"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Call for Intellectual Honesty and Consistency

Emily Hunter McGowan recently wrote a post over at SBCOutpost entitled Who Shall Have Authority Over a Man? In the comment section I wrote the following:

In our church, we have women who chair committees, serve as trustees, teach men in Sunday School classes and have had women teach from the pulpit. We do not have women "pastors" or "elders" at our church - for we have chosen to abide by the BFM 2000 confessionally - but unlike others, our church would have never chosen to make that issue a test of Southern Baptist fellowship and cooperation. Though I personally would not lead our church to hire female pastors or elders, we believe in giving freedom in this area to other churches because we see the possibility of interpretive differences regarding I Timothy 3 and we feel deeply that it is ultimately a local church decision.

I have said publicly that I would not personally lead my church to hire a female pastor, would not be a member of a church where the senior pastor was female, and I have no problem personally with the BFM 2000* on this issue. However, I am honest enough to say that my discomfort is personal and cultural — and not Biblical.

Yesterday a Texas Southern Baptist pastor challenged me regarding my comment. Pastor R.L Vaughn's tone was gracious as he wrote in his blog . . .

I certainly respect your feelings of personal and cultural discomfort. I have some things that make me personally uncomfortable as well. But, that being said, if we realize it is just that personal discomfort, don’t we have some obligation to change our comfort zone? Some have made comparisons of the female pastor issue to both slavery and segregation. What if we inserted those into the statement — 'My discomfort (with ending slavery) is personal and cultural — and not Biblical' or 'My discomfort (with integration) is personal and cultural — and not Biblical

Vaughn continues in his post - switching to the third person . . .

Burleson is representative of what some people think on the issue. Others believe that having or not having female pastors is a Biblical rather than a personal & cultural issue. In several blogs I've read online, folks have compared the female pastor issue with past issues like slavery and segregation. Wade Burleson himself made the comparison in the thread from which I am quoting. My point is that one can't have it both ways. If you want to compare keeping women from being pastors to keeping slaves, then perhaps you should react the same way to both. Wouldn't that be consistent? (emphasis mine)

Mr. Vaughn asks a great question. In fact, he goes to the very heart of the issue.

Has there ever been a time that Southern Baptists spoke forcefully, eloquently and passionately in support of the institution of slavery? Have Southern Baptists ever defended slavery from a perspective of trust in, and standing upon, the inerrant and infallible Word of God? Mr. Vaughn acts like this has never happened in the SBC. He implies that anyone who supported slavery -- just as anyone who supported "women pastors" - is doing so based upon "cultural" biases or preferences and is ignoring the clear teaching of God's Word. Pastor Vaughan acts as if any argument supporting slavery would have to be both ludicrous and incredible.

Enter Basil Manley.

This 19th century Southern Baptist pastor, President, author, and theologian preached a message at First Baptist Church, Charleston, South Carolina in April of 1837 entitled Duties of Masters and Servants. Shawn Ritenour presented a scholarly paper at the Austrian Scholars Conference at Auburn, Alabama in March, 2002. Dr. Ritenour writes of Basil Manley's message:

Manly’s arguments justifying the institution of slavery (were based) on the Scriptures.

In the sermon 'Duties of Masters and Servants' Manly first presents a Biblical justification for the existence of the institution of slavery and then exposits on the regulations God places on both masters and servants. In doing so, Manly uses as his primary text, Ephesians 6:5-9 which exhorts, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same
shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.” He additionally draws upon an impressive set of passages taken from the entire breadth of Scripture, including verses out of Genesis, Joshua, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Malachi, Matthew, Luke, I Corinthians, Galatians, I Timothy, Titus, James, I Peter, and Philemon.

In defending the institution of slavery by appealing to Scripture, Manly aligned himself with the bulk of Southern Christian thinkers. Many of the arguments put forth by Southern clergy, including Baptists, were rooted in the doctrine of the infallibility of Scripture.

Allow me now to issue a call for intellectual honesty and consistency among Southern Baptists . . .

(1). Some Southern Baptists in the 1800's used the infallibility of Scripture to justify the institution of slavery and accused anyone who disagreed as liberal.
(2). Some Southern Baptists today use the infallibility of Scripture to justify prohibiting women from teaching men or holding a position of authority over men and accuse anyone who disagrees as "liberal."

Anyone see the consistency?

