First RCN woman permitted to preach in church services
According to Nederlands Dagblad (Netherlands Daily) 8th June 2018, a female theologian and church worker, Gerry Bos, has officially received permission to preach in her congregation, the RCN at Dronten-Zuid. This was decided by the relevant classis of RCN churches in that region. She is the first RCN woman to receive that permission after synod opened the way for women to conduct the church services.
She had already been active in that office, preaching and giving catechism instruction, in the Netherlands Reformed Church (formerly ‘Buitenverbanders’) which had allowed women in office for some years. Following last year’s RCN synod decision to open all the church offices—minister, elder and deacon—to women, Gerry Bos seized the opportunity to preach in the RCN. Given that the RCN had already allowed combined church services with the Netherlands Reformed Churches (they are working towards church unity), the way was open for Bos to become preacher in the RCN.
To be sure, another RCN woman, Ineke Baron, was the first RCN woman given the all-clear to preach, but that had been limited to preaching in prisons. Gerry Bos is the first woman given the official clearance to preach in a congregation of the RCN.
As has been pointed out previously, this decision is the result of new way of interpreting Scripture (see earlier articles about this on this site). That new way making meaning from a text is a fruit of postmodern literary criticism. It emphasises some passages at the cost of others and focusses on allowing our context to help determine the meaning of the text rather than deriving a clear literal meaning from the text. Since today’s culture, with its feminist influences, has women in various positions of authority, Scripture is reinterpreted to suit our ‘age’ by approving of women in the church’s offices. This violates the Word of God and is a compromise with the world.
The Bible is very clear about the position of women in the church. For example, in 1 Timothy 2 we read, “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve …” This doesn’t go down well with today’s culture. However, it’s not today’s culture which is to determine how we live, but the Word of our almighty God and Father.