. How is daddy supposed to be looked at as
    the priest of the family when pastor mom comes home?

    There is a hierarchy in heaven and on
    earth.

    Adam was appointed by God to be monarch of
    the world, under the supervision of the Creator {BEcho August 28, 1899, par. 1)

    Moreover, because “the husband is the head
    of the family, as Christ is the Head of the church,” she writes, “any course
    which the wife may pursue to lessen his influence and lead him to come down
    from that dignified, responsible position is displeasing to God” (Testimonies
    for the Church, vol. 1, p. 307). The key word is ANY

    In 1995 Women’s ordination was voted down. 2,154
    votes cast, 1,481 voted against the request, 673 voted for.

    My question is why are we asking again when
    it was voted down.

    A vote of yes this year would lead to
    disunity. Divisions would be “doing what is right in their own eyes”.
    Judges 21:25 which they have already started doing.

    A NO vote would keep the church united.

    Please
    let us stop promoting fear that (e.g. conferences, unions etc..) might go ahead
    and do what they think is right in their own eyes and then the GC has to deal
    with discipline.

    This issue has and is fragmenting the church. Any leader that would lead those
    under their influence to cause division by overriding a GC decision over any
    item that is not salvation related is NOT a good leader.

    It
    is better to be wronged than to divide the church by those who do not agree
    with a GC decision.

  • Marc l.

    Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Many of God people are being lead astray by this culture of feelings. You as a light bearer should read
    Numbers ch. 16 & Hebrews ch 5 while there is time to publically admit fault.

  • Amy

    Mostly true butWhat was the difference between priests and prophets in the bible?? was one recognised as a head or leader of the other? Bible prophets and Ellen White often directed, commanded or ordered priests and kings in what to say or do. the bible does not indicate that a priest was above a prophet. Why then are we ok with allowing pastors to be ordained but not prophets or others with God given abilities to speak being ordained?

  • Amy

    Besides I think maybe we’re missing the point with women’s ordination. What is ordination anyway??? The only similar concept in the bible was the Jewish system with priests and Levites. In the bible priests could only be annointed if they were from the tribe of Levi. Priests and prophets were selected by God through other priests and prophets. Our process now is very different. First the individual chooses to complete the required education and gain the expected experience. Then they have to go through a lengthy process including evaluation and approval by other leaders. This is not at all what God put in place originally or any semblance of what occurred in the bible selection of church leaders. Why do we then equate ordination with the biblical requirements for priesthood? I wonder what others think about this. Are we ignoring something?

  • Robertt1

    This is incredible. I only saw such semantic twisting and logic bending to people defending homosexuality.

  • Robertt1

    There is absolutely nothing sound here.
    Nobody’s interfering in your personal experience with God. If you think that you are called by God, it’s your experience and your business. But if you came and pretend to have authority and leadership over me, in the church I dare to question your experience and test it by the Bible. I don’t care that “you think” you are a prophet ordained by God. This alone doesn’t have any value in a church and it’s not an argument.

    Ellen White didn’t ask to be a minister or to be a leader in the church. James White even refused at the beginning to be a leader, because he was afraid that people might think that he proposed the organizing of the church so that he might get a high position. THAT’S THE SPIRIT of a man of faith.

    The other men listen to Ellen White because they were convinced she speaks the God’s given truth. As the prophets of old, she was an adviser who transmitted messages from God. You don’t need a position in the church to do that, and being a prophet “ordained by God” doesn’t automatically imply that you must be an ordained minister in the church. Even she, said that the Bible alone should be the ultimate reference.

    The logic of Mr. Gibson: “let’s ordain women as ministers because Ellen White was ordained by God” is completely absurd.
    If “she was ordained by God”, let God do this, don’t assume His position. It’s between that person and God.

  • Robertt1

    Some might feel the “call” to be paid without doing any work. So what?

  • Robertt1

    Even in the Trinity there is a hierarchy: Jesus is the head of the church and God the Father is the head of Jesus (who is also God). Jesus doesn’t feel “inferior”, or “second class” god. Only Lucifer did.

  • Robertt1

    You are blessed with a sound Christian mind.

  • Robertt1

    Theresa didn’t say the position of an ordained minister is the same as of a king. She was comparing the spirit of asking to be in a position of leadership.

  • Robertt1

    Thanks you for the excellent commentary. There is more sound information and logic than in the whole article. God bless you.

  • Ellen White’s Secretary, Clarence Crisler

    Letter

    June 16, 1916

    to Mrs. L. E. Cox

    “This is not suggesting, much less saying, that no women are fitted for such public labor, and that none should ever be ordained; it is simply saying that so far as my knowledge extends, Sister White never encouraged church officials to depart from the general customs of the church in those matters.”—C. C. Crisler.

  • Robertt1

    “willing to accept God’s dictates whether my flesh likes them or not”

    Right after saying that you start throwing emotional “flesh” generated arguments, against the Scripture.

  • Elizabeth Salisbury

    Who are you? Why would you say something like that?

  • I don’t buy this. Ty, Rafferty, and David Asscherick all of sudden changed their positions on WO to fit the times. In a word, the they took capitulated to the politically position of the times. If they didn’t they would be toast, and lose their donor base.

  • Lisa Hathaway-Gott

    Recently I led a discussion of 1 Samuel 8: Israel demands a king and God’s warning. It came to me how hurt God’s heart was as He expressed in in verse 7. But in the discussion He led me to share His eternal plan of the shape of His governance by taking me first to Exodus 19: 3-6. There first rejection of Him and His plan was right after the giving of the Law when they said “let not God speak to us….” (Exodus 20: 19) because they were afraid. Moses response is one of my favorites and is the theme of the entire Bible “There is no need to be afraid of God.” But it is after this that God graciously accepts Moses as Mediator and assigns the Levites as priests. But it was not His highest desire, it was a concession. But when we get to the “New” Testament we here from Peter in his first letter again the commendation that we are all “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession….” (1 Pet. 2:9, 10) and this time gender is completely absent. It has hurt my heart many times in my church to be given the message that I cannot follow the call of God on my life because I am a woman. It is the only reason. I am currently a “tentmaker”, but I am often sorrowful because of the limitations I have for ministry because of lack of time and energy. Still, God is gracious and no matter what the church decides He rewards the faithful. So, I pray to be faithful and do my part to “hasten the day. However, I cannot help but think how much greater the church’s witness and message would be if we would let God have His way. The saddest words that can be spoken is “if only”.

  • Robertt1

    A calling is a calling. It’s not our place to compare callings.

  • Robertt1

    “If God chose woman as prophets why it’s so difficult for us accept woman
    as pastors? ”

    If GOD does this, why do YOU try to get this by vote? Let God do this work.

    “It is simply this, the same spirit that hardened the Jews is at work. ”

    It’s exactly the opposite. The Jews (not all of them) thought they can make their own rules.

