Brief Comment on the Ordination of Women

by the Rev. Dr Alan Clifford

For those who obediently follow the teachings of Holy Scripture, the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood is not something to rejoice in. The following statements are a brief response to today’s event.

If priesthood is regarded in Roman Catholic or quasi-RC Anglo-Catholic terms, from a Reformed Protestant perspective, there should not be priests of either gender. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Church’s Priest, His servants being preachers not priests.

Extract from the Constitution of Norwich Reformed Church

The Norwich Reformed Church believes that women are not permitted according to the Word of God to teach or exercise authority in the church in the office of minister, elder or deacon.

With regard to our sisters in the congregation, it is important in a gender-sensitive age to avoid any misunderstanding. While they are excluded from formal office as pastors, elders and deacons according to the Word of God (see 1 Tim. 3: 11-12; 3: 2, 10-12; Acts 6: 3), they fulfil necessary, valuable and indispensable functions within the Church. (Note: while the office of prophet was discharged by men and women in early New Testament times ( see Acts 2: 17-18), this was temporary (see 1 Cor. 13: 8-10). Once the Canon of Scripture was complete, the gift of prophecy ceased to function.) Therefore the sisters are to teach, exhort and encourage one another (see Titus 2: 3-5). They are to assist the elders and deacons in their duties when help is requested (see Rom. 16: 1-2). Albeit humbly and informally, the sisters may also advise and correct Ministers of the Word when necessary (see Acts 18:26). They also share with their brothers in the Church’s general witness to the world (see Lk. 24: 22-4): in this respect, the sisters have sometimes shown greater courage than their brothers (see Mk. 14: 50; Jn. 20: 17-18). Since our inheritance in the Kingdom of God is irrespective of gender (see Gal. 3: 28), the greatest care must be taken to ensure that such a conviction is reflected within the fellowship at all times.

Extract from the Norwich Reformed Church MANIFESTO

Liberal theologians within Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, UR and other churches have corrupted the Christian Faith by denying Christ’s virgin birth and His bodily resurrection. Following ‘reason’ instead of the Bible, they have adopted ‘politically correct’ evolutionary, feminist, ecumenical and multi-faith agendas. They accept the ordination of women, welcome deviant sexual life-styles and favour gay marriage.. The Reformed Faith is opposed to ‘Rome’ and ‘Reason’ alike.

One response to “Brief Comment on the Ordination of Women

  1. Well, the matters of doctrine are not a matter for an atheist like me. But if liberty means anyhthing, it is that a faith, or any other group or individual, may hold views which are currently unfashionable and state them without fear of reprisal. A thing which becomes less possible with every passing day.

    This is why I make the point that libertarianism- or liberalism, or whatever you want to call it- must not get involved with objective moral standards. We have the non-aggression principle instead, which I personally characterise not as a moral or ethical standard at all, but as a pragmatic framework.

    This does not mean that individuals (or groups thereof) may not themselves have morals, ethics and standards of which they are certain, and which they may believe would produce a better society if universally adhered to. But only if we apply our understanding of economics to the moral and social sphere, and allow everyone to live as they wish, in a “social market”, can there be liberty. And by doing so, we can all observe others and learn from that observation what works and what doesn’t. The person whose heroin addiction leads them to ruin and death is a lesson for everyone else, as is the success of the hard worker, as is the kind person who benefits from friends and approval, and the unkind person who does not.

    If some Christians seek gender equality in their ministry by their interpretaition of scripture, they must be free to do so. But so must those who consider this in error. Again, the “social market” in faith will allow Christian congregations to try different approaches. So long as none forces the others to adhere to an unwanted standard, this is the Libertarian way.