The way we see it, the PCA is currently facing three controversies. One of those controversies is the role of women in worship and in the church at large. (The other controversies involve the ongoing racial reconciliation conversation and the question of how the Church should react to the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (“SOGI”) questions being raised in our culture. These are all issues with which every RE should be conversant.)
A recent article at Reformation 21 includes this insight: “When conservative churches start to give ‘non-ordained’ men the functional leadership roles that God has reserved for ordained officers of the church, they have made leadership a gender issue rather than a God-defined social construct.”
In other words, when a Session authorizes a non-officer to lead worship, read scripture, pray a corporate prayer, etc. is not only saying that this non-officer is a “leader” of sorts, it is also saying something about the officers. Specifically, that Session has lent credence to the surrounding culture’s argument that the only difference between “leaders” and “officers” is body parts. (This is was a running theme of the infamous Truth’s Table podcast from 2017.)
As Mr. Batzig points out, there are quite a few qualifications for officers. It’s not a mere question of body parts.
And when we encourage people to believe that it all just boils down to gender, we trivialize ordination. Once ordination – or any doctrine of the Church – is trivialized or diminished, heterodoxy thrives.