Thursday, May 14, 2009


Last August Dad became an Elder in our Church. Becoming an Elder in our church is a lot harder than it is in most churches, I would guess. Dad had to study for months to take a big long test before he could be approved. He was rushed through the process because our Church needed another Elder. Then just a short while after Dad was ordained, our church decided to switch denominations from the PCA to a much smaller, more conservative denomination. Dad had to immediately start studying for a much longer, harder test to be completed in a shorter time space.

Dad is in Tennessee this week for the church conference of our soon-to-be new denomination, and yesterday he was questioned for three hours by a panel of six men to see if he met the standards to continue to be an Elder when we switch denominations. He wasn't approved, but he is a candidate, which means another interview in the fall.

I guess I am slightly frustrated, though I'm trying not to be, at this whole process. It's been maybe a year since we started down this road. To require so much of Dad in such a short time frame when he has a family still at home, a full time job, a business on the side and an acreage, seems a lot to ask. If you haven't been studying this theology for years and years, it's hard to cram enough of it in your head to be able to answer surprise questions under pressure! Dad is willing to serve, but the standards are so high.

This post has been my opinion on the affair. I needed to vent. I hope you understand.


Nathania said...

I'm sorry that your Dad went through all that and is now not an Elder!! How very frustrating! I totally understand where you are coming from. Is he going to work on becoming one still even though it will be lots more studying?

Tobias Davis said...

Sound's pretty frustrating, I didn't realize how much extra time being an elder required of him! I appreciate that he is willing to do this, and thanks for giving up precious family time.

The Marchioness said...

Thanks! Dad actually isn't frustrated, it's just me. He is viewing it as a learning experience and is being very gracious. He probably will become an Elder in the fall, and yes he will keep studying.

Anna Naomi said...

I hadn't heard whether or not he'd made it through. I know it must be a big disappointment, but I've been encouraged by how he is taking it humbly. That we all might take disappointments so well...

One Salient Oversight said...

Okay, so your Dad was ordained as an Elder with the PCA.

I assume then that he became part of your church's session.

Then your church decided to cut ties with the PCA and join a smaller denomination (I'm assuming OPC or BPC?).

And as a result of moving over, your Dad's ordination was not recognised.

Was the entire body of elders at your church also "examined" by the hierarchy? Did they pass or did they also get "failed" by the hierarchy too?

The Marchioness said...

Thanks, Anna. I'll tell him what you said. He's already gotten down to studying again!

Yes, Dad was ordained last July. We've actually joined a very small, newer denomination, the CPC.

Dad wasn't ordained in this new denomination because he didn't pass the test. Our pastor and other elder were tested as well and they did pass. They've been elders for a long while and have been studying for years and years, so we expected them to pass.

One reason the test is so challenging is that the CPC regards elders as pastors, so they are able to give communion and baptize, etc.

The standards are high, and in a way, that's good.