Women in office
I’m a member of the Christian Reformed Church, which “ordains” women as pastors, elders, and deacons. (Erica and 20+ other women are ordained as pastors.) I usually use quotes around ordain, though, whenever I discuss the issue of women’s ordination and the CRC, because female clergy are not afforded all the responsibilities and privileges of the male clergy. Only two women serve as parish pastors, absolutely no women are allowed to be delegates to Synod (the national assembly), and each classis (“fleet,” which the CRC uses to signify one of its regional divisions) has the option not to ordain women.
The issue of women in office is hardly a CRC-only issue, however. Most evangelical and conservative confessing churches face difficulty with it. While some of this difficulty comes from legitimate theological qualms (e.g., honest biblical hermeneutics), it seems that most of it serves as a mask for misogynistic views. Case in point, this wonderfully untrue statement from Pat Robertson:
The key in terms of mental ability is chess. There’s never been a woman Grand Master chess player. Once you get one, then I’ll buy some of the feminism . . .
(Thanks to Fred Clark for noticing this and for his great rebuttal; check under “She came, she saw, she conquered.”)