The Unacceptable Train

  Since 2007, while I was an undergraduate at SWAU, I have been explaining that Women’s Ordination is the caboose in the front and LGBTQPedophilesXYZetc. Ordination is the Locomotive Engine that is driving this train. This pink train presents itself as the “cure” but in reality is the illness.
Inline image
Below is an excellent email from DH which announces the train is arriving at the station. Will you get onboard of the pink train to the second death? or will you get on board the train to heaven?
Early Writings, Page 263
     I saw the rapidity with which this delusion was spreading. A trainof 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. Then he showed me the conductor, a fair, stately 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. His agent, the highest in order next to him, is the engineer, and others of his agents are employed in different offices as he may need them, and they are all going with lightning speed to perdition.”
     I asked the angel if there were none left. He bade me look in the opposite direction, and I saw a little company traveling a narrow pathway. All seemed to be firmly united by the truth. This little company looked careworn, as if they had passed through severe trials and conflicts. And it appeared as if the sun had just arisen from behind a cloud and shone upon their countenances, causing them to look triumphant as if their victories were nearly won.
     I saw that the Lord has given the world opportunity to discover the snare. This one thing is evidence enough for the Christian if there were no other; there is no difference made between the precious and the vile.
On Sunday, November 20, 2016 7:58 PM, DH <dh@yahoo.com> wrote:
From: D H
Date: November 20, 2016 at 9:55:44 PM CST
Subject: Adventist Chaplain Terry Rice Waits “Indefinitely” for Church 
Note: For many years some have been warning that Women Ordination was going to inevitable lead to the acceptance of homosexual pastors. Time and time again that idea was called outrageous and this woould never happen. Now here is an article of an openly gay male saying he was “CALLED”. This was the same reason given for the Women Ordination. Once you leave the scriptures you open the door and there is no way to close it.
The work of Christ is to draw men from the false and spurious to the true and genuine. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] There is no danger of going into error while we follow in the footsteps of “the Light of the world.” We are to work the works of Christ. We must engage heart and soul in his service; we must search the word of life, and present it to others. We must educate the people to realize the importance of its teaching, and the danger of deviating from its plain commands. – {CE 121.1}
The Jews were led into error and ruin, and to the rejection of the Lord of glory, because they knew not the Scriptures, nor the power of God. A great work is before us,—to lead men to take God’s word as the rule of their lives, to make no compromise with tradition and custom, but to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.The Review and Herald, July 17, 1888. – {CE 121.2}
1)  I’ve been a healthcare chaplain since 2008, and before that, I was a Chaplain/Bible Teacher in Seventh-day Adventist academies.  A chaplain is a pastor who ministers in a community impacted by a non-congregational institution.  After I “came out” as gay, I moved from the educational setting to the health-care setting where I minister to hospice patients, their families, and our own staff as they desire.
 
2) How did you decide to become a chaplain?
I had a heart for spirituality at an early age. But it was after talking to Chinese students desiring Bible studies in Beijing that I followed my heart for learning and sharing wonderful things about God.
 
3)The North American Division team performing the service took me aside. I was told that my “endorsement is in process.” When I asked for how long, the answer was “indefinitely” and that I “had no choice but to wait.”
4) But when the NAD team prayerfully laid hands on my colleague, she asked for me to come to the front with the other local pastors to join in the laying on of hands“It was the right thing to do,” Jaci told me later when I asked her why she had made a point of my participation.
 
5) How and when do you think the church’s attitude toward gay members might change?
It will never change in my lifetime if we keep a need for a global consensus to bless what we say and do locally.  In North America, it has changed for the better over the years. A few more Adventist churches are becoming not only welcoming but also affirming.
 
6) I know of many Adventist pastors who tell me privately that my orientation is a beautiful expression of God’s diverse creation. It starts with humbly learning God’s love and realizing “sola scriptura” doesn’t mean “sola hermeneutics.”
Jude 1:6-7 KJV
[6] And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. [7] Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Terry Rice, hospice chaplain in Walla Walla, Washington, finds his career on hold because the Adventist church has so far refused to acknowledge his calling through ordination.
Question: You are a chaplain for a hospice in Walla Walla, Washington. How long have you been working as a chaplain? 
Answer: I’ve been a healthcare chaplain since 2008, and before that, I was a Chaplain/Bible Teacher in Seventh-day Adventist academies.  A chaplain is a pastor who ministers in a community impacted by a non-congregational institution.  After I “came out” as gay, I moved from the educational setting to the health-care setting where I minister to hospice patients, their families, and our own staff as they desire. When someone comes on hospice,he/she is given a prognosis of six months or less to live. A hospice team providing comfort can include a nurse, NAC [certified nursing assistant], social worker, chaplain, and volunteers if desired.  
What does your job entail? What does a typical day look like for you?
 
