The PCA Report: deaconesses aren’t really the issue

This is my hot-take on the idea floating around that this report is fine since men like Piper, Dever, Spurgeon and others are for deaconesses:

The “Women Serving In The Ministry Of The Church” committee’s report, frankly, has little to do with the ancient and intermittent practice of having deaconesses. Such a role (usually without the confusing title) is already allowed for in biblically organized churches as women are asked to assist the deacons in the care of women and children who are sick or in need.

The big issue I take with the report is not deaconesses, per se, but the feminist notion that women do not “have a voice” if they are not directly included in leadership. This is false. The elders are the voice for men, women, and children. And husbands are the heads of their wives and children.

Additionally, the multiplication of unbiblical roles within the church like “officially appointed women” who “lead ministries” and “advise the elders” and such is unbiblical and followed consistently would lead to pure crazy-making. All members ought to be considered in the decisions of the church, not a select group of women. Why not children? Men? People with one leg or eye? The poor? The rich? Racial groups? People who are awkward? Fat people? Dumb people? Who will be their official voice?

In a biblically organized church the answer in easy: elders.

This committee’s existence is itself an attack on the authority of Scripture: the presence of women on this committee is a rank violation of Scripture and ought to have been vigorously opposed as such. “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” –God’s Word.

It was a sin to ever appoint the committee.

Thus, the committee encourages preferring women for non-ordained staff positions, such as director of children’s ministry, director of women’s ministry, director of adult education/discipleship, treasurer/accountant, administrator, or director of assimilation. This could be desirable for these reasons: it gives qualified women an outlet for their gifts; it encourages PCA women to pursue theological education, knowing that there will be employment options for them to serve; it gives visibility to women who can model mature female leadership; it demonstrates before the watching world that the church is a body that practices biblical inclusion and women are co-heirs of grace.

And so, the proper realm of ministry for women in the church will continue to be pushed aside and further demeaned as women are encouraged to get MDiv degrees and PCA churches “preferentially hire” them to achieve gender balance in church employment. Godly motherhood, the most fruitful root of the church’s future will continue to decay, and in its place, women will usurp authority and responsibilities that are not theirs. And fathers who are called to nurture the churches, as elders, and the family as husbands will descend into greater laziness, ungodliness, and passivity.

For these reasons I vigorously oppose the report and recommendations on women in ministry that have just been passed by the PCA General Assembly. I pray that godly sessions will do all they can to rebuke this assembly and call the church to repentance.pcalogo

“Whose Daughters You Are” by Peter Jones

Few subjects are so fraught with danger as the teaching that wives should submit to their husbands.  There are numerous reasons for this. First, the church has played the whore with the world on this particular subject. Thus Christian women have been taught that Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18, and I Peter 3:1- 6  are irrelevant to their lives as Christians. Second, too many Christian men treat their wives like dirt in the name of submission. Third, too many Christian wives really don’t want to submit, though they want desperately to look like they are. Thus hypocrisy reigns. Therefore Ephesians 5:22-33 and passages like it are often torn to shreds or ignored. What our Christian fathers took as obvious, has become the subject of scholarly debate, which often means the plain teaching of Scripture is obscured by various academic studies showing that the text does not really mean what it says.  Scholars, and eventually pastors, throw just enough mud in the water so we cannot see what is plainly there. That way we can continue compromising with a clean conscience.

Here are some exhortations on submission I gave to my congregation in a sermon several years ago.

Read Pastor Jones’ exhortations here: Whose Daughters You Are

CBMW: Against Military Draft of Females

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Women in the Military Image From: BET “Black Women in the Military”

Here are some of his arguments against drafting females into military service:

The most important of these is the reality that Scripture unfolds and even celebrates the unique differences between men and women (Genesis 2; 1 Peter 3:1-7). On the basis of this biblical foundation, it seems appropriate to add a few thoughts about yesterday’s proposal.:

1) The idea of women being conscripted to serve in our armed forces in a time of national emergency is a travesty.

2) Christians should make it known that they will not allow their daughters to sign up for the draft.

