Author Topic: Independence or Submission?  (Read 3316 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 40358
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Independence or Submission?
« on: November 04, 2013, 08:09:43 AM »
 
             The General Conference

I have often been instructed by the Lord that no man's judgment should be surrendered to the judgment of any other one man. Never should the mind of one man or the minds of a few men be regarded as sufficient in wisdom and power to control the work, and to say what plans shall be followed. But when, in a General Conference, the judgment of the brethren assembled from all parts of the field, is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered. Never should a laborer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body.
 
At times, when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise plans and to restrict God's work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God. But this is not saying that the decisions of a General Conference composed of an assembly of duly appointed, representative men from all parts of the field, should not be respected. God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. The error that some are in danger of committing, is in giving to the mind and judgment of one man, or of a small group of men, the full measure of authority and influence that God has vested in His church, in the judgment and voice of the General Conference assembled to plan for the prosperity and advancement of His work. 

When this power, which God has placed in the church, is accredited wholly to one man, and he is invested with the authority to be judgment for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed. Satan's efforts upon such a man's mind would be most subtle, and sometimes well-nigh overpowering; for the enemy would hope that through his mind he could affect many others. Let us give to the highest organized authority in the church that which we are prone to give to one man or to a small group of men.--" Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 9, pg 261.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 40358
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Independence or Submission?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 08:14:41 AM »
Important doctrinal matters are to be decided by the General Conference when in session. The interim authority vested in the GC executive committee has not the same power to decide doctrinal matters as has been done in the past. One such matter which now needs to be corrected is the ordaining of women elders which was authorized not by the GC in session, but by a small group of men given interim authority to deal with matters that cannot wait until the GC session.

The principles put forth in the article here is to be understood and followed by the church.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

  • Regular Member
  • Posts: 27796
  • www.remnant-online.org
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Independence or Submission?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2014, 05:35:02 AM »
I was reminded of this thread when reading The Acts of the Apostles this morning. The church in Thessalonica presented Paul with a situation not unlike that which we face today.

There are in the world today many who close their eyes to the evidences that Christ has given to warn men of His coming. They seek to quiet all apprehension, while at the same time the signs of the end are rapidly fulfilling, and the world is hastening to the time when the Son of man shall be revealed in the clouds of heaven. Paul teaches that it is sinful to be indifferent to the signs which are to precede the second coming of Christ. Those guilty of this neglect he calls children of the night and of darkness. He encourages the vigilant and watchful with these words: "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober."  {AA 260.1} 

     Especially important to the church in our time are the teachings of the apostle upon this point. To those living so near the great consummation, the words of Paul should come with telling force: "Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him."  {AA 260.2} 

     The watchful Christian is a working Christian, seeking zealously to do all in his power for the advancement of the gospel. As love for his Redeemer increases, so also does love for his fellow men. He has severe trials, as had his Master; but he does not allow affliction to sour his temper or destroy his peace of mind. He knows that trial, if well borne, will refine and purify him, and bring him into closer fellowship with Christ. Those who are partakers of Christ's sufferings will also be partakers of His consolation and at last sharers of His glory.  {AA 261.1} 

     "We beseech you, brethren," Paul continued in his letter to the Thessalonians, "to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves."  {AA 261.2} 

     The Thessalonian believers were greatly annoyed by men coming among them with fanatical ideas and doctrines. Some were "disorderly, working not at all, but . . . busy-bodies." The church had been properly organized, and officers had been appointed to act as ministers and deacons. But there were some, self-willed and impetuous, who refused to be subordinate to those who held positions of authority in the church. They claimed not only the right of private judgment, but that of publicly urging their views upon the church. In view of this, Paul called the attention of the Thessalonians to the respect and deference due to those who had been chosen to occupy positions of authority in the church.  {AA 261.3} 

     In his anxiety that the believers at Thessalonica should walk in the fear of God, the apostle pleaded with them to reveal practical godliness in the daily life. "We beseech you, brethren," he wrote, "and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication." "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness."  {AA 262.1} 

     The apostle felt that he was to a large extent responsible for the spiritual welfare of those converted under his labors. His desire for them was that they might increase in a knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He had sent. Often in his ministry he would meet with little companies of men and women who loved Jesus, and bow with them in prayer, asking God to teach them how to maintain a living connection with Him. Often he took counsel with them as to the best methods of giving to others the light of gospel truth. And often, when separated from those for whom he had thus labored, he pleaded with God to keep them from evil and help them to be earnest, active missionaries.  {AA 262.2} 

     One of the strongest evidences of true conversion is love to God and man. Those who accept Jesus as their Redeemer have a deep, sincere love for others of like precious faith. Thus it was with the believers at Thessalonica. "As touching brotherly love," the apostle wrote, "ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."  {AA 262.3} 