(1). Some Southern Baptists in the 1800's were not convinced the Scriptures supported the insitution of slavery, but personally supported slavery for personal and cultural reasons and did not harbor animosity toward those on the other side.
(2). Some Southern Baptists today are not convinced the Scripture prohibits women from teaching men or holding positions of "authority" over men, but personally support the prohibition of women pastors for personal, cultural and "confessional" (BFM 2000) reasons, but do not harbor animosity toward those on the other side.

Anyone see the consistency?

I agree with Mr. Vaughn's call for consistency.

What is needed is an intellectual honesty of where we Southern Baptists have been, where we are now, and where we may be in the future. To say we have erred does not compromise one's belief in the sufficiency and infallibility of the Word of God.

We Southern Baptists are people who believe in the inerrant Book - with a history of seemingly errant interpretations.

That is both honest and consistent. And when we have that attitude we won't be quite as smug and uncooperative as we would be without it.

In His Grace,


Wade

184 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wade said, "However, I am honest enough to say that my discomfort is personal and cultural — and not Biblical."

Are you saying the Bible allows women to be pastors or elders and you believe that? Do not confuse the issue with slavery. I am asking you a question about women pastors. Leave the slavery issue alone please.

Thank you.
Mike

Anonymous said...

For many, the issues of slavery and segregation were resolved by the recognition that the others were fellow human beings, not some inferior creature. It's sad that so many cannot have the same awareness about the male-female issue. Many women have left the SBC so they can serve God in the way they are called. Many others have rejected Christianity altogether because they have been told it teaches female inferiority. These teachings are as harmful as previous adherence to slavery and segregation.

There is much in Jesus' teachings that can make us uncomfortable - giving up possessions or loving enemies, for example - but that is no reason not to try.

Susie

Anonymous said...

After reading this piece can we change our attitude about one another?
If not, you need to look in the inerrant Book and read 1st Corinthians 13 again.

NativeVermonter said...

Did not Biblical slavery differ from American slavery in that one usually resulted from a loss in battle (or indentured servant hood) and the other entailed ripping someone from their homeland and forcing them to serve somewhere the remainder of their earthly lives? I do believe that our abolitionists brethren did have the proper interpretation. My disagreement with American slavery would not have been “cultural” but indeed Biblical. My disagreement with women elders would not be “cultural” but indeed Biblical. "Anyone see the consistency?" (But a Deaconess would be fine.)

John in St. Louis

Anonymous said...

I think the key word here is "fear." Fear of change. Fear of the unfamiliar. Like so many who grew up in the SBC, I was convinced that the Bible prohibits women serving as pastors. It was so bad that on a trip to my hometown in Maryland, my family's pastor, a woman, wanted to visit with me and talk shop. I was beyond rude and condescending back then, and now as I look back, I am embarrassed at my behavior.
As recently as last year, the church where I am a member was to have an associate pastor fill the pulpit. I almost didn't go, because I didn't want to sit under the preaching of a woman. But I went, and God seriously dealt with my heart that day. Not only because of the gentle and compassionate, yet firm way she dealt with the text, but because of my fear and prejudice over the years.
The next day I called her and apologized for my attitude, and she shared her story with me. She had grown up in the SBC, and her church told her that she was missing the mark when talking about God's calling on her life. They told her she was a sinner. So she left the SBC, and followed a more friendly path.
I think it is fear, not a proper interpretation of Scripture that keeps women out of the pulpit. Maybe it is fear of the competition--she preached most of the men I have heard in my lifetime right under the table. She was good. Maybe that's what men fear most.

Jason Kearney

CharlieMac said...

Anon-Mike,
The issues of biblical meanings regarding slavery and women's roles in the church are both issues of interpretation. Were we to leave denominational affiliation out it would even be proper to bring the old beliefs that the Bible supported the sun moving around the earth into the debate. (Joshua 10:13)
Wade's statement about Southern Baptists wrongly interpreting an inerrant Bible (he failed to mention that no inerrant copies are known to exist) are so true.
Anon-anon,(8:15) So you claim to have an inerrant copy of The Book? Are you absolutely sure your copy translated the meanings of the ancient languages into English correctly?
Nativevermonter,
Can you please explain the difference in taking a slave as a spoil of war and taking a slave by force from their home?
Susie is correct. Many of our Christian beliefs drive people away from the very Savior we profess to share. Gandhi even said it was so.
Mac McFatter
Semmes, Al

Belief Matters said...

