What To Do?
What should you do as elders of the flock? Allow me to be specific.
1. Teach Biblical principles about gender relationships. Don’t expend all your energies reacting negatively to feminist agitators in your local church or community or even in your denomination; rather, as elders you must teach positively and clearly, and insist that your preacher do so from the pulpit as well. The fundamental Biblical truths regarding male and female role relationships in marriage, home, church and society. Of course, from the distortions evident in the way feminists rework crucial Biblical doctrines, it becomes clear that accurate and foundational knowledge of Biblical doctrine is essential to combat this and every attack of Satan. The prophet was right: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” So, teach your people a full and balanced diet of Biblical Truth!
2. Don’t overreact. Not all of God’s people who have been influenced by a feminist agenda embrace all of the planks of the platform of Gender Feminism. In fact, some are righteously caught up in a pursuit of Biblical justice; they have merely adopted dangerous words and concepts because these folks; each currency of today’s debate. Be patient with these folks; teach them that “ideas have legs,” that much of today’s rhetoric arises from thoroughly unbiblical notions. Express those invisible notions.
3. Use women and their God given gifts Biblically and appropriately in the life of the church. One theologian once observed that “cults are the unpaid debts of the church,” that cults arise where the church has failed to be thorough in her obedience. If that is true of cults, it is surely true of feminism. It has arisen in no small measure because appropriate ministry by women in the life of the church has been stymied, often by mere tradition and certainly in conflict with Scripture. For instance, 1 Cor. 14:33 clearly prohibits women from preaching (the literal meaning of the verse suggests a prohibition, not of speech itself, but of “being the speaker” i.e., the preacher. See also 1Pet. 4:11). That does not mean that a woman may not be used wisely and appropriately to speak or teach under the Biblical supervision of the eldership within a Sunday School class. Again, the 1 Tim 2:12 prohibition against a woman “having authority over a man” does not require men to chair every single committee within a local church, nursery committee included! Rather, the text prohibits the usurping of authority, particularly within the context of authoritative teaching.
4. Make sure the “careers” of wives and mothers are honoured within your home and your church fellowship. Nothing combats feminism in our society and within our churches more effectively then the careful articulation of the high view of these roles in Scripture. To be sure, you may not convert a rabid Gender Feminist by referring to Eph. 5:22, but you will surely encourage godly women (and instruct godly men!) when you hold high the role of a wife as a gift of God who is a life-partner in the work of the kingdom, and that of a mother as a precious instrument in God’s hand for the nurture and shaping of the next generation of His own servants, complete with prophetic, priestly and royal duties.
“With a Shephard’s Heart” Reclaiming the Pastoral Office of Elder
by John R. Sittema (PP.75-76)