Save the date! Pioneer, Andrews University and The Red Cross will sponsor a Blood Drive on Thursday, July 23 from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM in the Pioneer Commons. Extra precautions will be in place for your safety. More details to come including scheduling your appointment. All types of blood are needed so plan now to donate. Contact Larry Ulery at email@example.com for more information. We're all in this together. Thank You!
Stories in the Rearview Mirror
Ellen White and Why I Believe in the Ordination of Women
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
“Stories in the Rearview Mirror:
Why I Believe in Ellen White and the Ordination of Women”
- Why I Believe in Ellen White:
- Matthew 7:15-20
- Her reflection fifty years later:
“I visited . . . the spot where I met with the accident that has made me a life-long invalid. This misfortune, which for a time seemed so bitter and was so hard to bear, has proved to be a blessing in disguise. The cruel blow which blighted the joys of earth, was the means of turning my eyes to heaven. I might never have known Jesus, had not the sorrow that clouded my early years led me to seek comfort in him.” (Review and Herald, November 25, 1884)
- Her conversion testimony:
“Faith now took possession of my heart. I felt an inexpressible love for God, and had the witness of His Spirit that my sins were pardoned. My views of the Father were changed. I now looked upon Him as a kind and tender parent, rather than a stern tyrant compelling men to a blind obedience. My heart went out toward Him in a deep and fervent love. . . . My heart was so filled with love to God and the peace that passeth understanding, that I loved to meditate and pray.” (Life Sketches 39)
- Her first vision:
“While we were praying, the power of God came upon me as I had never felt it before. I seemed to be surrounded with light, and to be rising higher and higher from the earth. I turned to look for the advent people in the world, but could not find them, when a voice said to me, ‘Look again, and look a little higher.’ At this I raised my eyes, and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the advent people were traveling to the city which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the beginning of the path, which an angel told me was the ‘midnight cry.’ This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet, so that they might not stumble. If they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the city, they were safe.” (Life Sketches 64, emphasis supplied)
- Three passions that ignited Ellen White’s life and ministry:
- #1—A passion for the
“You are not to look to yourself, not to let the mind dwell upon self, but look to Christ. Let the mind dwell upon His love, upon the beauty, the perfection, of His character. Christ in His self-denial, Christ in His humiliation, Christ in His purity and holiness, Christ in His matchless love—this is the subject for the soul's contemplation. It is by loving Him, copying Him, depending wholly upon Him, that you are to be transformed into His likeness.” (Steps to Christ 70-71)
- #2—A passion for the
“The Lord is coming. Lift up your heads and rejoice. . . . This is the good, the joyful news which should electrify every soul, which should be repeated in our homes, and told to those whom we meet on the street. What more joyful news can be communicated!” (Evangelism 218)
- #3—A passion for the .
“Recently in the night season I was awakened from sleep and given a view of the sufferings of Christ for men. His sacrifice, the mockery and derision He received at the hands of wicked men, His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, His betrayal and crucifixion—all were vividly portrayed before me. . . . As I have thought of that cup trembling in the hands of Christ; as I have realized that He might have refused to drink, and left the world to perish in its sin, I have pledged that every energy of my life should be devoted to the work of winning souls to Him.” (Testimonies to the Church 9:101-103)
- No wonder Ellen White’s life and ministry were so fruitful!
- She is considered today the most translated author in history.
- She is the most translated author, male or female.
- Her literary productions totaled approximately pages, the equivalent of words.
- More than titles are in print bearing her name, including books that are compilations.
- As fruit of her ministry and leadership, God raised up the Seventh-day Adventist Church to become:
- The largest Protestant system in the world today.
- The largest Protestant system in the world today.
- The largest Protestant enterprise in the world today.
- The most expansive Protestant outreach in the world today, with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in more countries than any other denomination.
- And the Ordination of Women:
- The irony in this movement, co-founded by a woman of such global influence and spiritual authority, is the debate over whether women should be allowed to share the same spiritual leadership and authority as men as recognized by the rite of ordination to the gospel ministry.
- J N Andrews:
Regarding the church in Corinth “what the apostle says to women in such a church as this, and in such a state of things, is not to be taken as directions to all Christian women in other churches and in other times.” (Review and Herald 1-2-1879 emphasis supplied)
- J N Andrews:
“The number of women of whom honorable mention is made for their labors in the gospel is not small. Now, in view of these facts, how can any man in this age of Bibles say that the Bible does not notice women, or give them a place in the work of God? The Lord chooses his own workers, and he does not judge as man judges. Man looks at appearance; God judges the heart, and he never makes mistakes.” (Signs of the Times 10-30-1879)
- Denis Fortin:
“I also find it interesting that in her 70 years of ministry Ellen White never referred to or commented on 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 or 1 Timothy 2:12 to limit the ministry women can do in the church or society. Perhaps her silence speaks volumes as to the importance we should give these two passages.” (“Ellen White, Women in Ministry and the Ordination of Women” [TOSC paper] p 6)
- Ellen White:
“If women do the work that is not the most agreeable to many of those who labor in word and doctrine, and if their works testify that they are accomplishing a work that has been manifestly neglected, should not such labor be looked upon as being as rich in results as the work of the ordained ministers? . . . This question is not for men to settle. The Lord has settled it. . . . Again and again the Lord has shown me that women teachers are just as greatly needed to do the work to which He has appointed them as are men. . . . There are women who should labor in the gospel ministry.” (Manuscript Releases 5:325 emphasis supplied)
- Ellen White:
“It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God.” (Testimonies to the Church 6:322 emphasis supplied)
- For further study see my paper “My Personal Testimony: Some Pastoral Reflections” (www.pmchurch.tv)
“By her fruits you shall know them”
Do you have the heart to serve the "least of these?" One of our Pioneer ministries provides a simple church service to those in the Juvenile Detention Center in Berrien Center. Saturday evenings at 6:00 PM we host an interactive Bible study and sing songs with the young people there. For more information and to get involved contact Rodlie Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 269-471-6154.
