This past summer, the Christian and Missionary Alliance council voted for the ordination of women to the pastorate. While the Alliance has held to a Complementarian stance throughout its history, this move allowed churches the freedom to ordain women and the freedom for other churches not to ordain women. In summary, the decision is up the local church. Women will not be permitted to serve as elders, nor as lead or solo pastors.
This did not come without controversy. There are those that find it challenging to continue to associate with the C&MA due to their biblical and theological convictions.
District leadership have taken different approaches to this issue. In most districts, to leave the Alliance has forced congregations to lose their buildings and finances. One district has allowed those churches who leave to keep their property and funds. Many in the Alliance who are burdened with the decision to ordain women, remain in the Alliance and have joined a network called 1:9 ALLIANCE, based on Titus 1:9, “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” The hope of this network is to influence from the inside. You can check out that network here and we do encourage you to join.
For the Alliance to arrive at this position, the leadership held a three year national conversation. We believe that conversation should continue. We do this podcast to encourage those pastors who don’t know what to do, or perhaps fear the risks of speaking out. We also want to encourage those who have left and encourage those who stay to love, pray for and support one another.
Here in this BYQ podcast, my co-host Dan Stegeman and I interview one such pastor who was deeply impacted by the decision to ordain women. His name is Paul Taylor, and if you happened to watch the open mic time at council, Paul is now famous as that guy with a baseball cap. He even wore that same hat during the interview. We appreciate so much Paul’s candor, honesty and the gentle way he addressed this issue. It was our prayerful desire to conduct the podcast in a gracious spirit, not to attack or oppose, but simply unpack this decision the Alliance has made.
About Paul Taylor: Paul has served 25 years as a pastor in Los Angeles California and Missoula Montana. He grew up on the corner of his grandfather’s orange orchard in central California. He and his wife, Kelly, have five children. Paul enjoys time with family and fly fishing in the mornings at sunrise among the beautiful rivers of Montana. Presently he serves as a pastor/elder of Redeemer Bible Church in Missoula MT. “My greatest desire in all of life, is that the gospel of Jesus is declared to all the world for the glory of God!”
OTHER RESOURCES:The World And Everything In It Podcast (from World Magazine) featured the Alliance decision in this daily update. Begin at min.13. Check it out here.
For Dan Stegeman’s paper on AB Simpson’s view on women pastors, (Is the C&MA Really More Simpsonian?) check here.