    “Even Peter says the writings of Paul are difficult to understand. A surface reading of his writing is not sufficient. ”

    Then please read it profoundly, with caution.

    “God chooses whom he deems fit not man and we see it in his dealings with prophets.”

    Then stop pretending to be God and let Him do His work. He knows better.

  • Robertt1

    Yes, this is the way God organized His people. Simple and clear. Sadly, people infected with gender ideology can’t see the obvious.

  • Robertt1

    So women should not keep the 10 Commandments? “Great” logic.

  • Robertt1

    “(1 Pet. 2:9, 10) and this time gender is completely absent.”

    So? It means you can put anything you want there? Ignoring other verses? I don’t think we must be sad because we are not president of US, or another person, or other gender, or whatever God DIDN’T wanted us to be. There is plenty of work we can do. Submitting to God is not a limitation, but a source of power and wisdom. Only Lucifer thought he can be better in other role than the one God has given to him.

  • Robertt1

    “Why do we then equate ordination with the biblical requirements for priesthood?”

    We don’t. That is just one additional argument showing that God never wanted to break the roles given to men and women at Creation.

  • xfjea

    Whether you are for or against WO has much to do with how you read the Bible. People against WO hold to a Historical-Grammatical hermeneutical approach, while most people who are pro-WO use a Principle-Based Historical-Cultural approach. Both approaches beleive in thought inspiration. However, the latter seems to limit the authority, scope and application of certain Bible texts.

    For a deeper explanation of these two hermeneutic approaches and its consequences in this particular debate (particularly 1Tim 3:2) I recommend the article “Is “Husband of One Wife” in 1 Timothy 3:2 Gender-Specific?” (p. 4-10) by Clinton Whalen, Ph.D. (easily googable).

  • Zukowski

    Dear Brother Ty,

    I am not going to analyze your text. I will only say to you that I had great hope for this CG session. However, appeals like yours and other church leaders made me sad. If you want to express your opinion, that’s ok, but you do not have the right to make political lobby in favor of position A or B. We should be praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Did you receive this mandate from God to ask for yes? Or this is your humble opinion about the topic? We should be praying for those who are against woman ordination to be willing to change their view if this is the direction that the Spirit want’s to His church. We should be praying for those that are in favor to be willing to change and stop fighting if this is the will of the Spirit for His church. Your appeal for yes looks like a warning: brothers let’s approve it because those in favor of WO are not Christians enough to accept another “no” and will continue challenging the authority of the church going further now in open rebellion.

    I believe that one more CG will pass and the revival and reformation will not come. We do not have the proper spirit to be filled by God. Brothers let’s not do politics, let’s knew down and pray: please God have mercy on us.

  • zukowski

    I will
    point only one. Paul’s whole section about how to behave in the house of God
    starts in 1 Tim 2:8 e goes up to 3:15. Ty says that the section about the
    Elders is gender inclusive. He is not right. The whole section is gender
    sensitive. It starts about how men should procedure in the house of God, then
    says how women should do; then points out how leadership problems for husband
    and wife should be solved; then comes the orientation about eldership; then
    talks about deacons; then talks about women’s leadership; and then deacons
    again. Paul is specific in gender on the whole section. To say that the elder
    section is gender inclusive is to force the text.

  • Robert Peterson

    “A NO vote has the potential to split the Seventh-day Adventist Church on a denominational level, possibly leading to the separation of some Unions from the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

    Whatever your position on WO, this argument is very disturbing to me. This is the equivalent of what I’ve heard some parents say regarding their teenagers. They say, “I really don’t agree with my child’s choice of (music, movies, friends, etc…), but if I hold the line on this it will cause rebellion in them and our relationship will be damaged.”

    The fact that the children are making choices which they know their parents don’t approve reveals the truth that the relationship has already been damaged; that there is already rebellion in their hearts.

    However, these parent’s flawed reasoning is the exact reasoning Ty is using in his effort to influence the outcome of next week’s vote. According to the above excerpt, there are certain elements within our church who are so headstrong and unwilling to accept a ‘NO’ answer (which has already been twice given by the world church) that the fear is that they will separate from the church and possibly even form another denomination. For this reason, says Brother Gibson, we should just go ahead and give them what they want this time in an effort to keep unity.

    This will never be successful. Unity can be maintained only if all parties are fully surrendered to God’s will, and God has ordained that the World Church in session is the highest earthly authority within His church. The fact that some within the church are taking a position to threaten rebellion if their request is denied is NOT a reason to grant their request. Rather it is an indication that they are already in rebellion to God’s will and established order and, frankly, the church will be better off without them – all appearances to the contrary – should they choose to leave.

    God will have a united church! But only when all self-will has been purged from it. We know that “all that can be shaken will be shaken.” Let’s be realistic about what that means: those who are unwilling to lay down self and submit to the will of God will be removed from the church by God’s own working.

    Please! Do not vote from fear of possible or threatened consequences. Vote from a settled conviction of God’s will for His beloved church! This is the only hope for true unity.

  • Monicah

    Thank you so much Ty for the eye opening discussion, I have still not come to a position on this matter but I am reading through for arguments from the two perspectives on ordination. I pray that we open our minds to accepting truth as it comes- something that has always been an identifying mark of the SDA movement’s character.

  • Emil Ene

    I thought to point the readers to the heartfelt plea, with questions and answers, from lifelong
    evangelist, pastor and teacher Louis Torres, concerning the women’s ordination crisis. It can be found at louistorres [dot] info.

  • “Light Bearers?” After reading your article Ty, I believe you “light” is going out. “Thy WORD is a lamp unto my feet, a LIGHT unto my path” but now you are purporting a practice of Christian faith (belief) that CANNOT BE FOUND IN THE BIBLE.” You contradict EGW when she told us “that BEFORE accepting any new doctrine or PRECEPT” we should “DEMAND a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ in it place.’ GC 595.

    But you your self say “The crucial point is this: the Bible does not expressly command or forbid the ordination of women. Scripture contains no explicit statement, explanation or mandate regarding the matter either for or against.”

    Does the Bible teach “Men’s Ordination?” Do we HAVE TO HAVE a “commandment” that says “Thou shalt ordain men?” No. the very fact that this is WHAT God instructed His people to do both in the OT and the NT, without one women ever being ordained as priest, elder, pastor, or apostle, is sufficient enough to FORBID the ordination of women. How so?

  • This article of Ty Gibson consists of some 13,212 words and overwhelms the reader with so much verbiage “a multitude of words” that a respectful response is almost impossible with a limitation of 500 words, only .038% of the entire article.

    This kind of tactic is unfair when we are trying to arrive at the TRUTH of WHAT the Bible teachers. EGW says “Let all prove their position from the Scripture and substantiate EVERY POINT point they claim as truth from the revealed Word of God.” Evangelism, p. 256. But how can we do this when we are given only 500 words and the proponents give themselves 13,212 words to prove their point! Where’s the “equality” in that.

