PCA Girls Club

he-man-woman-haters-club-bwYesterday 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
Fax 646-572-0020

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.

Sincerely,

Dr. Timothy J. Keller
Senior Pastor

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.

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31 Comments on “PCA Girls Club”

  1. Eric Says:

    Sean,

    I noticed that the ‘ring master’ after having asked the ‘candidates’ the questions turned to the ‘congregants’ which included man and asked them if they’d render the obedience to the ‘candidates.’

    Eric

  2. ray Says:

    Girl’s club is right. That’s what happens when men turn into girls and will not take and fill the officebearers positions in the churches. Then the women see their congregational men acting like girls and thus are led to believe they too can lead as officebearers.

    One fella put it well with respect to what has taken place in the CRC …
    “Why has this happened? (1) The CRC started ordaining men who did not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. (2) The CRC started ordaining men who believed the atonement was universal and non-effacicious. (3) The CRC started ordaining women.

    This is the normal procedure. It has happened before and it will happen again.”

  3. Sean Gerety Says:

    It is an amazing and flagrant disregard for both Scripture and the PCA’s BCO. A PCA elder told me there are a number of Presbyteries where women are ordained as in the Redeemer video and there are others where only elders are ordained and deacons, both men and women, are not.

    Given the abysmal performance of the PCA leadership in rooting out those pushing the false gospels of the FV & NPP, I think it’s a fitting judgment, because some men deserve to be ruled by women.

  4. Tim Harris Says:

    Further evidence of the lying, deceptive nature of these men:

    In vow #4, they substitute “do you accept the position of deacon” for “do you accept the office of deacon” thus cleverly giving them an escape route if challenged. “We didn’t ordain to office, we ordained to position.”

    In vow #5, they both change the force of the words and do so in favor of feminism, by replacing “do you promise subjection to your brethren in the Lord?” with “do you promise subjection to your brothers and sisters…” Almost certainly “brethren” in the written form refers to fellow office-holders.

    Then, when the corresponding vow of the congregation is given, two more weaselly changes are made.

    1. Instead of “do you… acknowledge and receive this brother as a deacon” they say “do you… acknowledge and receive Deb and the other 17 as deacons and deaconesses and also the new elders…” In this way, the fallacy of division is set up. How do you acknowledge such a collective? If one fails, do they all fail (as collective)? Or if any are acceptable, does the collective achieve that status?

    Moreover, this way of putting it should remove all doubt that it is an ordination ceremony, since the same receiving is given simultaneously to the deaconesses, deacons and elders: there is no distinction.

    2. But again, to try to head off the right-wing reactionaries, they avoid using the word “office” by simply excising that part of the congregational vow, without warrant. Instead of “obedience in the Lord to which his office, according to the Word of God…”, they substitute by excision “obedience in the Lord to which the Word of God…” i.e. “his office, according to” is excised.

    The PCA won’t do anything about this because Keller is a big guy that wrote a book, and they like the cachet of having a congregation in the upper east side, and no doubt these antinomians would simply leave the PCA if the heat were put on.

    Thanks for this info Sean. This is very important.

  5. Daniel F Says:

    Wow, I can’t believe it. My dad’s been fighting this in liberal Reformed denominations in France for years, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen an actual PCA church do it.

  6. Lauren Kuo Says:

    The job description for a deacon is one that women have been doing for years – only without a title and most of the time without any recognition. The Bible calls it serving with humility.

  7. Sean Gerety Says:

    Of course, the question is not so much about recognition but about proper authority as the diaconate in Scripture is really just a division of the office of elder (also, unless I’ve missed something, I can see no warrant in Scripture for splitting the office of elder into “teaching” and “ruling”).

    I did come across this quote from Keller at BaylyBlog that certainly suggests that he’s certainly not opposed to obliterating the biblical imperatives concerning women in the church, at least further than anything I would have expected to see coming from a PCA pastor.

