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Doctrine and Polity Committee Releases Latest Paper

Members of the Church of God Doctrine and Polity Committee have released the latest paper in the series. The topic is “Headship and Women in Leadership – Part I.”

The paper is the latest of 16 papers submitted in the Doctrine and Polity series, and is published by Dr. Terry Cross, a professor at the School of Religion at Lee University. Cross, who has contributed several papers on various topics, tackles a relevant issue within the Church of God today, that of women in leadership within the Church. Cross structures his research from I Corinthians 11:2-16 and introduces the paper with the following statement:

“A consistent response to the question whether women should be involved in church leadership today refers to the concept of headship in the Scriptures. If a husband is the head of wife and home, then how can women be allowed to ‘trump’ male headship and lead ‘over’ them in the church? John Piper, a Reformed Baptist pastor and theologian, has pressed this issue in response to what he regards as ‘evangelical feminism.’ From his reading of Scripture, a man is the head of the home; this provides the man with a training ground to become a leader in the church.1 According to Piper, the ‘role distinction’ between male and female must be located both at home and in the church. Women cannot lead in either setting (home or church) and therefore should not become pastors or elders.2 It is the man who has been given the position of leading others; women are to submit to godly male leadership. According to this line of thinking, it is for this reason also that women should not be pastors or teachers over men.”

**This paper is presented as part of the Church of God Doctrine and Polity series and addresses Women in Church Leadership. For the purpose of comparison, the author has attempted to address the topic from a theological perspective with scripture references pertinent to both sides of the issue. Neither paper (part 2 to be published later), from either perspective, is intended to be regarded as a position paper by the International Executive Committee or the denomination.

The paper can be accessed in its entirety by visiting churchofgod.org and clicking on the Beliefs tab/Doctrine and Polity. A direct link to the English version is provided by clicking here. [1] The paper is also available in Spanish by clicking here. [2]

Past Doctrine and Polity paper topics have included such issues as defense of the denomination’s stance on total abstinence from strong drink, speaking in tongues, church and civil government, observance of the Sabbath Day, spiritual gifts, human cremation, Spirit-filled worship, same-sex marriage, and the Hyper-Grace movement. All are available in English and Spanish.

The Doctrine and Polity Committee exists to routinely examine the belief statements, doctrines, and polity in place within the structure of the denomination. The group considers amendments reflective of modern culture and offers recommendations for modifications employing extensive biblical research.

The Doctrine and Polity Committee is a group of ministers, scholars and academicians. They include professors at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary Dr. French Arrington (chair), Dr. David Sang-Ehil Han, Dr. Lee Roy Martin, and Dr. Miriam Figueroa, and Lee Professors Dr. Jerald Daffe and Dr. Terry Cross. Second Assistant General Overseer Dr. J. David Stephens serves as executive liaison.