Reputation of Women Elders

I bolt out of the meeting hoping not to talk anyone, because of the fear that I will not be able to control my emotions. Anger, frustration, disgust, and sorrow bubble at the surface as I run and walk to the exit. Finally, I escape into the fresh air where I no longer have to worry about talking to anyone.

On Sunday March 20, 2014 certain members of Cedarview Alliance Church put forward a motion that would make it possible for women to be appointed to the board of elders. This motion is not just a difference of opinions, but will result in the division of the church. My wife and I will leave the church if this motion is passed, not because we want to, but because we have little choice, which I will explain later on. No, I am not a misogynist, but I am fine with that label if it is the substance of the arguments against me. Labels seem to be the weapon of choice for intolerant and bigoted people, which is why I don't mind. I would rather be right and looked at like a fool, then be wrong and only be respected by fools.

The Bible makes it plain that men are to be Elders (1 Tim. 3:1-7). There is no mention of women being Elders, since by definition they cannot be, and there are specific passages in the Bible that imply they must not be (1 Tim. 2:11-12, 1 Cor. 14:34) . Trying to prove otherwise is an exercise in futility and only convinces those who already believe. The issue of women being Elders is not about a difference of opinion regarding biblical interpretation; it is about the authority of the Bible itself.

Leaving a church should never be taken lightly. It should only be done once it is impossible to give the benefit of the doubt. No two people, if they are thinking for themselves, will have the exact same interpretation of all of the biblical texts. This is not because the Bible is unclear, but because of our sinful condition. My interpretation of the Bible is not perfect, which is why it is important to give the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. Not all issues, although explicit in the Bible, should cause a person to leave a church.

Pragmatically, I could stay at Cedarview and try to reason with people to change their view points (Although I may end up like a frog in water that is being brought to a boil), but there is more at stake here. Paul's instructions about Elders in the church are given so that we, "may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, a pillar and buttress of truth (1 Tim. 3:15)." Each local church is an expression of the body of Christ, and to the degree of conformity, a support of truth. However, the issue of allowing women to be Elders distorts the image of God.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Gen. 1:27). 
The role of men and women, both being equal in value, was instituted at creation, and is fundamental in understanding God and our relationship to Him (I will discuss this in later posts).

If you call yourself a Christian, but the Bible (i.e. God's Word) does not standardize your faith, you are practicing idolatry. It is important to understand that left to our own imaginations about God, we make Him in our own image. The Bible is our safeguard against this. Jesus said when He was tempted, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).'" A church that does submit itself to God's word will eventually starve to death. Jesus writing to the church Sardis says some sobering words, which Cedarview needs to take to heart,
"'I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you (Rev. 3:1-3).'"

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