Summary: James cautioned believers against rushing to become teachers. God teaches that He will appoint whom He pleases. He does, however, give us the criteria for His appointment.
“The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Bring the tribe of Levi near, and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister to him. They shall keep guard over him and over the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, as they minister at the tabernacle. They shall guard all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, and keep guard over the people of Israel as they minister at the tabernacle. And you shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are wholly given to him from among the people of Israel. And you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall guard their priesthood. But if any outsider comes near, he shall be put to death.’
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the people of Israel. The Levites shall be mine, for all the firstborn are mine. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated for my own all the firstborn in Israel, both of man and of beast. They shall be mine: I am the LORD.’”
God chooses whom He wills to serve His people, and the churches appoint whom God chooses. However, the churches of this day appear determined to challenge the will of God by introducing new criteria for appointment to holy office. Today, sex at church is apparently vital! Let me explain. The push began some decades back as a few women began to demand the “right” to occupy the sacred desk; the basis for their demand was their sex. Women wanted to be elders and deacons. We were told that they felt excluded because of their sex. Therefore, it was necessary that progressive denominations and churches should rectify the divine deficit by adopting a new criterion of sex for appointment to holy office.
At first, liberal churches moved to become inclusive in filling the pulpits. These churches did not want to exclude anyone from the “privilege” of pastoral oversight; and so they demonstrated the magnanimity of their heart by recruiting women to serve as pastors. The pulpit was viewed as a place of power and influence. Women had long felt excluded from the positions of power; we were told these moves would rectify the situation. As time has moved inexorably toward a conclusion, an increasing number of churches that are reputed to be evangelical have joined in this grand experiment seeking to appease the demands of our world.
For the first two millennia of this church age, it would have been unthinkable to promote women into holy office. Misogyny did not inform this position—the Word instructed all who accepted the veracity of what God had delivered. However, the Gospel of Diversity demanded that every facet of church work must reflect the potential racial/social/economic makeup of the community. So accommodation and adjustment has become the standard as the Word of God is reinterpreted to say what modern church goers imagine it should say.
Today, an increasing number of broad-minded souls argue that the Word of God is irrelevant when it speaks on such matters as appointment to holy office. We are assured that this is the case because the Apostles were captive to their culture; or more likely, because they were misogynous or perhaps even fearful of women. Interestingly enough, few who promote this rebellion are so benighted as to argue that the Bible does not teach against appointing women to eldership; they simply dismiss what is taught as irrelevant to this day.
Were it not sufficiently insulting to the Faith of Christ the Lord to disregard His clearly revealed will by appointing women to church offices, now we are told that we must rewrite the standards to permit deliberate and defiant sinners to fill church offices. In fact, to demonstrate how broad-minded we are, we must specifically seek out such individuals, soliciting their appointment. If a contemporary church is so fortunate as to find a practising lesbian, the congregation will have “killed two birds with one stone,” so to speak.
Christians are divinely charged with the responsibility to turn from evil. We count it evil for a believer to disobey the laws of the nation. Likewise, we do not seek injury or to harm for any individual. We do not seek to instigate a fight against the prevalent wickedness of the day. However, if we will be true to the Word that has been given and if we will honour the Master, we cannot quietly submit to a reign of evil or ignore wickedness. Especially are we unable to permit the insinuation into these holy precincts of that which is condemned by our God as evil.
From the earliest days of the Faith delivered by the LORD our God, He has designated whom He wills to provide leadership for His people and to serve as His spokesmen. He has prescribed the standards for such service. No individual, no committee nor any group has a right to change what God has set in place for His people. The principle that guides anyone who would honour the True and Living God is that Christians are responsible to know what pleases Him and to respond to His will with alacrity.