    In a nutshell, our position is this: whatever a non-ruling elder male can do in the church, a woman can do. We do not believe that I Timothy 2:11 or I Cor.14:35-36 precludes women teaching the Bible to men or speaking publicly. To ‘teach with authority’ (I Tim.2:11) refers to disciplinary authority over the doctrine of someone. For example, when an elder says to a member: ‘You are telling everyone that they must be circumcised in order to be saved–that is a destructive, non-Biblical teaching which is hurting people spiritually. You must desist from it or you will have to leave the church.’ That is ‘teaching authority’–it belongs only to the elders. Thus, women at Redeemer will be free to use all the gifts, privately and publicly. There are no restrictions on ministry at all. There is a restriction on the office of elder… The Deaconesses will be women elected by the congregation who will do discipling, counseling, and shepherding in the church, particularly among the women. Spiritual maturity is the qualification. They will probably also exercise a teaching ministry in the church, depending on their gifts. (Kellers, “Women and Ministry, Redeemer Presbyterian Church”).

    Again, I’m of the opinion that female deacons is just part of God’s fitting and tragic judgment against the PCA. As you know better than anyone Lauren, the leadership has completely failed the test when confronted with an all out assault on the Gospel.

  8. Lauren Kuo Says:

    I would agree that once the primary doctrine of the Gospel is maligned, then all other doctrines and practices start falling apart. I guess I feel it is a waste of time to focus on secondary problems such as the role of women in the church when the real and most pressing problem is teaching a false gospel.

    An interesting note – the Ohio Valley Presbytery put forth the first overture for a study committee on the role of women in the church. This was a year or two after the FV study report came out. I guess they wanted to deflect attention away from their FV ties.

  9. Sean Gerety Says:

    I guess they wanted to deflect attention away from their FV ties.

    I looked up the Ohio Pres’ overture and it seems Redeemer in Indiana appoints women and men to the office of deacon, but simply doesn’t call it an ordination.

    However, I don’t think pointing out the rise of women in leadership roles, no matter what they decided to call it, deflects attention from the larger issue at all. Again, I think it is all part of God’s judgment against a church that has completely failed to meet the test in facing what ByFaith called “the issue for this generation.”

    Like I said, some men deserve to be ruled over by women and I can’t think of a better example then the “men” of the Ohio Pres.

  10. Lauren Kuo Says:

    Do you know why I was put through fire for three years by the OVP? Because I a woman had the audacity to post a comment on ByFaith online stating the warnings and dangers of the Federal Vision. Three years later – let me repeat – three – three years later, the OVP shepherding committee went after my husband for “not managing his household well” in allowing me to engage in what they considered disrespectful speech.

    Whenever false teachers are in positions of authority all they know how to do is to abuse that authority. That is why I believe the root of the problem which is false teaching has to be dealt with first. All the other abuses and violations are the bitter fruit of heresy.

  11. Sean Gerety Says:

    Lauren, your comments are always welcomed here and I find nothing at all disrespectful about your speech. OTOH I do find the speech coming from your former church extremely offensive. BTW, would you say David Dively is an enabler or a participant in the sins of your former presbytery?

  12. Lauren Kuo Says:

    Let’s just say that David Dively has been the stated clerk of the Ohio Valley Presbytery for many years and was the senior pastor of CPC for several years before he left to start a new church plant in Louisville. His core group consisted of several families who were all members of the CPC congregation. Needless to say, that did not sit well with the CPC session while at the same time they were rejoicing about being able to bring in their FV man Bill Smith from Louisiana. That resulted in a lot of political appeasement and an eventual turnover of almost the entire presbytery to Federal Vision theology. My husband and I were caught in the crossfires between the two churches and eventually the presbytery for being the only ones who challenged the Federal Vision. I will let you be the judge as to whether he was an enabler or a participant.

  13. George Says:

    “In a nutshell, our position is this: whatever a non-ruling elder male can do in the church, a woman can do.”

    And the scripture verses that support that position are where? Is he saying a male lay-member can do what what a teaching elder does? Or only women can do that? Is he actually allowing women to do more than teaching elders and male lay-members?