It is not fear just a deep conviction that the Bible doesn't allow for women pastors.

Darby Livingston said...

If one begins doubting his interpretation of every doctrine based on the existence of misinterpretation in the past and present, then how long until the gospel is one of the doctrines that comes under scrutiny? Just because someone got something wrong doesn't automatically mean every interpretation is in danger of being wrong. Everything is not thrown up for grabs by the misunderstandings of some.

Anonymous said...

Wade, you are really stirring the pot this day. As one who (in years past) has read many of these 19th century defenses of slavery--many extending even to the thesis that it was a positive good, because it allowed these "poor creatures" to hear the Gospel, whereas they would not in their native land--I believe the comparisons are correct. Logically, for an inerrant book to be used correctly, there must be an inerrant interpreter; and history proves we do not possess those. (The catholic church recognizes that, hence the pope's interpretation is considered inerrant, at least in matters of faith and practice.)

Some will no doubt argue that my position (which, it being first thing in the morning, may well be less consistent that it would be later in the day) means we cannot draw any conclusions from the Word. That is taking my argument to an extreme I do not take it; of course we can draw conclusions, and those conclusions may become convictions. But we should recognize that convictions must be somewhat tentative, and not become dogmatic.

And yes, American chattel slavery was somewhat different from slavery as practiced in the ancient world; but I do not find any Biblical warrant that the difference made slavery OK with God. It still dehumanized the owner, and cheapened the life of the slave.

John Fariss

Kaylor said...

Darby argued that a misinterpretation in the past does not mean every interpretation today is wrong. That is correct, but it does not critique Wade's argument. Wade's point is an excellent one because the slavery and women issues are so closely tied in the Bible. Wade is not saying that because someone misread one book of the Bible that today others are misreading another. Rather, the verses used to justify slavery are often right next to the verses used to justify the treatment of women.

Wade Burleson said...

Mike,

I am saying I know the Biblical arguments on both sides of the issue.

Wade Burleson said...

Darby Livingston,

You said, "If one begins doubting his interpretation of every doctrine based on the existence of misinterpretation in the past and present, then how long until the gospel is one of the doctrines that comes under scrutiny?"

I appreciate your spirit and concern for the gospel.

The gospel is already under scrutiny - and has been from day one.

But a humble approach to interpretation of the inerrant Scripture does not negate the power of the gospel. I am puzzled why there may be fear that humility in the interpretation of non-essentials causes one to fear losing a grip on the essentials.

That sounds paranoid to me.

Wade Burleson said...

I don't mind anonymous comments with signatures, but anonymous people without them - unless you are a missionary in a security three zone - are for cowards.

This is a coward free zone.

greg.w.h said...

I see what you're doing there, Wade: you're saying belief in an inerrant source revelation isn't validation of our interpretation of it.

Next you'll be saying that we either need deific validation of our interpretation OR we must reason together to interpret that revelation...which means at times accepting others belief as just as valid as ours.

I'm on you...no more tricks like that!!

Greg Harvey

P.S. I'm not sure deific is a word, but it strikes me as having a similar construction to salvic. ;)

Wade Burleson said...

Greg W.H.

No truer statement has ever been made in my comment section than your's above . . .

You're saying belief in an inerrant source revelation isn't validation of our interpretation of it.

If all could understand that concept we would stop tossing around the inerrancy word as if it were a vaccine against stupidity.

And I happen to be an inerrantist.

But it doesn't mean I am not sometimes stupid. Jason Kearney's response above strikes a chord of humility and is a model for us all.

Anonymous said...

Wade Burleson said...
Mike,

I am saying I know the Biblical arguments on both sides of the issue.

Wade, please answer the question based on the fact "you know the Biblical arguments on both sides of the issue."

Do you personally believe from your study of the Bible that women can be pastors and elders?

I am asking you to reach a conclusion and tell what your personal belief is rather than "you know the Biblical arguments on both sides of the issue."

Thanks.
Mike J

Wade Burleson said...

Mike,

Why is it that you can't accept an answer. I know the Biblical arguments on both sides, and I believe that it is possible for both sides to be in error.

When I come to I Timothy 3 text I teach BOTH positions, let people know that conservatives disagree, tell them our church does not have female pastors for reasons other than a Biblical argument since we see both sides of the debate.

