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Showing posts with the label Church Government

What the Philadelphia 11 can teach the SBC

 By Jesse Johnson - Posted at The Cripplegate: I recently came across TIME Magazine from the week I was born—January 7, 1976. The issue was devoted to the “Women of the Year,” and on the cover was the Rev. Alison Cheek. She broke the so-called glass ceiling by becoming the first female Episcopal priest to lead/perform the Eucharist. Cheek was part of the “The Philadelphia 11,” a group of female priests all ordained in Pennsylvania, long before that was acceptable in the Anglican church. It was immediately met with howls of protests. This was coming after the fall of Saigon, and after the zenith of the hippie movement. The “mainline denominations” were at a tipping point, one that is much more recognizable in the hindsight than I’m sure it was at the time. Many people protested such a brazen show of rebellion by the Philadelphia Episcopal church—compounded all the more because the Anglican Church had rejected calls to ordain women. While some Anglicans may have protested the Philadelph

A Word about Spurgeon and Female Pastors

Source:  A Word about Spurgeon and Female Pastors – Denny Burk  By Dr. Denny Burk Published May 20, 2023 Earlier this week, it was announced that Rick Warren had been installed as the honorary Chancellor of Spurgeon’s College in London. After his installation, Warren took the opportunity to double-down on his support for female pastors and to claim that “ my views on ordination are identical to Spurgeon’s. ” I am no expert on Spurgeon, but I am reasonably certain that Warren’s views on ordination are not identical to Spurgeon’s—at least insofar as it relates to the ordination of female pastors. In his book Lectures to My Students, Spurgeon devotes an entire chapter to “The Call to the Ministry.”* In that chapter, I can see at least three differences between Spurgeon’s and Warren’s views on this point. 1. The Gender of “Pastor” Warren claims that the Bible permits women to serve as pastors in the church and that they should be afforded the opportunity to lead and teach as pastors. Sp

1 Cor. 14:34-35 and the role of women in the church

 By Zachary Garris - Posted at Knowing Scripture: RESTORING 1 CORINTHIANS 14:34-35 AS A PARALLEL TO 1 TIMOTHY 2:12 Most of the debate today over the role of women in the church centers around 1 Timothy 2:12 , where Paul prohibits women from “teaching” or “exercising authority” over men and instead commands them to “remain quiet.” Based on a variety of arguments, egalitarians conclude that 1 Timothy 2:12 does not prohibit women today from serving as pastors or elders or preaching to men. However, among those that hold 1 Timothy 2:12 does place restrictions on women in the church today (often called “complementarians”), there are differing conclusions. Complementarian Disagreements The narrowest complementarian position holds that 1 Timothy 2:12 only prohibits women from holding the office of pastor or elder, which would open the door to some women preaching. However, since Paul prohibits teaching and exercising authority and not just being a pastor, most complementarians understand Pau

On a Journey to Women’s Ordination and Beyond?

 By Wes Bredenhof Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women , Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher. Bloomington: Bethany House, 2020. Softcover, 301 pages. Jesus & Gender: Living as Sisters & Brothers in Christ, Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher. Bellingham: Kirkdale Press, 2022. Hardcover, 282 pages. In October 2021 I attended our biannual pastors’ conference in Western Australia. A talk by two pastors’ wives was the highlight. Amanda Poppe and Kristen Alkema spoke about domestic abuse in the church. They shared real-life stories of CanRC and FRCA women who’d been raped by their husbands, physically battered, psychologically controlled or manipulated, and emotionally beaten down. It was eye-opening and deeply disturbing. After this conference, I read Darby Strickland’s book Is It Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims . Amanda, Kristen, and Darby convinced me we have to do better in our churches with how we view women and how

Female Ordination, the Gay Clergy, and the Crisis of the Modern Church

 By Uri Brito - Posted at Kuyperian Commentary:  The biblical arguments for male headship in the Church are vast, ranging from the man’s role under the creation order ( I Tim. 2), the qualification for elders (I Tim. 3), his function in the liturgical order and decency of worship (I Cor. 14), and his significative symbol under the new man, Jesus Christ (Eph. 4-5). These are taken as presuppositions in the history of redemption and exceptions are theological judgment imposed on God’s people. Additionally, the East and the West have carefully crafted the liturgical service with a man in mind. Christ is the perfect priest and he was enfleshed in a male body. Therefore, the liturgy starts with male vocal cords and ends with male vocal cords. The man gathers and calls and leads and protects. God decided on such things in the Old and New Testaments happily moving against cultural norms, pagan norms, emotional norms and sexual norms. God structures his creation in a Trinitarian fashion and th

