Upon graduation and finding Veritas Church in Columbus, I was dismayed to find out that they do not. I struggled with this for a while (and am still struggling, of course) but that's what made me begin my little research on this. I looked up the CRCs opinions and debate when they allowed women to be ordained as a pastor in 2000. See here for a quick summary, or the link at the very top of the page is what I read - the two positions, for and against, before they took the vote. I read the CRC's position - and was dismayed again! To summarize their point of view, the Scripture passages about women being submissive to men in church were declared contextual rules for the church (mainly of Corinth and for those times.) Women weren't educated and did not have any legal say during those times, so of course you don't want someone leading a church if the church members might not respect them! However, the CRC claimed that Scripture passages about women being submissive to men in marriage were not just contextual rules but are still valid today, for all cultures. That's because of the picture the relationship then paints: it mirrors that of Christ and the Church. The CRC argued that marriage as a metaphor is very much relevant and necessary.
I didn't like that. I was just seeing it as women are totally equal, because they're not less than men. I do believe that women and men have different tendencies or natural roles - like, women tend to be more nurturing than men, and men can (usually) beat women in athletics naturally. But those things are hard to compare; they don't mean that one sex is better than the other.
So I started reading more and praying a lot more about it after I found out I didn't like the CRC's position. A real possibility is that what is wrong is my view. So I have prayed - God, open my eyes to Your Word so that I can see what You have declared, and not just read what I want to read. If we all did that, then you could justify slavery, divine appointments for everything, and sending bears to devour children if they call you "Baldie."
Listen to the sermon and tell me what you think! A lot of it made sense to me - a lot of it rubbed me the wrong way - a lot of it was challenging not just to enact but to comprehend.
Nick's main points:
- we are all under the submission and authority of God (I Cor 11:3)
- Uncovered heads (v. 4-6) were a way to rebel to the cultural norms - this may be something like refusing to wear a wedding ring or not changing your last name in today's world, IF your reason for not doing those is to flaunt your independence. Those things are certainly not required but are the norm in the US today.
- We don't need marriage to make us a complete picture of God, but we need both sexes to in the world and Church to be the complete picture of Christ (I Cor 11:11)
- Submission does not mean "lesser than." Our mindset interprets submission as a bad thing, but Christ submits to God the Father and we should be striving to be like Christ.
- The relationship between husband and wife reflects the relationship between Christ and the Church. Just as Christ gave His life for the church, and the church submits to Christ, looking up to Him for our breath and life, so the husband should be giving up his life (metaphorically) for his wife, and the wife loving and holding fast in the faith that he will act toward her with more respect than toward himself.