Report of PCA Study Committee on Women in the Church (8): hiding out in a cave...

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(This is eighth in a series of ten posts critiquing the Report of the Presbyterian Church in America's Study Committee on Women Serving in the Ministry of the Church: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventheighth, ninth, and tenth.)

The primary need is the encouragement and respect of the church’s male leadership who can either nourish or break the heart of a woman who is trying to serve God. ...There is additional benefit to churches finding ways to deploy gifted women teachers in their midst. ...When churches recognize a gifted woman’s teaching ministry and incorporate it into the church’s ministry, the expansion of that ministry is an expansion of that church.

- Report of PCA Study Committee on Women in the Church 1

[June 3, 2017: this post has been edited to turn its focus away from one individual.]

Does the Report acknowledge any Scriptural limitations on women teaching and exercising authority over men?

Yes it does, and for most that will be the end of it. As one southern pastor of my acquaintance effused in a fawning tweet, "how very grateful we all are for the wonderful work this wise and faithful Committee has presented to the church!"2

Stopping right there is what the Assembly will do: "Look, they said there are some things only men should do. Isn't that enough? What does it take to satisfy you? Must every last woman be married, barefoot, and pregnant?"

For a long time now, the pastors who posture themselves as conservatives during PCA general assemblies have specialized in avoiding the battle by giving private assurances of their manliness and Biblical convictions while publicly issuing...

equivocations, points of order, and carefully crafted floor statements moderators find hard to categorize as either for or against the motion.

We live in a day of sexual anarchy when the entire world is in rebellion against God's Order of Creation of Adam first, then Eve; and such men choose this very time to seduce the assembly to pronounce that sex means less today than at any prior point in church history. For that matter, less than at any prior point in the entire history of man.

These are the preachers who never paused for a moment's Biblical reflection when, on national television, Christa McAuliffe, the mother of eight-year-old Scott and three-year-old Caroline, was blown to smithereens. Adamant in their commitment to remain nincompoops, they refused to ask what a mother of little children was doing on the Challenger? No, they most certainly did not use the occasion of the Challenger's explosion to warn their congregations that our nation ought not to have allowed any mother of little children to abandon those children for getting strapped into a chair inside a little metal capsule perched on 3,821,722 lbs. of rocket fuel while she waited for the match to light it up.

So now we wait for the 45th General Assembly to convene, knowing from long experience that such men will now lead the Assembly to adopt this travesty of a Report and its recommendations, then go on to dismiss this quivering-mass-of-Jello Committee just as the Committee members themselves requested be done in the very last sentence of their Report:

The committee humbly requests to be dismissed with thanks. 3

Ain't that the best case of "humble-bragging" you've ever seen?

Yes, of course; generally speaking, the judicatory does dismiss ad interim committees "with thanks."

But no, ad interim committees never ask to be thanked.

Until now.

Very humbly, of course.

There are two kinds of men who will read to the end of this Report.

One kind will finish it and declare, "Well yes. Splendid job! By all means do as they ask and thank these humble servants. It's very hard work today steering the ship between the words of the Apostle Paul and the words of Tim and Kathy Keller, but they certainly hit the sweet spot—and more power to them!"

The other kind will weep.

Complementarianism is the tack taken by pastors whose highest aspiration in this evil day is to scratch the American church's ears where they itch. The church knows that, living in the midst of sexual anarchy, she can't completely surrender. She still must show a certain degree of respect for Scripture and Scripture's God, so she hires pastors who have been seduced by their seminary profs to join them in the cave of complementarianism. Everyone agrees it's a good hiding place where we can escape persecution while appearing to defend the faith. So the Assembly's pastors will demonstrate their submission syndrome to men in possession of the  D. Theol. Ed.D., Th.D., Ph.D., and D.Min. by voting to receive and adopt this Report "with thanks."

If you are a pastor or elder who has faith and desires to contend for that faith, at the assembly this year, find a man bloodied from the battle against feminism God has called us to in the home, church, and world. Then stand next to him and fight. If he grows weary, hold up his arms and, when the vote is cast, don't be ashamed, but vote with him.

In this sinful and adulterous generation, don't be ashamed of Jesus and His words—especially those He wrote through the Apostle Paul.

Remember the Apostle Paul's question?

So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? (Galatians 4:16)

Remember how he ended this letter?

From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus. (Galatians 6:17)

All the pastors about to salve their consciences at the end of General Assembly by remembering how they humbly and joyfully took their stand on the glorious Biblical truth that there are a few places where, in those limited circumstances when extremely serious things are under consideration during corporate worship, women must temporarily stop teaching and exercising authority over men in order to allow some man in popossession of the M.Div. who passed his written and oral ordination exams and was ordained—not commissioned, you understand—is able to insert himself for a second to make an authoritative doctrinal judgment; yes, those very pastors: they are worthless.

They wouldn't know a fight if one punched their wife in the nose.

Try to imagine the Apostle Paul writing the stuff this Committee put in their Report.

Better yet, try to imagine this Committee writing the stuff the Apostle Paul put into First Corinthians and First Timothy.

Both imaginings are equally incomprehensible.

  • 1. P. 2457:16-27.
  • 2. Not his precise words, but an accurate representation.
  • 3. P. 2463:9.
Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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