While the hospice is a non-faith-based nonprofit, spiritual support is highly valued in our community. Thus, I am one of two full-time chaplains who travel to farms, log cabins, assisted living centers, and the state penitentiary in our counties of northeast Oregon and southeast Washington state. I empathize with patients/families and administer spiritual practices congruent with their faith as they engage in soon-coming death. I serve the bereaved in many grief groups we offer or through funerals when there is no reference to a pastor. Baptisms, communion, prayer, scripture reading, and guided meditation, are among the many rituals I might be asked to perform for such a diverse religious population. 
Were you a theology major?
I graduated with a BA in Religious Education from Southern Adventist University to become an academy chaplain. After teaching for a couple of years, I took a year to train as a literature evangelist in Florida in a program called SOULS (east) at that time. Right after that, I trained at Andrews University in the seminary, graduating with a Master of Divinity. Then I returned to teaching religion at our academies. Throughout this training, I served in Beijing, China, as a student missionary in and Taipei, Taiwan, in the founding teaching team and summer camp director for what is now Primacy Preparatory Academy.
How did you decide to become a chaplain?
I had a heart for spirituality at an early age. But it was after talking to Chinese students desiring Bible studies in Beijing that I followed my heart for learning and sharing wonderful things about God.
Have you belonged to the Adventist church all your life? What was your upbringing like?
I was born into a missionary heritage. My grandfather was president of Spicer Memorial College in India.  He and my grandmother started a community service center in Cooranbong, Australia. My oldest brother was born while my parents were serving in Papua, New Guinea.  I grew up within this culture while my father was a professor at what is now Southern Adventist University. I am an Adventist to the core! Growing up near the colleges, I experienced a collegiate-style Adventism.
Does the hospice you work for require that you be endorsed by your church?
I’m glad it hasn’t as it would have caused more stress in the matter. But my employer does assume that we chaplains do what it takes to grow professionally. And the Association of Professional Chaplains requires that I have endorsement by the national agency of a denomination before I engage with the committees that lead to Board Certification. Being board certified puts me in an interfaith network of chaplains to collaborate and explore best practices and accountability to a code of ethics and continuing education. As a pastor, acknowledgment of my calling through ordination (within a denomination) would also be my next step. 
I understand that the North American Division refuses to permit Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries to endorse you because you are gay. What have you been told about that decision and the reasons behind it?
Last August, I went to support my chaplain colleague Jaci Cress who was being ordained (commissioned) at an Adventist hospital in town. The North American Division team performing the service took me aside. I was told that my “endorsement is in process.” When I asked for how long, the answer was “indefinitely” and that I “had no choice but to wait.”  During the service, the NAD team called all pastors to come to the front to lay hands on Jaci Cress. 
“Why aren’t you going up there? Aren’t you ordained?” a social counselor sitting next to me asked. “I’m ordained by Jesus Christ,” I said. But when the NAD team prayerfully laid hands on my colleague, she asked for me to come to the front with the other local pastors to join in the laying on of hands. “It was the right thing to do,” Jaci told me later when I asked her why she had made a point of my participation. The wait for endorsement has required a lot of patience on my part since I fulfilled my requirements many years ago. My experience with Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries has been very supportive until I reached the committee that includes pastors of other NAD entities. 
The chaplains who head up Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries have spent years serving the general, non-Adventist population, and some have an awareness of the social injustice gay people face. Their experiences of gay Christians in the military is well informed. But I can imagine communicating this viewpoint is very difficult to those whose perspective on LGTBQ people is informed solely by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I really feel for them as they try to find the “right moment” when a committee of well-informed pastors see my being gay as a non-issue to the hospice community I serve. This moment never seems to come.  I wonder if they are worried that I am believing the strong faith of the loving, committed, same-sex Adventists that I see God bless. I wonder if they are puzzled that one can be called to celibacy and still be unashamedly gay. Whatever their reasons, they don’t understand that waiting prolongs a climate of oppressive injustice for me.
 
Is there any chance that the Division could change its mind and decide to allow you to be endorsed? Is there a specific person or committee that is responsible for the decision?
Apparently a committee chair noticed my name and removed it before the committee could vote on it. Unfortunately devoted, godly men with good intentions are taking action to keep the church “pure” from people like me. But the only person feeling this action is me.  Some sort of accountability must be introduced in the NAD to make sure well-trained chaplains are not dismissed without discussion. Messing with the ordination/endorsement process should put their own ordination status at risk. But I see no accountability there nor any real communication. I am told by both retired/current Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries members that people don’t want to vote against the person stonewalling me as he has lots of political influence in the NAD. And my career is stuck in this political game “indefinitely.”
After four years of keeping this issue silent, last year I started to get vocal. Realizing my chance to voice this, I was flown out to the General Conference in Silver Spring this year to answer questions about my being gay and Adventist. Still today, ACM has not voted on my name “yay” or “nay” nor made recommendations as I was promised. If I’m at fault for misunderstanding, I’m sorry. But no one is continually clarifying with me anymore. Whenever I am discriminated against by my church, this pattern of silence always happens. Thank God this is a non-issue at my hospice, and there any hold-up based on one’s sexual orientation is seen as a case of discrimination, upheld by law. But in religion, people can discriminate. 
I take responsibility for putting myself at risk to stay Adventist. I know my beliefs are more affirming. I realize this can be a scary issue for people who feel they must protect the church from “condoning sin.”  I sin; we all do from time to time, regrettably. My question is this: Where have I sinned on this matter? What does this have to do with hospice ministry? I wonder if they aren’t happy simply because I am not ashamed of being gay.
 