    Ok, so with such limitation lets do what we can; It is beyond all dispute that Jesus ORDAINED only MEN, and that ALL the Apostles did the same, and that they “ORAINED elders IN VERY church” and “IN EVERY city” (Acts 14:23 & Titus 1:4-5), and NOT ONE of them was a WOMAN! IN THE BIBLE there was not one woman ordained as an apostle, elder, or “pastor” and place over any church congregation as its shepherd. Not one.

    However, when it comes to the ordination of men, we find multitudes of Bible text that support the ordination of men as priests, elders, “chief-elders” or “heads!”, as apostles, church elders, pastors, bishops, and overseers! leaving out ALL women. . . and we dare venture to say that the Bible says nothing against women’s ordination?

    How about “IF anyone desires the office of a bishop (ruling elder/pastor) they MUST BE . . . the HUSBAND of one wife!” And if this is what they MUST BE then is this not a command? a HAVE TO BE? No matter what the meaning is regarding “one wife” it DOES NOT mean WOMEN can be HUSBANDS! That’s a physiological impossibility! And thus women CANNOT be elders, nor pastor because a pastor is preceded first by becoming an elder. And Ty says “The Bible does not forbid the ordination of women?” And he says further “the Bible does not expressly command or forbid the ordination of women. Scripture contains no explicit statement, explanation or mandate regarding the matter either for or against. . . .
    Where Scripture makes no command, neither should we. We simply cannot draw a line in the sand where Scripture draws no line.”

    Does the Bible draw the line when it says that an elder/pastor “MUST BE the HUSBAND of one wife?” And that “IF a MAN does not know how to RULE his house, how can he care FOR THE CHURCH of God? 1 Timothy 3:1-6!

    The premise of Gibson unravels right here. Add to this the “COMMAND of the LORD!”~ 1 Corinthians 14:33-37;

    33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

    36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that THE THINGS I WRITE unto you ARE THE COMMANDMENTS.

    And Ty says there is NO commandment forbidding the ordination of women?

  • Thank you so much Robert for making this problem with human rationalism so very clear. It should be obvious now, what is the right and Biblical thing for the World Church to do. Pacifying rebellion is not the answer.

  • “I have been instructed to say to those in Indiana who are advocating strange doctrines, you are giving a wrong mold to the precious and important work of God. KEEP WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE BIBLE.” 2SM 33.2.

    “God requires more of His followers than many realize. If we would not build our hopes of heaven upon a false foundation we must accept the Bible as it reads and believe that the Lord means what He says.”

    “He requires nothing of us that He will not give us grace to
    perform. We shall have no excuse to offer in the day of God if we fail to reach the standard set before us in His word.” 5T 171.1

  • Kings may have failed but God did not replace them with queens in a “Queengdom.” Women are fit to be Queens, but not Kings.

    It does not matter WHO Stephen Bohr is. If what is said is Bible truth, that’s what really counts.

  • If God really want female “pastors” then why didn’t He start the Church off right in the first place by ordaining 6 women and 6 men as apostles? See Ephesians 2:19-21 which declares that the foundation of the church was built upon the 12 apostles, none of who were women, and is still revealed as such in the New Jerusalem and its 12 ALL MALE Gates and 12 ALL MALE Foundations.
    There just are NO women pastors in the Bible, while at the same time we have male pastors.

  • Where have SDAs “always said” this? Quote them Lynda.

    The J.H. Waggoner statement in ST 12-19-1878 shows that the spiritual gift of “pastor” was not given to women, nor the gift of “apostle” for there were no female pastors recorded in the Bible AFTER the Holy Spirit gave those gifts out to the church. Neither were there any female apostles found in the church AFTER the Holy Spirit gave that gift to the church.
    Spiritual Gifts are NOT and have NOT “always been” gender inclusive! or else we would have female apostles and pastors and elders in the Biblical record, whereas we have NONE! Nail that down good. NONE!

  • How about Ty’s flaw in assuming that the Bible does not forbid the ordination of women? What in the world do you think the Bible means when IT SAYS “if anyone desires the office of a bishop they MUST BE . . . . the HUSBAND of one wife?” Women CAN’T BE husbands!

    Ty is using a tactic of exaggerating what he requires the Bible to say in order for him to accept that it forbids the ordination of women . . . such as requiring the Bible to “explicitly” forbid women’s ordination;

    “The crucial point is this: the Bible does not expressly command or forbid the ordination of women. Scripture contains no explicit statement, explanation or mandate regarding the matter either for or against.”

    By the mere fact that elders/pastors “MUST BE the husband of one wife” is sufficient to forbid women from being ordained as elders or pastors. It should be obvious as a train wreck that women are forbidden by their very nature as females, because in order to be an elder one must be a faithful husband and know how to RULE “his family” well.

  • Jackie Dill

    Please read Genesis 3:6. The BIBLE has always been clear about the fact that Adam was with Eve. The “wondered away” storyline is not biblical. I’m sorry.

  • Jackie Dill

    After reading several comments, I’ve come to the conclusion that very few have actually read the post. They’ve come convinced of one mindset and their comments reflect that. That’s unfortunate.

  • Pastor Happison Nsanzya

    I disagree to the ordination of Women Because biblically the we dont get a clear cut authorization of women ordination. If we vote yes its when we will divide the church. I berg in JESUS name lets not divide the church to a matter which does matter most. Let us remove the item concerning women ordination
    so as to remain united as bond of believers world wide. thank you.

  • Danny

    It’s interesting that Jesus himself states: “I csme not to bring peace, but a sword” that sword divides. Women’s ordination biblically has nothing to do with equality. Ordination is God’s order. If we go outside God’s order, chaos comes in. How would they earth survive if we changed Gods ordination of the sun and moon? The earth would not survive. We should vote no and realise what God has ordained men and women to do and do it to the best of our ability in humility and faith.

  • You said in fewer words what made more sense than the whole dissertation given by Ty which made no sense! Good analysis.

  • Jobby Yank

    You are getting the context all wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God is a specific God and he is very clear!!!! Everything reflects back to Jesus the lamb!!!!! 1 Timothy 3 is a direct reference to the old testament!!!!!! Jesus did not come to change the law but to uphold it!!!! You are speaking as if ordaining is a rank that is absolutely wrong!!!!! And remember ordained simply means to be chosen that’s what Ellen White meant!!!!! Biblical ordaination is different!!!!!! Get that right!!!!!

  • teresaq, that sounds good but denies Scripture. Read Numbers 12 and 16. Make special note of the rebel argument. It is not unlike the argument of Lucifer that Robertt1 points out or, for that matter, what the serpent convinced Eve of – that we can have knowledge of good and evil, like God. We were not meant to have this knowledge of evil. The issue in each case is not being willing to accept one above us as God designed.

