On today's GenderBlog we see an example of the hard decisions that often face us and our need to exercise a Biblical worldview. Tim Challies continues his blog tour to promote his book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, and was asked today what he would say to a woman who felt that God was calling her into the pastorate. I was impressed with his answer on several counts.
First, while he pointed to the Scriptural requirement that only men serve as pastors, he did not stop there. He also noted that a call to the pastorate is never an individual call, but one that involves the local church. One needs a church before they can be a pastor, and a church that is seeking God's will is the context in which any individual operates. A church operating in this way will also make sure that it does not call an immature or otherwise disqualified candidate as pastor. A person seeking God's will, coupled with a local body of believers seeking God's will, is sure to avoid much difficulty.
Secondly, I appreciate Tim's tone. He recognizes that the question that he was asked is one that many women have agonized over. He does not dismiss them offhandedly but gently points to the truth. I have noticed this in Tim other places as well, to include a short discussion conducted between us yesterday. Tim shows great charity and grace in his answers, which is a rare treat today.