16 June 2008

Take the Poll on Women Serving in the Diaconate

The PCA has decided not to even form a study committee on the issue of women serving in a diaconal capacity. HHmmm....what do you think? I was in the the PCA prior to 2000 ministering as a deacon in my church and the issue was brewing even back then. So, vote on the sidebar & let me know what you think by leaving a comment telling me why you voted the way you did. Read about the PCA decision here and an interesting study is here.


ReformedChristian said...

Hi Russ,

I voted yes, I don't believe in women pastors but it seems to be that a deaconess is not the wife of a deacon but a deacon. To deacon means to serve and not in a spiritual manner. That said if the church takes the word deacon and uses it as a leadership role, instead or elders or as a sort of mini elder then I would answer no.
God Bless

Anonymous said...

I think it is relatively easy to "get" that there is a difference between a word used in its normal sense, and a word used in its "official" sense. Thus, "elder" is simply an older man, yet it is clearly used to represent an office (the same concept held in the OT). Likewise, "deacon" is simply a servant and is used in such a manner in several places in Scripture, yet it also clearly is used to represent a position in the church, e.g. .

I think that when people try to use sophisticated word study to determine that "women" in is "deaconesses" rather than "wives of deacons", they're violating basic human linguistics: people just don't talk that complicated! In 8-10, Paul seems to be giving generic qualifications for a deacon, so it hardly seems necessary to specify separate qualifications for a woman deacon, especially since those really are all covered by what he already said--but it does make sense that the deacon, similarly to an elder, must have his family squared away. In fact, this would be a good parallelism of construction between the two sets of qualifications, and that is something that we all tend to do when we make speeches or write letters.

I'm not saying I don't think there's room for discussion on this issue. However, I think that validation of woman deacons would have to come through one of the following routes (I don't think there's an explicit Scriptural call for such).

(1) A determination that Scripture is too vague on the issue, and/or

(2) Some sort of "Reformed trajectory" that determines it reasonable that not everything that is appropriate in one time/age is likewise appropriate in another.

While I think (2) has validity, it does tend to make me suspicious in the other venues in which it's raised.

mel said...

I say yes. They should've at least considered it enough by forming the committees to discuss it. We in the ARP are left to make that decision at the local church level. Great blog, by the way.

Reformed Renegade said...

Thanks for dropping by Mel. I agree and have posted my thoughts. Stop back again!