Markers on the way-station of downgrade: Exhibit A, Aimee Byrd

 By Elizabeth Prata - Posted at The End Time: I was saved in around January 2004. For 18 months I followed Joel Osteen, until I got a Bible that is. In mid-2006 I moved to Georgia and began attending church, and was baptized. Since then, the acceleration of false teachers populating the faith and their numerous public implosions, seem to be accelerating. Even previously solid-seeming platformed teachers and theologians are falling like dominoes. I used to listen to Reformation 21’s Mortification of Spin Podcast with Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt, and Aimee Byrd. I’m not a huge fan of listening to women, I prefer men, but I was pleased that the so-named “Housewife Theologian” was able to speak on theological issues in a roundtable with men. ‘Good for her’ I’d thought. ‘If she has time away from family to do that.’ Aimee wrote as to why she wrote her book Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary and joined the podcast in 2013, “Much of my blogging speaks to why it matter

The OPC, GRACE, Diane Langberg, and Critical Theory, Part 1: Critical Theory

By Michael Grasso - Posted at Green Baggins: Should the OPC hire GRACE to investigate potential instances of abuse in its churches? This question came before the 87th General Assembly (GA) in the form of a motion to add a docket item called “Ministering to victims of abuse”. [1] The motion needed a 2/3 majority to be added to the docket, and it failed to reach this threshold. This motion did not come in a vacuum. Aimee Byrd had called on the OPC to hire this organization on April 5, 2021. [2] Following the GA’s decision not to take up the question of hiring GRACE, Aimee Byrd publicly condemned the decision of the GA in two blog posts on July 21 [3] and 26 [4] respectively. A few months after GA, on October 8-9, the Presbytery of Philadelphia hosted a fall conference on the subject of spiritual abuse with Diane Langberg as the speaker. Diane Langberg is the author of Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the church and is a former board member of GRACE. The

PCA Progressives Outmaneuver Conservatives… Once Again

By Dewey Roberts - Posted at Vanguard Presbytery : When I woke up on Saturday, October 23, 2021, there were two texts that had been sent to me earlier that morning. One was from a pastor in the PCA. The other was from a pastor in Vanguard. The sentiments were the same for both of them with respect to the most recent decision of the PCA’s Standing Judicial Commission. On October 21, 2021, the SJC denied all the complaints against the actions of Missouri Presbytery for protecting and exonerating TE Greg Johnson in his professed same-sex attraction. The vote was 16-7. That means the issue is dead. It is over. If there had been at least 1/3 of the SJC jurors to vote against the decision of the highest court, then it would have automatically triggered a floor vote by the next General Assembly on whether to accept the majority report or the minority report. No such vote will be forthcoming now. But wait… the SJC voted on these same complaints against Missouri Presbytery at their March 2021 m

Standing with the Little Guys

 By Barry York - Posted at Gentle Reformation: As part of my duties as president of our denominational seminary, over the last month I attended the national meetings of several NAPARC churches. I participated in my own denomination's synod meetings (RPCNA) in Indiana, spent two days in St. Louis, Missouri at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), and just came back this weekend from a quick trip to Iowa to visit brothers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). Having fellowship with not only brothers and sisters of these churches, but folks from many other denominations who also had representatives in attendance at these meetings, was a true highlight of the time, a taste of the greater kingdom of God. Of course, there are some marked differences in these meetings. The PCA is much larger than the OPC and especially the RPCNA, with nearly 2000 churches and 400,000 members. The PCA General Assembly had thousands in attendance, and used the Convention Cen

How To Turn Complementarians into Egalitarians

 By Denny Burk - Posted at  Mike Bird and Devi Abraham recently interviewed authors Kristin DuMez, Beth Allison Barr, and Aimee Byrd (see video below). All three of these authors have written books condemning complementarianism. Both DuMez and Barr are convinced egalitarians. While I have never heard Byrd own that label, she has said in her book that she is not a complementarian. In any case, it’s difficult to detect any daylight between Byrd’s position and that of the two egalitarians in this interview. They all three are very much opposed to complementarian theology, which is denigrated as abusive patriarchy in this interview. One thing that they all three seem to agree on is the need for women to take on more teaching and leadership positions over men in churches. On this point, there was one revealing moment at the end of the interview that I think complementarians would do well to take note of. Devi Abraham asks the authors what one thing needs to change in evangel

