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If anyone is interested in reading the report submitted to our synod and which is at this very moment being debated, let me know how I can send it to you.

The synod is asked to decide between the following two possibilities:

Quote
That, in obedience to Scripture, members who otherwise qualify can irrespective of gender ­ be elected/called to the special ministries and be ordained in these.

That women who have an inner call to the ordained ministries andmeet the requirements in other respects can and may qualify
themselves for it by way of further study.

and

Quote
That, in obedience to Scripture, women may not minister in the
special ministries of minister of the Word and elder.

Can it be that both are in obedience to Scripture??

Johan

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Johan,

Yes, I would like a copy of the report. grin

No, both cannot be in obedience to Scripture, but these are just proposals so that which ever is chosen it will read "in obedience to Scripture" thus justifying its addition. The first one is so insulting to my intelligence I find it hard to believe (not really evilgrin) that it was proposed. To come right out and to write: "members who otherwise qualify", meaning they recognize that the Scriptures DISQUALIFY women from office... e.g., "(HE must be the HUSBAND of one wife; but if a MAN knoweth not how to rule HIS own house, how shall HE take care of the church of God?; lest being puffed up HE fall into the condemnation of the devil.; Moreover HE must have good testimony from them that are without; lest HE fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." igiveup

The second proposition is also faulty by its omission of the office of Deacon, thus opening wide the door to the ordination of women there as well. Of course, perhaps they already have that office polluted with the admission of women... is that the case? If not, then again, it leaves the door wide open for it to happen.

In His grace,


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Pilgrim,

Go to this page. Scroll down and click on "Sinode 2009". That takes you to another page. Check the third line from the bottom of that page. You will see an English entry there. It's a pdf file. Let me know if you can't get it.

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Pilgrim,

I think if you check the Bibliography at the end of the report you will also see that they don't even used the conclusion of the extensive word studies of Andreas Koestenberg. Dunno what you think of Koestenberg's work?

Your question about deacons: They simply skipped that one because in many local churches there already are women deacons.

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Johan,

Thanks for the link... I'll give it a close read today, D.v. and report back some of my findings, perhaps. grin

In His grace,


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4. The Synod endorses in the light of Scripture that woman with the necessary gifts can be elected and installed as
deacons in the GKSA. The Synod judges further that determined texts like Rom 16:2, 1 Tim 3:11 and 5:9-15 has been playing a important supportive role for women in a special office for very long in the Reformed Churches in ecumenical relation, although there are not clear certainty
on the one hand, but on the other hand no ban can be placed on women in the office of deacon.
Unfortunately, there is no mention of how the committee exegeted these passages but only that they have "been playing a[n] important supportive role for women in a special office for very long in the Reformed Churches..."

Quote
5. The Church Order and Ordination formularies of the GKSA distinguish between Word Ministry and governance that are assigned to ministers and elders, and the diaconal ministry to encourage the community of love in Christ. The minister(s) and elders form the Church Council, which serves the authority of Christ in the congregation. The Synod confirms the difference between the three special ministries existing in the church. This difference gives rise to the fact that there are no restrictions for women in the office of deacon.
This has been an unfortunate error, I believe, among Dutch and some Presbyterian churches; to make a tri-fold distinction within the 2 offices mentioned in the NT, i.e., "ruling" and "preaching" Elders. I only see one office of Elder within which some are given the gift to preach more than others. However, ALL are to be "apt to teach" and I see nowhere a distinction of the ones gifted to preach that they are not to rule. Their conclusion; last sentence, has absolutely no bearing whatsoever upon this tri-fold distinction and I'm totally confused as to how they came to this conclusion logically. scratch1

Quote
10. To stand in the special ministries is not allotted to all that covet it. Therefore certain requirements have been determined – also for men (1 Tim 3:1-7; 1 Tim 5:9-15). The ministry work must be to the glory of God and enhancement of his congregation. In all ministries the authority of Christ as head of the church must be acknowledged. The Synod encourages churches to anew take note that the requirements set by Scripture must be applied when deacons, elders and ministers are elected.
This is simply rank disregard for the clear teaching of Scripture and imposing one's personal views about women to circumvent what is indisputably taught about the qualifications for the offices of Elder and Deacon. Taking what #10 says, it appears that they believe women do not need to meet ANY of the qualifications Paul lists (as given to him by Christ through the Spirit) in 1Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9 since they apply only to men. Evidently, they believe there are separate qualifications for women that are to be observed for their serving as Elders and/or Deacons. igiveup

