Of Dominoes And Pulpits

In 1996 the first woman pastor was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church. The issue of women in ecclesiastical office had already been an issue in the CRC for over twenty years. A minority report at the 1984 Synod called into question the validity of the headship principle and whether it should be understood as a creation norm. (Acts of Synod 1984, p. 376). After the appointment and work of various study committees the Synod of 1992 adopted the following declaration:

The scriptural teaching that the husband is head over his wife within marriage cannot be broadened to claim the headship of all males over all females in the church and so to prohibit women from serving in the offices of the church (Agenda of Synod 1992, p. 377).

Based on this declaration, the CRC opened the door for the churches to use “discretion in utilizing the gifts of women members in all the offices of the church” (Acts of Synod 1990, p. 650).

The issue was and still is one of how Scripture is to be interpreted. At the end of the day the question is always the same, “Does the Bible gives us a comprehensive and clear teaching on whether or not women should preach or be ordained to the office of elder and pastor? And if so, on what basis?

…Opponents of this view call into question Paul’s purpose for giving instructions for women in the church. Many assume that the problem Paul and Timothy faced was one of improper behavior on the part of women.

…Those who teach that Paul was dealing with the specific cultural problem of feminism when writing to Timothy have no historical basis. As NT scholar Steve Baugh observes, there simply is no evidence that a feminist movement influenced Ephesian politics. Read more»

Chris Gordon | “The Domino Theory and Egalitarian Pulpits” | March 10, 2022


Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!