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Gregory Matthews

Pacific Union Conference Leaders Takea a Stand

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Gregory Matthews

See:

https://conversation.spectrummagazine.org/t/pacific-union-officials-decline-inclusion-in-sda-yearbook-stand-in-solidarity-with-president-sandra-roberts/14811

Due to the continued absence of Elder Sandra Roberts’ name in the listing of the officers of SECC in the SDA Yearbook, the Presidents Council, consisting of the 7 conference presidents, 4 union officers, 3 ethnic coordinators, higher education presidents, and director of Education for the Union have chosen not to submit their own names for inclusion in the SDA Yearbook as leaders of their conferences or institutions. It was affirmed in this decision that each leader would exercise their own liberty of conscience on this matter.

The Union executive committee on November 9, 2017, received and affirmed this decision by the President’s Council. It is so noted in the Executive Committee minutes.

 

 

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debbym

it is for the record... the record stands.  Let it be known... 

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Gregory Matthews

The reaction that I received from one female that heard about it:

Wow, that is really great.  It was just what they should have done.  I am impressed.

 

 

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debbym

It seems to comes under the category of civil disobedience.  just quietly disregarding what you don't agree with, can have the greatest impact. Sometimes just leaving speaks more eloquently.  it seems no one has noticed the noise... maybe the silence will speak louder.

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B/W Photodude
3 hours ago, debbym said:

It seems to comes under the category of civil disobedience.  just quietly disregarding what you don't agree with, 

When does disregarding what you don't agree with turn into lawlessness?

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CoAspen

There are just laws and unjust laws. Lawlessness could aply to both if it came down to "a state of disorder". There is no law involved in this instance. No civil disobedience is involved either. 

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debbym
9 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

When does disregarding what you don't agree with turn into lawlessness?

first there has to be a law... in this case there is no law...

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B/W Photodude
1 hour ago, debbym said:

first there has to be a law... in this case there is no law...

Quote

Lawlessness is a lack of law, in any of the various senses of that word. Lawlessness may describe various conditions.

a state of disorder due to a disregard of the law.

"In the various senses of the word" would cover non-compliance of a normal way of doing things. In this case, not submitting names brings chaos to the usual publishing of an SDA yearbook. Rather juvenile of these "church leaders."

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debbym
23 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

"In the various senses of the word" would cover non-compliance of a normal way of doing things. In this case, not submitting names brings chaos to the usual publishing of an SDA yearbook. Rather juvenile of these "church leaders."

not chaos, it is a gentle protest... it is expression of disagreement.... clear and nonviolent.

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debbym

it seems you are uncomfortable with individuals being free to even disagree with the publishers of this SDA Yearbook to not include one of the conference presidents...

and then being free to act on their disagreement, as if they had become lawless...  interesting.

having a different way of thinking is not lawlessness.

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Gregory Matthews

For another view:

I have received a private communication  from an individual who does not  wish to post it:

*  That action will not accomplish anything.

*  It has the potential for further complicating the issue and making it worse.

*  It is likely to further stimulate President Ted to take disciplinary action against the people who have taken the action.

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debbym

Of course.  there are those who disagree with the differing of conviction... and they will act controlling  ways to dominate... 

This reminds me of Trump punishing states that did not vote for him.

Ted already desires to punish the conference that had Sandra Roberts as President.  Anyone who stands with her is in line for that punishment.

There is nothing new here.  Ted already knows those who disagree with him.   It is just that irking reality made clear again.

This is an unresolved conflict that has been in existence for a long long time. 

Sandra Roberts is a woman in SDA leadership who refused to walk to the back of the bus.

Social change comes hard, especially when people used the Bible to justify holding onto the status quo.  Men felt justified in hitting their wives because scripture says, Wives obey your husbands.

The first female to refuse to walk to the back of the bus was a praying 15 year old...

Claudette Colvin:
Twice Toward Justice
By Phillip Hoose
Hardcover, 144 pages
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
List price: $19.95

CLAUDETTE: One of them said to the driver in a very angry tone, "Who is it?" The motorman pointed at me. I heard him say, "That's nothing new . . . I've had trouble with that 'thing' before." He called me a "thing." They came to me and stood over me and one said, "Aren't you going to get up?" I said, "No, sir." He shouted "Get up" again. I started crying, but I felt even more defiant. I kept saying over and over, in my high-pitched voice, "It's my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it's my constitutional right!" I knew I was talking back to a white policeman, but I had had enough.

