(Tim) Several years ago, I was talking with one of the patriarchs of the PCA about a series of pieces we'd published here exposing the promotion of false doctrine within one of our largest denominational institutions. Although we've worked together in other battles outside the denomination, any thought of discipline or conflict inside these hallowed grounds of the PCA was beyond the pale to this church father. He expressed his disapproval of what I'd written with the simple statement, "Tim, I'm a loyalist when it comes to (that institution) and the PCA."
What is loyalty?
Was Hezekiah loyal when, informed by Isaiah of the coming Babylonian captivity his people and his own sons would suffer, he responded, "'The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good.' For he thought, 'There will be peace and security in my lifetime?" Was the Apostle Peter loyal when he left the Gentiles and went over to the Jews at church potlucks? Were those giving preferential treatment to rich men within the church loyal in seeking to provide for the church's financial well-being? Was Eli loyal when he allowed his sons to continue to profane the holy things as they held sacred office?--family first, you know.
From loyalty, Monday we called attention to the fact that friends from CBMW days seem to have no problem with a woman, Dr. Diane Langberg, publicly teaching men doctrine at a theology conference their professional association, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, is co-sponsoring. There they all are--John, Al, C.J., Lig, Phil, John--and they're promoting the ministry of a woman teaching men. In fact, beyond promoting, a couple of them (Don and Al) are sharing the pulpit with her.
From loyalty, yesterday we ran a piece on the apparent lack of discipline of faculty members at our denomination's Covenant College, pointing out that one third of them support Barack Obama's presidential bid and half of them decline to acknowledge abortion to be "Very important" in their choice. To put this in perspective, imagine a PCA college in Germany during the Third Reich, keeping in mind that the number of little babies slaughtered now by abortion absolutely dwarfs the number of Christians and Jews Hitler's men slaughtered during the Nazi regime.
Once again, from loyalty to this faith community known as the PCA, we turn to the Rev. Dr. Tim Keller...
We have said before that we believe Pastor Keller's understanding of God's order of creation is defective and has resulted in a number of errors within his congregation. Several weeks ago, a PDF of the letter pictured above was forwarded to us by a friend who lives in New York City. He'd circled several parts:
Then he commented:
Attached please find a Redeemer newsletter dated July 18th that shows Redeemer's most recent employment of women in positions of church authority. I've circled the relevant sections. Honestly, I don't know how Redeemer, notwithstanding its stance regarding deaconesses, can level hiring a woman "Fellowship Group Director" with Scripture. Since when does a "Director" not have authority?
A little over a year ago, we wrote here about Redeemer's announcement of the appointment of a Ms. Jenny Chang as Redeemer's "Diaconate Director," noting that Ms. Chang's appointment followed nearly a decade of service in the same position by Ms. Andrea Mungo. Now Redeemer has appointed a woman, Ms. Brown-Peterside, to direct the church's small group fellowship ministry.
So the deacons and small group leaders are headed, led, taught, disciplined, administrated, rebuked, encouraged, exhorted, corrected, guided, resourced, served, directed, redirected, organized, evaluated, chosen, fired (and whatever other word might occur to us) by a woman.
Of course, another way to put it might be that Pastor Keller and the elders of Redeemer have no objection to women leading and teaching and exercising authority over men as long as it isn't them--Pastor Keller and the elders, that is.
Then too, note that this July 18th letter reports the church just trained and ordained nine new officers to the office of deacon--eight women and one man. But of course, they didn't use the word 'ordained,' but rather 'installed.' Why?
It might be that these women and one man had already been ordained to the office of deacon years ago, and having had a mandatory hiatus due to term limits, were now coming back on the board. But if so, it seems strange they were trained again.
But of course, we all know exactly what's going on here: To get around our Book of Church Order's prohibition of women deacons, Pastor Keller and his elders are refusing to ordain anyone to the office of deacon. That way, men and women may serve together in the diaconate, without discrimination on the basis of gender identity. (We've written before on this subject--many times--and this and this are good places to start building an understanding of these things.)
And what do these members of the diaconate do?
Well, they teach, exercise authority over, lead, and disciple women and men--except, of course, Pastor Keller and the ruling elders of his session. Teaching, exercising authority over them is the job of...
Apparently, no one.