CHILLICOTHE, Oh. (BNC) by Ron Thomas — Once again, New-Testament saints read of another congregation giving ground to the ways of the world. Recently, a large church in a college town fit themselves in well with others who have gone before them, that is, gone beyond what the New Testament teaches.

The Lord’s apostle, Paul, gave clear guidance from the Holy Spirit about how the New Testament church is to conduct itself. Timothy was to read scripture and teach those things that were and are crucial to the organization of the New Testament church (cf. 1 Timothy 3:14-15). In this context he said the female saints did not serve in positions of leadership or leading the assembly, only the male saints were to do that (1 Tim. 2:8-15).

The objection to the above remarks will be in relation to Paul writing the female saints were to not usurp authority over the male saints, that is, to teach. If the article is correct with this comment, “teaching adult Bible classes alone” the objection is mute because what the Holy Spirit forbids, this congregation now embraces!

Does it really matter what the New Testament says anymore?

Those who seek change begin small but, in the end, what the Holy Spirit says does not matter if the society, which controls the local church, wants something different.

The college congregation and other similar churches now give lip service to such things as “it does matter what the New Testament teaches.”

I suppose, to give some degree of comfort to those who would resist, the following sentiment was expressed, “The shepherds also re-emphasized that by over a two-thirds consensus within the eldership, Downtown would not have female shepherds or preachers.”

This is supposed to be encouraging? I guess I fail to see it. What a tremendous shame! Two-thirds? At the risk of being insulting, it appears biblical knowledge is lacking in great quantities. Only two-thirds? It’s just a matter of time when the two-thirds turns into one-third, then a complete reversal.

The precursor to change is to have a special time of study and prayer. Throughout the centuries with the untold number of excellent biblical expositors, have they failed in their study time and prayer to understand the role of the female in their local churches? Did they not know how to read their English Bible or the Greek text to conclude something different than what 20th and 21st century Bible believers now conclude?

One of the elders of the congregation gave what was believed to be serious consideration of the church community in the “rapid socio-cultural change”, but it appears they gave too much consideration to the culture and not the New Testament. In the written paragraph of the story, wherein they grappled with the issue, there is no mention of what the New Testament says is to be done. To me, this is most telling.

From this there seems to be unity, and unity is good, though in this case there is no unity with the Lord on the matter. So, I guess, unity is not good, contrary to the opinions of two sisters in the congregation. The current attendance of the congregation is nearly 2,000; I wonder what it will be in ten years. It does not matter, I suppose, since to the congregation in this college town, the New Testament teaching on the topic did not matter either.