I have heard the phrase used, “based on a plain reading of the text” many times by those that are standing in opposition to women’s ordination over the last few years. This phrase was was used by Clinton Wahlen in his TOSC position paper, it has been used in articles on the Ordination Truth website, on ADvindicate, and many other places. We’ll ignore for now the danger of the phrase without proper explanation or understanding, we as Adventists after all wouldn’t want anyone to live by a plain reading of Romans 14:1-9, but that is another discussion for another time.
Since this is a favorite phrase by those in opposition of women’s ordination my sincere inquiry is this, how do you apply the position “based upon the plain reading of the text” to Titus 1:5, 6?
“ For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.”
I would like to know are we to apply the plain reading to all of verse 6? Or just the phrase regarding gender? If it is the latter wouldn’t that show that ones interpretation of these texts is really based on bias and not truly a “plain reading of the text”?
But if it is the former are those in opposition to women’s ordination truly ready to call for all ministers with children who are unbelievers, children who are accused of dissipation or rebellion to turn over their ordination credentials and cease serving as Pastors/Elders?
Such a move would not only effect those in favor of women’s ordination whom you may want to see removed from the ministry, it would also effect many of those opposed to WO. Some of the strongest voices against women’s ordination would after having won this debate “based on a plain reading of the text” have to resign their posts and take-up selling insurance or real estate.
So I ask in all sincerity are those in opposition to women’s ordination based on the “plain reading of the text” ready to ask some of their most vocal supporters, their favorite pastors to resign because they have children which have sadly abandoned Jesus and His Remnant Church?
Are they willing to acknowledge that the position “based upon a plain reading of the text” truly only applies when we want it to apply?
Please help me understand how I am supposed to understand your application of “a plain reading of the text.”