How is that hard to understand?

volfan007 said...

i dont believe that the bible condemned slavery. it doesnt. nor does it teach that we should have slaves. it simply told how a slave owner and a slave should behave as christians. i dont like slavery. i dont want slavery to come back. i like the capitalistic society that we live in. and, in this capitalistic society, we have owners of businesses and workers. and, if the workers dont like the way owners do things, then the worker can switch owners. or, he can even become an owner himself. aint america great!

also, the issue about women being pastors is very clearly a biblical one for me. what does the bible teach? and, it's very clear that women should not be pastors...so clear that we have to wonder how anyone could see it any different.

thus, i'd like to know what mike asked under his anonymous comment. wade, do you believe that the bible teaches that women can be pastors?

david

Wade Burleson said...

Mike,

Allow me now to press.

There are women pastors in evangelical, conservative churches across the world, including Baptist, charismatic, Presbyterian, Assembly, etc . . .

In your study of the Word of God, are these women continuing in open, unrepentant sin - and if so, is Ichabod (the glory has departed) written over the ministries, and do you believe that unless they repent they may very well not be saved?

I need an answer please.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Volfann,

I invite you to answer my question to Mike as well.

Darby Livingston said...

"But a humble approach to interpretation of the inerrant Scripture does not negate the power of the gospel. I am puzzled why there may be fear that humility in the interpretation of non-essentials causes one to fear losing a grip on the essentials."

I'm all for a humble approach to interpretation. However, I don't think that means that a correct interpretation can't be found. And I don't think it means that one is forced to waffle on everything besides the gospel. The gospel is essential. But I strive to convince people of things other than the gospel based on the exposition of Scripture. I admit that my interpretation may be wrong. But I still give the reasons for my interpretation. Erasmus wanted to remain doctrinally tentative. Luther would have none of it saying, "The Holy Spirit is not a skeptic." The question is whether the gospel is the only thing the Spirit inspired, or did he inspire the rest. If he inspired the rest of the Bible, as well as the gospel, then we must believe it's possible to be guided by him into the truth. Which means if there is a disagreement between Christians - either one or both are wrong. But there is an objective truth. I also think a look at mainline denominations would prove that a loosy-goosy handling of the text may not begin with the gospel, but eventually the gospel will be a target. It's not paranoia. It's observation. Once a decision is made that the correct interpretation of the Bible cannot be found on a lesser issue, it's not long before the same logic is applied to the gospel.

WTJeff said...

Before this thread degrades any further, I would like to commend RL Vaughn and Wade for the way they've handled this post. Due to Mr. Vaughn's and Wade's attitude, we are able to have a dialogue regarding this issue rather than fall into labeling and name calling. Both have made excellent points for us all to honestly consider. I think if one looks at this post objectively, we can see how we can disagree, yet cooperate.

Grace,

Jeff Parsons

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Thanks for your messages. I appreciate what you have said. That have been illuminating and reveal much.

Allow me now to press you please.

However, you have not answered the question below. The question is black and white. Again, I appreciate your responses but you have not answered the question and I believe it is an important one given your position as an IMB trustee elected by SBC convention.

I am asking you to reach a conclusion and tell what your personal belief is rather than "you know the Biblical arguments on both sides of the issue."

I await your answer rather than taking the conversation down another road with a question for me and others. Nice debate technique but please answer the question. Thanks again.
Mike J

Thanks.
Mike J

RammerJammer said...

Wade,

I can answer your question for you...from my limited experience in East Asia the past few years I can unequivocally say that the Christian church in China would not have exploded to the millions of believers it is today without women pastoring churches!

I grew up in Alabama, and still live here, and the idea of a woman pastoring my local church makes me uncomfortable, I will be honest.

But when I went across the world and met some absolutelty amazing women who are leading huge churches and risking their lives for Christ, my comfort became less important than the Gospel being preached.

God is using women as pastors around the world to lead staggering numbers of people to Christ- both men and women. We need to stop looking at the Bible as if it was written only for Americans. Where are the "World Christians"?

Matt Latta

Anonymous said...

Slavery

1. I don's see exegetical evidence that slavery is a sin
2. I do see exegetical evidence that slavery is not ideal for man (Paul's instruction to slaves in 1 Corinthians).
3. Out of love for neighbor, I'm glad slavery is no longer in existence in America.

