"People in the PCA who freak out over this..."
(Tim, w/thanks to Wes) Out of context, here's one of Jim Jordan's pronouncements:
Deaconnesses (not lady deacons, but a different function) are something the Historical Catholic/Liturgically Reformed [groups within the Reformed church] have in common with the Evangelical Postmodern/Urban Reformed group(s). Deaconnesses are all over the Bible, and all over church history. ...Women served at the Tabernacle, at the Temple, served Jesus, and served in the early church. It is odd to me that there are people in the PCA who freak out over this, but I think you may be right that this is an issue that will finally split the PCA.
"Not lady deacons, but a different function" is the whole ball game. Does Jim really not see that?The reason wise souls in the PCA oppose (not "freak out" over) woman deacons is because the name and practice aren't deaconesses, but woman deacons or Redeemer's "Deeks;" men and women officers called "deacons" or "deeks" serving in the same office with the same responsibilities. This isn't complicated, really. It's amazing how many men seem to be blind to the Trojan Horse aspect of this controversy, assuming those opposing woman officers are opposing woman servants/deaconesses.
Tone-deaf, they is.
"Deaconesses are all over the Bible." Well sure, if you mean that all over the Bible we find feminine women serving. But that has nothing to do with the controversy. No one opposing woman officers is opposed to women serving just as we find them doing "all over the Bible." Jim is not talking about women holding office "all over the Bible."
"Deaconesses are all over church history." Again, if Jim means that all over church history we find feminine women serving, then yes. But again, that has nothing to do with the controversy. No one opposing woman officers is opposed to women serving just as we find them doing "all over church history." Jim is not talking about women holding office "all over church history."
It's a common temptation we face to cop a posture halfway between Biblical faithfulness and progressive wreckers. So, to Jim's left are "lady deacons" with the same "function" as gentleman deacons, while to his right are nincompoops "freaking out" over women being allowed to serve and use their gifts and be all they were made to be and stuff like that. Generally, though, pastors and elders aren't busy freaking out until someone threatens their sheep.
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Readers who want to be innoculated against dogmatic pronouncements by people who don't know what they're talking about concerning women officers or woman deacons or deaconesses in church history would do well to buy and read these two books:
Deaconesses: An Historical Study by the eminent Roman Catholic historian of liturgy who died in 2000, Fr. A. G. Martimort; and A historical and Biblical examination of women deacons by Brian Schwertley.
If you're going to buy only one of the two, make it Martimort. He's the final word and you can take a peek at his work here.