THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN
by Rev. Arnold Reimer
It is worrisome, to say the least, that our denominational leadership is prepared to overlook the clear and vast weight of Scripture on the distinct roles of men and women to allow exceptions to become a rule. Should we accept the kind of exegetical gymnastics given in the support of the ordination of women it will become a pattern, and we open the door to further deviation.
The Founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance chose to focus on a clear, appealing and unifying issue: the centrality of Jesus Christ as Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King. The trend of his day was to theological liberalism which undermined foundational biblical truths leaving authority, both divine and biblical, clouded by uncertainty. The result was hurtful dissensions and fractious divisions in Christendom seriously undermining the ministry of the church.
We are moving in that direction again. Approving the ordination of women, and related issues, will do us serious harm. At a time when popular culture disregards the church, when immorality rises, false religions flourish and true spirituality spirals into chaotic confusion, what are we doing to ourselves? How will the new role proposed for women, questionable at best if biblical authority matters, enhance our ministry? What are we saying to a society where the leadership and dignity of men is increasingly belittled and undermined? At a time when family life is crushed by infidelity, divorce and weak male leadership we propose to aid and abet the problem!
This is a time to seriously call men, young and old, to holy leadership and true, spiritual commitment. Let us raise the bar to those demanding biblical standards for pastors, elders, professors, missionaries and for all who aspire to be leaders among us.
There is a reason why the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation speak loud and long to men! Surely, it is not a cultural oversight by the Sovereign and Omniscient God that so much of the Bible references men. God is not blind-sided by culture or relevance. Yes, the Fall has tragically twisted relationships and its curse persists. But there is a distinct, satisfying and vital role for men and women, clearly stated and illustrated in the Scriptures, which we neglect, re-interpret or remove at our peril. Popular opinion, selfish ambition, crippling rebellion always challenge God’s authority. The Church of Jesus Christ must demonstrate that it adheres unreservedly to the principles of His Word.
We dare not countenance the fallacious view that anything that distinguishes or differentiates the roles of men and women undermines the equality of value of either men or women. God has blessed most churches with strong, capable, godly women. I grew up with six of them in my family and none of them would want what is being proposed. In more than 50 years of ministry with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and a wholesome relationship with many hundreds of women parishioners, few, of which I am aware, appealed for this change.
This is a highly divisive subject rooted in feminism and in a culturally tainted interpretation of truth. It flies in the face of biblical instruction and illustration. Someone described the modern evangelical movement as trying to be so relevant that it has become irrelevant.
The ordination of women will do nothing positive for our denomination in terms of the glory of God, our reputation for biblical fidelity and our founder’s concept of avoiding secondary issues. We have enough on our plate just trying to combat worldliness, selfishness, indifference and complacency. When will we learn that God’s ways are not always our ways, nor His thoughts ours?
Arnold Reimer, August 20, 2010
Arnold Reimer has served as a pastor/missionary with the Christian and Missionary Alliance for 50 years. He began his ministry in Rosetown, Sk. after which he served with his wife, Frances, in Colombia, S.A. After one term they pastored the Woodward Ave. Alliance Church, now Rosewood, in Regina. In 1969 they moved to the Avenue Road/Bayview Glen Church where they remained until 1991. Returning to Regina he served as the District Superintendent for one term. Since 1995 he has been a Minister-at-Large in both the Eastern and Central Canadian Districts.