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Why Women Deacons?

30. September 2017

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Two NAPARC denominations asked questions of the RPCNA’s Interchurch Committee regarding doctrinal differences, including the practice of women deacons, while considering a stronger ecclesiastical relationship with the RPCNA. Here is one response of the Interchurch Committee regarding questions about women deacons.

Both denominations, while not coming to agree with RP practice, see the RPCNA as seeking to follow Scripture rather than social trends, etc. One of the denominations has subsequently voted to establish stronger ties with the RPCNA, and the other is considering it.

We are encouraged by our common commitment to the Reformation principles of salvation and church polity. It is with respect to the grace-filled questions and pursuant conversation concerning women in the office of deacon that we offer this study with the prayer that God will be honored by it as we proceed into formal ecclesiastical fellowship.

Your committee asked two primary questions:

1. Would you be able to enlighten us on the historical origin of female deacons within the RPCNA?

2. With respect to a statement in the adopted report of the 2001 RPCNA Synod that cites 1 Timothy 3:11 as the “clearest and most decisive text for the question of women deacons”: Is this not overstated?

Origin of Deacons

As you point out, the RPCNA does not agree with John Calvin’s understanding of 1 Timothy ...

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