Do not the vows taken by elders regarding the constitution of the PCA and submission to brethren require that we (all of us) follow and abide by the polity of our church (in letter and spirit) until such time as that polity is changed through orderly constitutional process rather than by the drip-drip normalization-by-tolerated-violation approach of ecclesial antinomians—no matter how winsome and missional they be?
The fact that a significant number (likely hundreds) of Presbyterian Church in America congregations “have” female deacons or deaconesses or present females as holding the office of deacon or the imaginary office of deaconess is indisputable.* Also beyond question is the fact that a number of PCA churches do not ordain male deacons (presumably to create a unisex, egalitarian board of deaconing persons) is also beyond dispute.
Questions for PCA officers:
1. Has anyone considered the incremental-but-inevitable effect of allowing quasi-/non-ordained “officers” in a denomination?
2. How many members of PCA churches with female “deacons” or deaconesses (a term with no set meaning in our polity) know that the female deaconing persons are not actually officers? If members are confused it may be because some churches use the same nomination, training, and election processes for females who are called deacons or deaconesses as they do for men who are part of the diaconate.
3. What is the long-term effect of allowing churches to forego the ordination of one of the two offices our polity requires?
4. Have the de facto three-office/three-office-attracted pastors considered the effect that their position may have on our supposed firewall against ordaining female elders (of one kind or another)? In other words, will we move from “women can never be elders” to “women can never be preaching (or senior) pastors.”