  • Inge, you’ve said a lot here but it’s your first words that I’ll respond to. You say ‘only the opposers…’ and this devalues all that follows. There are more than a few who view this as a glass ceiling issue.

  • Theresa, whatever you do for The Kingdom, just know that your determination to stand on The Word is inspiring. It takes much more strength of character to deny self for The Lord.

  • Interesting reference, Bob. Thanks for sharing that.

  • A lot of the arguments I heard for same-sex marriage had to do with legal difficulties such as hospital visitation rights, death and tax benefits… Similarly, a lot of the case for WO for the position of pastor has to do with money.

  • I would say that, as citizens with an equal right to vote, that I am equal to any officer of the law. His or her gun tells me otherwise. It is entirely within the realm of reality to be equal in importance as parts of The Body of Christ while some are in positions of greater authority/leadership. Please read carefully what Korah’s posse argued in Numbers 16.

  • Wow. That was a romantic read. If you don’t do marriage counseling, I think you should start.

  • Sister Julie, this can be a confusing topic. Not because The Word isn’t clear but because we’re in the midst of spiritual warfare.

    Before you swallow this whole (or any other opinion on WO), look up Kevin Paulson ‘Ty Gibson’s argument still falls short’. There’s more that I would add to Kevin’s analysis but you will find more than enough to alert you to the danger of selective amnesia/ignorance when using The Holy Bible to support a position. Remember, The Holy Spirit will never lead you against Scripture. Study Numbers 16 carefully and prayerfully. And look up the Biblical qualifications for elder, too.

    Find an elder who will advise you based on solid Bible references.

  • Read ‘Ty Gibson’s argument still falls short’ by Kevin Paulson and then reconsider the appropriateness of all your praise for this presentation.

  • After all these years I’ve found out that not only was Paul a Catholic but so was Jesus.

  • Joe, are you aware that most of the NT text is quotes from the OT? Read Exodus 19:6 and then Numbers 16. Then, tell me what you think? I agree with Mercy on roles created by God but don’t know about the ‘priest’ part.

  • You have correctly stated. When searching for this article the first thing I saw in my search engine results was a rebuttal that took Ty’s opinion piece apart.

  • I too read this statement and another by an EGW expert from Andrews University (I believe that’s where he was, anyway).

  • Poetic, it is.

  • You must be a male chauvinist… and I… and The God of The Bible!

  • How dare you appeal to What Is Written above what the world says. (OK, I’ve been up all night and now I’m getting snarky)

  • That’s precisely the point I’ve been making plus Numbers 12:2 which both follow Exodus 19:6.

  • Isn’t this the exact wrong approach for a brother or sister to take? Asking ‘why not’ or even ‘why’? Shouldn’t we be asking what pleases God?

    From beginning to end The Word is clear that men and women are not the same. We have different strengths and weaknesses and different roles that we ‘may’ qualify for.

    ‘Equality’ and the relentless pursuit of it began with Lucifer in Heaven and sounded so good that 1/3 of the angels bought it. Now, will 1/3 of the church buy it even while we see the world stage being set around us for the final act?

    What is ‘fair’? Whatever God says is fair. Matthew 20:1-16

  • Ty’s presentation amounts to a half truth and that’s more dangerous than a ‘no truth’.

  • Read Kevin Paulson’s post ‘Ty Gibson argument still falls short’ then see if you still feel that way.

  • ‘Every wind of doctrine’ sweeps people away because it sounds so good to our flesh. Start with Exodus 19:6; Numbers 12 and 16 and Google Kevin Paulson ‘Ty Gibson argument still falls short’ to read how easily he picked apart Ty’s commentary.

    Equality has nothing to do with serving as pastor or elder. We all receive the same salvation but as different Body parts, we have different roles. Do you love your hand more or your foot? When you step out of your home, don’t all parts move together?

    We will all rise up to meet Him together but that has nothing to do with the work we have to do until then. There is no other ‘equal’ except Satan’s lie to stir up strife. Here’s the ‘equal’ example from Jesus’ mouth Matthew 20:1-16.

  • While I disagree with your reason for asking, I do agree that our indoor, climate-controlled living is unnatural and unhealthy. We are far from Eden but I’m trying to get out in the freshest air I can more frequently. Oh, yes, and carpal tunnel from all of the keyboarding and ‘thumbing’ I’ve done is beginning to be an issue.

  • I will not argue that Ty put a lot of words on this page. But I will argue that his presentation is distorted. He makes a lot of appeals to open-mindedness which are meant to manipulate. It’s no different than constantly beginning sentences with ‘honestly’ or ‘trust me when I say’. There only needs to be one appeal at the beginning.

    Anyway, moving on to some facts. He says, correctly, that all material on the subject should be considered but then he leaves out much that doesn’t support his conclusion (or should I say his ‘appeal’).

    How can he claim to cover the history without any mention of what has taken place in this current movement from the 1960s on? Does he state for the uninformed, that the issue of ordination for women was voted on in the 1990 and 1995 GC Sessions? What was the result? How did those pushing for the change in policy/doctrine respond? There is no other word I can use but ‘rebels’ to describe them.

    Ty begins straw-man-style by framing the disagreement as being over gospel ministry, rather than who’s qualified to serve in the capacity of elder and pastor, and then digs into some of EGW’s statements. He leaves out the things she said that don’t support the appeal he’s leading us to.

    There is a lot of (perhaps unintentional) snakery in this presentation. I don’t know Ty and would never discount that he put a lot of work into
    this. Still, it paints a picture that doesn’t stand up to close
    inspection and I imagine that a minister knows precisely what he’s doing when he puts together a work such as this. For more, read how easily Kevin Paulson (find ‘Ty Gibson’s argument still falls short’) exposes many problems with Ty’s work.

    Question: how can you speak of us all being priests and not even mention Exodus 19:6 and how that factored into the rebels argument in Numbers 12 and 16? We are in that precise place again and the same misguided argument is being used.

    I know that many will love Ty’s work because it supports their desire. Further, I admit it’s the strongest case I’ve heard from those who are for changing to adapt to our modern culture. But it ignores too much for his appeal to be genuine.

  • It is lobbying because it ignores way too much information that doesn’t support the closing appeal.

  • It is likely to be yet another ‘no’ vote and, as so many times before (for some reason the Y2K bug came to mind), everyone will continue to do as they’ve been doing already. Those who have been ordaining women for the roles of elder and pastor will not be humbled. They’ll simply ignore the ‘no’ just like they’ve done for decades now.

  • Brother, thank you for sharing your view. Ty gives a lot to think about on this page and this creates the illusion that he covered both sides fairly. What you don’t see is a binch of writings and Scripture that doesn’t support his appeal.

