CRC Reverses Decision… Again -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 01:1 (Aug 1995)
Article: CRC Reverses Decision… Again
Author: Anonymous

CRC Reverses Decision… Again

In June, 1995, the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) synod delegates met for their annual tangle over the issue of the ordination of women. This year, the synod passed a virtually irreversible proposal which authorizes the ordination of women to the church’s highest offices. This action wipes out the hard work of so many who have defended complementarity in synod meetings over the last decade.

To review the history of this struggle, in June, 1993, the synod narrowly approved the ordination of women as ministers, elders, and evangelists.

But to fully effect this change in church order, the motion had to be reaffirmed by the synod in 1994. There, by a vote of 95 to 89, the delegates rejected the previous year’s vote, following two days of debate.

In that 1994 debate, Robert Godfrey, CBMW member and President of Westminster Theological Seminary in California, was named reporter for the majority report. In that report (Acts of Synod, Article 77), Godfrey powerfully marshalled Scriptural evidence to call the synod to a reversal of its 1993 decision: “Genesis 1:26–28 does teach that men and women equally bear the image of God but does not prove that one may hold ecclesiastical office simply because one bears the image of God.

Acts 2:17–18 describes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all God’s people but does not prove that all who have the Spirit may hold ecclesiastical office. Galatians 3:28 declares that men and women are one in Christ, but that fact does not mean that women may hold ecclesiastical office any more than it means that the Christian husband is not the head of his wife (Eph. 5:23).” Godfrey further supported his position by asserting: “1 Timothy 2:11–12 clearly states that women are not to teach or have authority over men, and 1 Timothy 3:1–13 continues with an immediate application of this teaching to the offices of the church.”

The 1994 statement passed by the CRC said that “the clear teaching of Scripture prohibits women holding the office of minister, elder, and evangelist.” Since it included the claim that this is the “clear teaching of Scripture,” it did not allow individual churches to say the decision violates their conscience because they hold a different interpretation.

Some churches still ordained women in defiance of the synod. First Christian Reformed Church of Grand Rapids saw the decision on this “unclear” issue as offensive to their church conscience. Godfrey responded, “The fac...

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