Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, February 23, 2013

No need for ordination traditions

Perhaps Unwittingly John McVay of Walla Walla University has presented us a way out of the women's ordination mess that has caught up with the Adventist church once again. In McVay's article he quotes 8 points from William Tyndale. They are in general the points of the Reformation against the abuse of the Roman Catholic Church in it rulership of the people through Priestly abuse. He points summarized simply are these:

1. Ordination is not a sacrament
2. The various orders and titles are simply names of offices and services.
3. Faithfulness matters
4. Christ is a Priest forever none other is needed.
5. A new testament Elder is the counterpart of a old testament priest and is nothing but an officer to teach.
6.Taking advantage of people is condemned by the Bible
7. No Office or "ordination" bestows any special status before God.
8.There is no special ceremony at all required in making of our spiritual officers than to choose able people.

For years I have said that there is no Biblical instruction for our practice of one person in charge of a church. That we are simply taking the Old Roman Catholic tradition of one Bishop per city which then became one Bishop per church and instead of calling them a Bishop which simply means Elder we called that Elder in the SDA church a Pastor. We then followed those practices and developed our whole ordination system. 

Perhaps it is time for the ordination system to stop and fall by the side of the road and begin a new tradition more in line with the Bible whereby a pastor is someone that looks after other people. As in its word predecessor the shepherd. Of course people are not sheep and just because a small flock may have only one shepherd to push the animals around in a certain direction we should take the concept into the meaning of someone one guiding and directing, teaching and caring and comforting people. Just as we don't have one teacher in a church there is no need to be limited to one pastor. This allows people who have the ability in the church to exercise their particular gifts to their follow believers in the church. 

So does the Adventist church need to allow women to be ordained and become pastors and divide the church between the contemporary Western world and the rest of the world. ( I am refusing to use the terms first (aligned with the United States), second (aligned with the Soviet Union) and third world (unaligned) as they are obsolete terms when the Soviet Union collapsed, the unaligned 3rd world is no longer a valid concept). Would there be any question in the cultures of the non westernized world that a woman can guide and direct or teach and care for other members of their church. Of course not that is perfectly acceptable. What was not acceptable was to go against the Westernized traditions accepted in those cultures of a male dominated clergy. Sadly taught to them by a poorly thought out tradition produced by a less then credible Roman Catholic church tradition. 

The Reformation gave us so many great ideas and most of them were lost as the people simply formed sides for or against the church organizations at the time. Reformation ended when they accepted that they could start new churches who would then create concrete traditions as unmovable as their fore fathers they rejected.

The Adventist church stands at a point where it can break with it's own mistakes and traditions and create a contemporary and more relevant and thinking religion. Or it can attempt to continue with the mistakes of yesteryear. When it speaks of God made sacraments that are simply man made traditions.

1 comment:


The Reformation gave us the Bible.
Not "idea's".
Freedom of religion has cost millions of martyrs, all the Anabaptists of Europe where murdered by the Roman Catholics and their daughters. It was prohibited by any Roman Catholic to read the Bible until 1965. Why? Well, because when reading the Bible, no one can remain a Roman Catholic.

I very much admire Adventists for their bravery. Rome has political targets, romanism is the propaganda to achieve them. Jesus Christ destroyed and destroys the opportunity for propaganda to work. The Pontifex Maximus is not a God, not the Vicar of Christ, and Matthew chapter 23 explained this very clearly.

Thanks for blogging this.
Nice to see some brave common sense amongst the many lies by cowards on the web.