    We do not believe that I Timothy 2:11 or I Cor.14:35-36 precludes women teaching the Bible to men or speaking publicly.”

    It seems to me that Keller is just trying to cement his power by diluting the power of teaching elders and more importantly male lay-members. Worldly power politics 101. Tyrants always give more power to the hoi polloi “the people” in order to weaken the checks and balances that the “hoi aristoi” place on the tyrant. It’s Christ’s church not Keller’s. In this day and age the churches are fixated on mega-church pastor and christian church author personality cults.

    Keller does not even try to refute 1 Co. 14:33-35. He just says “we” don’t believe that it forbids women from teaching and speaking publicly. I guess my child understands that passage better than “they” do. It is pretty darn clear. So clear that died in the wool liberals who would rather be in no church or a UPC church than a PCA church, think Paul was a misogynist. Even liberals prevaricate less about that passage than Keller’s “we” does. Here it is:

    “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

    1 Co. 14:33-35 is clear not confusing. At least in churches of the saints, although perhaps not in Redeemer brand churches.

    “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

    Scripture doesn’t say “let your non-ruling elders keep silence”. Scripture says “let your women keep silence.”

    To ‘teach with authority’ (I Tim.2:11) refers to disciplinary authority over the doctrine of someone. For example, when an elder says to a member: ‘You are telling everyone that they must be circumcised in order to be saved–that is a destructive, non-Biblical teaching which is hurting people spiritually. You must desist from it or you will have to leave the church.’”

    Keller really mangles this one, I have to believe purposely. Here is what the passage says:

    “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.”

    Not, “let the non-ruling elders learn in silence with all subjection.”

    “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam, was first formed, then Eve.”

    Not, “I suffer not a non-ruling elder to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For the ruling elder was first formed, then the teaching elders, the male lay-members and the women lay-members.”

    Look at 1 Ti. 2:9, 10. Paul is addressing women. John Gill understood that. Matthew Henry’s commentary understands that. Paul is not addressing male non-ruling elders. I have to believe Keller doesn’t care. At least the unchurched and UPC liberals are honest with that passage.

    The conundrum is what to do? The great majority of Americans have no desire to be members of a particular society of Protestant believers. Of those who do many take the liberal American Baptist or Episcopal Church route. Of those who look to the more conservative societies, many will go for Lutheran sacerdotalism and don’t have any interest in the doctrines of grace. Among the very few churches that take a high view of scripture and a high view of the doctrines of grace, many of those get caught up in FV or tightly controlled persnality cult, teaching-elder church polity, where the ruling-elder speaks for the “we”.

    “New Presbyter is but old Priest writ large.” — Milton. I can’t help thinking about the silly women who fawn over Roman Catholic priests.

    95% of Redeemer brand PCA church members don’t even know about FV, but they love Tim Keller, and about 40% of them think women need to teach and speak more publicly in the church with authority.

    BTW, the OVP seems to be on their own power trip with respect to LK. As far as I know she is is not teaching publicly with authority in the church. She is speaking out publicly outside of the church against a heresy. Thank God for the first amendment. I have to think that some of the particular societies would love to remove that 1st amendment.

  14. speigel Says:

    Where are you getting those numbers about what Redeemer NYC members think?

  15. A. Barnes Says:

    I find it funny that a main arguement in favor of women deacons is usually that deacons have no authority. But the very point where you call the diaconate or members of the diaconate an ‘office’ (The office of deacon), you admit there is authority. Funny.

  16. George Says:

    There are no numbers about what Redeemer NYC members think. There are %s, that are not meant to be taken literally. To be a bit more legalistic and technical, my opinion is that in Redeemer circles, FV has a smaller “mind share” than women in ministry. That opinion is based on my many conversations with dozens of Redeemer brand members and attendees over many years. FV has never come up once. The view that women should take on increasing leadership in the church has come up many times, without me initiating that topic of conversation. BTW, when I say the great majority of Americans have no desire to be part of a Protestant particular society, I did not take a scientific survey on that either, just my opinion.