    Like you, I didn’t give the WO issue any thought because The Word is clear. But, since this ‘crisis’ talk began, I’ve been digging into it.

    We have plenty of warning in The Word but, like stiff-necked Israelites in the wilderness we insist on rebelling. When the vote for dividing the policy-making authority of the church fails, nothing will change. Those who’ve been ordaining female pastors and elders will not be humbled. They’ll simply continue as they’ve done for decades.

  • Read Exodus 19:6, Numbers 12 and 16 and Kevin Paulson’s ‘Ty Gibson’s argument still falls short’.

  • Brother Kevin, you are seeing clearly. Some of the responses I’m reading are not distinguishing between a prophet/prophetess and elder or pastor.

  • Kevin Figueroa

    Hi could you contact me on fb?

  • I typed a lengthy reply that was mysteriously deleted. Bottom line – Ty gives a lot of information to create the illusion that he’s covered all the bases. He leaves out way too much that doesn’t support the appeal he’s leading up to.

  • Joe Graffi

    Yes, a huge portion of the NT is quotes from the OT BUT in many instances, this being one of them, they are applied to the New Covenant followers of Christ! The levitical priesthood (all male) was NOT Yahweh’s intention. According to the context of Ex. 19:6, Yahweh is addressing “the House of Jacob” “the children of Israel” as a whole group (vs 3). He goes on to say “If you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to Me above all people.” (vs 5) Men and women were being addressed. ALL were told to obey, not just the men. The nouns and pronouns do not change as we go into verse 6. Yahweh is still addressing ALL the house of Jacob, not just the men.

    BUT the children of Israel asked for a mediator (Ex 20:19), they were afraid to hear God, and so, Yahweh provided the Levitical priesthood.

    Here is the difference in 1 Peter! Look at Hebrews 7:11&12. “Now if there was perfection through the Levitical priesthood (for under it have the people received the law), what further need was there for another Priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of
    Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is of necessity a change made also of the law.” Under the New Covenant, we, like Christ, have a Melchizedek priesthood NOT a Levitical (all male) priesthood.
    We believe in the priesthood of ALL believers.

  • You may be right, Brother Tony. It’s just that in the company I keep I am not seeing that attitude. (I see a push for “rights” as being out of harmony with the spirit of Christ.)

    The way I personally see it, this is not a “rights” issue, but a character-of-God issue. Many of the arguments advanced to oppose women’s ordination also affect the way we understand the character of God and are very much at odds with seeing God primarily as demonstrating self-renouncing love both in the Godhead and in relation to humanity. Harmony is the result of this agape love.

    The other view, sees harmony resulting from the exercise of authority not the natural result of agape love.

    In other words, it appears to me that the two sides in the debate have two different pictures of God.

  • ingrid

    Sorry to read this from Ty. For the quotations are totally taken out of context, and the arguments do not match up. Those that proclaim the message to the brethren have a huge responsibility not to parrot others but to be sure that they use Scripture and SOP in the right way; those that listen owe it to themselves to check the statements and the quotations. There is ministry and ministry and pastoral and pastoral. In the presented quotes EGW is talking about missionaries to the world, to our neighbors, to our families and relatives, to the “flock” in a broader sense, presenting to them Our Literature, and not to a congregation. Whenever she talks about the latter she is always referring to (young) men.
    Everyone can be ordained, even the children’s Sabbath school teachers, but EGW clearly singles out ordination to become a pastor, as in the leader’s position in the church. Ordination is a sacred ceremony of setting one apart. And different ordinations bring with them different positions. The ordination of priests made them into “chief men”. The ordination of the seventy, made them into judges in Israel. The ordination of the deacons, made them into care takers in the NT Church. EGW states that we may ordain women into positions in the church, to minister unto, that is to serve God’s people.

    The current debate is about the credentials that come with the ordination – to in turn ordain others (marriage is also a kind of ordination) and to stand in a chief men position. Women can do everything else, even being elders since 1984’s annual. But it is never enough, is it?

    I have written a very balanced review on Ty’s article It is on my website but since I cannot send the URL you guys will have to ask for it. I’ve send to the LB administration already. Maybe it is worth taking it up as an article. I think it would be fair enough to post it, even if I am not an accepted guest. It would not be a waste of time to read a few pages on how the texts are misused before one takes in a definite position.
    To me, whatever happens on Wednesday, the Lord will decide; maybe according to our urging as Israel urging for a king.

    I once too longed to be a pastor, so I know where I am coming form. I am a scholared person so I know I would have a contribution. But I want to do God’s will, for it is always God’s perspective, not mine… Earthly positions must become garbage to me in order to win all the wealth of heaven! Can we give up our greatest desires for God? He gave it all for us! To be a pillar in God’s temple is for everyone. I long for THAT position!

    God bless you all. I am currently studying Isaiah 58 and 59. Study it. A awe making Mirror of God …

  • KriSty LaFrance

    If we follow our Redeemer Jesus Christ, we will all be eager to wake up as a church, as a community and as an individual and follow the “The Great Commission” — A Personal Instruction of the most significant passages in Scripture.

    It is the last recorded personal instruction that Jesus gave to His disciples (us His true believers today). Then, it’s a special calling from our Savior, Jesus Christ to all His believing followers to take a specific action while alive on the earth.

    “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20).

    The Great Commission – Its Significance to all Christians alike;
    The Great Commission is the end of a Gospel and the beginning of faith in action for all Christians. This command from Jesus is significant because it’s a personal instruction for Christians to have a profound faith in Jesus.

    The Great Commission – Is a Personal Calling of Jesus to all who believe and to every Christian to step out in faith and spread the Gospel of His return (Maranatha). You will find this is truly faith in action! People who obey this charge will receive spiritual changes in their lives, just by taking the time to be a participant in spreading the Good News of the Second Coming of Jesus, reaching people where they are, through prayer and ministries. Wherever we go, every faithful Christian is compelled through obedience to share the Gospel. If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, where has He called you to go? Who has God put on your heart to share the gift of salvation with? What steps are you taking, with the knowledge that Christ will be by your side, “to make disciples of all the nations”?
    The time is now to take part in this Great Commission of Jesus, “SO SEND I YOU”

  • KriSty LaFrance

    Thsnks Ty very informative

  • aswas22

    I wholeheartedly agree… reminiscent of leaving Egypt…

  • Kentbourne McFarlane

    Thank you Ty Gibson. This is a very thorough biblical presentation and conclusion. Now I can vote the issue with confidence.

  • Mary Clemmons

    The “No” vote on July 8 did not change anything. It just kept the status quo.
    That means the unions still have the authority to choose women’s
    ordination. Six unions have already elected to ordain women. More will
    probably do so now. And they have the right to do so. EqualOrdination
    .com/ actual-significance/

  • Bob, our current practice of ordination is based on tradition, not biblical precedence.

