Ingo Sorke was born in Germany. He did not grow up a Seventh-day Adventist. At one point he began to study the Sabbath—in order to show others how wrong they were about it! You can guess the rest of the story. Sorke spent years attaining advanced degrees and today teaches theology at SWAU in Texas. Sorke was also a member of the General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee. In this brief video, Sorke tells something of his experience, and of his change of views about women’s ordination, as well as responding to some of the popular arguments heard on the topic.

This is a very powerful short video and in our opinion, should be circulated as widely as possible! Tell others about it. Send them a link.

NOTE: FOR A SAMPLE OF SORKE’S WORK ON THE ISSUE OF WOMEN’S ORDINATION, READ THIS STUDY: Adam, where are you? On gender relations.

23 thoughts on “Ingo Sorke testimony

  1. Powerful and very encouraging. Paul tells us to study to show ourselves approved unto God. We must pray and study.

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    • Woow what a wonderful example of profound introspection by Felix Yong!
      The rich vocabulary and complex yet clear grammatical structure of thus magnificent one-liner really does deserve an accolade of the highest order. Personally I think of a pullitzer prize, but feel free to recommend other compliments.
      Also undeniably evident is the warm graceful personality of the author. With such bright minded and beautiful characters we have good hope for the future of the church.

      Now without sarcasm: great testimony by pr. Sorke! Keep it up CAP. Faithful servants of the Lord are much needed.

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      • JB should bear in mind that when critiquing vocabulary and grammar, the spelling should be beyond reproach. If not the Pulitzer Prize may be at risk!

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        • GeraldS
          I was not actually critiquing his grammar or spelling – I don’t usually nitpick on that cuz I know how easy it is to make typos and it is trivial to the argument anyway. Besides…. what was there to critique? Nothing. To me it was about the (lack of) content. Hence vocabulary and grammar were invoked.

          But I guess I’m not even a candidate for the prize regardless of spelling, because my genre is inappropriate 😛
          Thx for the feedback though 🙂

          Reply
      • Sarcasm of this sort does not recommend your cause. It comes across as ridicule and disrespect, and puts a needless stumblingblock in the path of truth. It has the potential to close the door completely to the entrance of light. We are counseled to “treat every man as honest,” as someone having the potential to be won over to all that is true and lovely.

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        • You are right B’jay. Thanks for reproving me. It was meant to be a mirror to mr. Yong (I kinda recognized the same tactics in his comments as atheists use in attacking creationists or Christians in general – namely, name calling and assertions of inferior intelligence – which to me betrays close-mindedness), but maybe I got carried away a bit 😉

          I do wonder if there’s actually any time sarcasm would be appropriate… not that I crave it but I do wonder if it could occur.

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          • Perhaps Jesus used a little irony, but I don’t recall any sarcasm. And He was always kind and respectful, seeking to bring out the best in everyone.

  2. This man needs to study the texts he mentions with a good theologian like Ron DuPreez. He explains it all very well.

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    • Certainly a great suggestion (seeing as he has studied the issue for himself already – which is in my opinion the proper order), but I do think, since elder Sorke has been on the GC TOSC committee, that he has already been exposed to the arguments of elder DuPreez and many similar and other arguments presented by qualified theologians. Though I would not say them studying together would be useless.

      Have you read 31 popular arguments for women’s ordination and biblical answers by eugene prewitt? You can find it on this site and download it for free 🙂
      It’s easy to understand and thoroughly Biblical.

      Reply
  3. This argument by argument “analysis” really changes nothing. He only proves what balanced people from both sides of the conversation would probably agree with. We should all strive to be biblical in our presentations no matter what our perspective is. So far he has made no convincing argument that his switch of position is actually supported by scripture.

    In my study I have come to believe that there are significant evidences for the equal calling of all people independent of gender. Spiritual leadership in the church is not dependent on gender but on the Spirit’s calling and equipping.

    Toward the beginning of his video he quickly mentions a few things that he believes are key understandings of church leadership. As he does so he mentions the word “headship.”

    This is theologically incorrect. Scripture is clear there is only one head of the church, and that is Jesus Christ. No fallen human, whether man nor woman, will ever be head of the church. To say so is to follow in the tradition of our Catholic friends.

