A modest proposal for ordination exams...
(Tim) Within a number of reformed denominations holding to the Westminster Standards, we have men who seem not to have a heart for opposing the heresy of feminism. To work to reform this reality, we would do well to ask several questions on the floor of presbytery of candidates for ordination. Here are a couple that might serve the purpose.
First, we might ask, "Do you believe it's a faithful summary of the Biblical doctrine of sexuality to say, as many have said publicly in our denomination, that 'a woman may do anything a non-ordained man may do?'"
If the man responds, "Yes" or "Maybe," it's clear he's either woefully uninformed or opposed to the Biblical doctrine of sexuality and has no heart for opposing this heresy even though he likely knows he can't advocate women elders or senior pastors. Certainly no prior father of the Church would recognize this as a faithful summary of Scripture's teaching. They would be left scratching their heads.
If he says "No, I don't think that's a good summary of Scripture's doctrine" we ought to be encouraged, but still, we're not yet finished.
The first follow-up question could be: "Will you require the bride to repeat, as part of her marriage vow, the historic Biblical promise to "obey" her husband in those marriage ceremonies at which you officiate?"
If he says "No," our work is cut out for us. If he says "Yes," we're still not finished...
The second follow-up question could be: "Do you believe our Standards are correct in pointing out that vows are prohibited by Scripture that seek to bypass the authority of a husband over his wife?" Then, it may be helpful to cite the Confession and its (subordinate) Scripture proof simply by way of explanation of the question.
If he says "No," again, it may be he has no ability to oppose this heresy, although it could simply be a matter of his need of instruction. He may be teachable and grow into a faithful guardian of the good deposit. But there remains one final question.
Finally, he could be asked, "Do you believe that the Biblical doctrine of father-rule extends beyond the Covenant community, beyond the Christian Church and family, to all spheres of life?"
If he says "Yes," we're finished. He has demonstrated a faithful understanding of Scripture as it would be tossed off with no sweat on the brow by all previous generations of fathers in the Faith.
If he says "No," we should follow up by asking if he believes other aspects of the pre-Fall, Creation order are also to be applied to the People of God, only? Heterosexual marriage? Life-long marriage? Monogamous marriage?
Explaining our question, we could point out all aspects of God's Creation order stand or fall together. If we understand all of them were established by God in the state of perfection in the Garden of Eden, we'll confidence in proclaiming their beauty and calling men to repentance for their unbelief, leading them to Gospel grace.
Of course, at that point presbyteries in the north or metro areas may get impatient and some of our fellow elders may do everything possible to stifle "this inquisition."
In time, though, if this sort of faithful defense of the Faith were carried out when a candidate for ordination was examined, the Church would grow in faith. Also, I believe it would grow numerically--principally by the addition of young men and women who have not yet been habituated to feminism's untouchable status in the Church and whose hearts ache for Scripture's Truth.
Defending this doctrine is no effort to repristinate the past or to hedge up male perquisites. It is love of God. It is true love of Christ's Bride. It is love for the lost. And do I really need to say it? It is true love and compassion for women.
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After posting this, I read it to my wife. When I was finished, I asked her, "What do you think?"
She said, "It's good, but people will hate it."
"Really?" I asked.
She laughed and said, "You're an idiot."