     "The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end He may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."  {AA 263.1}

     "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  {AA 263.2} 

     The apostle cautioned the Thessalonians not to despise the gift of prophecy, and in the words, "Quench not the Spirit; despise not prophesyings; prove all things; hold fast that which is good," he enjoined a careful discrimination in distinguishing the false from the true. He besought them to "abstain from all appearance of evil;" and closed his letter with the prayer that God would sanctify them wholly, that in "Spirit and soul and body" they might "be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you," he added, "who also will do it."  {AA 263.3}
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

  • Regular Member
  • Posts: 27796
  • www.remnant-online.org
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Independence or Submission?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2014, 07:10:14 AM »
From ADvindicate.com September 25, 2014. This fits nicely into this topic - Independence or Submission?




Is God's model of church organization optional?
September 25, 2014 David Read

The final meeting of the Theology of Ordination Study Committee saw the emergence of a “third way” caucus. This group acknowledges that Scripture sets forth a “model,” “pattern” or “ideal” of male leadership in the church, but feels that because male leadership relates to organization, it can be waived or altered by local constituencies of the church. Male leadership in the church, they argue, is among those ideals that:

“deal with ritual, ceremonial, organizational, or legal practices and precepts, whose intention is to bring order to the community of believers, safeguard the identity of God’s people, and enhance the Church’s mission. Such ideals are important, but because they have an ecclesiological function and a missional purpose, the Bible indicates that they can in certain circumstances be modified and adapted.”

Is this true? Are God's ritual, ceremonial, organizational, or legal practices and precepts less binding than “God’s absolute moral commands and eternal truths”? A brief tour through the Scriptures will show that God makes no distinction between ritual, ceremonial, and organizational practices and precepts, on the one hand, and moral commands and eternal truths, on the other.

I.    Cain and Abel

Although God had specified the sacrifice of a lamb, Cain reasoned that because he was gardener, he should be allowed to offer something from his garden, just as Abel could offer something from his flock. Despite the apparent reasonableness of his substituted offering, God rejected it. Cain took out his anger at the Lord's rejection of his offering on his brother Abel, committing the first murder. (Gen. 4:1-10) The issue was correct ritual, ceremony, and worship: Abel brought the offering that God had specified, but Cain thought a reasonable substitution should be allowed. Cain's decision to “modify or adapt” God's command to his circumstances did not end well.

II.    Judah and Tamar

Genesis 38 relates a story involving the rule that if a young man died leaving a young widow, his brother was to marry the woman and father a child who would be counted as his brother's, thus perpetuating his brother's line. This was known as the rule of Levirate marriage, certainly a “ritual, ceremonial, organizational or legal practice.” Judah had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah, the oldest of whom married Tamar. But Er “was a wicked man in the sight of the Lord”--the narrative does not describe the nature of his wickedness-- “and the Lord took his life.” Judah's second son, Onan, then married Tamar, but Onan refused to father a child with her, instead spilling his seed on the ground (which is why coitus interruptus and masturbation are sometimes referred to as “Onanism”). For his refusal to honor the rule of Levirate marriage, the Lord killed Onan.

Upon Onan's death, Judah's third son, Shelah, was too young to do his duty by Tamar, so she was told to wait until he grew up. But Judah had already lost two sons who had been married to Tamar, and he was not about to risk the life of his remaining son. (And, frankly, I sympathize with him.) Years later, Tamar realized that Judah had no intention of marrying her to Shelah, who was by then a full grown man. So in desperation she played the prostitute and transacted business with Judah himself. In that culture, just as the libretto of an opera buffa would have it, prostitutes wore veils, so even as he knew Tamar, Judah did not recognize her. She became pregnant and was on the verge of being put to death when she proved that Judah had fathered her child (which turned out to be twins). “She is more righteous than I,” acknowledged Judah. (Gen. 38:26)

Judah chose to “modify or adapt” the ceremonial rule of Levirate marriage so as to substitute only one brother instead of as many brothers, seriatim, as were both extant and necessary, which is what the rule called for (See, Mat. 22:23-28). Tamar's temporary resort to prostitution transgressed, even subverted, the rule of sex only within marriage, but Scripture says she was more righteous than he. Judah's failure to adhere to the exact letter of a ceremonial provision was more serious than Tamar's subversion of a moral law of general applicability.

