Mennonite Brethren pass resolution to remove gender restrictions
It has been a long difficult road for the denomination I consider my own. In the most recent annual conference the Mennonite Brethren voted to allow the local church to determine their policy towards gender and the role of senior pastor. I think it is a helpful step forward.
The previous position was theologically absurd. Women were not restricted from any position in the denomination except that of senior pastor. I’m not sure how you can determine whether it is biblical for women to hold a position that doesn’t exist in the New Testament. It seems completely inconsistent that one would affirm women as college and seminary professors and restrict women from the role of senior pastor. If one is going to take 1Tim 2:12 literally and apply it directly to our context they should at least try to be consistent. The old position was a compromise solution and so is the current one but this one makes more sense.
Changing the rules is one step. Changing the culture is another. I respect those who wish to stand by the complementarian position regardless of how politically correct it is. I disagree with them because I think what Paul writes in 1Tim is inconsistent with what he wrote to the Corinthians and inconsistent with the general theme of his concept of church. My last few years of participating in a house church gives me a hands on feel of the context of the local church Paul typically spoke to. I see how Paul’s analogy of the body plays out in smaller relational church. I see how so much of New Testament theology that needs to be shoe horned in to fit in a traditionally structured church fits like a glove in a house church.
If one wants to be truly biblical in how they structure church there are a lot bigger issues than the gender of the people in certain positions.