Quote
14.8 Is there Scriptural differentiation between the way in which male and female deacons do their ministry work (1 Tim 3)? Thorough examination must be done regarding the person in Rom 16:7 Junias that to the available knowledge through all the ages (to the end of the 13th century) was seen as a woman (“Junia”) (according to a determined accentuation). According to this reading she was hailed as woman apostle by Paul and also by the other apostles in general. There is a majority of contemporary exegesis accepting that she is a woman. What was the nature of her apostleship? What light does it shed on the question – especially on the woman in the doctrinal office?
a. It is assumed that women served as Deacons in 1Tim 3. There are many good exegetes who deny that the passage teaches such.
b. Rom 16:7 in the Greek leaves no room, when taken in context, that Junias was male. The word is Junias, Julius (male) not Junia, Julia (female).
c. The word "apostle" in Rom 16:7 is not to be taken in its restrictive sense, i.e., as equal to and in addition to the original 12 Apostles, but rather in a more general sense, which the NT uses elsewhere to designate those who were sent and commissioned to spread the teachings of Christ, i.e., aka: missionaries. See for example Barnabas (Acts 14:4,14), Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25), Apollos (1Cor 1:12; 3:4,5; 3:22), Silvanus (1Thess 1:1), and Timothy (2Cor 1:1).

Re: 4:2 It is obvious from a statement earlier that they want to dismiss any idea of "status" in reference to the offices (aka: ministries) of the Church, a most post-modern idea now becoming popular. This is carried out here in 4:2 by downplaying the designation "Office" relegating it to "special ministries". Although acknowledging these "special ministries" are to be distinguished from the "ministry of the faithful" of all believers, they consist of far more than what Paul lists in Eph 4:11, 12 (cf. Roberts 1983:115), which is an attempt to remove the demarcation line historically held between "clergy and laity"... i.e., creating an equal playing field where authority is deemphasized, aka: egalitarianism. Responsibility replaces authority in service in their view. This is obvious from 4.3.2:

Quote
Finally, the distinction does not lie in the superior importance of ordained ministries compared with the general ministry of the faithful, or imply that those in ordained ministries have received more gifts from the Spirit than other believers (Versteeg 1988:50). Such a quantitative approach would be counter to the essence of ordained ministries. What is unique about ordained ministries is the special care they should take to ensure that the true faith is maintained, true doctrine is disseminated everywhere, transgressors are admonished spiritually and restrained, and the poor and those in distress are helped and comforted according to their needs (Belgic Confession 30).
More later, D.v. grin


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The decision of the Synod was announced a couple of minutes ago.

The Synod came to the conclusion (conviction) that Scripture does not allow women to be elected to the office of elder or to act as minister of the Word.

They may well serve as deacons.


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Well, that is surprising to me given the report I've been laboring through. It is certainly something to rejoice over but I anticipate that this decision will be overturned either at the next Synod or one in the near future thereafter.

Given that this decision has been made, I shall cease from sharing my evaluation of the report although I will include where I have reached thus far below. grin

_________________________________________________________


Quote
4.3.3.1 The general purpose of the special ministries
But Ephesians 4 does not present edification of the church as a direct goal of the ordained ministries. A superficial reading of Ephesians 4:7-16 could create the impression that people in ordained ministries have church edification as their task. In that case Ephesians 4:12 is taken to mean that, besides the goal of equipping the congregation, people in ordained ministries have to build it up. But if 4:16 is read in conjunction with 4:12, the body is clearly responsible for building up itself. If people in ordained ministries fulfil their duty and equip the faithful for ministry, the body is able to build up itself.
This whole section tries to make the office of Elder akin to a "Facilitator", i.e., simply one who helps others to help themselves through suggestions, nurturing, etc.... another post-modern idea. The matter of "rule" is totally absent as seen from the above quote. Paul's emphasis in Eph 4:12 is BOTH the recognition of the offices created and designated by Christ, the men which are called and gifted to those offices are to 'equip' the saints AND the general ministry of each individual within the Body of Christ exercised in their daily lives. The end (v. 13) is that all believers would come to a unity in the truth and maturity in the faith. All are called to be active Christians, expressing their faith to the world as they grow in the knowledge of God (cf. Col 1:9, 10).

Re: 10.4.4.3 - 10.4.6 It seems to me that this entire section repeats the error of diminishing the entire biblical concept of "headship" by downplaying or even denying the aspect of authority = rule, which they even admit has been the traditional view of the Church. They do this in several ways, mainly by implication that "rule" is a pejorative term which must be disassociated from "love". An example of this is seen in sections 10.4.4.3 and 10.4.4.5. There is a principle of authority established by Paul in this section of Eph 5:21-33 illustrated in 3 relationships. Equally, Paul established the principle of submission of those who are under that authority. The MANNER in which each of the parties within those relationships is to conduct themselves is also established. However, the report seeks to blur and even replace the principles of authority and submission with the manner with which those principles are to be practiced making the manner the primary and/or sole focus of the passage. I believe this is a grievous error as it ultimately has a negative impact on how one is to understand the nature and position of Christ as Almighty God Who currently sits at the right of the throne of God from which He rules all things including His Church. Secondly, it has a similar impact on the nature and relational aspect of the covenantal relationship of; parents to children, government to citizens, employers to employees and marriage, all of which relationships are explained further in the NT.