 
How does the lack of endorsement affect you professionally?
As I said, it holds me back from networking with other colleagues in the Association of Professional Chaplains. And I think my hospice deserves a chaplain who is ordained after so many years.
How does it affect you personally?
When you’ve dedicated yourself to the church you love and see yourself as nothing other than a Seventh-day Adventist; when this church puts you “in process” with no reassuring guarantees because of your sexual orientation — I feel very dehumanized. I start to question my own abilities. I feel less confident. My tendency is to beg for affirmation, until I discover my best affirmation is found in Jesus who created me utterly amazing. I can’t expect them to understand, let alone advocate. You see, I’ve been in this position waiting many times — most frequently when I am dealing with the Seventh-day Adventist church. The whole experience is really gut-wrenching. Must I choose another denomination even though I feel so connected to Adventism? Being gay and Adventist is who I am. 
Would you consider leaving the church? Or your job? What are your plans? Why do you stay?
We all are making choices. The church is making a choice to not do anything and stay silent. And this means “Go away.” It took me six years to learn this. Even if I believed the best and I got a “Yes,” would I want this kind of endorsement backing my hospice ministry? I’m here on this earth to serve the Lord and minister. I love my church, but I love my Lord more. I love what He calls me to do more. If this means leaving my church to do His will, I will do it.
 
Interacting with thousands of patients of other religions tells me that God is very alive and present out there.  Right now I’m told by pastors of another long-standing denomination that they’ll not only consider ordaining my hospice ministry but also ordaining me to the people I serve in the Adventist Church, having a dual identity with them. And there is some friendly competition between pastors of local congregations Sweet Life Church and First Congregational Church about which of them might back my hospice ministry. I love their grace toward my Adventist beliefs and being gay. Both say that joining their denomination doesn’t mean I must leave the Adventist Church unless a local Adventist church enforces a narrow membership policy on me. That would be their choice — not mine — and I’ll respect that. 
How and when do you think the church’s attitude toward gay members might change?
It will never change in my lifetime if we keep a need for a global consensus to bless what we say and do locally.  In North America, it has changed for the better over the years. A few more Adventist churches are becoming not only welcoming but also affirming.
What is there about the Adventist church that makes you feel hopeful?
I know of many Adventist pastors who tell me privately that my orientation is a beautiful expression of God’s diverse creation. It starts with humbly learning God’s love and realizing “sola scriptura” doesn’t mean “sola hermeneutics.”
We Adventists also have an imperfect social justice history that has eventually sided in favor of inclusion. Our expression of Christianity is different enough for many progressives to remain in the church to some degree. Also, millennials teach us that sometimes we need not leave one tribe for another. So long as one Christ-serving tribe fills the soul with strength, we can identify with many and make a difference everywhere.
 
Note: I included some of the comments to give perspective  to how those who believe in the biblical truth on women ordination are viewed. Persecution in God’s name. John Reumann wrote a book called “Ministries Examined: Laity, Clergy, Women, and Bishops in a Time of Change. (Link provided below) In this book he describes the possible paths to a church accepting Women as Pastors. One of the methods is to say the women were called by the Holy Spirit. Another method was to vote on the issue. 
John 16:1-4 KJV
[1] These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. [2] They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. [3] And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. [4] But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
1) In a conference room of the Courtyard by Mariott hotel across the highway from the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters, TEAM (Time for Equality in Adventist Ministry) hosted the premiere of the new documentary film, “Called,” for a small group of Adventist pastors and leaders.
2) The film screening corresponded with the North American Division (NAD) Year-end Meeting, coming close on the heels of an NAD Executive Committee voted statement in strong support of women in ministry,..
3) Women who have been called by God face unending prejudice in many communities of faith,” says the film’s introductory statement
    SILVER SPRING – In a conference room of the Courtyard by Mariott hotel across the highway from the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters, TEAM (Time for Equality in Adventist Ministry) hosted the premiere of the new documentary film, “Called,” for a small group of Adventist pastors and leaders.
      The film screening corresponded with the North American Division (NAD) Year-end Meeting, coming close on the heels of an NAD Executive Committee voted statement in strong support of women in ministry, which said in part, “we wish to once again publicly affirm our unwavering support and steadfast intent to realize the full equality of women in ministry, in fulfillment of biblical principles, in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
     The “Called” film features four women who have answered the call to pastoral ministry, the stories of their becoming pastors, and the opposition they sometimes face. Rebecca Davis (pictured above) is a district pastor in Washington and Thomson, Georgia. Jessie Lopez is an associate pastor of the Atlanta North Seventh-day Adventist Church in Georgia. Heather Crews is a district pastor in Williamsburg, Virginia. Trudy Dunn is a district pastor in Moline and Galesburg, Illinois.
“Women who have been called by God face unending prejudice in many communities of faith,” says the film’s introductory statement. ” ‘Called’ is a brief exploration into four faith communities’ stories as they, for the first time, intersect with women pastors.” The film was produced by Brillhart Media for TEAM with the support of many Seventh-day Adventist conferences and church members.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s