My wife and oldest son (Bo) were deep in conversation sitting at a red light in Cleveland, Tennessee, when out of the blue she looked at me and said "by the way, how did you vote on the women serving on Pastor's Council issue?"
The next ten minutes I was speechless as Bo and I literally had tears running down our faces in laughter: Dad was busted! It took her 8 days, but Dad was busted! Yes, I voted against women on the council.
Now hear me out, it's not that I am anti-women. My mother is a woman, my wife is a woman, that's the tradition our family has held for years! Truthfully I went to the assembly unsure of how I would vote on this issue. Like some of the old timers, I do find the scripture to be gender specific when it comes to the leadership of the New Testament church. And like the contemporary thinker, I do find women today to be qualified to serve. I also to see the point of hypocrisy that a lady can pastor but not serve on the pastor's council. But, an argument could be made that rather than allowing women to serve on councils to do away with hypocrisy, perhaps they should not serve as pastors. Didn't say I believed that, just that the argument could be made.
For me the turning point in my decision came after hearing Dr. Chris Thomas speak on the subject during the debate. I am told he is the brightest scholar the Church of God has on the New Testament. He said that since the Church of God Pastor's Council is not specifically defined in scripture, then we can do "whatever we want" and not violate scripture. I took "whatever we want" to mean we could vote yes or no and still be scriptural.
Eliminating specific scriptural references, I chose to step back and examine the whole of scripture on the subject. The whole being that from Jesus through the apostles, there was always some point in the structure of the New Testament Church where men and women were distinctly separate in authority. They served in many of the same ministry ranks and positions, but at some point there was a distinction in authority, the male ministering over the female. (don't give me the argument of redemption because the early church was just as redeemed as we are)
If in the LOCAL CHURCH women are allowed to serve on the church council, then in the LOCAL CHURCH there is no longer THAT point of distinction between the male and female. A lady can serve in every role (teacher, singer, evangelist, administrator, etc.) just as a man can. So to me, to keep the church in the "pattern" of scripture, then it was an easy vote no to keep some point of separation.
By the way, when the swelling goes down in my left eye I hope to have a new picture made! LOL.