Why all this whining about pastorettes and deaconesses? Moody would’ve asked us to focus on winning souls. Today’s leaders might ask us to meet people where they are (or worse, to help defeat global warming). In any event, this whole “women thing,” we’re told, is something on which all Christians of good will can disagree. It’s adiaphora, a matter of indifference.
Really? Perhaps we can take the temperature of those fine denominations with ordained women. That great pragmatist, V.I. Lenin, said that peace treaties were scraps of paper. So are the confessions of faith of these churches. They have sodomy lobbies gathering steam, if not already in control. They have pastors who deny that anyone really needs the righteousness of Christ; why, any spiritual belief will do. The moderates who do so much damage in aiding this transition (“thus far, but no farther!”) find themselves, like the original Russian Marxists who welcomed revolution, cast into a whirlwind that carries them far from their intended destination. When you deny the obvious, when you deny what Scripture says directly and you deny its entire context (no female apostles, no female priests, etc.), then you’ve denied its authority. When doctrine divides and confessions and confessionalism just don’t matter, then church discipline doesn’t matter. Eventually the Gospel doesn’t matter. Eventually Jesus isn’t the heavenly high prophet, priest, and king, but just a fine man.
Fr. Bill Mouser has a post in the aforementioned Baylyblog post that is well worth reading. An excerpt:
Evangelical Protestantism in the second half of the 20th century fell [I’d say, more accurately, is falling] in exactly the same way that Protestantism fell in the second half of the 19th Century: its heart was captured by world dominating ideas that are fundamentally anti-Biblical and hostile to the gospel. In the 19th Century it was Darwinism and the zenith of post-Renaissance rationalistic hubris. In the second half of the 20th Century it was sexual egalitarianism and the zenith of modernist individualism. The beachhead in both defeats is found in the seminaries. Soon after these were well-infected, the contagion spread to the publishing houses and denominational and mission agencies. That is why Grudem’s recent book catalogs so completely the capitulation of American evangelicalism’s institutions to the egalitarian cause. That is why modern evangelicals virtually identify evangelism with modern marketing techniques aimed at consumers of religious products and services.
The interesting thing about the 19th century northern Presbyterian church is how quickly it fell. Towns across America are still filled with liberal mainline churches in beautiful old buildings. Many of the people in those churches are finally bleeding into megachurches with faulty underpinnings– vague theology, non-confessional, fad-driven. Would anyone be surprised to see Unitarians wandering the halls of Saddleback in a generation?
Meanwhile, the orthodox in the PCA have fight, but cleaning up the mess that has gotten to this point could be something like what the Baptists experienced some years ago. And the cries for “peace, peace” will be at every turn.