My brother-in-law reminded me that the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) is having their General Assembly nowish. I’m on staff at a PC(USA) church, and the PC(USA)’s General Assembly happens in early July in Pittsburgh.
For those who don’t follow the alphabet soup of denominational life, the short hand is this: the PC(USA) ordains female pastors and elders and has female deacons. The PCA doesn’t do any of those things. The PCA and PC(USA), in their national expressions of polity, also differ on the matter of gay clergy.
Given their supposedly Scriptural disqualification from almost all levels of leadership (I don’t think they can even teach men in Sunday School), it’s nice to see that the women of the PCA haven’t been totally forgotten by their leaders. Then again, one might argue that it’s hard to be forgotten when you’ve never really been thought of in the first place.
Some people in traditions like these struggle with these issues, hoping all the while that their polities will more faithfully express the ethics of their Savior in time. But time doesn’t change anything. Humankind’s treatment of women is, perhaps, the oldest injustice.
I’ve gone into more depth on the broader issues on Huffington. More recently, I’ve blogged here about Sarah Ruden’s book on Paul. One familiar PCA et al trope I agree with is this: these issues aren’t about being liberal or conservative, they’re about being faithful to Christ. Intelligent people may disagree about what that fidelity looks like, but for how long?