1. CRC drops "male" requirement for church office
The Christian Reformed Church's biannual synod voted 112 to 70 to remove the word "male" from its requirements for church office. The denomination had earlier allowed its regional bodies (called classes) to "declare that the word male in the Church Order is inoperative" and allow the ordination and installation of women as elders, ministers, and ministry associates. More than half 26 of 47 of its regional bodies had done so. Last night's vote essentially reversed this local option; while the national body has no gender restriction on offices, classes may "set restrictions on women serving as delegates" to their meetings. A separate vote this morning allowed women to serve as delegates to CRC synods.
2. Many votes at Southern Baptists meeting. Now comes the spin
One of the resolutions most discussed before the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting, Tom Ascol's call for "integrity in church membership," won't even come to the floor for a vote. Meanwhile, there was a fair bit of debate over a resolution on global warming, and no debate at all (just an "overwhelming" assent) to a resolution asking the denomination's executive committee to create a database of pastors who have been "credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse." The Baptist coordinator of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which has recently given special attention to the Southern Baptist Convention, praised the vote as very positive and a step forward.
But the big news so far is the passage, by a vote of 2,137 to 1,565, of this resolution:
The Baptist Faith and Message is not a creed, or a complete statement ...1
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