Following Tim Keller, Redeemer, Metro New York and Northern California Presbyteries, as well as all the seminaries, churches, and pastors who believe in women teaching and exercising authority over men as long as it's not in the pulpit Sunday morning or voting on the discipline of a man in a session meeting, the PCA's Mission to the World e-mailed the following announcement across the world at the end of the day, yesterday:
From: (Mission to the World)
Date: September 10, 2010 10:34:32 PM GMT
To: Undisclosed recipients
Subject: New Senior Team Members!
I am pleased to announce that Jill Milton and Heidi Harrison have been appointed new members of the Senior Team for Mission to the World. Jill has been with MTW since 1981 and has served in various capacities during that time. In 2009 she assumed the role of Director of the newly created Resource Team Department. Heidi has been a part of the MTW family for 17 years and has served in various roles during her time in the office. Most recently she been the Assistant to the Coordinator in addition to her role on the Latin America/Africa Resource Team serving missionaries in Africa. She will be adding the role of Project Coordinator for the Senior Team to her responsibilities.
Please join us in thanking God for Jill and Heidi.
(Mission to the World)
So here we have this unilateral announcment exhorting us to "thank God" for women getting seats at the table that sets governing policy over MTW ministries and personnel...Setting aside the obvious point of these women's femininity, would the honored Mr. Kooistra (MTW's "Coordinator") kindly tell us how this act is "graceful?" If a decision is contrary to Scripture, can it be graceful?
But let's assume when the question is put to him, Mr. Kooistra will drag out all the usual suspects: MTW isn't a church, Scripture is silent about the senior leadership team of a missionary agency, these women bring valuable and normally-neglected perspectives to the table, a woman can do anything a non-ordained man can do, what cave have you been living in, and so on.
If that tack is taken, I have a couple more questions.
Since MTW isn't the church and Scripture says nothing about senior team leaders of mission agencies being men, would Mr. Kooistra object to being replaced by a woman? A graceful woman of course. Generally, women are more graceful than men, and Scripture says nothing about a mission's Coordinator needing to be a man. And while we're on the subject, would anyone object to Bryan Chapell being replaced by a woman? Scripture says nothing about seminaries--nothing at all. And certainly it says nothing about a seminary President needing to be a man.
MTW and Covenant Theological Seminary are not the church, are they? And the persons leading them aren't leading congregations, are they? And their board or senior team meetings aren't session meetings, are they? So what's the problem? When preaching is needed, have one of the men on the staff do it. Or have the woman do it, but advise her to stick to the didactic--not the hortatory. Cross the road to keep far away from the imperative. If she limits herself to the indicative, no one can accuse her of preaching.
And speaking of preaching grace gracefully, isn't it time to get women seats at the head of the table? Why should they have to settle for the foot or midway up? After all, women are more graceful than even the most graceful man. They come by it naturally.
(By the way, and in all seriousness, I have it on good authority that Ms. Milton and Ms. Harrison are most excellent servants and, I'm guessing, the very type of women we'd all want to exercise authority over men if God allowed it.)