During the Annual Southern Baptist Convention the issue of female pastors was at the forefront with the denomination taking a strong posture against the matter. However, as it was argued that female pastors is theological liberalism, Christian Post has since come to the defense of female pastors by claiming that a church can have female pastors and still be theologically conservative. To this end they written two listicles, as though they’re Buzzfeed, each listing five “theologically conservative” denominations that allow women pastors.
The first listicle lists the Anglican Church of North America which regionalizes this issue between their different diocese which doesn’t make it the best example, rather it contributes to an ongoing divide between conservative and liberal Anglicans globally. Most of the global south, the bulwark for Anglican orthodoxy does not allow for the ordination of women like the Church of England does which is at the helm of mounting heresy. The Anglican moral cowardice on this issue is one of the biggest weaknesses to Anglicanism.
Foursquare is best known as the church that Forrest Gump went to. Yet among the charismatic churches, Foursquare is one of the most woke denominations. Assemblies of God is also on the list, a denomination largely absent on hot button issues. The Assemblies of God is historically on a trajectory towards losing its distinctives, becoming Evangelicals with tongues. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to ignore the historic associations of the Prosperity Gospel to the Assemblies of God.
Yet Charismatic denominations are actually a case study for the opposite of what Christian Post claims. The most theologically conservative charismatic churches and denominations do not have female pastors such as Calvary Chapel. Pastors like Cary Gordon, Jack Hibbs, and even Mark Driscoll are all outspoken on pressing issues and not coincidentally do not allow female pastors.
Pentecostalism is derived from Methodism, and four of the ten denominations listed by Christian Post are Methodist: Church of the Nazarene, Free Methodist, Wesleyan, and the new Global Methodist Church. All of them practice female ordination according to historic Methodist teaching. Yet the Methodist Church is the textbook example on how female ordination leads to acceptance of homosexuality. The Global Methodist Church was formed from the divorce of the United Methodist Church in 2022 not because the UMC embraced homosexuality. They did that a long time ago. They were ordaining homosexuals and transvestites. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Separating over obvious heresy is hardly a division that causes one side to become theologically conservative by an objective standard as opposed to a relative standard. It’s also worth noting that liberals have split from the United Methodist because they weren’t liberal enough. This doesn’t make the UMC conservative.
The Wesleyans are lauded in the Christian Post article for championing women’s suffrage in the 1800’s. This was a liberal position at the time and it remains an entrenched liberalism to this day. The 19th Amendment would be among the slate of Progressive Amendments (16-19) that irrevocably set the United States on a liberal trajectory.
Two of the denominations listed were Presbyterian: ECO (Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians) and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. ECO is yet another church that left its mainline counterpart over homosexual ordination. Again, churches that left the Presbyterian Church USA late don’t automatically become conservative. The EPC is a woke denomination.
Christian Missionary Alliance
This denomination allows women to function as pastors without the title, just like the Southern Baptist Convention. Not the best example to make a point that female pastors is theologically conservative.
A Sliding Scale
Theological liberalism is a sliding scale much like other doctrines ie: Federal Vision or theonomy. Just because a denomination is not as liberal as it could be does not mean that it is theologically conservative.
1 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.
1 Timothy 2:11-15 NASB1995
Female pastors is automatically not theologically conservative as it is a rejection of the Bible’s authority as the Bible speaks most plainly on this reason in 1 Timothy 2, not appealing to culture but appealing to creation. When we reject this, our claims on the authority of Scripture ring hollow.
One Last Thought
We need to show grace for those who come up in these traditions that are not theologically conservative but otherwise have the Holy Spirit indwelt in them. This is not apostacy on their part as it would be a sign of deconstruction for someone to leave a theologically conservative denomination to join a liberal denomination by conviction.
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