Yesterday I came across this note from Tim Keller concerning church officer nominations at Redeemer PCA in NYC:
From: Tim Keller
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 ____ PM
To: (Redeemer’s members)
Subject: November is Officer Nomination Month
November 2, 2009
Dear Redeemer Member:
As you probably know, November is Redeemer’s officer nomination month. Once a year members have the privilege and opportunity to recommend other members for the offices of elder, deacon and deaconess.
As we enter an exciting chapter in our ministry in NYC through the RENEW Campaign, there are more opportunities to serve than ever before. Identifying new leaders within our congregation has always been a priority at Redeemer, and we need your help to find members who have the right gifts and experience to serve on the Session and the Diaconate.
There are 49 men and women currently serving on the Diaconate and 20 men serving on the Session as ruling elders. These men and women have been elected by the congregation and have gone through theological and practical training to master the skills and the information necessary for these positions.
Elders are men who serve on the Session and provide spiritual and administrative leadership to the congregation through oversight of Redeemer ministries, leaders, and members. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.
The primary work of the Diaconate is practical deeds of mercy. Deacons and deaconesses (deeks) [sic] minister to those in our church family who find themselves in distress, crisis or emergency situations caused by illness, job loss, long-term unemployment, or other immediate physical, material, spiritual or emotional needs. Deeks also assist elders with membership interviews, and deaconesses provide input and support to elders working on complicated shepherding situations. Acts 6:1-4 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
Your faithful giving to the Mercy Fund over the years enables the Diaconate to care for our congregants during this economic recession. In addition to nominating deek candidates, you can help this ministry by encouraging congregants facing hardship to call the Diaconate Helpline – 212-726-1334.
Accepted nominees will begin training in January of 2010. We are looking for men and women who are members of Redeemer and willing to co-labor with us in these ministries. Please read the description and qualifications of the offices of elder, deacon and deaconess on this pdf or online.
Please prayerfully consider your elder, deacon and deaconess nominations and place a nomination form, with your signature, in the offering basket at any service during the month of November or mail/fax to:
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Jenny Chang, Diaconate Director
1359 Broadway, 4th floor
New York, NY 10018
You may also submit a nomination online.
May God give you discernment as you consider those who may be qualified to serve in these vital roles.
Dr. Timothy J. Keller
And, if there were still any doubts that women are being ordained, someone even provided some video on Youtube:
Notice the recitation of the PCA ordination vows. Of course, the PCA’s completely ignored Book of Church Order (7-1) states concerning the ordination of church officers:
The ordinary and perpetual classes of office in the Church are elders and deacons. Within the class of elder are the two orders of teaching elders and ruling elders. The elders jointly have the government and spiritual oversight of the Church, including teaching. Only those elders who are specially gifted, called and trained by God to preach may serve as teaching elders. The office of deacon is not one of rule, but rather of service both to the physical and spiritual needs of the people. In accord with Scripture, these offices are open to men only.
One would have been tempted to think there has been no significant exegetical discovery or advancement since PCA BCO 7-2 was drafted. I guess Scripture must be wrong. Tim Keller certainly can’t be.