Women and Church Eldership

Recently, many of the false-prophets and false-prophetesses of our own day — who start off by boldly demanding that the Eldership and the Preaching Ministry be opened up for women — soon end up by demanding also that God be referred to not only as "Our Father" and "He" but more significantly even as "our Mother" and "She." Cf. the Emswilers' book Women and Worship: A Guide to Non-Sexist Hymns. Prayers. and Liturgies (New York, Harper & Row, 1974, pp. 81-84). Well may one wonder just how long it will be before it is further demanded that Christ Himself should at least sometimes be referred to as God's Only-begotten DAUGHTER. Indeed, some feminist "theologians" even now wear crucifixes with their naked Saviouress Christa idolatrously draped around their necks.

27.LUTHER AND CALVIN AND KNOX ON THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN

However, according to Scripture, Christ is the Bridegroom and His Church is His bride and wife. Rev. 2l:2,9 cf. 19:7 & II Cor. 11:2. Similarly, "the Head of every man, is Christ; and the head of woman, is man." For "man…is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man." See: I Cor. 11:3,7. So too, "the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head. of the Church." Eph. 5:25. Yet the general priesthood/priestesshood of all believers — should never be confused with the special priesthood of qualified males alone. Heb 5:4 cf. l3:7,17,24f.

So, accord ing to the Scripture-obeying Martin Luther, the glorious doctrine of the "general priesthood of all believers" should never be used to try to equate the "manly and divine priesthood" of the special ecclesiastical office(s) with a "satanic superstitious female priesthood" of unscriptural female special officers. Thus the l968 Reformed Ecumenical Synod's Report, p. 152. Indeed, according to Holy Scripture, only males may qualify for the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments. I Tim. 2:12-13.

So, according to the Scripture-obeying John Calvin (in his Commentary on I Cor. l4:34-37), "the task of teaching is one that belongs to someone with oversight, and is for this reason inconsistent with being in subjection. For how unsuitable it would be for a woman who is in subjection to one of the Members [namely her believing

WOMEN AND CHURCH ELDERSHIP

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husband] to be in an. authoritative position over the whole body!" Accordingly, insists Dr. Calvin, "if the authorities establish the practice of baptism by women — this must be resisted, even unto blood!" Corpus Reformatarum, X:625.

According to Scripture, only males may qualify for the Office of the Ruling Eldership. I Tim. 3:1-5. So, according to the Scripture-obeying Rev. John Knox, government by women is "a deviation from the original and proper will of God to which the Gentile is no less bound than was the Jew." See B. Percy: John Knox, London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1937, pp. 259-64. For Knox opposed what he so aptly called the "regime(nt) of women."

28.OUR PRESBYTERIAN WESTMINSTER STANDARDS ON THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN

Yet it is not only the great Protestant Reformer Martin Luther and the great French Presbyterian John Calvin and his student the famous Scottish Presbyterian John Knox who upheld this Biblical point of view. It is the viewpoint also of the Presbyterian Westminster Standards, to which all Presbyterians have pledged their most solemn and sacred support. The Westminster Confession (27:4) insists that neither Sacrament "may be dispensed by any but by a Minister lawfully ordained" — adding that "no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron (Heb. 5:4)."

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