'The Church Is A Pasture Not A Business'

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at Abounding Grace Radio: Choose Your Metaphors Carefully: The Church Is A Pasture Not A Business 35 years ago, when I began seminary, the “church growth” movement was hitting its stride. In a course taught by an adjunct professor with a Harvard MBA we were taught how be efficient just the way successful CEOs are. Later, in the church growth literature with which pastors and churches were then inundated (and, in some cases, still are), we were told that the old metaphors for ministry were old-fashioned and must be replaced. Instead of talking about sheep, pastures, and pastors (shepherds), we should begin thinking in more sophisticated, urban categories. Pastors were told to model themselves after Chief Executive Officers. I recall a pastor saying to me, “I’m not a pastor, I am a rancher.” That was a clever way to retain some of the agrarian flavor of the biblical language while turning the image on its head. We were supposed to infer that this “r

Who will protect the church?

By Whitman H. Brisky - Posted at iB2 News: What happens to church property when most of its members depart, leaving only an unpopular pastor and a few of his close friends and family to determine its use? Unfortunately, in all too many cases, the congregation essentially shuts down as an active ministry, converts the property to cash, and then pays the remaining funds to (or for the benefit of) the pastor. Frequently the money is paid out as salary for doing very little since the congregation is now defunct. Even worse, in some situations we have seen, the pastor seems to deliberately drive the bulk of the congregation away so that he can sell the property for his own personal benefit without having to account for the money. We are even aware of an example where a single minister became pastor of three separate congregations and drove the members of all three away leaving him with the property. While this situation would normally not occur in denominations with relatively strong

Aiming for Godly Growth in 2018

By Angela Wittman Dear Friends, There is much busyness in the life of today's women, but if you are a Christian, you will have a desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. Here are some recently written articles by other authors I think you'll find valuable. I pray you'll make time to read and reflect upon the godly advice and wisdom shared in each one. The first article is  On Being a Christian Woman in the Year of Our Lord, 2018   written by Abigail Dodds and posted at her blog Hope and Stay . Abigail writes about the hunger of Christian women for sound teaching in today's churches, which is right and good, but also warns of some pitfalls and how to avoid them. Here are some valuable excerpts from her article: Here’s my summary: Biblically-conservative Christian women are eager to have visible, biblically-conservative leadership by women in their churches and eager to learn from gifted, female Bible teachers whether locally or nationally. S

Why Discipleship Works with a Plurality of Elders

By Josh Buice - Posted at : In Acts 6:2, Jesus’ inner circles was known as “the twelve.” They were serving as the pastors for the early church as it was growing rapidly. However, when a problem arose among the church, servants were established to wait on the tables in order to free up these men to give their full attention to the Word of God and prayer. The pattern of ministry all throughout the New Testament is clearly established upon a plurality of elders leading and a plurality of deacons serving. Although this is not a blemish-free ministry pattern, it does provide for the most healthy scenario for discipleship in the local church. Deacons, Elders, and Discipleship When pastors are free to give themselves to the Word of God, the church will benefit drastically. The pastors who put more priority on pragmatics and less priority upon the study of God’s Word cannot expect their church to rise above their leaders. Interestingly enough, in Acts 6, t

Is a Plurality of Elders for Southern Baptists?

By Shuan Marksbury - Posted at The Domain for Truth : Today, the term “elders” rings sour in many Baptist ears. Perhaps it seems too Presbyterian, or it may seem to authoritarian. Indeed, many SBC churches practice a model of a deacon leadership or have such a congregational government that spiritual decisions are left in the hands of those not holding (and, perhaps, unqualified for) any office. It was not always so, and Baptists at one time understood that (multiple) elders should led a church. For instance, the first president of the SBC, W. B. Johnson, taught that individual churches should be led by a plurality of elders. One of the founding members of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, William Williams, likewise taught this; the Abstract of Principles says, “The regular officers of a Church [singular] are Bishops or Elders [plural], and Deacons.” The SBC statement of faith is no different. In 1925, it stated, “A church of Christ [singular] is a congregation of baptiz