Where Are All the Men?

A few days ago, the London Telegraph published a story entitled, “More new women priests than men for the first time.”  I read the story with great interest because it touches on something that I am very much interested in, namely the biblical teaching regarding the role of women in church offices.  I believe that it is a direct violation of God’s Word (thus sinful) for women to take up leadership positions in the church (i.e. as pastors or elders).  Well, this article approvingly talked of women priests outnumbering men.  In summary, the author fo the article basically wanted to let us know that:  “More female priests are joining the Church of England than male ones for the first time ever, it can be disclosed as it takes another step towards the introduction of women bishops.”

The debating chamber at Church House, Westminster. Photo: AP

My initial response was:  “Where are all the men?”  It’s such a sad reality of our times particularly here in the West where a lot of men (if not most) have become too lethargic and sluggish to lead both in the home and the church.  The end result?  Well, somebody has to step up to the plate and lead – and the women are doing just that.  That’s the tragic reality that the Western Church (mostly) has to deal with.  But is that really the answer?  Should women take up these roles/offices which are clearly and divinely assigned to men?  The answer to this question and all it’s practical implications is no doubt complex.  Each particular situation where this is an issue would have to be evaluated individually and the practical implications would have to be worked out the same way.  However, violating the clear principles found in God’s Word is not the to deal with our social ills (e.g. lack of male leadership, etc).  Whatever we decide to do by way of addressing the lack of male leadership in our society, particularly in the church, we must unwaveringly adhere to the standard that has been set forth for us by God in His Holy Word! See 1 Timothy 2:9-15.

What is happening in the Church of England and other similar Christian denominations like the Church of Scotland or the Presbyterian Church – USA is quite sad and tragic.  One can only hope and pray that those who lead these denominations will come to their senses, repent and return to the clear teaching of Scripture on this issue!  But O, it’s a slippery slope and the devil seems to be holding a tight rein on these denominations with some relative success.  For most of such denominations, it all started with the erosion of biblical inerrancy.  Once that was thrown out of the window, then pretty much everything that men/women didn’t like could be thrown out of the window on one hand and everything that men/women wanted could be entertained in the church.  So, the ordination of women to church offices was brought into the church as 1 Timothy 2 and other related Scriptural passages were thrown out of the window.  Quite tragic isn’t it?  People are picking and choosing what they should and shouldn’t listen to in the Bible.  If I don’t like what Romans 1 says (for example), then I can just tear it out of my Bible, and so on and so forth.  That’s where we are today.  But what’s next?  Well, I hope and pray that there will be a spirit of repentance which will in turn bring a true reformation in these denominations so that Christ and His Holy Word may be honored.  That’s what I pray for!  Please join me.

Finally, a word to all Christian men reading this:  “Rise up, be men and start leading in your home and church as the Lord would have you do.”  I encourage you to watch/listen to the messages preached at this year’s pastors’ conference organized by Desiring God Ministries in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) especially these two:  1.  “Father Hunger” in Leading the Home, and 2.  “Father Hunger” in Leading the Church.