Why I Changed Lanes On Women In The Pastorate: Part 1

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20 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    This hermeneutic will have all kinds of implications.

  2. Em says:

    “Farmers Only…” my daughter watched the first commercials and commented on the fact that all the women were hot and the farmers looked more like unreliable hired hands than farmers… that comment came to mind reading the stereotype described in Michael’s post & would make the case for women not serving as pastors – on the other hand it speaks volumes more about the men IMHO

  3. Dennis says:

    For years when I was in Calvary chapel I heard the story of Chuck trying to rearrange the chairs for a prayer meeting and getting shut down by the elders as a good reason not to have a plurality of elders. But an abuse of a biblical model isn’t a good reason to reject the biblical model altogether. I realize you aren’t giving the example of “women are philistines” as the primary argument, but it could give a false idea that a majority of complimetarians would have a similar mindset.
    I would like to this book however, and am open to having my mind changed.

  4. Michael says:


    My whole intent here is to encourage thought and exploration, not to make converts.

    The arguments laid out in the book are more than plausible and worthy of consideration.

  5. Dennis says:

    My personal policy is not to comment on a book if I haven’t read it, so I won’t here and do plan on reading it and considering the arguments.

  6. Michael says:


    May your tribe increase on both counts… 🙂

  7. Papias says:


    If I recall, you have generally been on the side of only men being pastors, correct?

    Did you view change because of this book, or were you leaning in this direction already?

  8. Michael says:


    I always believed that this was an open and shut case scripturally.
    I didn’t particularly like that, but God is the boss.

    I’ve read a number of things, but this book was the one that displayed the most clear and cogent reasons for the egalitarian case.

    The funny thing about the book is that he’s so damn fair about all the arguments that you could land either way and feel like you’re honoring the Scriptures.

  9. Papias says:

    So its possible that another book, written fairly with sound reasoning and Biblical exegesis, could sway you back to the complementarian position? Just asking. 🙂

    One thing that is refreshing is the dialogue that can be had on this subject, without the flaming, motive questioning, and overall banter that can occur.

    Once we start to accept that both sides can see the Word differently on non-essentials(which some may disagree that this is, so be it), then we can focus our energies on the Gospel mission.

  10. Michael says:


    Stackhouse makes an excellent case for the complementarian position in the book.

    I find it more than a little offensive that after being a pastor for almost thirty years and a student of the scriptures for longer that people think I turn directions based on one book.

    I have probably twenty books on the subject in my library and dozens of scholarly articles.

    This book tied a lot of loose ends together for me, but I’ve been informed by many others.

  11. Eric says:

    Women having no vision for ministry… more like the women that have vision for ministry want to love, teach, evangelise, individuals, while the men want to see the church grow. On to part 2…

  12. Officerhoppy says:

    Well, I am still a complimentarian on this is due but I have never thought of women as Philistines. They have a huge roll in ministry.

  13. Officerhoppy says:

    On this issue…dang spell checker

  14. Surfer51 says:

    In actuality Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa “School of Ministry” ordained two women in the 90’s.

    One of them was my ex girlfriend…

  15. Surfer51 says:

    In all fairness…

    She had been financed by a very wealthy woman who was also ordained.

    Calvary was threatened by a lawsuit if they didn’t ordain the two women.

    Chuck knowing that it was a battle he wasn’t ready to play let them go through.

  16. Steve Wright says:

    Surfer, you have mentioned this in the past and I have asked for clarification in the past. I do so once more. The School of Ministry ordains nobody – especially in the 1990s which is when I both went there, graduated, and taught for a year. I was also ordained by CCCM a year after my graduation and while it was based largely on a recommendation from there it was still through the Board of Directors of the church at Costa Mesa. In point of fact, I was told the Board “almost never ordains people just from the School of Ministry”

    (I talked to Chuck though as well and he agreed to the ordination with the referral from the SoM given the various ministries I was serving in at CCCM )

    The School of Ministry had no accreditation with any formal body. It was wholly informal.

    Can you explain what you mean by them ordaining anyone, much less two women. Do you mean instead they simply allowed them to attend the school?

  17. Steve Wright says:

    Surfer you can email me on this…I am just genuinely curious and wondering if the terms are being misunderstood….I do know there were some women who took the classes there in the 90s (and I assume afterwards but I lost touch around then)

    pastorsteve (at) calvaryle (dot) org

  18. Papias says:

    I went to the CCCM School of Ministry in the mid 1990’s, graduated, but was never ordained because of it.

    I am reminded of a tape I have of Romaine speaking to a group of men who thought they were going to be ordained by CC. He specifically stated, “Calvary Chapel is not in the business of ordaining anyone. Its the State of California that ordains someone.”

  19. Officerhoppy says:

    If that’s what Romaine said, I am pretty sure he was wrong. Religious organizations set standards and when they are met they ordain. The state just recognizes the ordination. But I am sure you know that already!

  20. Steve Wright says:

    I asked Chuck to ordain me a year after I graduated from School of Ministry when I was serving in four different ministries of Costa Mesa, two of which were pastoral in nature, and was about to go overseas for mission work, and had also been asked to perform my first wedding. I don’t remember Romaine’s quote there, but it sounds like something he might say and I sure don’t doubt Papias. However, Chuck’s expressed belief was that “God ordains and man ratifies”

    My time in School of Ministry was part of the “resume” for lack of a better word and contacts I made in ministry among the various pastors on staff…but being a SoM graduate per se meant nothing.

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