Allow me to place two apparently unrelated points side by side, and then make a third point with the two of them together. Let me start by pointing to a particular feature of the European debt crisis, and then move on to the stealth campaign for women deacons in the PCA via Manhattan’s Redeemer. Then I will say voila, or something like that.
One of the things that we have to understand about the official attempts to resolve the debt crisis is the fundamental dishonesty and corruption of the system. The creditors are having to take “a haircut” on the debt repayments (a haircut that goes as short as C3 or so in the spinal column), and they are being forced to take this haircut so that the officials in charge of everything can avoid using the magic word “default.” It can amount to a default, but they just can’t call it that. If they call it a default, then, you see, certain provisions kick in. Certain entities provided insurance to the creditors in case of “a default.” And so if it is a “default” then the insurers would have to pay. Ya know?
The situation is as though you had fire insurance, and your house burned down, and you expected to be paid by your insurance company. And no, you wouldn’t expect them to redefine “fire” in lieu of repayment. You wouldn’t want them to say your house was only rapidly oxidized, and thus nothing whatever was owed.
If the insurers actually covered what they said they were going to cover, they would have to do it a lot, and then they would have to take the haircut. They don’t want to, and in another relevant detail, they can’t. The whole thing is hopelessly corrupt. It is one thing to be broke. It is quite another to be dishonest about it.
The PCA does not allow women to serve as deacons in the PCA. Certain ministers in the PCA differ with this, and are maneuvering to obey the rules technically, and to do so in a way that undermines the whole thing. Redeemer doesn’t have ordinations for their women deacons, but they don’t have ordinations for the men either — so that the men and women can both occupy the same nebulous and undefined space. But technical and parsing obedience is disobedience. Whatever else this is, it is not honest.
By the way, on the substance, the office of deaconness (which the early church did have) was not an instance of women holding the one office of deacon together with the men. It was a distinct office entirely, and you had to be a sixty-year-old widow with a godly track record to hold it. But in the PCA, the egalitarian pressure is on, and the capitulations are in process. This means that the church order of the PCA is being altered by default, and it is not be altered by means of an honest constitutional process. It is being altered by a combination of ecclesiastical disobedience, passive agressiveness, and postmodern label shifting.
I believe that the church drives culture, and that high dishonesty in the church will soon enough be matched by the same in the culture. But take a lesser controversial position. Even if I am wrong about this, a church that plays with words (instead of living and dying by them) will be in no position to deliver any kind of prophetic rebuke when the infidels do the same thing. You see, deacons aren’t deacons and defaults aren’t defaults. And while we are at it, daughters aren’t daughters. You see, it would be most inconvenient for everyone if they were.
‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’