Pastor Dwight Nelson–A Mighty Throng of Women: A Second Look at Male Headship

  • Milton Gonzalez

    I am a respecter of Pr. Dwight Nelson and believe him to be a man of God with all of my heart. However, I am greatly disappointed with this Bible study. In my opinion, the underlying issue addressed here is the biblical, yet traditional, understanding of the male headship within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It seems to me that Pr. Nelson’s objective was to draw his audience out of their traditional and presuppositional box(es) and approach Scripture with a clear and innovative mindset; permitting God to speak to us and not allowing our traditions and presuppositions to limit, or in many cases prevent, the Holy Spirit from speaking to us. Although the possible objectivity of the message is clear, the message itself seemed to lack substance and came cross as being more subjective in nature rather than being objectively instructive or homiletical. It is unfortunate that in many aspects we allow culture and tradition to negatively predetermine personal presuppositions which affect and influence our interpretation of Scripture. That is, we do not go to Scripture with an open mind––setting aside our presuppositions and allowing God to speak to us as if we were listening to (or in this case reading) His Word for the very first time. Such a position has brought great peril to the church throughout all of Judaic and Christian history, including this present age. Hereto, the subject matter of the role of women in the church has been treated with bias bigotry (i.e., prejudicially limiting or sentimentally exalting women) by many, which continues to affect the church collectively and individually. As a student of theology, I enjoyed Pr. Nelson’s seminarian sermon. However, as a laymen I was not convinced. I definitely was inspired to study more and encouraged to view things differently; thus the negative presuppositional walls which I am sadly not excluded from have been weakened––praise God for that! Nonetheless, the sermon just didn’t do it for me.It is obvious to me that Pr. Nelson has valuable insight––and as a pious theologian he should. However, the subject matter at hand is only the tip of the iceberg for the church. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a world church with a diverse set of minds, cultures, traditions, etc., and we need substantial, Spirit convincing, biblical evidence that can penetrate through the church’s thick global heterogeneity––whether it be prejudicial attitudes or favorableness based on sentimentalism or a pure desire to do and understand God’s will. Superficially dealing with the issue, in my opinion, may just make the situation worst. Again, I must reiterate that I am a respecter of Pr. Dwight Nelson and of the knowledge which the Lord has blessed him with. I acknowledge that I am a finite, little student of theology who has so much to learn. I understand that personal conviction does not come from another man’s intellectual expositions (i.e., sermons) or spiritual experience, but from a personal relationship with Christ. I just wanted to voice my personal opinion and concern.

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