III.    Ceremonial Infractions Punished Severely

At the first Passover, correctly slaughtering the sacrifice and placing the blood on the lintel and doorposts—correct ritual—was the difference between life and death for the firstborn sons. (Ex. 12) In the laws given to Israel, laws relating to religion and proper ritual are mixed in with laws relating to property, sexual morality, and social responsibility, without distinction. (Ex. 22:18, 20, 28, 31; 23:10-19)

For offering unauthorized fire in their incense censers—seemingly a very minor ritual violation—the death sentence was executed on Nadab and Abihu. For going into the tabernacle after drinking alcohol, the sentence was death. (Lev. 10:9) Moses was denied entrance to the Promised Land for having struck the rock to obtain water, rather than speaking to it (Num. 20:1-13), even though on a previous comparable occasion he had been commanded to strike the rock. (Ex. 17:6) This seemingly minor deviation from the specified ritual was sufficient to keep Moses, the greatest of all prophets (Deut. 34:10), out of the long-sought promised land.

IV.    The Rebellion of Korah

Perhaps the most relevant Old Testament history, as Stephen Bohr has pointed out, is the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. They and 250 of the leading men of Israel argued that “the whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them,” (Num. 16:3) hence the priesthood should not be restricted to just Aaron and his sons. (Num. 16:10) Clearly, who may serve as a priest is the essence of ceremonial or ritual law—not a moral or Ten Commandment issue—and it would certainly seem that God's restriction of the priesthood to Aaron and his descendants was arbitrary, exclusive, non-diverse, and generally retrograde and undemocratic.

Yet God responded to this plea for fairness and equality by causing the ground below Korah, Dathan and Abiram to swallow them and their families. Then fire came out from God and consumed the 250 men who were offering incense with censers. And then a plague broke out and killed 14,700 people who had sympathized with the rebellion. (Num. 16) When God has established qualifications for religious leadership, however arbitrary we think them, He does not appreciate our efforts to change them.

V.    Israel Not to Worship God “in Their Way”

God warned the Israelites that they were not to copy the modes of worship of the Canaanites: “You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.” (Deut. 12:4) It was not enough to worship the right God; God must be worshiped in the way He specifies, not in the way others worship their gods. As I noted before, Israel often failed in this regard, worshiping Yahweh, but worshiping Him at the high places the Canaanites had previously dedicated to their idolatrous cults. (1 Kings 15:9-15; 22:41-43; 2 Kings 12:1-3; 14:1-4; 15:1-4, 32-35)

VI.    Do Not Touch the Ark

Sometimes, a religious transgression is more serious than a moral one. As Eli told his sons, who misused their priestly office and were killed for it, God's order of worship is not to be trifled with: “If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him, but if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?” (1 Sam. 2:25) In the battle with the Philistines in which Eli's sons were killed, Israel lost the Ark of the Covenant. (1 Sam. 4:17) When it was returned to Israel, God killed 70 men of Beth Shemesh for the irreverent and forbidden act of looking at the Ark. (1 Sam. 6:19; Num. 4:20)

Years later, when the Ark was being brought from Kiriath-jearim/Baalah to Jerusalem in an ox cart, the oxen stumbled and Uzzah reached out and took hold of it to steady it. For his irreverence, God struck him dead. (2 Sam. 6:1-8) Now, the Ark should never have been transported in an ox cart; that is how the Philistines, who did not know any better, returned it to Israel. (1 Sam. 6:7-12) The Israelites should have known that the Levites were to carry the Ark on their shoulders, by poles inserted through loops on the Ark. (Ex. 25:12-14; Num. 7:9) God did not punish Uzzah for this irregularity (which may have been arranged by King David [2 Sam. 6:1-5]), but Uzzah went too far when he touched the Ark. He knew or should have known that this was strictly forbidden, on pain of death. (Num. 4:15)

Now, surely Uzzah had only the best intentions: he wanted to steady the Ark and spare it the ignominy of falling into the dirt. Yet Uzzah's good intentions did not license him to “modify or adapt” the “ritual, ceremonial, organizational, or legal practices and precepts” that God has specified, specifically, that no one was to touch the Ark.

VII.     Going Forward

Space constraints dictate that our tour through Scripture stop at 2 Samuel; had we gone further, we doubtless could have found more illustrations and examples. Suffice it to say that there is no scriptural principle that allows us to change or dispense with the “ritual, ceremonial, organizational, or legal practices and precepts” that God has given us. God's directives regarding sacred order and ritual are not optional. To the contrary, God often punished deviation from his ceremonial and ritual requirements more severely than he punished the transgression of moral principles or the Ten Commandments. God is particular about the way He is worshiped, and, as the “third way” caucus acknowledges, Scripture specifies an ideal, pattern, and model of male leadership in the church.

