Transcript of Women in Ministry Study Committee Debate at 2016 PCA General Assembly (Part 4 of 4)

Presbyterian_Church_in_America_logo.jpegPart 1 here. Part 2 here. Part 3 here.

(picks up at 2:40:15 of “Thursday Afternoon Business” video)

I’d like to call the question.

Moderator TE George Robertson
We’ll do this by voice vote. All in favor of calling the question, say aye. Opposed, nay. We will proceed to a vote. We are voting on the substitute. Should the substitute from the committee of commissioners, which is that recommendation #3 be answered in the negative. Microphone number 1…

I believe that all recommendations come from the committee of commissioners and that’s not a substitute. The substitute is made by the original committee if they so desire to do so.

I am wrong.

Moderator TE George Robertson
Thank you very much. Yes… Microphone number 2. Continue reading

Transcript of Women in Ministry Study Committee Debate at 2016 PCA General Assembly (Part 3 of 4)

Presbyterian_Church_in_America_logo.jpegPart 1 here. Part 2 here.

(picks up at 2:21:46 of “Thursday Afternoon Business” video)

Moderator TE George Robertson
No, please, no demonstration. Ah, Number 7. Please.

TE Bill Schweitzer
Fathers and brethren, Teaching Elder Bill Schweitzer, Low Country Presbytery. I rise in favor, in support of the substitute motion. Let me say what this issue is not about. It is not about giving women an opportunity to serve in accordance with the gifting and the roles that God has given them. That door is open, has been open, and it shall remain open.

Neither is the issue some new and unprecedented crisis in our culture that we have not seen before. This year, another General Assembly is celebrating a dubious anniversary, the PCUSA is celebrating the 60th anniversary of ordination of women. Appropriately, by appointing not just one but two women to be joint-moderators at their assembly.

Nor is the issue a lack of information. Few issues have been studied so thoroughly in the Christian church over the last six decades than this particular issue.

What, then, is really the issue? Quite simply, it is whether we intend, whether we intend with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength to submit to the plain Word of God on this issue. The Bible says this, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak but they are to be submissive as the Law also says.” 1 Tim. 2:12 says this, “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” It could not be any clearer. Continue reading

Transcript of Women in Ministry Study Committee Debate at 2016 PCA General Assembly (Part 2 of 4)

Presbyterian_Church_in_America_logo.jpegPart 1 is  here.

(picks up at 2:02:43 of “Thursday Afternoon Business” video)

Moderator TE George Robertson
Is that a point of order at number 7? Number 7?

RE Wes Reynolds
Yes, yes, point of order. In reference to lines five and six, on (skip in video) …point of order referred to earlier. By the way, Wes Reynolds, ruling elder, Great Lakes Presbytery. BCO 14-1.9 states that the assembly’s committees are to include proportionate representation of all presbyteries wherever possible. I’m asking the Moderator to rule the committee’s original motion out of order, not properly before the assembly, because if we allow non-presbyters on that committee it violates 14-1.9…and 10.

TE Richwine
Point of order, Mr. Moderator, on the point of order.

Moderator TE George Robertson
Let me catch up with the first one first. 14-1.9 and 10. Is that correct? Ah, alright, second point of order. Continue reading

Transcript of Women in Ministry Study Committee Debate at 2016 PCA General Assembly (Part 1 of 4)

Presbyterian_Church_in_America_logo.jpegI am more inclined to read than I am to watch videos. So, if you are like me and desire to know precisely what was said at last month’s PCA General Assembly regarding the formation of the study committee on women’s ordination, I’ve begun working on a transcription of the audio/video (found here). Written records lead to closer scrutiny, and this discussion on the floor of General Assembly certainly deserves that…

If you find errors (particularly names), would you please post the correction in the comments or send me an email…

(transcript begins at 1:29:10 of “Thursday Afternoon Business” video) 

Moderator George Robertson
Let me remind you of where we are. The permanent committee has recommended the formation of a study committee. The Committee of Commissioners on the Administration Committee is moving a substitute…for their suggestion, for their recommendation, which would be to vote it down. No study committee. In this case, the chairman of the permanent committee is permitted 10 minutes to speak and then the chairman of the committee of commissioners 15 minutes and then 5 minutes for a reply from you. Proceed, Mr. Schriver.
Continue reading