We are inviting all youth to come out to Lake Chapin every Tuesday night from June 30 - August 11 at 6:00 PM to join us for Sun, Fun, and Faith! We will have boating, fun, and worship. Masks are encouraged and attendees are asked to remember social distancing. The Youth Department is asking for anyone with a boat who can bring it to out to Lake Chapin on Tuesday nights to contact Brooke Scott at 269-932-5783 via text or call.
Do you need a Sabbath School Quarterly? You can always download a digital copy, but if you'd like to have your own physical copy they are located just inside the main entrance of the church. Sabbath School lessons are available for the 3rd quarter for all children and adult divisions as well as Primary Treasures and Junior Guides. The church office is open Monday - Thursday 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM and Friday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. For more information, please contact the church office at 269-471-6565.
Will the church look any different? The sanctuary still smells new—and it will be just as you left it almost four months earlier. But yes, there will be a new awning entryway on the office (parking lot) side of Pioneer. The inside stairs going up and down from that doorway have been rebuilt with a new no-slip covering. Pioneer is eager to have you return.
That's why the doors to Sabbath worship at Pioneer are opening on July 11. Naturally, we all are carefully weighing our response to spaces opening up to the public in this season of the pandemic. Churches that are sacred space must also be a safe space. James Ford is chairing our reentry task force, and they have adopted the safest congregational protocol possible. Because we not only want you to be safe, we want you to feel safe.
To help us gauge your own perspectives, Richard Parke, co-chair of our Safety Committee, has created a short survey. The questions ask your initial plans regarding a return to our sanctuary. Your helpful response will assist your leaders in their planning for Pioneer's next chapter.
Whatever lies ahead for this congregation and this campus, why not claim God's promise, "I will go before you" (Isaiah 45:2). Knowing He goes ahead and prepares the way certainly makes what we don't know much easier not to know. May He be praised.
Pioneer office hours are now as follows:
Monday - Thursday 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM.
COVID-19 has taken a toll in our community and around our campus. As you already know most students have headed home to their families. However, we have some students who were not able to return home and are alone here on campus, many are from international locations with student visa which, means they are not allowed to work off campus to their visa restrictions, and since Andrews University is currently closed they are not able to work at all. Most of these students don't have transportation to get off campus. These students are also missing connection.
Pioneer wants to share God's love and blessings with these students for the next 6 weeks, until our campus opens up. Would you adopt a student? Here's how you can help:
- Check in on them once a week - send a text, call them on the phone, pray with them, get to know them.
- Be willing to provide at least one meal a week or groceries for the student to cook with.
- Be willing to drive them to the grocery store if needed.
Each student needs something different but we won’t know unless we ask them, and get to know them. Some students just need a ride to the grocery store, some students just need to hear that someone cares about them enough to call, others need groceries, but all need our love and prayers.
Other ways to help:
- Sponsor a fruit/veggie box to be delivered weekly through Cafe Bon Appetit (269-471-3161 ext. 0 or email email@example.com)
- Get a group together and host a carry-out meal for students. (thank you to the groups who have done this already)
- Take a treat to the residence halls
- Offer to give a student a ride to the grocery store.
- Donate to Student Life Relief Fund
- United Way of Southwest Michigan
In no way was The Tent normal this year. After all, nothing has been! That is not to say, however, that it was not a win for the Kingdom of God. Although it was online only, God came through in a mighty way! With about 200 different video clips the whole thing came together against all odds. There were decisions for baptism and people tuning in from all over the world!
This was the 7th year of The Tent. Some of our preachers this year were in the first grade when this all began. That year, Pastor Dwight came to Ruth Murdoch Elementary School and asked the 1st graders which of them would like to preach when they were Junior High students. Well, some of those kids preached last week! These messages were driven by the Holy Spirit as they profoundly spoke to events that took place after the messages were even recorded.
It was not just the speakers who did well this year. Micah Leiterman and Marco Sciarabba Badenas welcomed guests every night with intros that were fun and engaging! What was awesome about their video clips was the way that these two students not only wrote the scripts but they filmed and edited the clips together.
The students came together in an incredible way to make the music as well. Each student created their videos for music individually and these were edited together to create music as a team. We had an incredible team of seminary students who helped bring all of this together, and we also depended upon the musical genius of Chuck Reid who did our fine-tuning.
What was most amazing about The (Virtual) Tent was the seamless way all of these pieces made a whole. This is what the Holy Spirit longs to do with us as a church! Imagine what God could do with a church connected to Him! The (Virtual) Tent is a call to action. This is a picture of what God can do in the worst of circumstances with people who are listening to His voice.
We are saddened to inform you that due to COVID-19 FLAG Camp will be canceled this summer. Thank you to each who has applied to be on staff. Please apply again next year for the summer of 2021. We will be working to make next summer a great and safe experience!
For your safety, Pioneer Memorial Church offices are now closed until further notice. Pastors and staff continue to work remotely to serve your needs.