    So the idea that a man must be “head” of the church is spiritually corrupt.

    Scripture is clear that in the context of ministry there is no male nor female before God. There is no evidence in Scripture that Spiritual gifts are given according to gender.

    Reply
  4. You are right in saying that elder Sorke did not justify his switch of positions with arguments (which he assuredly has) in this video, but that is the whole point. This video is about how NOT to come to a conclusion on the WO issue. He once contented himself with second-hand knowledge, just as many laymen, pastors, and theologians do nowadays – but it is dangerous to place your confidence in something other than the word of God, because you *will* be deceived, and it is foolish to advocate a position while not having studied it for yourself, because teachers are held to a higher standard.

    So in reality – to give an argument for his position would have taken away from the point he was trying to make (it would almost be self-contradictory). And also, he holds his position with such confidence, that he does not even need to give an argument, because he is sure that those who will look at the Bible honestly for themselves setting aside all preconceived ideas, *will* come out with the same conclusions which he holds and which the church of Christ has held for two millennia in following the natural reading of the Biblical text (historical-grammatical approach).

    Now as for your arguments….
    People are called irrespective of gender – women in ministry is affirmed by all.
    However, specific offices do entail gender qualifications. The spirits calling and equipping can be easily mistaken though, because
    1) qualities that make good elders are not exclusively given to those who are called to be elders, since they are not exclusively qualities that are necessary for elders – that is to say, other functions will draw upon the same qualities.
    2) ones own aspirations are easily substituted for the calling of the spirit – you must be familiar with the quote by sister White where she talks about restless Eves that seek to acquire a different role than that appointed to them.

    God’s people walk by faith not by feeling – if the Word of God does not endorse WO, then no feeling of being called is evidence of being called by God, rather it is a subtle rebellion inspired by Satan. And as a corrolary no qualifications or gifts imparted by God were intended to be used in the role of elder if the person that has these gifts does not/no longer meet the complete qualifications of an elder.

    Now as for the headship belonging exclusively to Christ argument….
    I find that to be a particularly weak argument based on semantics. It may be superficially compelling (especially for those who understandably seek a way out of the societal pressure seeking to enforce the anti-biblical norm of egalitarianism), but I don’t see the problem with or contradiction between Christ being the head of the church and an elder being a headship role within the church. It’s simply not there unless you deliberately want to play these concepts out against each other. Let me repeat: Christ is head OF the church, an elder performs a headship _role_ IN the church.

    To see a contradiction or problem with that, would meant that a contradiction exists between “Adam being monarch of the earth” and the “earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” or Jesus Christ being the “Lord of creation”. There’s simply no contradiction between having a role modelled after Christ’s proper role and Christ himself having that role.

    Therefore an elder does have a headship position in the church, because he is the servant-leader of the church, modelled after Christ who is The Servant-Leader and Sovereign (something that an elder is not) of the Church. Obviously headship is limited since Christ is The Head of the church and an elder is not anti-Christ (meaning in place of Christ) like the pope, but even in such a subordinated way it is headship nonetheless.

    To argue against male spiritual headship on the basis of Christ being the head of the church, is to argue against a straw-man and caricature of what is actually understood to be male spiritual headship of the eldership position by those promoting the Biblical qualifications, because in no way do we argue that elders usurp the place of Christ as head of the church.

    Reply
    • Interesting try, but nowhere in Scripture is a fallen human called to be the head of the church. Deacon/Elders have servant leadership responsibility/authority in the church but are not a head of the church.

      A biblically based argument can be made for male headship of the home but not the church because there is no text to support it.

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      • It’s about the essence of headship not about the word itself. Paul is really clear when it comes to who qualifies for the position of elder and what that role entails.

        To say that an elder doesn’t perform a headship function because it’s not directly labelled as such is mere semantics. According to that type of reasoning we can also deny the divinity of Jesus. Many other doctrines would unfortunately also have to be set aside because some people cannot use common sense in bible study when it comes to their cherished ideas. They will complain about there not being a direct command in genesis 1 or 2 to kkeep the sabbath when the Sunday law is past and use that to justify breaking it for example. If you want to know God’s will it’s a non issue but if societal pressure weighs heavier than God’s approval, all of a sudden texts get difficult.

