Last night, after having such good conversation regarding women and ordination, as I laid watching CNN they had a report of Muslim women being “elevated” where they can now teach others of the faith. I was a bit surprised especially since women in ministry is such an issue within my own church. Yet, I also realized, you have never and will never, ever hear of a female Imam. Then I consider the Roman Catholic Church. Again, no matter what service is given, you will never, ever hear of women priests. I thought about my day as a Pentecostal pastor. If you are married, the trend during the 70’s and 80’s were your wife would become your co-pastor. And here we are today, with all what is going on in the world regarding gender acceptance, sexual-orientation acceptance, the question is asked, “Where do we, as Seventh Day Adventist, fit in?
The answer should not be a complicated one. God’s people were never to “fit in” but to stand separate, different, even called, “peculiar” from all other nations, religious groups in the world. We have been given, like Israel, what the rest of the world, the religious groups, were not given, and we forget this. We forget the great mission, the message, given us to give to the world, and it is not by design because the tempter has managed to divert our attention from the more important aspect of our faith, toward others, to ourselves, and in these days and hours when the battle became against each other, how many souls perished for lack of instruction?
My participation in the battle which should never have been, is over!
It has never been my goal to “fit in”. Even during those difficult years as a teen-ager, when mother had not the money to give us so we could look like the other kids, eat like the other kids, she taught us to be “different”, to stand out, to be leaders where others would want to be like us. It’s a principle I’ve carried about most of my adult life, not fearing to be different, to have a different opinion, to speak my mind, not to be afraid of confrontation or controversy. Thank you, Mother, for your early preparatory message which I now am thankful I can go against the majority, when it is them against me. Sometimes to stand up against the many, knowing a beat-down is going to happen, for me, but at least I’ve given it my best. After all, wasn’t this what Christ experienced, too?
So, this will end my debating, discussing, my participation in trying to resolve what has already been resolved by leaders of my Church who are a lot smarter than I am. This is why they were placed in this position and not me. They are to lead and I am to follow. In my own sphere of influence is where I lead, and my leading should be toward Christ.
This is where I fit in.
July 10, 2015