Women’s Ordination; My perspective, pt. 2

As I mentioned in part 1 of this topic, “My goal is not to tackle an issue just to do so; but if I can bring a perspective to it that no one has considered, then perhaps that is worth something.” Several days ago in my devotions an unrelated thought occurred to me; what is the motive behind this whole women’s ordination thing? Is it because women are being kept out of Christ’s ministry? Or is it because they desire greatness and need titles to go with it? I cannot propose to know every person’s thought or heart out there, but I suspect that there is some of both going on.1

I planned to introduce this thought in another article about men’s desires to be great by twisting scripture parading it as truth so they can make names for themselves, and perhaps I will in the future; but now, I understand that perspective is also relevant to this topic. People are driven to create names for themselves and leave legacies. Men do it and I’m beginning to see that women seek the same thing. Without a legacy, our names will wither away into oblivion. Therefore people seek to prevent this. But is that what we are called to do? That perspective forms the angle from which I’d like to explore.

In King Solomon’s early life we find great wisdom to live by. Although this entire quote is rife with wisdom, I’ve emphasized a few points.

The God whom we serve is no respecter of persons. He who gave to Solomon the spirit of wise discernment is willing to impart the same blessing to His children today. “If any of you lack wisdom,” His word declares, “let him ask of God, that giveth to all men [all inclusive] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5. When a burden bearer desires wisdom more than he desires wealth, power, or fame, he will not be disappointed. Such a one will learn from the Great Teacher not only what to do, but how to do it in a way that will meet with the divine approval. {PK 31.1}

So long as he remains consecrated, the man whom God has endowed with discernment and ability will not manifest an eagerness for high position, neither will he seek to rule or control. Of necessity men must bear responsibilities; but instead of striving for the supremacy, he who is a true leader will pray for an understanding heart, to discern between good and evil. {PK 31.2}

The path of men who are placed as leaders is not an easy one. But they are to see in every difficulty a call to prayer. Never are they to fail of consulting the great Source of all wisdom. Strengthened and enlightened by the Master Worker, they will be enabled to stand firm against unholy influences and to discern right from wrong, good from evil. They will approve that which God approves, and will strive earnestly against the introduction of wrong principles into His cause.” {PK 31.3}

Truly that quote speaks for itself and should convict the reader to their very core. Alas I fear some may miss this gold-mine, so I further emphasize, what is the motive between seeking something—be it a leadership position, a legacy, women’s ordination, or anything—and what that quote imparts? It is, “Of necessity men must bear responsibility…” and not a requirement (or longing) to do God’s will. It can be understood that “striving for supremacy” prevents us from praying for “an understanding heart” or discerning “between good and evil.” Either our focus is one or the other; we seek positions and a legacy, or we seek understanding hearts and the ability to discern, but we cannot seek both because one will interfere with the other. “So long as he [all inclusive; “she”] remains consecrated…[he/she] will not manifest an eagerness for high position…

If God’s word is to be our example, we see clearly, never should God’s people seek anything other than to become God’s vessel. Daniel never sought to be kidnapped, carried to a foreign country to become great. Joseph didn’t desire to lead a nation. Esther never lobbied to be queen. And I can venture to guess that none of the disciples aspired to change the world, become martyrs, and leave legacies. In the case of all these examples, God Himself gave them their positions! Although James and John desired positions in heaven early on, their lives changed and their desires lost the early selfish motives. Instead their mission was to propel the name of Christ, rather then create names for themselves. After-all, everything in this life is temporary, so why waste energy and put so much focus on these temporary things? If we spend as much energy on saving people as we do these things, how many souls could be won to Christ?

When Jesus sought solitude and friendship at His friend’s house in Bethany, we again find counsel:

“All who work for God should have the Martha and the Mary attributes blended—a willingness to minister and a sincere love of the truth. Self and selfishness must be put out of sight. God calls for earnest women workers, workers who are prudent, warmhearted, tender, and true to principle. He calls for persevering women who will take their minds from self and their personal convenience, and will center them on Christ, speaking words of truth, praying with the persons to whom they can obtain access, laboring for the conversion of souls.

