A few days ago I aired some dirty laundry about my denomination on the topic of deaconesses. Tim Keller, pastor of the church in question (Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan, NY) has publicly responded to that six minute video clip of a church service where a woman was, apparently, ordained as a deacon/deaconess. You can find that response here.
If the minister in question was new and inexperienced, and if he used the wrong procedure in this ceremony, what exactly does Redeemer do when it 'commissions' deaconesses? Would Rev. Keller be so kind as to point us to a video clip of a service where it is done 'corrrectly'? Inquiring minds want to know.
It is my understanding that Redeemer refuses to allow men to serve as deacons as defined in our Book of Church Order and the Westminster Confession of Faith. Instead, that office goes unfilled and a new category is created of 'men and women who are commissioned to do the work of the diaconate.' Two problems in that statement are readily apparent: 1) we have no provision for 'commissioning', and 2) the term diaconate refers to ordained men who serve as deacons. With this sleight of hand Redeemer has found a way to elevate women to church office, if not officially, then functionally.
Again, I'd like to see that video where 'commissioning' is done correctly.