    There is no biblical precedence for a a two-tiered ministry – one ordained and one not ordained.

    Those whom God calls should be recognized by the church through the laying on of hands, if we would be biblical. Those who are not called should *NOT* have hands laid on them, whether they be men or women.

    As for being “invested with full ecclesiatical authority,” I take that to mean the authority to speak and act in behalf of the church body. That should be appropriate for anyone called to pastoral ministry.

  • Xumenikomesho Shinana

    Just like 6 of the apostles where not Gentiles yes? Nothing is spoken against slavery so it must surely be okay?

  • Xumenikomesho Shinana

    Queendom. Genesis says God gave them dominion over the earth. Both of them. The institution of kings was not God’s. The role of a pastor is that of a servant, we don’t want people ruling over one another we want people who can serve the people of God but to do this we want to a knowledge the women who want to serve, that is it. Bible tRuth that serves who? We both read the same bible and conclude differently? what makes your view true?majority, pastors with doctorates? Should we follow mindless “truth”? is Christianity not an intelligent faith? I love God and I love truth. Jesus spoke with a samaritan woman she was both a woman and a non jew. was He confused? trying to Change the traditions maybe? Let’s sit and study Timothy objectively and prayerfully, not ca sting unnecessary yokes upon the women of God. God is not a God of careless restrictions Jesus proves that in His dealings with the Jews, the “Seventh day Adventist” Of his time.

  • Wittenberg

    There’s not a single reliable Protestant scholar who agrees with you. Not. One.

    And you spelled “wandered” wrong.

  • Calvin

    Following Paul’s writings about Hetrosexual males should be pastors is essential not some non essential. But a true Christian must never unite under the banner of error. So glad to see that WO failed but I’m disappointed that there are non ordained female pastors in SDA. The ordination issue is a total ruse and a farce as a matter of fact. Calvin Foster

  • Wittenberg

    No, it doesn’t. That would be divisive. It opens the door for other divisional compromises. United we stand. Divided we fall.

  • snowy

    This article is appreciated by myself. It is informative and logical that women should be able to be ordained from an Ellen White and biblical perspective. However, there is more at stake with this hugely important and fundamental issue than what the article is based upon regarding scripture and Ellen White. I am against women’s ordination for SDA, at this time. Our World cultural climate is heated up. Divide and Conquer techniques are being employed at every turn. This includes the (non?) issues regarding men, women and family in order to destroy the family. Children are now to be referred to as genderless “purple penquins” because to address a child as he or she would hurt their feelings. Legislation is introduced in CA to ban the words husband and wife as anti-gay words. This issue of womens’ ordination is a fundamental change exacted to bring about and execute divide and conquer techniques. Knowing the highly-charged issue was bound to cause division, why was it introduced? Certainly it is not about Church. It ~is~ about Self, and about compensation. I say bury it for now. And no, lots of work does not need to be done on it, where it comes back every General Conference. Instead of discussion on whether or not to allow womens’ ordination, discussion on church unity and preservation of the family should be taking place (among other vast numbers of relevant topics). Why fix what isn’t broken? Every single aspect of our society and culture is not backward, needing updating and changing as if it were not modern. Women’s Ordination is probably a part of Emergent Church. It is probably 501c3 generated. What is a title when it comes to God’s Work? Of the World, it is a paycheck and recognition of Self. Women should be able to accomplish the calling of God’s Work in spreading the gospel without title.

  • Jim Bob

    A few coments…..
    I read somewhere that these issues wouldn’t be at the forefront if men were doing their part in this great work. I agree 100%. I am one of those men who have stayed on the sidelines happy to have others do the work. I sit in the pews and watch as women and children take up the yoke and perform the tasks that we men should be doing. Well I have now made it my mission to get involved. I am ashamed. I plan to be in every church board meeting and supporting every way I can. Enough with my cowardly ways I am going to grow a backbone.

    At the same time this all seems to be a 1st world problem especially in the NAD. The message is gaining ground in other parts of the world at a more rapid rate and it seems God is more in control. The NAD thinks that it is their duty to push the boundaries but what I am hearing is a spoiled child that didn’t get their own way. Enough with the attitude. I plan to support my home church with offering and send my tithe to other parts of the world church that have a Godly attitude and a biblical direction. It is sad that in the 1st world we have to support change with our money.

    Like the frog in the pot we have become complacent and allowed our surroundings get the better of us. The Lord is coming soon let’s get on with the work that He has given us MEN to do.

  • bobpickle

    Paul and Barnabas were involved in active evangelistic ministry before their ordination, and certainly Paul was divinely called to do so. Would that not in itself be a biblical precedent for some engaged in ministry being ordained and some not?

    The call can come before there are any results that would make clear that the call really came. That’s why we have always had both licensed and ordained ministers. It would not be appropriate to treat a new, unproven minister the same as some one who has demonstrated his calling.

  • Dee

    So What next, now that the vote for women’s ordination was ‘no’? I believe unfortunately, there was not a sufficiently hermeneutical argument put forward by those wanting a yes vote. Would it not be possible to have a more strategic approach at the next GC? Such that those going forward to express their opinions are able to present a compelling, biblically based argument.

  • Bob, I agree completely with the principle you presented. That was what “commissioning” was originally intended to be – a trial time to verify the calling of the minister. Such ministers would be like apprentices in the trades.

    However, there is NO precedent for a continuing two-tier ministry.

  • bobpickle

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Are you saying that there is no precedent for some ministers being commissioned and some being ordained?

    If this is the case, then I see a serious problem. If this is where this was going to end up, then the pro-WO folks should have made that crystal clear back in 1995 when an accommodation was made to have women ministers. Did the brethren in 1995 know that allowing women ministers, if divisions permitted such, was going to result in a demand for women’s ordination on the basis that there is no precedent for only commissioning women ministers? This seems too much like dirty politics. “Please allow us to do this, just this, and please overlook the fact that we will turn around in 20 years and use this accommodation to demand what you denied.”

    There are practical ramifications to the way things are now. Obviously, there are churches composed of people who think that having a woman serve as an elder would be contrary to Scripture. Well, if they feel that way, they have the freedom to not elect a woman to serve as an elder.

    That same church can also decline to elect a commissioned lady minister as an elder, and she then cannot function as a minister at that church. The local church then has freedom, freedom to live out its convictions, freedom akin to what the pro-WO side wanted the divisions to have.

    But once that lady minister is ordained, the local church loses that freedom. It can then be assigned a lady minister regardless of what its convictions are.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to preserve the freedom of local churches in such a situation?

  • Yes, Bob, I am saying that the Bible offers no precedent nor rationale for a two-tiered ministry.

    Either God calls a person pastoral work, and the church is responsible to recognize God’s call by ordination, or God does not call a person to pastoral work, and such a person should not be assigned to pastor a church.

