First in a short series of opinion pieces by Adventist lay persons regarding the role of women in leadership.
On the Ordination of Women
II Chronicles 20: 14, 15
GOD created all that we can see, hear or touch, even those things we can’t see/imagine. He created man and woman and placed them in a garden and gave them dominion over it. They were to be caregivers and God cared for them and pronounced it Good because there was perfect harmony between man and woman and their Creator (Gen. 1:25). There was joy and peace in this paradise and a unity of spirit based on love.
Sin crept into the garden and the whole world would never be the same. In an instant the world began a downward spiral that would continue until the end of time. Sin raised its hideous head and as a result we were all born into a world where life and death choices were and are made each day. These choices are not only in the physical world but are considered in the spiritual realities of man’s living soul.
God proclaimed that he had a people at Sinai and that he would favor them under certain conditions by following His law and influence others to follow him and in return he would not only provide for them, but richly bless them throughout the ages. His people promised to follow him, but, they began to fall away from where God would have them go. The pull of the secular world began to draw them away from the One who lived among them, who protected them, and provided for them each day. They decided the food they were asked to eat (Gen. 1:29) was not what the other nations were consuming so God made a provision (Lev. 11). Then they asked for a set of laws so they might separate from a spouse so to mirror other nations: and so the original plan was set aside and again concessions were made.
Moses provided a written law that gave men the rules for divorce (Ex. 21:7-11). The time came when God’s chosen people were not satisfied with being guided by an unseen God so they asked for a King (1 Sam. 8:5-7). What a love the Father in Heaven must have for his people to grant such a request. The Israelites refused to follow the law of God in their hearts and as a result their umbrella of protection and their honor of being God’s chosen people came to an end (Dan. 9:24; Acts 7:54-60).
There has always been a remnant throughout the ages that would follow the will and the Word of God no matter what the situation or time period. These are a people that put God first in their hearts and their actions. These people have continued to be part of God’s plan from the beginning (Isa. 10:20-22). They were there after the Crucifixion (Rom. 11:5). There has always been a remnant even among God’s chosen people. In the last days, this will be the direction God will lead His true church. The acceptance of compromise has brought about a message that is diluted as we help spreading the Gospel throughout the world. We are told that the church will appear to fall (Vol.2 Selected Messages 380). This happening will primarily be from within rather from without. Just as the Israelites of past generations, The remnant church has lost its focus on following the Word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy in determining sanctions. Now, we compromise with other church organizations so that we are no longer a peculiar people. We find ourselves bending to social and cultural tendencies of the world. As a church, we are following a dark path that can only have dark irreversible consequences. When the General Conference meets this year the die will be cast and compromise will be complete.
We must understand that Bible prophecy and the Spirit of prophecy are one and the same. Both, are inspired from God given to us by His prophets. Both must be 100% absolutely correct. The last thing we need to understand is that Prophecy cannot be changed. We are asked to search out the time and conditions of their fulfillment. Our only defense as we approach the Second Coming of Christ is the study of The Word, Prayer, and the spread of the Good News (Gospel) throughout the lands (Matt. 28: 19, 20).
Yours in Christ,
Jack Harris is an elder of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Wagoner, Oklahoma.