Friday, February 07, 2014

Should Women Be At Seminary?

Chantry addresses an issue that has bothered me for quite some time. He explains it in a very useful parable of sorts. Its worth reading the short "conversation".

It seems my seminary has been undergoing a major recruitment drive to convince women to enroll.  Women at seminary, they insist, is both rational and good.  Is there a reasonable contrarian view?  I agree with the position of the school that God in His wisdom has limited the ministry of the word to qualified men.  Where we disagree is on the purpose of seminary. 
The parable which follows is a conversation which could have taken place (but didn’t) when my family recently visited my brother-in-law Dave, who is a major in the U.S. Army National Guard.  As it happened, he had drill during the weekend we were there....
I agree that since women can't become pastors, they should not be at seminary. That said, I believe and I think the issue of women in seminaries actually illustrates that seminaries have replaced the function and authority of the local church to train up qualified men to become pastors. It is the local church that should be teaching both men and women how to be discerning, how to study Scripture, and how to counsel from Scripture. In other words, it is the local church and shepherds of that church to equip their sheep until they are mature (that would also, by the way, necessitate a commitment by both pastor and lay people to stay there for a very long time rather than picking up and changing churches every 4 years or so). Instead, most encourage people outside of the church to a "professional" place where there is no accountability to that local church nor the clients.  That is also taking the world's view of that which Jesus is building, the church, as less than qualified to deal with the issues of life.
And I haven't even touched on women teaching at the seminaries. That's also a huge problem.

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