The Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) is considering further rebellion against the scriptures by changing their title restriction and starting to allow women who are in high leadership roles in the church to be called “pastor” – a proposal which is supported by over 60% of the denomination.
The curent position paper on their denominational website, which was updated just three years ago, reads in part:
Women may fulfill any function in the local church which the senior pastor and elders may choose to delegate to them consistent with the Uniform Policy for Accredited Churches and may properly engage in any kind of ministry except that which involves elder authority...
While desiring both genders to be mobilized to exercise their gifts in a variety of ministries and leadership roles, The Alliance continues to affirm its understanding of Scripture that elders are male members of the local church. This includes the elected elders of the local church and the senior/lead pastor.
In many ways the designation is just a formality, with women in the CMA functioning in the office of pastor, but don’t use the title as a courtesy, all with a knowing wink and smile to the congregations, who are in on it as well.
It’s for this reason that the CMA is looking to shake things up at the denomination’s annual General Council meeting later this month. President John Stumbo has already come out in support of it, releasing a video where he laments the fact that “some of our policies unnecessarily restrict otherwise called and qualified ministers” and suggesting that by not letting women be pastors they’ve overstepped the limits of scripture.
The policy change, when all said and done, would schizophrenically still allow only men to be Senior Pastors but would allow women to be ordained and hold “key places of leadership in the Alliance at the local church, district, and national levels,” while using the “pastor” moniker. Presently both men and women can go through a two-year training process with the CMA – the end result is that men are ordained and women are “consecrated,” which is a distinction without a difference.
The fact is that if the Christian and Missionary Alliance thinks they can hold the line on women not being senior pastors they are sadly mistaken. They’ve already lost the battle, the war, and host of firefights and skirmishes along the way, but are just too blind to see it. The minute they give an inch and start taking surveys to see what the denomination thinks, start bringing in resolutions to consider the matter, begin forming exploratory committees to consider the pros and cons of the problem, or begin taking votes, it’s over.
The correct way to handle this, of course, is to root out anyone in favor of it and then cull the mischief-makers in a bloodbath of excommunications and congregational shaming.
But because they will not do this, within a decade they’ll be gathering once more to put for General Conference 2029 to celebrate their resolution to let pastrixes become Senior Pastors, patting themselves on the back for this vile act of stunning theological presumption and betrayal.