Articles for the Month of November 2014

Someone’s Missing

missing fatherMale leadership is our great need.  The lack of men in the home or church cannot be replaced by  women though they may be quite sincere.  The loss of mature masculinity in our midst is beyond comprehension.

Leadership is far more than the ability to perform tasks.  The essence of masculinity and femininity are such polar opposites that when a man performs the same task as a woman the effect on those under their leadership is vastly different.  It is that interaction between the genders that we have been taught to ignore in our culture.  This fusion of genders is really an untenable miasma.

Perhaps this is one of the most subtle deceptions of the philosophy of gender neutrality.  We have begun to feel and even think subconsciously that men and women are not really all that different.  So it doesn’t really matter as long the task “gets done”.  Is the task the only thing we need to think about?  I fear this manner of thinking is akin to Saul’s thoughts about offering the sacrifice in Samuel’s absence.  An offering is an offering.  Fire is fire.  What does it matter who offers it?  But it does matter.  It matters a great deal.  Violation of God’s order is the essence of rebellion.

Women should not be ordained to elder or pastoral positions under any circumstance.  I feel it vitally important that the deficit of men be felt.  This discomfort would eventually cause the church to do something about it; but to create a new order of things would be dreadfully wrong.  Men are actually the centers of the family and men are to be the heads in the church.  Always under Christ, theirs is a delegated authority and can reach no farther than He the Great Shepard would have them to.  Yet they must stand as His representatives in His institutions - the family, the church and the world.

So even in China the women leaders should not be ordained.  I fear creating a church where “everything works just fine” without men.  Men are seemingly not needed because “it works”.  But does it?  Why would men participate in the life church if they are not needed – even desperately so?  What of the effect on the psyche of young Chinese boys and girls, of the Chinese women in leadership, of the Chinese men churched and unchurched, of on looking worldlings, of other SDAs considering unorthodox ordination in their own countries?

This may sound strange, but just because there are fewer men in the church than women, should women start marrying each other because there are fewer men?  Should young people go outside the church to marry because there are “no suitable” young people in the church?  No.  We must learn to let the pain do its work.  The discomfort is meant to tell us that something is dreadfully wrong.  The Bible has the solution and it is the only solution.  There are no other viable options than to follow His will.

Dare we lay our hands upon God’s order for our own convenience? We should fear to even think such a thing.

All Aboard!

6132257_20140121063039-train coveded with peopleA Worldwide Movement

One day I was stumbling around on the Internet looking for women who would explain the reasons for their desire to be ordained. Inadvertently I found a YouTube of Buddhist women who are bhikkhunī (Pāli) or bhikṣuṇī (Sanskrit) which means they are fully ordained female Buddhist monastics. (1)  Completely shaven headed and in the traditional orange robes of Buddhism they spoke eloquently with broken English in voice inflections native to Far Eastern cultures.  Gently yet earnestly they advocated for their right to a place in Buddhist leadership and for even higher places in the hierarchy of their religion.

I was stunned.

This got me to digging around more and what I found floored me. What do the religions of Buddhists, Jews, Quakers, Unitarians, Pentecostals, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Mormons, New Agers, Lutherans, Catholics, Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Anglicans, Czechoslovak Hussites, Mennonites, Wiccans, Nazarenes, Muslims, Baptists, and even Hindus have in common? (2)

Do they all read from the same sacred writings?
Do they all even worship the same God?

Then what?          
All these religions allow or are immersed in controversy to allow the ordination of women.

The furor over the place of women in the church has not developed because of a grand worldwide consensus to follow Scripture more closely, for these religions do not all even subscribe to the same sacred writings.

The ordination of women has nothing to do with the Bible.
The movement for the ordination of women transcends culture because it rises out of Feminism, and Feminism has compassed the globe.

A 20th Century Phenomenon

According to Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, a group that advocates universal religious tolerance and monitors worldwide compliance with this philosophy, questions regarding women’s ordination began to rise in the churches of the Western world in the early 1800s. (2)  What was that date again?  We’ve heard about the early 1800s before. 1848 was the date of the first women’s conference in Seneca, NY. This historic meeting was convened to negotiate the future of the women’s movement and was held in conjunction with Spiritualists. Feminism and Spiritualism from the very beginning have worked hand-in-hand. (Please see my older posts on Spiritualism). (3)

The 20th century has watched an explosion of turmoil over women’s rights in church activity.  Here are a few dates of various religious bodies’ adoption of women clergy in the West. (2)

1800 - Quakers
1853 - Congregationalists
1865 – Salvation Army
1866 – Methodists
1888 – Universalists
1892 – Nazarenes
1911 – Mennonites
1920 – Baptists
1922 – Jewish Reform
1930 – Presbyterians
1942 – Anglicans
1947 – Czechoslovakian Hussites
1960 – Lutherans
1964 – Southern Baptists (rescinded in 2000)
1974 – Methodists
1995 – Seventh Day Adventists
2000 – Church of Pakistan
2007 – Worldwide Church of God

….and many more…

Deceived by Spiritualism

You might be able to accept that women’s ordination has developed from the cultural influence promoted by Feminism, but is there is more to consider.  Feminism is really a manifestation of Spiritualism.  It is this Feminism-Spiritualism foundation that is the real problem with women’s ordination.