    As for “accommodation made” to allow for lady ministers – this is a rather biased view of the matter. Women were ministering way back during the time of Ellen White. In fact, during her lifetime, there was a higher proportion of female to male ministers than there is today in Seventh-day Adventist Church. Thus the relatively recent GC “accommodation” was a matter of reverting to the practice of our pioneers.

    As for a female minister being “forced” on local congregations, I wonder how you see this happening. Not sure what happens where you live, but where I live, in the British Columbia Conference, it has been the practice for many decades to consult the local congregation regarding their preferences. Usually representatives from the conference come with a list of about 3 candidates, with some information about each. The congregation decides on their preference or rejects all three, in which case the conference committee has to come up with more choices. When the choice is made, the pastor comes out to visit and preach, and the congregation still has an opportunity to vote on whether or not to accept the pastor.

    So, under what kind of scenario do you see a female pastor being forced on a congregation?

  • bobpickle

    Inge, I’ll answer the easier question first.

    Last night we interviewed a couple. There weren’t three names to pick from. Like a nominating committee report, there was only one name, and the first time I knew what that name was, it was at the interview.

    Our congregation is one of 4, and if you include our branch SS, one of 5. I highly doubt that the situation would be such that one congregation via its elders would be permitted to veto the preference of the other congregations.

    Now for the more challenging question or topic. I think your second and third paragraphs are confusing different things. God has called elders and church members to do pastoral work, that is certain. But that doesn’t mean that every lay person doing pastoral work should be ordained as a gospel minister.

    Your third paragraph then switches from talking about pastoral work to ministers, and you refer to women serving as ministers in the earlier years, and the “accommodation” being actually a reverting to the original practice. But the female ministers of yesteryear were traveling evangelists, not settled pastors. So where is the reverting? Additionally, what would hinder a woman today from being a traveling evangelist? One of the morning devotionals at the GC Session was given by a young evangelist, and he stated that he was called to be a conference evangelist despite not having a degree or ordination. A lack of ordination is not what is hindering women from serving as traveling evangelists like they used to.

    I think by “pastoral work” you were referring to the work of a gospel minister who is hovering over an established church, which seems like a natural use of the term. But let’s break it down a bit. What does that “pastoral work” consist of? What Ellen White referred to as “pastoral labor” was doing personal work and calling for decisions while visiting in homes, and that is something laity are supposed to be doing in our established churches. Remove that from the equation and we are left with preaching and administration. But ordination in the Adventist Church doesn’t authorize someone to be an administrator and preacher. It authorizes them to baptize anywhere, and to organize churches. This fact points us back to what our ministers originally were doing. They weren’t serving as local pastors. They were traveling evangelists who were establishing churches. Licensed ministers could preach anywhere, but couldn’t baptize or organize churches.

  • Sumner Beal

    In responce Kevin D Paulsend wrote an article that said this, “Is that really the “only” conclusion? Or is a false point of decision being manufactured here? There is a fallacy that occurs with God’s Word sometimes. What happens is that a given word, which has more than one meaning in actuality, is used as if it just had one.”

    “There is a FALLACY that occurs with GOD’S WORD.”

    There is no fallacy in Scripture. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Tim 3:16

  • SDA Onlooker

    SDAs believe that they are living in the antitypical Day of Atonement (DOA) and that the Bible is for both precept and practice. Therefore, it would be helpful for one of your highly educated theologians to present on the bible-women who performed in the sanctuary on the DOA, did baptisms, weddings, blessed babies, etc.

    Even half an example would be overwhelming evidence towards your cause.

    The truth is beautifully-simplistic; but deception requires elaborate circuitous “logic”.

  • SDA Onlooker

    Where in the Bible are you told that as God pours out his gifts, the church’s response is to endorse them via ordination?

    Has God changed, or is it just SDAs?

  • Ellen John

    Dear Mr. Gibson,

    I enjoyed reading your article and knowing the statements EGW had made in support of women pastors. I am a woman in the ministry and wish to share some thoughts with SDA women pastors who are discouraged about ‘no ordination’ to women in the church.

    My name is Ellen John, 62, and run ‘Wake Up India’ ministry in Bangalore, India. I got spirituality from my godly father, who raised the most number of SDA churches in Andhra Pradesh, India. In College, I wanted to take theology but in the 1990’s, they did not allow me to take the field as they said that it was not meant for women. I was truly spiritual and my term papers in my theology courses got me recognition. I was in the USA 1985-1995 and very much appreciated the work of the women pastors in the USA. I also noted that women pastors preached better sermons and were truly dedicated.

    Knowing that the time is short, I returned to India in 1995, and started a ministry called Wake Up India. I have held over 40 Daniel and Revelation seminars in Pentecostal, Baptist, CSI and Independent churches. I publish magazines called: ‘For Such a Time’ and ‘Health Reformer’ and give a straight message. Some male pastors tried to take over my 20-year old ministry forcefully, and told me that women are not supposed to head a ministry. But I knew they were not honest with finances, were not dedicated to the Lord’s work 24-hours; and did not make sacrifices like I did, and by sticking to the statement of EGW which said: “God will accomplish much through one dedicated woman than many men put together.” In my heart, I knew that God ordained me for His work. However, I did not want to start confusion in the Indian church by baptizing people, as women have not reached to that state yet here. I give an appeal, but have left the souls for God’s care. For baptisms, I gave the care to the local pastors. My goal is to save souls into God’s kingdom through my literature.

    Today, I am surprised to see God using many women prophets, who are giving powerful warnings to the nations and to the leaders; whereas many men pastors are becoming worldly and lukewarm. When the church rejects, that is when God is ready to use the women in powerful way. I am glad it happened the way it did because, who wants the ordination by men? I know this is disappointing to the women pastors in the church. Isn’t the church’s time over? I request godly women pastors out there to look to God and to launch out your independent work. Read about the Pakistani Muslim woman who got baptized, and who in turn baptizes her own sister in their bath tub. Such days are here. God needs women pastors. Get ordained by God Himself and achieve great things for Him through humility. These days, women are doing great things for God. May you be such a one. If I in India can run my ministry for the last 20 years as a lone women, you can do it, too. God bless you. Ellen John. Email – wakeup77@gmail.com.

  • Ellen John

    Saying that Ellen White went to Australia because men asked her to go is a cheap argument. It is like saying, ‘since women are asked to cover their heads and men don’t, so men are above women. God gave men and women differing talents. In these last days, one should not be surprised to see more women leading souls to heaven than men. God who sees their hearts and labours will reward them. The first will be last and the last first.

  • Marty Higle

    Jesus sets the example for believers to follow, yes? Well, when He went to choose those who He wanted to help build His church, He only chose men. Obviously there is a role for women in ministry, God’s use of women in the book of Judges demonstrates that. However, when it comes to the role of leadership within any certain group of believers Jesus made it clear by His choice of men only, as the example to follow. Or do you think it’s a good idea to move against Him?