3) Legislators, with these same Christian convictions, should move to strike down this policy.

4) Christian women, who have conscience religious grounds against taking up arms in the armed forces, should seek religious exemptions.

5) This is a political move by Marine Commandant General Neller to oppose the Obama administration’s feminist policies.

6) Christians, again, have an opportunity to present the beauty of the Christian worldview.

“My Brush With Feminism” by Rebeka Merkle

This is a great post from September at the Femina blog. Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite:

I have, now and again, had occasion to pop off on the subject of feminists who can’t decide if they’re trying to channel a swaggering machismo persona – or delicate, hyperventilating, victimhood. And the thing is, the whole situation is funny. It really is. One minute these ladies are rough, tough, and hard to bluff . . . and the next minute they’re pasting trigger alerts on all the sharp corners of everyone’s lives like those dreadfully inelegant foam protectors for the edges of coffee tables. You’ve seen those moments of high heels gone wrong in which the poor girl staggers violently in every possible direction before actually falling down? That’s what the evangelical feminists remind me of. There’s no clear trajectory. One minute they’re galloping nor’-nor’-east, and then suddenly they’re staggering to the sou’-sou’-west. On the one hand, they want to be hard edged modern women, all pant suits and nun chucks, but then again, what they really want to be is tender and empathetic, cherishing and tenderly petting the hurt feelings of everyone everywhere.

Like I said, I find that whole thing funny. But actually, in a surprise move, I wanted to actually take a moment to explain in what way I totally sympathize with them. I don’t agree with the nonsensical road they’ve taken, mind you, but I can at least understand how they came to be in this ridiculous place.

Men. Men who are chumps. Let us be frank – that’s the real problem here. If we want to dig in and get down to first causes, this is where the problem lies. There are lots of chumpish men of course, and each is chumpish in his own way . . . but there’s one particular breed I wanted to look at for a minute.

The thing that makes the evangelical feminists (which is a bit of an oxymoron really) as mad as fire is that Great Nemesis of the Western World – Patriarchy, and anything that reminds them of patriarchy, or alliterates with patriarchy. (Like “Paul” for instance.) So let’s take a moment to peer into the bushes that the feminists are setting up a squawk about. What men do we find in that camp? Well, if we let the feminists define the boundaries of who is in “That Camp” then we find a whole smorgasbord of men because it turns out that feminists aren’t terribly good at defining their terms. We find little tin-pot dictators who advocate for old school patriarchy and who rule their sparsely populated and badly educated red-neck demesne with a rod of iron. But we also find timid little would-be-hipster-city-dwellers who are trying to hide behind the label “Complementarian” and hoping that will fool the feminists and make them go away.

Interspersed in there we find a whole number of strong, faithful, masculine men who assume a godly authority in the home . . . but, and let’s be real here, we also find plenty of men who are chumps. By the grace of God, I have lived my entire life surrounded by the first kind . . . but I have actually been around the block a time or two, and I’ve seen plenty of the second kind as well. And it’s those men – the chumpish ones – who provide much of the ammo which the feminists are flinging at the faithful men. So I would like to humbly offer the suggestion to the menfolk – if you don’t like the feminists, then for heaven’s sakes stop making their point for them!

I’ve had men (in the name of headship and submission) tell me I ought not to be educated.

I’ve had men (in the name of headship and submission) tell me I ought not be wearing anything but dresses.

I’ve had men (in the name of headship and submission) tell me I ought not to disagree with them . . . because I was a female and they were male.

I’ve had men (in the name of headship and submission) tell me that any woman who disagrees with a man doesn’t have a gentle and quiet spirit.

I’ve had men (in the name of headship and submission) tell me that women don’t need an education, because they only need to know how to have babies and cook.

And I’ll be straight-up honest with you. I didn’t handle those men in a very saintly way. I called them names and made rude remarks. I danced around in a tight little circle and lit my hair on fire. And without fail, after about ten minutes of conversation with these pills I was ready to wear nothing but pants for the rest of my life, go to law school, run for president, and become a rugby player.

Read the rest of the story (it’s great!) here: My Brush With Feminism