The end justifies the means (our "local" #giftedcommunicator, part 2)…

NewSpringBuildingThe numbers-obsessed evangelical church will do anything to produce results—and those results are understood to be only and always the blessing of God. Stephen Furtick, pastor of Charlotte’s Elevation Church, revealed the magic behind the massive number of “spontaneous” baptisms at his church: put 15 planted people in the audience who quickly rise up just after he gives a call for people to come forward during the service. Here’s the plan of attack, outlined in “Spontaneous Baptisms How-To Guide“:

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 8.56.36 AMWhen this came to light was Furtick ashamed or repentant? Of course not. Out came the explanations (denials and indignation)…

When they started talking this week on the news about our baptisms, I got hot. Yes, sir. I got hot. They were saying that we manipulate our baptisms, that we have people planted in the audience who pretend to go get baptized. For the record, we have never planted anybody in our church to pretend to be baptized. I am too scared of God to do something like that. Please. Please. … And to take the fact that we have volunteers who get up and lead the way so that people know where to go and to act as if they were pretending to be baptized and to negate the sincere faith decision of precious people who had one of the most meaningful experiences of their life, that’s just sick.

Essentially what he is saying is that none of the 15 plants were actually baptized. They certainly did make people think they were going forward to get baptized. It’s manipulation and Elevation Church continues to practice and promote it. It results in people having “one of the most meaningful experiences of their life” and so a little dishonesty is not so bad. The end justifies the means.

Then there is this which is worse… Continue reading

No need for a study committee…

Overture-22-Philadelphia-Study-Committee-on-BCO-21-5It’s said that progressives will revisit settled issues until they become unsettled. The Philadelphia Presbytery is using such tactics, hoping to revisit the settled Biblical polity regarding the sex (the Philadelphia Presbytery shows her slip by using the word “gender”) of elders. They desire to find some wiggle room for candidates for ordination who “may come forward who understand Scripture to allow women to be ordained to the office of elder.”

In no way do I mean the next sentence to be flippant. I’ve completed the work for the study committee…

1 Tim. 2:12-15.

This passage does not need study. It only requires faith.

Update (6/17/14):

Happy to see this, though I’m disappointed by that one abstention…

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 9.03.21 AM

Honoring the weaker vessel…

The Times posed a question to a number of opinion-sharers:

A 2010 Harris poll found that 80 percent of Americans think that women are treated with less chivalry today than in the past. Is it time for the once-romantic and noble concept to peter out, or should it evolve to be more inclusive for our liberated and cynical age?

Editor-in-chief of the blog “The Art of Manliness,” Brett McKay stepped out of line and made some assertions based upon—gasp!—the differences between the sexes:

If we can have legislation that implies that men are (generally) physically stronger and women are (generally) more vulnerable and thus require federally mandated protection, is it really wrong, and could it not actually be beneficial, to have some social rituals that serve as a symbol and reminder of these differences between the sexes?

His view was balanced out by the expected feminist oblivion of Ms. Collazo:

Chivalry is a behavior that masquerades as a courtesy while concealing a dramatic assertion of inequality between the sexes. There is no way around it: it’s about viewing women as fragile, delicate creatures who require special treatment. And it needs to die.

Whether or not the old concept of chivalry is the right approach to the relationship between men and women and represents the best way to honor those differences, I don’t know. What we think of as chivalry today is likely a caricature of what it really was, arising from a post-Christian interpretation of the culture from which it arose. A Christian Medievalist (like Lewis or Wilson) could give an answer.

Scripture happily defines and divides and distinguishes and delineates. A few verses come to mind that will help us answer the question of how men who desire to revel in (obey) God’s creation order should relate to women. Let these verses sink in. Feel their countercultural glory.

  • The Holy Spirit’s exhortation to the young man Timothy regarding his relationships to a number of other demographics: “Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Tim. 5:1-2).
  • The Holy Spirit’s exhortation to husbands: “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker (or, as the NASB has in the margins, “the weaker vessel”), since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).

Men are commanded to treat women as “mothers,” “sisters,” “weaker vessels,” and “fellow heirs.” Accordingly, men are required to treat women with respect, with purity, with protection, and with honor.

The modern feminist would jettison all of that glory for one thing: absolute equality (see Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” to understand how I’m using that word). Men are now obligated not to respect what is weak, not to feel any necessity to protect (sexually and physically) what is weak, not to honor what is weak. That sort of equality requires men to treat women only and always as equals. It makes a heartless coward of every man and a shrew of every woman.