Women

1. I see exegetical evidence that they are priests to God who are to be spiritually engaged in doing the will of the Lord.
2. I see exegetical evidence that authority issues are tied back to creation (Timothy, Ephesians 5, 1 Cor. 11).
3. I think Jon Zens makes the best argument for women functioning as teachers of men in the church (if I understand him correctly)--and I don't believe he is driven by a feminist agenda. I think he is driven by a theological agenda to smash the clergy/laity distinction into a million pieces.
4. However, point # 2 above still makes me side with the male leadership side.
5. No, I don't think I have all the answers, so don't ask (ha, ha, ha, ha ,ha...)

Alcohol

1. I believe that believers are ONLY under the law of Christ.
2. Therefore, I don't see exegetical evidence for moderation being a sin.
3. I don't drink at all [for those who are wondering:)]

As far as I can tell, I think I am being consistent--even if I am wrong:)

Benji

volfan007 said...

God can use a donkey if He wants to....in fact, He has.

but, women preaching is not God's design, nor is it His best way to do things. now, can God use it. yes. martin luther got saved in a catholic church, so anything is possible...God can use His Word. but, a woman who is a pastor, or who stands to preach and teach over men is wrong...plain and simple....wrong. it's not God's design.

now, i'm not saying that they're not saved. no one that i saw has even mentioned such a thing. but, i'm saying that they are either very misguided, or ignorant of the bible, or else they very well could have a rebellious spirit.

let me ask you something, wade. did God not love king david? was king david not a man after God's own heart? and yet, david had many wives. this was not God's design either....yet, david did it. and, God still used david in a great way. but, him having many wives brought about trouble and heartache in david's life, and in the nation of israel. the same thing goes for women pastors and preachers and teachers over men, and for divorced men being in the ministry, and anything else that goes against the clear teaching of scripture.

david

Wade Burleson said...

My personal belief, Mike, is that pastoral leadership is male - but I also personally believe I could be wrong on this issue. I have said this one cajillion times. :)

Mike, you illustrate to me the problem we are facing in the SBC - you want black and white answers on non-essential gospel issues and threaten anyone who disagrees.

I am saying that people like us should take a deep breath - believe what we believe on the non-essentials - and cooperate with those who disagree with us. The question you should be asking is 'why do some desire this question to be 'an essential' of the faith?

Wade Burleson said...

David,

Thanks for your answer.

I appreciate your honesty in saying every woman pastor in the world is either ignorant, misguided, or rebellious.

I respect you David, because of all the people who have debated this subject you remain consistent.

You believe there is nothing inherently wrong with slavery from a Biblical standpoint. There is something wrong from a Biblical standpoint with women pastors and since your equate your interpretations of these doctrines on the same level as your belief in the inerrant Bible, those who disagree with you are either ignorant, misguided, or rebellious.

I find your honesty refreshing. I mean it.

Anonymous said...

Those that I know of that defended slavery were not slaves themselves. They benefitted directly or indirectly from the system. Most of those who say women are inferior are male. The women who defend this view negate their own argument by speaking out, since they apparently expect to be heard.

Answer this, guys: are women human or not? Did Jesus die to save women or only men? Are disciples expected to use all their abilities to serve Him?

Susie

volfan007 said...

wade,

i always try to be honest, and i always try to surrender my heart and mind to the Lord and to His Word. sometimes, i fail Him...too many times. that's why i'm so glad that He's such a gracious God.

but, in answer to your statement above. it's not an essential of the faith, but as sb's we want to be true to the clear teachings of the bible...do we not? and, we want to please God with how we practice our christianity and in how we do church...do we not? and thus, we should strive to do what God clearly teaches in His Word, and this is clearly taught in His Word. so, why would we not want to follow this clear teaching? are we trying to go along with the modern day, feminist thinking?

david

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade: God can do anything He wants to, anywhere He wants to, anytime He wants to, any way He wants to, and to or with anyBODY He wants to.

God has told us all we know about how He works. We make the mistake of thinking that what He's told us is all there is. That's one way we elevate ourselves and humanize God. Doing that sends chills up and down my spine.

If God wants to use a lady to preach, He can and will do it and I'd better listen. For me to say that the Bible indicates He will never do that, is ludicrous.

What God has told us is all we know, but it sure isn't all HE knows. And come to think of it, I don't know any clear instructions on this issue and being a good Baptist, I think the local church is going to have to decide that. I'm not ready to go back to the PCA.

jthomas899 said...

Wade to be follow your argument isn't the same argument used by homosexuals. The clear commands of Scripture are contextualize away as some meaningless commands given years ago? Looking forward to your response.