  17. speigel Says:

    So what you should have said was “40% of the members you’ve talked to …” not “40% of the members do think…” There’s a difference between the two. One is misleading, the other isn’t.

  18. George Says:

    Spiegel I am going to go way out on a limb here and guess that most if not all readers understood I wasn’t claiming to have done a scientific survey. I said “about 40%”.

    In my view Keller does are far more intense classification or misclassification and stereotyping of PCA members into three or four groups, places percentages on all of them, and then places himself in the “good group” and in my view indicates his group should have more votes, and that if the “not as good” groups don’t like what his growing good group is up to they should not split from the PCA. But my shorts are not tied up in a knot over Keller’s percentages. I understand that it would be twisting things to imply that he “knows” that his percentages are good guesses, or that he “knows” there are three or four groups. It is just his opinion, and he does not have to reiterate that it his opinion every paragraph or so.

    http://www.epcnewark.org/recread/TKeller_CultureofthePCA-rev.pdf

  19. Sean Gerety Says:

    A. Barnes – it’s certainly the case that with the rise of the welfare state the role of the diaconate has diminished, but even now it is not unheard of that a deacon has some authority in determining how money and resources are to be distributed. Admittedly, in most cases they’re just glorified lawn maintenance men. Not that I’m putting down lawn maintenance.

    Regardless, you are right and they are still ordained officers of the church and are an extension of the office of elder (which in Scripture is one office and not subdivided between teaching and ruling nonsense).

  20. Sean Gerety Says:

    Thanks George for the Keller pdf link. It was very helpful and confirms what a PCA elder friend of mine said and that the PCA is definitely moving more in the “Big Tent” direction (a trend I’m not sure my friend opposes).

    While Keller advocates keeping the denomination together, there is no question that a major split is on the horizon and not just because the FV/NPP has pretty much crippled R-h’s and R-c’s (per Keller’s categorization).

    Plus, he points out:

    “the Reformed-evangelicals probably represent the largest single group in the PCA but are vastly under-represented at the General Assembly level.”

    It won’t take much to increase their numbers at the GA and the growing controversy over the ordination of women, as we see already happening in Keller’s church, might be just the catalyst for that kind of mobilization.

  21. speigel Says:

    The issue I brought up isn’t about how Keller identifies himself or the PCA. I’m talking about the members of Redeemer NYC. Not once has anyone from Redeemer NYC talked to me about or advocate women having more of a role with authority. But you go to say “about 40%” do talk and think that women should. And the odd thing is that you say the members probably don’t know about the FV. How is that when their assistant pastor (has) openly endorse(s) the FV on his blog? Nor is the love of Keller really relevant. People on this blog love Gordon Clark.

    I do not deny that Keller is wrong on this issue (of deacons), but there is not way to correctly and generally impute that error to members of the church like the way you did. Of the people you met, did about 40% or many of them talk about giving women more authority? Maybe. You would know better than I would. But you cannot impute that on the rest of the Redeemer NYC members. In addition, there are more attendees than members at Redeemer NYC.

  22. Sean Gerety Says:

    Speigel I think George was just offering rough estimates not a serious statistical study. FWIW I think you’re reading too much into his numbers. Also, if their assistant pastor endorses the FV, is anyone doing anything about it? Besides, not being too familiar with Redeemer, who is he and where can I find his blog?

  23. speigel Says:

    That’s the point. Why should George be allowed to characterize all or many of the members of Redeemer NYC? How’s he getting these rough estimates? It’s not the numbers I’m reading into. To malign a pastor for what is publicly said or printed is one thing. To malign the entire congregation based on nothing but limited conversations is another. It’s the imputation of motives that is the problem. How’s this not slander against the congregation? George’s statements should be qualified.

  24. Tim Harris Says:

    I’m not sure it is maligning the congregation, but George’s statement does seem to exhibit a lack of commitment to speak only what is known to be true, similar to Keller himself. Even Keller when giving number made it crystal clear that he was guesstimating.