One cop grabbed one of my hands and his partner grabbed the other and they pulled me straight up out of my seat. My books went flying everywhere. I went limp as a baby—I was too smart to fight back. They started dragging me backwards off the bus. One of them kicked me. I might have scratched one of them because I had long nails, but I sure didn't fight back. I kept screaming over and over, "It's my constitutional right!" I wasn't shouting anything profane—I never swore, not then, not ever. I was shouting out my rights.

It just killed me to leave the bus. I hated to give that white woman my seat when so many black people were standing. I was crying hard. The cops put me in the back of a police car and shut the door. They stood outside and talked to each other for a minute, and then one came back and told me to stick my hands out the open window. He handcuffed me and then pulled the door open and jumped in the backseat with me. I put my knees together and crossed my hands over my lap and started praying.

All ride long they swore at me and ridiculed me. They took turns trying to guess my bra size. They called me "[theN-word] bitch" and cracked jokes about parts of my body. I recited the Lord's Prayer and the Twenty-third Psalm over and over in my head, trying to push back the fear. I assumed they were taking me to juvenile court because I was only fifteen. I was thinking, Now I'm gonna be picking cotton, since that's how they punished juveniles—they put you in a school out in the country where they made you do field work during the day.

But we were going in the wrong direction. They kept telling me I was going to Atmore, the women's penitentiary. Instead, we pulled up to the police station and they led me inside. More cops looked up when we came in and started calling me "Thing" and "Whore." They booked me and took my fingerprints.

Then they put me back in the car and drove me to the city jail—the adult jail. Someone led me straight to a cell without giving me any chance to make a phone call. He opened the door and told me to get inside. He shut it hard behind me and turned the key. The lock fell into place with a heavy sound. It was the worst sound I ever heard. It sounded final. It said I was trapped.

When he went away, I looked around me: three bare walls, a toilet, and a cot. Then I feel down on my knees in the middle of the cell and started crying again. I didn't know if anyone knew where I was or what had happened to me. I had no idea how long I would be there. I cried and I put my hands together and prayed like I had never prayed before.

• • •

MEANWHILE, schoolmates who had been on the bus had run home and telephoned Claudette's mother at the house where she worked as a maid. Girls went over and took care of the lady's three small children so that Claudette's mother could leave. Mary Ann Colvin called Claudette's pastor, the Reverend H.H. Johnson. He had a car, and together they sped to the police station.

• • •

CLAUDETTE: When they led Mom back, there I was in a cell. I was cryin' hard, and then Mom got upset, too. When she saw me, she didn't bawl me out, she just asked, "Are you all right, Claudette?"

Reverend Johnson bailed me out and we drove home. By the time we got to King Hill, word had spread everywhere. All our neighbors came around, and they were just squeezing me to death. I felt happy and proud. I had been talking about getting our rights ever since Jeremiah Reeves was arrested, and now they knew I was serious. Velma, Q.P. and Mary Ann's daughter, who was living with us at the time, kept saying it was my squeaky little voice that had saved me from getting beat up or raped by the cops.

But I was afraid that night, too. I had stood up to a white bus driver and two white cops. I had challenged the bus law. There had been lynchings and cross burnings for that kind of thing. Wetumpka Highway that led out of Montgomery ran right past our house. It would have been easy for the Klan to come up the hill in the night. Dad sat up all night long with his shotgun. We all stayed up. The neighbors facing the highway kept watch. Probably nobody on King Hill slept that night.

But worried or not, I felt proud. I had stood up for our rights. I had done something a lot of adults hadn't done. On the ride home from jail, coming over the viaduct, Reverend Johnson had said something to me I'll never forget. He was an adult who everyone respected and his opinion meant a lot to me. "Claudette," he said, "I'm so proud of you. Everyone prays for freedom. We've all been praying and praying. But you're different—you want your answer the next morning. And I think you just brought the revolution to Montgomery."

Excerpted with permission from Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,by Phillip Hoose.

 

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The Wanderer
1 hour ago, debbym said:

Sandra Roberts is a woman in SDA leadership who refused to walk to the back of the bus.

Not quite, although I can see how that idea would help her story line. She, along with some men treat this as a rights issue, and nothing could be further from the truth.

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rudywoofs (Pam)

what bothers me most about this whole situation is the question in my mind of whether Roberts was truly the *best* person to be elected President of the SECC.  Was she elected strictly on the basis of her background qualifications?  Or was one of her electable qualities simply the fact that she was female?  

I know of quite a number of women who've received meritorious recognition and election over men who were just as (or more) qualified.  I would venture to guess that there were other, more qualified males who would have done a good job as SECC President (this is not to say Roberts isn't doing a good job).  

