Editor’s Note: The Southeastern California Conference (SECC) of Seventh-day Adventists held its Constituency Meeting in Riverside, California on October 7, 2018. Read Lawrence T. Geraty’s first report here on Dr. Sandra Roberts, SECC incumbent president, being re-elected to another five-year term. Below is Geraty’s second report on the meeting.
The business meeting was preceded by an inspiring worship service during which Dr. Kendra Haloviak Valentine gave a stirring and telling message, “Growing Together in Christ.” She started off by saying that what bothers her the most about Paul is not his attitude to women (surprise!) but rather how he could watch someone being stoned. Yes, she said, he was converted, but how much of the “old ways of thinking” stuck with him? We of course value his statements that indicate there should be no distinctions between male and female, that in the church there should be no hierarchy of humans — God’s grace has broken that all down.
Illustration - Dwight - Moody - Watchman - Lantern
After retelling a time-honored illustration used by Dwight Moody about the watchman who waved his lantern before the conductor of an on-coming night train to keep the train from hurtling onto a broken bridge but in his panic failed to light the lantern before waving it, she said if you are talking about God without grace you’re waving a lamp without a light.
Yes, God’s grace is amazing and God’s grace is the great equalizer. Paul comes to understand this after seeing the risen Christ and in his interactions with Gentiles. However, when he tries to appease the Jewish Christian leaders in Jerusalem (Acts 21:17ff), he acts against this conviction and his conscience in fulfilling a vow that requires him to go into the part of the temple where first Gentiles, and then women, were excluded. Rather than gain those “zealous for the law,” Paul’s...
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