    There are ways of giving verbal clues that numbers are mere opinion. “Dollars to donuts, 90% of the assembly will support the motion.” “It seems to me that a strong minority will support the move — maybe 40%.” Etc.

    It was confusing to me also, because what was the point of the 40%, even if it had been factual? That the leadership is pushing an agenda even though it is only a minority that favor it? That one only needs 40% support to push anything whatsoever through an organization? Etc.

  25. George Says:

    OK, if I could rewrite it again, I would. I think I clarified my statement as soon as it was called out. I really don’t think what I wrote should be understood as anything more than opinion. There is no way to know what is in the mind of each and every Redeemer member, attendee, in NYC, Berlin, Texas or whereever that Redeemer brand church is — and they are all over the place.

    Is it really controversial to say that Redeemer members love TK? Obviously, probably at least one doesn’t.

    The FV controversy is important. I don’t think most Redeemer brand folks know or care what FV is — I’m guessing, based on my little unscientific sample that 5% know. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe the NYC Redeemer members are more aware of the FV, than the Redeemer people I come in contact with more often. I think it matters a bit, as someone who knows FV is aware of soteriology, and what the elders in the PCA are talking about. However, I think most Redeemer brand folks are more concerned about the “excellence” of the worship band, the worship “Chirst encounter experience” and women’s church teaching (pro or con) opportunities than FV.

    In my Redeemer circles, I can get an uncomfortable conversation started by saying, “how important is worship band ‘excellence’?”.

    Another conversation starter might be,”Do you think that families with a high view of male leadership prefer other churches, leaving Redeemer brand churches with a high % of families with an egalatarian view of the role of the sexes?” Or “in a church with a relatively high % of women in church non-elder leadership positions, don’t you think that since it appears that men are not stepping up in that church, that a proper solution to that church’s leadership problem would be that women should be ordained as elders?”

    “What do you think of the FV”, will elicit a blank stare. I’ve tried it. Yes, small sample.

    Perhaps “about 40%” is wrong. Maybe its “15%” or “65%”. Maybe the NYC Redeemer folks on average take a higher view of 1 Co. 14 and 1 Ti. 2, than I thought they do — but there were no pitchforks and torches broken out at the end of the deacon “ordination” video posted above. In my experience with Redeemer folks (most outside of NYC), I get the feeling that a sizeable minority are not content with women being deacons, deaconesses, worship band / music leaders, prayer leaders, “growth group” leaders and so on. They want women teaching adult Sunday school as well, and women elders. Just my experience. Perhaps it is not a sizeable minority in NYC, perhaps is is a slight majority or a small minority.

    Some Redeemer brand churches are young and immature, and can grab hold of issues like communion “wine”, “women” leadership and worhsip “song” more easily than FV. My strongly held opinon, based on experience, is that quite a few members of some congregations would have trouble finding “Numbers” in their spouse’s Bible, that more than one non-vocational elder would be lost without his NIV study bible notes, and that the terms “mercy ministry” and “tithe” would be familiar (if not understood) by most all and “FV”, “imputation” and “NPP” by few. To quote Sienfeld “not that there is anything wrong with that”, one could argue (I would not) that Redeemer is reaching the unchurched and the person that can’t find “Numbers” this year, did not even own a Bible two years ago. But I do think Redeemer brand members (and maybe NYC is different) are not as grounded in the Word as other PCA members (call them the non-Redeemer R-h and R-c crowd, but I hate accepting Keller’s categorization), and are therefore more likely to unquestioningly be led by the nose by TK and his disciples — some of whom do adore him IMHO.

    If I am correct, most of the Redeemer R-e members won’t care about FV, and their leadership will handle that issue in the GA for them, and a sizeable minority of Redeemer R-e members will actually be pushing for their elders in the GA to take a lower view of 1 Co. 14 and 1 Ti. 2.