It just makes me wonder why a conference would deliberately elect a woman president, knowing it would create an issue.  I don't see the point, other than it makes a politicized social statement.  Sure, women can do the job.  And if a woman is the absolute *best* qualified to do a job, then, of course, she should do it.  But was Roberts *really* the best choice?  I dunno.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  

But she's no Rosa Parks.  This isn't a civil rights issue.

 

 

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The Wanderer
On 11/11/2017 at 9:02 AM, debbym said:

It seems to comes under the category of civil disobedience.  just quietly disregarding what you don't agree with, can have the greatest impact. Sometimes just leaving speaks more eloquently.  it seems no one has noticed the noise... maybe the silence will speak louder.

I need to remember that here on the forum! :D

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The Wanderer
1 minute ago, rudywoofs (Pam) said:

what bothers me most about this whole situation is the question in my mind of whether Roberts was truly the *best* person to be elected President of the SECC.  Was she elected strictly on the basis of her background qualifications?  Or was one of her electable qualities simply the fact that she was female?  

I agree 100% on this comment

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B/W Photodude
9 hours ago, debbym said:

it seems you are uncomfortable with individuals being free to even disagree with the publishers of this SDA Yearbook to not include one of the conference presidents...

and then being free to act on their disagreement, as if they had become lawless...  interesting.

having a different way of thinking is not lawlessness.

First of all, the church is not some political cause. It is God's church. Theoretically, the membership follows the will of God. Some of the progressives in the church make out like it is all Ted Wilson (WDS), but over 1300 delegates voted down a motion to allow conferences to do their own thing. So, if you believe that it is God's will that women be ordained to the ministry you have to be able to say these 1300+ delegates disobeyed the promptings of the Holy Spirit to vote against the motion. To continue all the actions disobedient conferences have done or all the passive-aggressive actions of different groups is unseemly behavior on the parts of many.

(WDS - Wilson Derangement Syndrome, similar to Trump Derangement Syndrome being suffered by all the liberals bent out of shape that Trump is president!)

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The Wanderer
2 minutes ago, rudywoofs (Pam) said:

It just makes me wonder why a conference would deliberately elect a woman president, knowing it would create an issue.  I don't see the point, other than it makes a politicized social statement.  Sure, women can do the job.  And if a woman is the absolute *best* qualified to do a job, then, of course, she should do it.  But was Roberts *really* the best choice?  I dunno.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  

But she's no Rosa Parks.  This isn't a civil rights issue.

 

A very fair question; in my experiences where church leaders were being chosen, there was never any of this ridiculous ordination issue stuff. And shocker of shockers, even I was chosen a couple of times for certain leadership activities, and it never once occurred to me to worry about who what position the women were in. Although I do recall one lady who was in a leadership position, and I was at the time personal Ministries leader. She offered to take my place a couple of times when I was sick, and I thought that was great.  No oby raised an issue because they all knew it wasnt necessary to get God's work done. Why cant we just be like that now? There is simply no need for this fight, and those who push it to the brink likely deserve whats coming.  Men or women who treat this as a rights issue have no idea what they are talking about, no matter how much scripture-whipping they do on their web sites

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debbym
43 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

First of all, the church is not some political cause. It is God's church. Theoretically, the membership follows the will of God. Some of the progressives in the church make out like it is all Ted Wilson (WDS), but over 1300 delegates voted down a motion to allow conferences to do their own thing. So, if you believe that it is God's will that women be ordained to the ministry you have to be able to say these 1300+ delegates disobeyed the promptings of the Holy Spirit to vote against the motion. To continue all the actions disobedient conferences have done or all the passive-aggressive actions of different groups is unseemly behavior on the parts of many.

(WDS - Wilson Derangement Syndrome, similar to Trump Derangement Syndrome being suffered by all the liberals bent out of shape that Trump is president!)

The church is not a political cause, but it has politics, and governance, policies, and social structure.  You may be a Christian, but you have a body, and a mind, and a set of relationships you live in.  Your cause may be to live for Christ and be a witness to your family and in your community, but you do so in a messy and imperfect world.

But if your foot is hurting and you cannot walk it will impact your range of motion to fulfill you cause.  If you have an illness and are in the ICU, your life is interrupted and you need care.  There are enumerable ways your life can be effected, being a Christian does not exclude you from the human experience and being impacted by the events of life, and the social political fabric of your life, your community, and your country and world.   

I the same way we have organization, policy,  politics, and social structure that touches every facet of life as Christians.  It can go less effective and more effective with change and time.  Policy and changes of policy cannot effect one person's repentance, or walk with God.  These are actions of governance, and those in positions of managing these decisions are removed from the immediate work of redemption.   No one can legislate the conscience, no one by policy can bring a soul to know God and repent. This happens in the smallest unit in spite of everything, as the holy Spirit rolls back the whole hosts of darkness and a ray of light from heaven shines, and one person turns to God.  That is the microcosm of Christianity.  Many would like it to be all there is, the individuals walk with Christ.  And two or three Christians together is the Church,   which indeed it is in the smallest unit.