Please let me say at this juncture, I do not believe that every woman who desires ordination is a Spiritualist, but do believe that every woman desiring ordination has been deceived by Spiritualism. At its core, Spiritualism is usurpation. So the central issue in the ordination of women as I understand it is the usurpation of authority.  This was Satan’s original sin and is also the essence of our rebellion against God.

Are we able to see our rebellion on our own?  Only the Holy Spirit can give us the eye salve we need to see ourselves as God sees us. It’s humbling to recognize that you have been deceived.  I know that I was deeply deceived by Feminism for many years. Yet the Lord had mercy and never left me to myself. The process He brings us through is both healing and redemptive. The Lord is merciful to us when He reveals us to ourselves, though it may bring much pain.  Ask yourself the difficult questions. The Lord is very near and will hear you when you call.

The Reign of Self is Ruthless

Spiritualism as we know has at least  two aspects. One deals with the state of the dead, and the other, with our attempt to be our own god. It is the latter aspect of Spiritualism that we are concerned with as we examine Feminism.  Spiritualism in this aspect is essentially self-worship. Self-esteem, self-discovery, and self-actualization are embraced as life-giving but they are not.  These philosophies do not lead to the ennobling of our characters. Instead of gain, being consumed with self brings great loss. Self, self, self – the worship of poor miserable self is subtle, deceptive and deeply intoxicating.  From the catacombs of our subconscious the hunger for self-worth will wield a totalitarian reign if the whole man is not moment by moment kept by the power of God.

These sophistries use inducements most appealing and deceptive to our fallen natures. The language is more sophisticated, but we are hearing deep echoes of the conversation with Eve which took place at that mystical tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Satan is bringing the world full circle to the deceptions he used in Eden.  Eve was seduced by the promises of Spiritualism which offered her the hope of finding a higher sphere of usefulness. Satan had the same aspirations in heaven.  He wanted to have a higher place than God had given him.  He usurped authority and took one third of heavenly beings with him, not to glorious transcendent heights of wisdom, enlightenment and godliness, but straight into perdition.

Will he have greater success in this world?
Most likely.
The Conductor is calling, “All aboard!” and the whole world is ascending into darkness.

Worldwide Emergent Spiritualism

So in summary, this worldwide, cross cultural 20th century movement for women’s ordination has emerged, not from Scripture, but from Feminism.  And most importantly Feminism is simply one of the many manifestations of modern day Spiritualism.  Women’s ordination is the result of the new ‘Emergent’ Spiritualism.

We have been told that one day the whole world would come on board with Spiritualism.
It seems as though that day has come.

“I saw the rapidity with which this delusion (Spiritualism) was spreading. A train of cars was shown me, going with the speed of lightning. The angel bade me look carefully. I fixed my eyes upon the train. It seemed that the whole world was on board, that there could not be one left. Said the angel, "They are binding in bundles ready to burn." Then he showed me the conductor, who appeared like a stately, fair person, whom all the passengers looked up to and  reverenced. I was perplexed and asked my attending angel who it was. He said, "It is Satan. He is the conductor in the form of an angel of light. He has taken the world captive. They are given over to strong delusions, to believe a lie, that they may be damned. This agent, the next highest in order to him, is the engineer, and other of his agents are employed in different offices as he may need them, and they are all going with lightning speed to perdition." (Early Writings p. 88)

With ‘wondering’ eyes we are beholding the assembly of a massive universal religious system. The growth of the Emergent church, Spiritual Formation and the ONE project are recent manifestations of this religious system which are affecting our own church. (4)  Spiritualism is engulfing the entire world - the secular world, the religious world and even our own personal world just as we have been warned.

Our Plain of Dura

We are being taken with ‘lightning speed’ to an ancient place where men were called to worship a metal statue. Someday upon this modern day Plain of Dura the Iron Man of Sin will ‘arise and shake himself as before; the sackbut will sound and you and I will be asked to bow down. (5) Most everyone around us will fall in heaps to lay their faces in the dust.

The question we all must answer is, “What will you do?” . . . “Will you get on board?”

1) Buddhist ordination of women
 Issues around the ordination of women in Buddhism

Alliance for Bhikkhunis
 Mormon ordination of women
 Website - “Ordain Women - Mormon women seeking equality and ordination to the priesthood”

 Islamic ordination of women
 “Women as Imams”
 “Islam, Feminism and Human Rights”

2) Dates for ordaining women

3) Older posts from A Simple Femininity
"No Longer in Sheep's Garb"
"Feminism Rooted in Spiritualism?"

4) “Omega Emerging Symposium” sponsored by the Sacramento Central SDA Church offered a series of lectures on the Emergent Church, Spiritual Formation and the ONE project which were very informative and are a good place to begin looking into these topics.

5) See Daniel 3 for the story of the call to false worship on the plain of Dura.