    IMHO Redeemer members are no worse than anyone else. IMHO it is possible that Keller and his most devoted vocational elder disciples are more concerned with church planting, money raising, pop-Christian “literature” and visible mercy ministry participation than furthering biblical literacy, or making sure that they are not picking and choosing what to accept vs. explain away in Paul’s epistles to the Corinthinans and Timothy.

  26. George Says:

    Dimes to donuts Tim Keller is a far better man than I am. However, the tone is set at the top, and the slope to the bottom seems to be getting slippery, and a Redeemer TE seems to have in fact slipped. I don’t think it is a distortion (based on things like his audio taped web debate with another well known PCA elder on women deacons) to say that Keller leans at least a bit left of the historical Presbyterian and Christian view of the role of women on the church.

    “In a nutshell, our position is this: whatever a non-ruling elder male can do in the church, a woman can do. We do not believe that I Timothy 2:11 or I Cor.14:35-36 precludes women teaching the Bible to men or speaking publicly.” – above quote attributed to Tim Keller.

    Whoever made the video caught Redeemer NYC with their proverbial pants down. The big picture is not if deaconesses were ordained or just appointed. The bigger picture is what do passages such as the following mean concerning women leading praise bands (teaching in spiritual songs), leading church sponsored “growth groups”, leading the congregation in prayer and leading adult Sunday school, and influencing decisions on the deacon board (whether ordained or just appointed)?

    “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of CONFUSION [emphasis added], but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the COMMANDMENTS [emphasis added] of the Lord.” 1 Co. 14:31-37

    If one takes a Kellerian view, I suppose that since women can do anything that non-elders can do, that I as a non-elder man, must keep silence and not ask questions and ask my husband??? at home to teach me. Clearly this passage makes clear that God does not want confusion in the churches. My view of the above passage is that God believes women with teaching roles in the church is confusion (unless done in conjunction with a husband or perhaps a male family member as Priscilla and Aquila). Since this is a COMMANDMENT of the Lord, I think it is unwise to take a low view of this passage and look for loopholes to exploit (such as saying that Paul’s meaning is only that women can’t be elders).

    I know this is not PC, but the pre-feminist revolution interpretation of this passage was pretty clear. Take 18th century Baptist theologian John Gill for instance:

    “for God, the donor of all gifts, is the author of order and peace, and not of confusion in all the churches, and whereas the apostle had suggested, that all might prophecy, or preach, that is, that had gifts qualifying for it, he would be understood only of men, and not women, who were not permitted to speak in the church in a way of preaching; no, not even to ask questions there about what they heard, but if they wanted to be informed of any thing they did not rightly understand, they were to ask their husbands at home; this the apostle argues, partly from the law, which commands them to be in obedience to men, and partly from the indecency of such a practice, and seeing as it should seem such a practice did obtain in the church at Corinth, the apostle warmly reproves them for it, it being what was not to be observed in other churches, by intimating to them, that the Gospel neither came out from them, nor did it come to them only,” – John Gill (from his exposition of 1 Corinthians)

    If 1 Co. 14 was the only passage in line with this theme, perhaps one could wonder. But the passage is backed up by Paul’s fist epistle to Timothy and by one of Peter’s letters, by the general tone of the Mosaic civil law and by the example of Christ himself, who chose twelve male apostles (and had women followers as well that had qualitatively different, not necessarily inferior, roles from the twelve).

    The biblical argument is stated clearly in 1 co. 14 and elsewhere. However, there is a much less important sociological argument to be made. Perhpas at least some men do not want to be under female teaching in a girl’s club atmosphere. Perhaps it is a weakness on the part of some men. Such men will become less interested and less supportive of girl’s club type churches. The void will be filled by women, which will make the church more of a girl’s club and the vicious cycle will continue down the mixed metaphor slippery slope. Just one man’s opinion.

  27. Sean Gerety Says:

    Hi Daniel. I saw Keller’s response at Green Baggins and I don’t see how it changes anything? As George quotes above, and I will here again, Keller believes women should be allowed to do anything in the church that men do, including preach. For some odd reason (evidently the result of some really bad exegesis) the only exception seems to be that women are prohibited from disciplining those teaching errant doctrines.