Quote
10.5.4.1 The wife’s reaction to injustice within marriage
The pericope 1 Peter 3:1-7 does not primarily give general guidelines for marriage (as one finds in Eph 5:21-32 and Col 3:18-19). The author deals specifically with Christian wives’ duty if their husbands are unfair or unbelievers and with a Christian husband’s duty to his wife – all this in a society in which discrimination against women was acceptable and common practice, and in which wives were expected to conform to their husbands’ religious preference.
This section simply is grounded upon poor exegesis; perhaps eisogesis which should be obvious to most everyone. 1Pet 3:1 reads: "In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, even if any obey not the word,...". Thus the passage certainly does give "general guidelines for marriage"; primarily addressing marriages where both parties are believers but with the inclusion of marriages where there is an unbelieving husband, i.e., what Paul writes applies to ALL marriages whether both parties are believers (assumed) or by way of exception, where the husband is an unbeliever. If this were not so then 3:7 would make an unbelieving man a "co-heir" of Christ along with the believing wife.

10:5.4.5ff certainly pertains to ALL wives and should not and cannot be restricted to only those wives who are married to an unbelieving spouse. This can be plainly see in Paul's reference to Sarah's behavior to Abram who was a believing man. Additionally, the report shoots itself in the foot at this point by referencing Sarah for she addresses Abraham as "lord" which is antithetical to what the report just previously tried to dismiss; the aspect of authority and rule in headship.

Quote
10.6.6 Conclusion
From the foregoing it is clear that Galatians 3:28 has specific implications for our understanding of scriptural passages pertaining to relations between husband and wife. Passages stating that (i) the husband is the wife’s head (cf eg Eph 5; 1 Cor 11); (ii) the wife has to be submissive to her husband (cf eg 1 Cor 14; Eph 5; Col 3:18) and (iii) wives have to observe silence (cf eg 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2) would conflict with Galatians 3:28 if one assumes that they do not indicate that wives, like their husbands, share in Christ’s salvation. Everyone who believes in Christ, including women, shares in the promise to Abraham.
This is the same reoccurring theme (error) that this report makes throughout; blurring or even denying "status", "roles", "authority", "rule", the nature of "office", etc., by asserting a false (unbiblical) "equality" between men and women that overrides these principles as is clearly seen in 10.6.7.


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Pilgrim,

I was just as surprised and agree with you that it is something to rejoice over. Apparently it was a secret vote and it was decided not to announce how many votes were for this decision and how many against. This, I think, was a very wise decision.

This is not the first synod where these matters were on the agenda. In view of the history of this issue, I don't think that it will be allowed onto the agende for the following synod, which is three years from now. Hopefully this decision will at least lay this matter to rest in our churches for some time. Whether an appeal will be made against this decision in the future is difficult to say.

But thanks for your views!

Johan

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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
This has been an unfortunate error, I believe, among Dutch and some Presbyterian churches; to make a tri-fold distinction within the 2 offices mentioned in the NT, i.e., "ruling" and "preaching" Elders. I only see one office of Elder within which some are given the gift to preach more than others. However, ALL are to be "apt to teach" and I see nowhere a distinction of the ones gifted to preach that they are not to rule. Their conclusion; last sentence, has absolutely no bearing whatsoever upon this tri-fold distinction and I'm totally confused as to how they came to this conclusion logically. scratch1

Ah, those stupid Dutch people how unfortunate, 450 years of TRADITION down the drain.




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Originally Posted by William
Ah, those stupid Dutch people how unfortunate, 450 years of TRADITION down the drain.
1. Your response (guttural reaction) sounds more like denominational/ethnic pride. And, I have never stated nor implied that the Dutch are stupid. [Linked Image] The Canons of Dordt are one of the official Confessions adopted by my church and which I am currently teaching an extended course.

2. If you would please notice I did not single out the Dutch but included some Presbyterians as well.

3. If you feel that there is biblical warrant for the tri-fold distinction, then as with past objections you have raised against criticisms of certain doctrines and practices, then it would be far more productive to the purpose of this board that you bring that BIBLICAL defense for what you believe rather than making snide remarks which sound more like what a Roman Catholic would say.

4. Which leads me to have to ask if you think that the Netherlands Reformed Church is infallible? If you are sure it is not, then could you please tell me where you think the denomination has erred?

5. Lastly, my remarks were addressing the Reformed Church of South Africa and their official Synodical paper which Johan asked me and others to read and comment on. I would appreciate further comments that were more on topic. grin

In His grace,


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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
The Canons of Dordt are one of the official Confessions adopted by my church and which I am currently teaching an extended course.

Are there any notes on this course and is it publically available?

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1. Yes, there is a handout for each lesson with questions to be answered, along with other handouts to supplement the class discussions.

2. No, it is not publicly available. grin


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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
2. No, it is not publicly available. grin
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