O what is our excuse, my sisters, that we do not devote all the time possible to searching the Scriptures, making the mind a storehouse of precious things, that we may present them to those who are not interested in the truth? Will our sisters arise to the emergency? Will they work for the Master?” (6T 118)

Once again, all readers of that quote should be moved deeply. Our motto for anything should be Jesus’ command, “And I [Jesus], if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself,” (John 12:32, NASB). The Geneva Bible suggests that it can also mean, “get out of the way”; so lift up Christ and get out of the way.2 Jesus never sought wealth, fame, a name, glory, or positions. He simply sought the salvation of others. Our job is to lift Christ up and allow Him to do what He promised He will do!

Too many men, I’m convinced, lose their marriage, their families, and sadly, their salvation because of a desire and drive to make names of themselves. Male or Female, if a relationship with God is not our aim or goal, then all we do is in vain, and God will never bless what we do. People forget that Satan can bless them in this world, so long as it leads them away from God. Many of our leaders are so calloused and uncaring because unlike Solomon’s early years, their desires are wrong and self seeking. God doesn’t lead us to positions, He leads us to humility, to tenderness, and discernment which may (or may not) results in positions. Look at Moses, David, John the Baptist, the disciples, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, to Joseph and so many others. God will make men great if they seek to be nothing. That’s but one paradox of God. 3


  1. I understand some women attribute the issue to fairness and equal pay. That topic too, as so many are anymore, is a touchy, political, and sensitive one. I may address that issue in a future article, but not sure yet. There are so many angles to look at on that topic. It’s not an open and closed issue; I will simply acknowledge that’s a touchy topic. Remember life is not fair, and no matter how you fight, it will never be fair. We live in a sinful world with satanic agencies constantly working with free moral agents. Nothing in this world is certain, except God (period). But on the flip side, as Christians, we should strive to be as caring and loving as Christ and not try to cheat people. I encourage everyone to read the Section one of Prophets and Kings on Solomon. This section addresses the issue of true servitude demands that we always make sacrifices. When we strive for more, we lose sight of our mission, and in return, like Solomon, lose our way. []
  2. Geneva Study Bible adds this

    And I, if I be {e} lifted up from the earth, will draw {f} all men unto me.

    (e) Christ used a word which has a double meaning, for it signifies either to lift up or to get out of the way: for he intended them to think of his death, but the Jews seemed to take it another way. []

