SILVER SPRING, Md. - Two members of the Theology of Ordination Study Committee believe there is a simple solution to the women's ordination question: real pastors' wives. Tri-States Conference President Tim Baker and his wife, Jane, have drafted their opinions into yet another proposal for consideration at next year's General Conference session. It reads as follows:
Theology of Ordination: Position #4 - In order to foster unity throughout the world church and to keep well within the mandates of Scripture, we resolve that pastors’ wives shall be strongly encouraged to eschew outside employment and devote their time and energies to serving the local church as pastoral assistants, thereby eliminating the need for women pastors.
The Bakers realize that their proposal may upset some people, but they cite Protestant tradition to help make their case. “For hundreds of years, pastors’ wives have taught children, studied with women, headed hospitality ministries, and served in many other roles appropriate for females,” said Tim. “Before the 1970s, we didn’t have women agitating to be ordained; it’s only since the ladies felt they had to work for pay that a vacancy was created in local congregations, which some people feel should be filled by female pastors.”
According to Jane, eliminating the ordination option does not preclude women from serving. “If college girls feel the Lord is calling them into the ministry, they should do what their mothers and grandmothers did: find a theology student to marry,” she said.
A small number of TOSC committee members voiced their support for the new proposal. “My wife Jojo and I completely agree with this option,” said Southeast Delaware Conference Pastor Enoch Byrne. He describes a recent prophecy seminar where his wife played the organ, ran the nursery, conducted Bible studies with three women, and read him questions during the Bible Answer-Man segment of the program. “She couldn’t be happier or more fulfilled as my assistant,” said Byrne. “And best of all, the church doesn’t have to pay her!”
Special thanks to Marian Davis for the guest post