  • Tim

    So you are saying that Ellen White believed that God told her that he would tell the General Conference who was given each spiritual gift after graduating from Adventist seminary. God tells them who will be acknowledged and who won’t? Things that make you go.. hummm….

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    The same as with any ministerial candidate, church officials are to look at the evidences in the person’s life that attest to the fact that he or she has been called to the ministry. The only thing that needed to be specified was that gender was not a factor to be considered by humans. God alone has the authority to call and ordain those whom He chooses to be His ministers. If He has given abundant evidences of the fitness and calling of a female candidate, then it would be a sin of open rebellion against God’s authority for the church officials to refuse to acknowledge God’s choice. This sin is one of the things that Laodicea must “be zealous and repent” of, before the Latter Rain outpouring of the Holy Spirit will ever be given to the church. Anyone who stands in the way of women’s ordination, is standing in the way of the church receiving the Latter Rain. It is increasingly likely that those divisions of the world church that have stood in the way of women’s ordination, will have to receive chastening from the Lord, for cherishing their sinful rebellion against His authority, and especially those who dishonestly misrepresent Scripture with unsound scholarship in an attempt to justify their continued apostasy.

  • Tim

    I’m sorry, I have to disagree in part with your statement. I find NO mention in the Bible that tells this or any denomination how to “elect” ministers of the gospel. Jesus told all his followers to preach the gospel (and baptise) to the ends of the earth. He called all his people, The Church. He did not form denominations, he did not set up a bureaucracy, or any church government. If a woman or man is called by God into any position, they will know it and His People will know it. Who are a Adventist Church governmental leaders that they should rule over what God has said?

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    Tim, you seem to be expecting that God should micromanage His Church. He does not tell us how thickly to pave our church parking lots, and whether to use asphalt or concrete. He gives us general principles. He also gives us the spiritual gift of “administrations” (1 Cor. 12:28; most translations), which means He leaves much of the details of how to organize up to us. We are not to despise the leadings of the Holy Spirit. We should value and respect spiritual gifts, which includes organization–as long as it is faithful in the service of Christ, the Head of the Church.

    When the apostles decided to find someone to replace Judas as a 12th apostle, they were not told by God to cast lots; they followed a common custom, and prayed for God to indicate His will through this means–and they trusted that He did, when Matthias was selected. (See Acts 1:21-26,)

    God never indicated anywhere that we should hold our Communion Services quarterly. Most of us have simply chosen to do it this way.

    Remember, we are given a certain liberty in Christ. “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Cor. 3:17; NASB) The Lord has not delivered us into the spirit of bondage, but into the spirit of liberty!

    Sister White tells us that part of God’s work of restoring us is seeking to restore the nobility of character that has been lost because of sin. He does not trample upon our individuality; rather He affirms and enhances it!

  • Ronald R. Lambert

    Well said, Pastor Dave. But the Jesus did say the Church of Laodicea must be zealous and repent, and He did warn that those whom He loves, He rebukes and chastens. Chastening may be ahead for many in the Church, even for whole divisions of the world Church. We need to remember that the Church is not our righteousness. The Lord alone is our Righteousness. Therefore we can afford to question the decisions made by the Church, and see just what it is that we need to repent of.

  • “We object to that narrow-souled theology which will not allow the old ladies to have dreams because the prophecy says, ‘your old men shall dream dreams;’ and that will not allow young women to have visions because the prophecy says ‘your young men shall see visions.’ These stingy critics seem to forget that ‘man’ and ‘men’ in the Scriptures, generally mean both men and women. The Book says that it is ‘appointed unto men once to die.’ Don’t women die? (James White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 25, 1862; Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 24)

  • David

    One verse comes to mind… Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

  • Angie Guy

    Considering the fact that we do not have a single Bible passage or Spirit of Prophecy statement that articulates male-only ordination as a matter of doctrinal orthodoxy or as a moral imperative, how, then, in good conscience, can we impose a universal rule against something God’s word articulates no rule against? (Ty Gibson quoted) Is this how we are to interpret scripture? By what it doesn’t say?? We DO have plenty of scripture that indicate what God requires and that is made clear in the Old Testament as well as the New. It is the concept of male headship and the supporting role of women. If you want to call it antiquated or historically outdated, then you do so at the peril of your own soul. Where does it say in the Bible that we shouldn’t go to church on Sunday?? This is an opening wedge for further compromise. Really disappointed in your stance. :o(

  • MrDschr

    if there was such an argument to be made i think they would have by now.

  • Barry Gowland

    Curiously, this turns up in the current Sabbath School lessons on Job, where twice in chapter 1 and twice in I Kings 21 the word bárak is used in contexts that indicate the opposite of its normal meaning! Job’s sons would not have sinned by having blessed God in their hearts, would they? Nor would Naboth have been a sinner by having blessed “both God and the king”—the entire context demands that the OPPOSITE must be understood, as forming part of Jezebel’s plot to seize vineyard into the king’s hand by a show of legality. And the name for this literary device? EUPHEMISM! I could go on!

  • Evelyn King

    The husband of one wife in that text is not referring to ordination of pastors. In fact ordination of pastors was never a biblical issue at all. The ordination of pastors was instigated by the church and never mentioned in the Bible. The debate about whether or not
    women can be ordained is a man devised issue, not much different than if women should vote.

  • Daniel Holmstock

    AMEN HERE! I love your way of saying, well where does it NOT say we should not go to Church on Sunday. Where does it not say that we should not eat sugary cakes and candies? Love it.

  • LduPreez

    And what about the Ordinance of Humility – where, in the Bible, Jesus washed the feet of only men, and broke bread with only men, and served grapejuice with only men? Yet today, women participate.

  • LduPreez

    However, Ellen White says that the Christ is the head of the church, not any man or woman:

    “Let it be seen that CHRIST, not the minister, is the head of the church.” (EGW, ST 1890).

    “God has never given a hint in His word that He has appointed any man to be the head of the church.” (GC 51)

  • Joe Atterberry

    If the issue is headship, I think the article makes an extremely good case as to why the headship argument leads us down the path of papal like control. Biblical headship is restricted to the husband – wife relationship. Trying equate being a pastor or board chairman to being the “head” of that body of believers as in a husband – wife relationship is an analogy not supported by scripture. Christ is and always will be the head of the church.

    You questioned how a wife who is a pastor could humble herself to husband who is the priest of the household. I would offer that a truly dedicated wife and pastor would have no issue being under the headship of a Christ centered husband who lives sacrificially to love and support his wife and children.

    Ultimately, we are the priesthood of ALL believers. As earth’s history draws to a close we need both male and female pastors to lead the body of Christ in pointing everyone to the Savior.