  3. “Whenever pride and ambition are indulged, the life is marred, for pride, feeling no need, closes the heart against the infinite blessings of Heaven. He who makes self-glorification his aim will find himself destitute of the grace of God, through whose efficiency the truest riches and the most satisfying joys are won. But he who gives all and does all for Christ will know the fulfillment of the promise, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22. With the gentle touch of grace the Saviour banishes from the soul unrest and unholy ambition, changing enmity to love and unbelief to confidence. When He speaks to the soul, saying, “Follow Me,” the spell of the world’s enchantment is broken. At the sound of His voice the spirit of greed and ambition flees from the heart, and men arise, emancipated, to follow Him. {PK 60.2}
    Prominent among the primary causes that led Solomon into extravagance and oppression was his failure to maintain and foster the spirit of self-sacrifice. {PK 61.1}
    The descendants of these workmen inherited to a large degree the talents conferred on their forefathers. For a time these men of Judah and Dan remained humble and unselfish; but gradually, almost imperceptibly, they lost their hold upon God and their desire to serve Him unselfishly. They asked higher wages for their services, because of their superior skill as workmen in the finer arts. In some instances their request was granted, but more often they found employment in the surrounding nations. In place of the noble spirit of self-sacrifice that had filled the hearts of their illustrious ancestors, they indulged a spirit of covetousness, of grasping for more and more. That their selfish desires might be gratified, they used their God-given skill in the service of heathen kings, and lent their talent to the perfecting of works which were a dishonor to their Maker. {PK 62.3}
    Thus at the head of Solomon’s company of workmen there was placed a man whose efforts were not prompted by an unselfish desire to render service to God. He served the god of this world, mammon. The very fibers of his being were inwrought with the principles of selfishness. {PK 63.3}
    Because of his unusual skill, Huram demanded large wages. Gradually the wrong principles that he cherished came to be accepted by his associates. As they labored with him day after day, they yielded to the inclination to compare his wages with their own, and they began to lose sight of the holy character of their work. The spirit of self-denial left them, and in its place came the spirit of covetousness. The result was a demand for higher wages, which was granted. {PK 64.1}
    The baleful influences thus set in operation permeated all branches of the Lord’s service, and extended throughout the kingdom. The high wages demanded and received gave to many an opportunity to indulge in luxury and extravagance. The poor were oppressed by the rich; the spirit of self-sacrifice was well-nigh lost. In the far-reaching effects of these influences may be traced one of the principal causes of the terrible apostasy of him who once was numbered among the wisest of mortals. {PK 64.2}
    The sharp contrast between the spirit and motives of the people building the wilderness tabernacle, and of those engaged in erecting Solomon’s temple, has a lesson of deep significance. The self-seeking that characterized the workers on the temple finds its counterpart today in the selfishness that rules in the world. The spirit of covetousness, of seeking for the highest position and the highest wage, is rife. The willing service and joyous self-denial of the tabernacle workers is seldom met with. But this is the only spirit that should actuate the followers of Jesus. Our divine Master has given an example of how His disciples are to work. To those whom He bade, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), He offered no stated sum as a reward for their services. They were to share with Him in self-denial and sacrifice. {PK 64.3}
    Not for the wages we receive are we to labor. The motive that prompts us to work for God should have in it nothing akin to self-serving. Unselfish devotion and a spirit of sacrifice have always been and always will be the first requisite of acceptable service. Our Lord and Master designs that not one thread of selfishness shall be woven into His work. Into our efforts we are to bring the tact and skill, the exactitude and wisdom, that the God of perfection required of the builders of the earthly tabernacle; yet in all our labors we are to remember that the greatest talents or the most splendid services are acceptable only when self is laid upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. {PK 65.1}
    Man cannot show greater weakness than by allowing men to ascribe to him the honor for gifts that are Heaven-bestowed. The true Christian will make God first and last and best in everything. No ambitious motives will chill his love for God; steadily, perseveringly, will he cause honor to redound to his heavenly Father. It is when we are faithful in exalting the name of God that our impulses are under divine supervision, and we are enabled to develop spiritual and intellectual power. {PK 68.3}
    The introduction of principles leading away from a spirit of sacrifice and tending toward self-glorification, was accompanied by yet another gross perversion of the divine plan for Israel. God had designed that His people should be the light of the world. From them was to shine forth the glory of His law as revealed in the life practice. For the carrying out of this design, He had caused the chosen nation to occupy a strategic position among the nations of earth. {PK 70.5}
    The missionary spirit that God had implanted in the heart of Solomon and in the hearts of all true Israelites was supplanted by a spirit of commercialism. The opportunities afforded by contact with many nations were used for personal aggrandizement. Solomon sought to strengthen his position politically by building fortified cities at the gateways of commerce. He rebuilt Gezer, near Joppa, lying along the road between Egypt and Syria; Beth-horon, to the westward of Jerusalem, commanding the passes of the highway leading from the heart of Judea to Gezer and the seacoast; Megiddo, situated on the caravan road from Damascus to Egypt, and from Jerusalem to the northward; and “Tadmor in the wilderness” (2 Chronicles 8:4), along the route of caravans from the east. All these cities were strongly fortified. The commercial advantages of an outlet at the head of the Red Sea were developed by the construction of “a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, … on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom.” Trained sailors from Tyre, “with the servants of Solomon,” manned these vessels on voyages “to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold,” and “great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.” Verse 18; 1 Kings 9:26, 28; 10:11. {PK 71.2}
    In striking contrast to the course pursued by Solomon was the course followed by Christ when He was on this earth. The Saviour, though possessing “all power,” never used this power for self-aggrandizement. No dream of earthly conquest, of worldly greatness, marred the perfection of His service for mankind. “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests,” He said, “but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20. Those who, in response to the call of the hour, have entered the service of the Master Worker, may well study His methods. He took advantage of the opportunities to be found along the great thoroughfares of travel. {PK 73.1}” []

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