shall be determined by the Executive Board of Directors and shall be sufficient grounds upon which any person may be disqualified as a Board member or as an appointed officer or employee. Some Scriptures which support such disciplinary action are Romans 16:17, 18; I Corinthians 5:11-12; Galatians 1:18; II Thessalonians 3:6-15; Titus 3:10; II john 9-11. The steps of the discipline of the members shall always be consistent with the instructions given in Matthew 18:16-20 and Galatians 6:1.
The purpose of discipline is restorative, and remedial. However, if a person is separated from the Organization, they may not be re-instated until there has been genuine repentance of the offence and reconciliation made, which will be attested to by the President and confirmed by the rest of the Board.
Whilst most thoroughly affirming the Biblical teaching that women have a vital and very significant place in the mission of The 66 Books Ministry and its many associated projects, a misunderstanding of Biblical gender roles in ministry have attracted much attention and done much damage to the cause of Christ at the turn of this millennium and so we find it necessary to state that our conviction is that, although some of the details may be debated, the essential thrust of Biblical teaching is very clear.
As both redeemed men and women are joint-heirs of salvation; we affirm the equality men and women have in creation and redemption. Both men and women are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Both men and women receive the Holy Spirit and are heirs with Christ. We are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-29). Women as well as men belong to the body of Christ and their service and gifts are essential for the proper functioning of the body. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
At the creation God stated that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Men and women are to work together in partnership both in the family and all aspects of Christ’s church and The 66 Books Ministry. There are, however, distinctions in the roles and the biblical texts which speak directly of the roles of both men and women in Christian ministry.
Timothy was charged with bringing order to the dysfunctional Ephesian church (3:14-15). There had been problems within the leadership of the church (e.g. 5:19-20), and a key aspect of Timothy’s role was to make sure the church in Ephesus had suitably qualified elders (3:1-7). The qualifications assume that the elders will be men (3:2). This should not surprise us given that he makes it clear in the immediately preceding context that men, and not women, were to do the authoritative teaching (2:11-15).
At first glance, there appears to be a contradiction between 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, which assumes that women will pray and prophesy, and 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 which commands that women be silent in the church gathering. However one seeks to resolve this tension, it is clear that restrictions of some kind are being placed upon women. In 1 Corinthians 11, whilst Paul reminds us of the interdependence of men and women, he also makes it clear that issues of authority are at stake: man is the head of woman. The section in 1 Corinthians 14 also indicates that the women do not have the same freedom to speak in the gathering as the gifted men.
Paul roots the prohibition of 1 Timothy 2 in creation (vv. 13-14) and that of 1 Corinthians 11 both in creation (vv. 8-9) and the nature of the Godhead (v. 3). These commands are therefore driven neither by culture, nor by a particular crisis in the church; rather, they are deeply rooted in who we are as creatures and the relationships within the Trinity.
Paul’s teaching on marriage also has some bearing on this discussion. There has been debate as to whether the term “head” implies authority, but the command for the wife to submit implies/suggests that it does. Husbands and fathers have responsibility for the welfare of their families and they should exercise authority in a loving way for the spiritual and physical welfare of their wives and children. Marriage is between one man and one woman.
What we see in the New Testament is, as we would expect, a reflection of patterns laid down in the Old Testament. Leadership and teaching were reserved for men; priests, prophets and kings were men. There were exceptions with regard to prophecy, but these are few and far between. However, as in the New Covenant so under the Old, women are co-workers with the men. In the book of Proverbs, we note that both the mother and the father are to be involved in the teaching and training of the children, and the virtuous woman of the closing chapter has a wide remit in terms of service.
Women, like men, receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit and are involved in the work of the gospel. Women are witnesses to the resurrected Christ (e.g. Matthew 28) and are to pass on this good news. Many of the gospel workers mentioned by Paul in Romans 16 are women. Women are included in the command for us all to teach one another in the body of Christ (Colossians 3:16).
Regarding then the mission of The 66 Books Ministry and any members of Church66 : Reflecting upon the biblical data, we can see that the primary leaders and teachers of the church are to be suitably qualified men. Teaching, though, is not to be restricted to male leaders of any kind. All Christians are to be involved in teaching and encouraging one another. This includes women who are to teach other women (Titus 2:4) and who may well be involved in teaching in other forums. How exactly this works out in practice may well vary within The 66 Books Ministry and from within any Church66 or City-Simple churches.
To ignore the prohibitions of Scripture in our endeavor to fulfill our mission is not something we can endorse. Scriptural oversight is essential for the welfare of The 66 Books Ministry and its associated churches and we believe the word of God makes it clear that this must be done by suitably gifted and qualified men. This will mean, in particular, that all Church66 churches, should not have a woman pastor-teacher, or women elders.
This also has implications for those wishing to join The 66 Books ministry and any Church66 or City-Simple churches as leaders, for those applying to do so would need to accept the position of The 66 Books Ministry on this issue.