By Johnie Edwards
“Church of England to ordain women as priests” was a front page story in the Bloomington, Indiana Herald Times (November 11, 1992)! Some of the people involved thought the action contradicts Scripture and some thought “the ordination of women to the priesthood alters not a word in the creeds, the Scriptures, or the faith of our church.” Let’s see just what the Lord thinks about it as we make our appeal to the Bible.
1. The General Synod. The ordination of women to the priesthood was approved by the majority of the church’s General Synod. The first thing wrong with this whole affair is an unscriptural organization running the church. The Bible I read knows nothing about a “General Synod”! I do read of Paul addressing the church at Philippi, “. . . to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (Phil. 1:1). I also read that the elders are to “tend the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight” (1 Pet. 5:2).
2. The Scriptures. The article stated that, “The ordination of women to the priesthood alters not a word in the Scriptures.” In the Old Testament, the priesthood came from men, not women (Heb. 7:8). One Canon said, “but I have yet to be convinced that its not a part of God’s revelation for the salvation of us all.” If the ordination of women is taught in the Bible, looks like there would be some passage where we can read about such. Of all the things said about the subject, the article made no appeal to any Scripture, not one!
3. Subjection of women. Because of the sin of Eve in the garden, and her “being deceived was in the transgression, ” God put women in a place of subjection (1 Tim. 2:14). Paul said, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3). In the marriage relationship, the man is the head of his wife. Hers is a place of subjection. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (Eph. 5:23-24).
4. Usurping of Authority. When women are placed over men, as in the ordaining of women priests, elders, preachers and the like, it is a violation of New Testament teaching. Paul said, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. For I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:11-12).
5. How about us? There are some places where women are being used in leading of prayers among mixed audiences. What will be next? Perhaps the leading of singing, waiting on the Lord’s table, preaching, women elders and deacons! We need to get back to doing some basic preaching and teaching on the role of the women in the Lord’s church.
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 24, p. 737
December 17, 1992