    Again, Keller wrote:

    In a nutshell, our position is this: whatever a non-ruling elder male can do in the church, a woman can do. We do not believe that I Timothy 2:11 or I Cor.14:35-36 precludes women teaching the Bible to men or speaking publicly [read preach – SG]. To ‘teach with authority’ (I Tim.2:11) refers to disciplinary authority over the doctrine of someone.

    The larger point of my post, as opposed to the one on Green Baggins, was not that Keller’s church ordains women, which they obviously have done with or without Keller’s explicit blessing, but rather women in leadership roles in the church, exerting authority over men, is the “Big Tent” direction the PCA is heading in. Besides being a major concession to the world, the feminization of the church is, in my view, ironically very fitting. FWIW and as mentioned, I see this as part of God’s judgment against a denomination that has completely failed the test when facing the twin assaults on the Gospel in the FV and NPP.

    FWIW, I originally included the above blog piece in a larger piece that I initially published making that point explicitly, but severely edited it since I thought it might have been a bit too self-serving. In hindsight, I probably should have kept the post the way I originally intended. That way you and others would not have taken it as being specifically a criticism of Keller or the movement to ordain women as church officers in the PCA. Frankly, women would probably do a better job administering discipline against those currently corrupting the Gospel in the PCA then the so-called “men” now supposedly guarding and protecting Christ’s sheep.

  28. J.F. Says:

    “Let’s just say that David Dively has been the stated clerk of the Ohio Valley Presbytery for many years and was the senior pastor of CPC for several years before he left to start a new church plant in Louisville. His core group consisted of several families who were all members of the CPC congregation. Needless to say, that did not sit well with the CPC session while at the same time they were rejoicing about being able to bring in their FV man Bill Smith from Louisiana. That resulted in a lot of political appeasement and an eventual turnover of almost the entire presbytery to Federal Vision theology. My husband and I were caught in the crossfires between the two churches and eventually the presbytery for being the only ones who challenged the Federal Vision. I will let you be the judge as to whether he was an enabler or a participant.”

    After 32 years of being a pastors kid, I should know to turn the other cheek and bite my tongue but I cannot. David Dively is my father. He is neither a participant nor an enabler of the FV. His views on FV are well known throughout the OVP and PCA. If you wish to know what he believes, maybe you could ask him yourself.

  29. Sean Gerety Says:

    While I’m sure Lauren can answer with more immediate knowledge, since she and her husband were members of the OH pres and have confronted the false gospel of the FV being taught under your Daddy’s nose, I’m just curious how do you account for this joker:

    https://godshammer.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/the-pca-road-to-rome/

    https://godshammer.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/why-we-left-the-pca/

    Last I checked, Bill Smith is still a pastor in good standing in the OH pres.

  30. Hugh McCann Says:

    A helpful (older) book is _Scripture Twisting in the Seminaries: Part One: Feminism_ by John Robbins, available at Amazon.

    As to the PCA & FV, the late Dr. Robbins said,*

    “The silence of the shepherds in dealing with the heresies in their own churches stems from their compromised philosophy and theology. They cannot clearly articulate their differences with Rome, or practice what those differences require, because at bottom they agree with Rome. The reject Biblical philosophy and accept the Thomism of Rome. That common ground inexorably leads them to seek common ground elsewhere, such as in political action.”

    And, “Their philosophy is undermining their theology. Their Thomist / Romanist / evidentialist philosophy, which denies that Scripture is the axiom of Christianity, and which tells us that we must demonstrate the existence of God and the reliability of God’s Word by arguments taken from sensation and observation, is subverting and compromising their Presbyterian theology… It is very difficult for men and ministries that feature proponents of the New Perspective on Paul, Federal Vision, and Roman Catholic theology to criticize the Romanizing movements in their own churches. In fact, they have contributed to those Romanizing movements.”

    * “The Silence of the Shepherds” ~ http://www.trinityfoundation.org/horror_show.php?id=44


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