#12 in response to
- The RP Witness article “J.G. Vos’ Work of Theological Renewal in the RPCNA” by Barry York and reprinted on the Gentle Reformation Blog.
I know that God’s timing is perfect. I know He works all things together for good for those who love Him. I know all his ways are just. I thank Him and praise Him for these truths!
Yet from my human perspective I believe the rejection of the 1938 paper On the Ordination of Women Elders was a serious misstep in the history of the RPCNA. We could have led the way, as we had on the issue of slavery, on the issue of women deacons. But instead, we stayed mired in tradition.
I have no doubt that J.G.Vos did indeed contribute much to the continual renewal of the RPCNA, as did many others, but this pamphlet, Are Women Elders Scriptural?, does not fall into that category. Here the RPCNA capitulated to Vos’ high visibility, respect & academic reputation to take our entire denomination away from berean indepth study of the Bible and back into just accepting what ‘experts’ say; away from sola scriptura and back into tradition; away from the full and free embrace and application of the gospel and back into the yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1)
Currently there is a paper on this same topic entitled What the Bible Teaches about Men and Women Together by Bruce Hemphill. This paper was submitted to the Presbytery of the Alleghenies through the Covenant Fellowship congregation session at their Spring 2015 Presbytery meeting. The paper was referred on to a Judical Committee and then returned to the author without any recommendation that it be studied of even read. It will also be submitted to the MidWest Presbytery at its Fall 2015 meeting by Ron Stegall through the Christ Covenant congregation session. I pray and trust that both of these presbyteries will pass the paper along to Synod for further study and action. This is a great opportunity for our denomination to provide Bible centered leadership to not only the RPCNA, but to the greater Christian community on a very timely subject and all its related issues.
The Hemphill paper ends with this question:
“If there is an interpretation of Scripture which teaches the full equality of women with men, both spiritually before God and socially in the settings of church, home, and society, an interpretation which is derived by using long established and accepted rules for the interpretation of Scripture, an argument which aligns and harmonizes with the central gospel message of the Bible as defined and articulated by the historical tenets of the orthodox and reformed Christian faith, while treating each Scripture portion with integrity and respect, why would we not choose to embrace such an interpretation?”