But we have the global Church at work,  large scale evangelism,  humanity in a plethora of need,  causes of education, and medical work, and community services addressing  emergencies, as in survival needs.  This has called for and resulted in development of  management and policies, and many levels of governance, which involves politics.  Oh there is church politics.  Sit in on a church school board meeting, or a church board meeting.... you will find incredible politics and bantering of every kind.  Are they primarily concerned with immediate personal salvation?   Possibly so,  but the answer would be to simply turn to God and pray, open the word of God and hear it speak, and receive the power of  Christ.

This issue of women in spiritual labor,  arm in arm with men as equals,  laboring in the power of the Holy Spirit,  does not seem to be what Ted Wilson's concerns are about.  To do this is to be completely unlike the world.  To wrestle about it is to be like the world.

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Gregory Matthews

I have met Sandra Roberts.  I have discussed with her at least some of her approach to leadership, administration and ministry in the conference where she is President.

My personal opinion:  I believe that she is more qualified than are some of the Conference Presidents that I have known.  I do not know all of them, so I can not say whether or not she is the most qualified of all of the 50, or so, local Conference Presidents in the U.S.

Also, I do not believe that the SECC would continue to elect anyone as President, if its members did not think that person had demonstrated the skills needed to administer that Conference.

 

 

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phkrause

I had read somewhere that she was more than qualified for the job!! Again for me personally I am all for women to be ordained! I know people on both sides of the issue that I respect! Also as I've mentioned in the past, all the Jewish pastors are against women being ordain, is it something they know that others don't? Is it there culture that they lean on? Is it the customs of there Hebrew roots or is it just "tradition?" As has been mentioned, if the Lord really wants this to happen, it will!!

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B/W Photodude
4 hours ago, phkrause said:

Also as I've mentioned in the past, all the Jewish pastors are against women being ordain, is it something they know that others don't?

 

2 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

The Jewish religion exists in several different versions.  Some allow female Rabbis.

As everyone probably knows, there are three main branches of Judaism - reform, conservative, and orthodox with some other variations. You will probably find the reform branch accepts women as rabbis as do the conservatives, but few although becoming acceptable in the orthodox tradition. However, in the reform branch, many things traditionally followed do not happen there. I know of one reform schul which allows pork at festive gatherings. Also accepted in the reform tradition and some conservative congregations is same sex marriage which is still not accepted in the orthodox tradition.

So, you can see some parallels of acceptance of behaviors between orthodox and reform judaism (conservative in the middle) and traditional and progressive SDAs. This has been the argument on the part of many that changing interpretations of scriptures also allows changing the views on same sex marriage within Adventism and it seems to be making it's way into the church in some areas.

That is interesting that the Jewish pastors are against ordination of women. Would be a good project for a qualitative research project!

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rudywoofs (Pam)
On 11/12/2017 at 5:16 PM, Gregory Matthews said:

I have met Sandra Roberts.  I have discussed with her at least some of her approach to leadership, administration and ministry in the conference where she is President.

My personal opinion:  I believe that she is more qualified than are some of the Conference Presidents that I have known.  I do not know all of them, so I can not say whether or not she is the most qualified of all of the 50, or so, local Conference Presidents in the U.S.

Also, I do not believe that the SECC would continue to elect anyone as President, if its members did not think that person had demonstrated the skills needed to administer that Conference.

 

 

just to be clear, I never inferred that Sandra Roberts *couldn't* do the job well... She's probably doing an admirable job — women *can* be excellent leaders.  My gut feeling, though, is that her gender played a role [either consciously or subsconsciously by the voting delegates] in her being hired as the conference president.  I can't prove it, but neither can anyone disprove it.   Since she was voted in as president knowing that her election would create a furor in the higher church echelons, one must make the assumption that all other candidates were a poorer caliber compared to Roberts.  The delegates, therefore, *had* to elect a female president — because she was the only alternative to unsuitable male candidates.  It's either that, or the SECC was thumbing its nose at the GC.

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debbym
On 11/12/2017 at 8:37 AM, The Wanderer said:

Not quite, although I can see how that idea would help her story line. She, along with some men treat this as a rights issue, and nothing could be further from the truth.

this is metaphorically speaking... she is not resigning, and agreeing that she needs to leave her position because as a female she should not be serving in her position.  in this way she is not moving to the back of the bus, under the demand of people who think differently than she does.

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