The Adventist Review recently published a story on the final report of the Theology of Ordination Study Committee, and the need for prayer as the church moves forward on this issue. The next step is for the Annual Council, which meets in October, to decide what to submit to the delegates for a vote at next year's General Conference Session in San Antonio. It is my firm conviction that the Annual Council should not even consider submitting the “third way” option to the delegates in San Antonio.

As a worldwide church, led by the Holy Spirit, we must (1) decide what Scripture is telling us about sex roles in the church, (2) briefly articulate the biblical doctrine, and (3) vote to adopt it as our universal rule of faith and practice, local culture notwithstanding. If Scripture shows us male leadership in the church, as the “third way” caucus acknowledges it does, we dare not set that rule aside at any time or place.

Like Uzzah, the “third way” caucus has nothing but the best of intentions. They want to steady the Ark and spare the church the bitterness and disappointment those in the developed world—who have already gone forward with female ordination and even a female conference presidency—will feel if the larger church repudiates their actions. They want to steady the Ark and spare the church the pain and dislocation of a potential schism should female ordination be rejected and rolled back. They want to steady the Ark and spare the church the embarrassment of being considered unfair, retrograde, and out of step with the developed world's concept of justice.

But like Uzzah's good intentions, their good intentions do not excuse their presumption, and will not deflect God's judgment. They are not at liberty to license portions of the church to depart from the precepts God has ordained. They are not, and we are not.

- See more at: http://advindicate.com/articles/2014/9/25/is-gods-model-of-church-organization-optional#sthash.AJ5gDD1c.dpuf
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

colporteur

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 6523
Re: Independence or Submission?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2014, 06:54:27 AM »
 We have talked about "Emergent theology."   It  seems that the church has also fallen prey to "emergency" theology.  Like King Saul instead of patiently waiting on the Lord to bring revival some of leadership is trying to offer their own sacrifices by reinventing the wheel. The problem is that the wheel they are advocating is square.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

jjeanniton

  • Guest
Re: Independence or Submission?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 07:02:24 PM »
The final meeting of the Theology of Ordination Study Committee saw the emergence of a “third way” caucus. This group acknowledges that Scripture sets forth a “model,” “pattern” or “ideal” of male leadership in the church, but feels that because male leadership relates to organization, it can be waived or altered by local constituencies of the church. Male leadership in the church, they argue, is among those ideals that:
“deal with ritual, ceremonial, organizational, or legal practices and precepts, whose intention is to bring order to the community of believers, safeguard the identity of God’s people, and enhance the Church’s mission. Such ideals are important, but because they have an ecclesiological function and a missional purpose, the Bible indicates that they can in certain circumstances be modified and adapted.”
Is this true? Are God's ritual, ceremonial, organizational, or legal practices and precepts less binding than “God’s absolute moral commands and eternal truths”? A brief tour through the Scriptures will show that God makes no distinction between ritual, ceremonial, and organizational practices and precepts, on the one hand, and moral commands and eternal truths, on the other.

Actually, God DOES sometimes make a distinction between 'ritual, ceremonial, and organizational practices and precepts' and 'moral commands and eternal truths'. But what this third-way caucus forgets is that the so-called Model, Pattern, or Ideal of Male Leadership in the Church, although it appears to be one of those ritual, ceremonial, and/or organizational practices in the Church, has reasons (given by the Scripture) which I can prove follow naturally from the Nature and Reason of things (whether in the nature and essence of the sexes or of the institution which those laws intend to regulate), as only moral precepts and eternal truths can. Furthermore, it allows for no exceptions even for the so-called cases of "necessity" - because any such exception denies the doctrine of Divine Providence. The argument of the third-way caucus is this: "I KNOW and earnestly BELIEVE that in every case in which there are not enough qualified men available to lead the Church, that God is able to change circumstances in order to provide eligible men and move the Church to ordain these men to the so-called clergy, but I'll just allow for women's ordination whenever He is not willing to change these circumstances in order to send these much needed men!"

All "ritual, ceremonial, and organizational practices and precepts" of the New Testament are just as binding upon the conscience until either expressly repealed, or the reasons given for them have ceased.

Most of "ritual, ceremonial, and organizational practices and precepts" of the Old Testament have in fact, ceased to apply any further than the "general equity" behind them continues to apply. What is this "general equity"? For a good explanation, see: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2015/08/20/the-judicial-law-general-equity-vs-particular-equity/ - but I must warn you that the website in question is Presbyterian and denies the perpetuity of the seventh day as the Sabbath, and believes that God ordained in the New Testament that Sunday is the Sabbath to be strictly observed for the same natural, cosmological reasons (based on the Creation) for which He ordained the Seventh day as the Sabbath. Furthermore, the historical Presbyterian theologians are just as much the ENEMIES of Religious and Civil Liberty as were the Papists!!!