"Honey, we're changing our name to Dylan. Actually, you better pick…"

People do not know what they are doing; because they do not know what they are undoing. – from Chesterton’s The Thing

Just stumbled upon this article by the Oxford and Princeton ethicist formerly known as William Crouch. He’s formerly known as Crouch because he and his fiancée have determined to both change their surnames when they are married. His facile mind has reasoned thus:

As with so many gender-biased traditions, this one has pretty disturbing roots. The legal concept of coverture came from England and caught on in 19th century America: the idea was that a woman, upon marriage, becomes the property of her husband. She had no right to vote or take out a bank account because she could rely on her owner to do that for her. And, of course, she couldn’t be raped by her husband—because she was essentially her husband’s property, and he was free to do with her what he wished.

We’ve made progress on these issues (though some remarkably late). But the tradition of taking the man’s name remains and, given its background, it seems to me it’s simply bad taste to carry on with it, in the same way that it would be bad taste to put on a minstrel show, no matter how pure the intentions.

You might say that we need some rule, and that taking the man’s name is as good as any other. But is this true? Why not go with whichever name sounds better? Or which name is associated with the coolest people? (MacAskill clearly beats my birth surname “Crouch” on both counts, having a better ring and being the name of both Giant MacAskill—a forebear of my fiancée’s who has a claim to be the world’s strongest ever man—and Danny MacAskill, a trial-biking legend who, also being descended from Giant MacAskill, must be a very distant cousin.)  Or any other choice made by both parties.

Crouch has added his voice to a growing post-Christian chorus whose understanding is completely ignorant of God’s Word. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Christian capital that has steadied the ethics of our nation for some time is running out. The radical egalitarian agenda is incapable of recognizing, honoring, and rejoicing in authority. The suggestion that a woman take her husband’s name as a sign of his authority is rejected as a relic from a dark, oppressive, unenlightened age. Cranmer’s old vows that the wife “love, honor, and obey” are laughable and insufferable to Crouch and his fiancée.

The reason a woman takes a man’s name is not that she becomes his property but that she gives testimony to her husband’s God-given authority and delights herself in the comfort and protection that follow therefrom. As I just said, such authority/hierarchy/patriarchy is hated today. Evangelicals hate what God’s Word says about men and women and marriage (for example, check out the website of Christians for Biblical Equality), and they save face by mocking Scripture’s teaching. And so today’s male is expected to limp wrist it from the wedding altar on, which he’s only happy to do because he’s thoroughly healed from his neutering.

Scripture teaches us that authority is good. The problem today is we’ve believed the lie taught to us…that authority is bad and only and ever used for oppression. Such is the case when authority is dislodged from Scripture. When there is no governor on authority, in the form of all men everywhere submitting to their Creator, then we do indeed get oppression. Yet, as we submit ourselves to God’s ethics, authority is blessing and comfort and assurance and a cozy blanket with a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night.

The woman takes her husband’s name in order to show respect to her man (Eph. 5:33). The woman takes her husband’s name in order to announce to the world she has a protector and a lover (Eph. 5:25-27). The woman takes her husband’s name as a sign of her deep commitment to her husband, following Eve’s lead (after reading Gen. 2:18, read the Holy Spirit’s explanation in 1 Cor. 11:8-9). The woman takes her husband’s name in order to honor God’s Word (Titus 2:5), to witness to the marriage of Christ and His Bride, the Church (Eph. 5:22-33), and to thumb her nose at the world’s hatred of femininity (Gen. 2:23).

Or, you could listen to the sage advice of our clear-thinking ethicists and go with whichever name is associated with the coolest people… Honey, we’re changing our surname to Dylan.

Kurt Vonnegut’s "Harrison Bergeron": The Logical End of Egalitarianism…

This morning at our men’s breakfast and study, I shared a bit of Vonnegut’s dystopian short-story, “Harrison Bergeron.” Written in 1961, his work is prophetic. Today, there is a radical egalitarian agenda that has sunk deep into our culture. It’s goal is to blur any and all distinctions—even differences built into our biology by God Himself. Men are encouraged to act like women, and women are encouraged act like men. Here’s the introduction to Vonnegut’s short story, followed by a link for the rest:

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Read the rest here.