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      • Eric,
        Christ’s headship is part of God’s order. Christ was head of Adam. Christ was head of the Jewish nation. Christ is head of the church. And Christ is a male.
        “Christ designs that heaven’s order, heaven’s plan of government, heaven’s divine harmony, shall be represented in His church on earth. Thus in His people He is glorified” (DA 680).

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  5. Good to hear from you again, Eric!! Hope your ministry is flourishing!! But regarding whether the Bible speaks of anyone but Christ as “head” of the church, please consider I Corinthians 11:3:

    “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.”

    This passage is not describing the order of authority within the family, as is Eph. 5:22-25. Rather, the passage from I Corinthians 11 is talking about the order of authority within the church. As is I Timothy 2:12-13, which declares that women are not to usurp authority over the man within the church, “for Adam was first formed, then Eve.”

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  6. Jesus while on the cross gave his mother to his best friend John to be under His care in his house and did not give his Mother to be head over his church or apostles. I see the Sabbath issue and the WO both on the same side of The Bible vs those that want to change Gods prerogatives . One the one side the sabbath has always been there from the beginning and so has the woman’s role .Until Satan put the Idea for the women’s movement in the 60’s funded by Rockefeller to destroy the family which God has made in a perfect Bond of Marriage. So to start to destroy the family by changing the original roles of the Man and the Woman in the Home thus in Society it has manifested the breaking of the law of commandment 7 and we see those results today. why would men and Woman within Christ own Church wish to change God’s order? Have we not been infiltrated by the Jesuits who will implement any thing to justify the means by its end result to Sin against God .it is obvious that such a small group of the total population both want homosexuality and women’s ordination to succeed, even though they don’t have the numbers to support by and large . Another thing I doubt seriously that Jesus will stand there and argue with the minds of theologians but will graciously cuddle the Childlike people who don’t stray to far from their God . This may be a part of the shanken going on beware.

    Reply
    • Mark, we need not invoke Rockefellers or Jesuits. Satan has used many means to whittle away at the family and at God’s covenant people, the church. These two main bulwarks offer protection to the members of society most in need of it even while they call forth courage and responsibility-taking by males who by the design of their sex are called to sustain these protective roles. By destroying church and family, Satan unravels these protective helps and is more easily at his prey. The church is called at this time to realize its danger and engage in reform. We too readily embrace the culture around us. We must become much more counter-cultural, in the world yet much more lucid about being aliens in it. Likewise, I would resist conspiracy-theory solutions which place the problems outside oneself. My own heart must become wet with the dew of heaven; I must be changed; I must embrace Jesus’ call to me, and I must in God’s help stand opposite the culture I was born into.

      Reply
  7. I agree with Ingo. We as Adventist must turn back and once again become a people of the book (bible). We must follow Jesus’s example when tempted by Satan. Jesus rebuked him by directly quoting scripture.
    As the quote says on the side of this page -“The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women” (Ellen G. White, Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 421).
    While we are ignoring plain scriptural instruction and not focussing on winning souls for Christ Satan is having a field day.
    On whose authority are we changing scripture to suit ourselves – yours? mine?
    We need to fall at the foot of the cross and plead for forgiveness for time wasting and not following plain biblical instruction.
    This issue has been hijacked by Satan – he is at the centre of all confusion and strife.
    Let us do the work that God has placed before us as there are sinners dying who have not heard that there is a Saviour who loves them and invites them to spend enterity with Him.

    Reply
  8. The arguments for women’s ordination do take a more political argument than a scriptural one. Socialists are known to hammer at an issue until they get their way. Their arguments are sentimental in nature and do not consider any other argument except those that are passionate or feelings based. The North American Division has been busy putting female preachers in pulpits since 1995 to set up the argument, “How can we tell all these pastors in the pulpit they can’t be ordained?” This movement is north American driven and the world church already voted it down the last GC we had. As America become more socialist politically it would behoove the people to see how they are pushing their radical egalitarian concepts in the church. Remember a leftist is a leftist first before anything else, even in a church.

    Reply

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