Blessings
Jeff

volfan007 said...

suzie, you said, "Answer this, guys: are women human or not? Did Jesus die to save women or only men? Are disciples expected to use all their abilities to serve Him?"


of course women are human. i dont know of any conservative, bible believing preachers or theologians who would say different. and, of course, Jesus died for women as well as men. and, women are to use thier abilities to serve the Lord. every bible believing Christian believes this.

respectfully, what's your point? this doesnt change that God has made men and women different, and has given them different roles in life.

david

jthomas899 said...

It would also be helpful if people would understand (susie) that godly men and women who do not believe in women preachers/pastors do not CONSIDER WOMEN INFERIOR. Why do you assume this? Acceptance is a two way street: If you want me to accept your convictions, please accept my beliefs as convictions, not a social bias.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

Sexual immorality contextualized and done away with as a command of God - compared to contextualizing of a command for women not to proclaim the glorious riches of Jesus Christ to the sexually immoral.

Are you serious?

jthomas899 said...

Yes, the principle you teach applies to both. Now, I believe homosexuality is a sin. In fact it is clearly commanded in Scripture

But so is this: That a woman is not to teach a man.

I am simply pointing out that the same argument used by you, can be used by the homosexual community, and in fact is use by them.

So when you preach on homosexuality---do you present both sides of the argument---if not why?

Blessings
Jeff

Anonymous said...

Wade Burleson said...
"My personal belief, Mike, is that pastoral leadership is male - but I also personally believe I could be wrong on this issue. I have said this one cajillion times. :)"

Wade, are there any "non-essentials of the faith" that are black and white to you? Or are there any second or third or fourth or... tier issues that are black and white to you."

Wade, are there any "essentials of the faith" that are black and white to you? Are there any "essentials of the faith" that are not black and white to you?

And just because you have said something a cajillion times, does not make it right--nor does it make it right if I said it a cajillion times. However, when the Bible says it, I believe it to be right. Women cannot pastor or be an elder. What is so hard about believing that without waffling? Are we afraid/fearful of being correct in the world today?
Mike J

Mike Ruffin said...

Wade,

I am not an inerrantist; I can live with the term infallible (I'm sure the good Lord is glad to know what I can live with!). Our real problems begin when we equate infallibility or inerrancy with literalness.

Just for fun, I like to play a little game called "what our churches would look like if we were really took the NT literally." Here's a start; then everyone else can play at home.

1. When we gather for worship, we would have a psalm,
2. then a teaching,
3. then a revelation,
4. then a tongue,
5. then an interpration (1 Cor 14:26).
6. But we would not let more than two or three tongues and interpretations take place (1 Cor 14:27).
7. Two or three prophets would speak and
8. Then the other prophets there would pass judgment on what they said! (1 Cor. 14:29). (What a staff meeting!)
9. The women would keep silent (1 Cor 14:34).
10. A bishop/overseer/pastor (oh, what is a literalist to do with such a word?) would be:
a. Above reproach
b. The husband of one wife
c. Temperate
d. Prudent
e. Respectable
f. Hospitable
g. Able to teach
h. Not addicted to wine (doesn't say anything, literally speaking, about beer or liquor)
i. Not pugnacious (!)
j. Gentle
k. Uncontentious (!)
l. Free from the love of money (!!)
m. Etc.

But the truth is, isn't it, that we are all selectively literal. Some of us choose to take the verses about women literally without taking the cultural context seriously while taking it seriously in other places so as to enable us to skip over other "outmoded" teachings.

If anybody out there really takes it all literally, let's make an appointment to get together and take up some serpents and sip some poison while we turn the other cheek and pray for our enemies.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

Thanks for being straghtforward in your views. You believe . . .

"A woman teaching a man the glorious riches of Jesus Christ is as much of a sin as the act of sexual immorality through adultery and homosexuality."

This is why I will never leave the SBC. Too much to straighten out.

:)

Scott Gordon said...

Jeff,

I have posed the same question previously. The answer I received is what you are about to hear. Your argument will be pitted point by point so as to equate women preachers with being homosexuals.

Wade has not dealt with the essence of the matter...the damage his consistent contextualization does to biblical text and biblical, consistent, systematic theology. I do admit that determining a contextual interpretation for biblical passages is a narrow ledge down which to walk...BUT we all choose to walk it to some degree. If not we then MUST open the door to the pro-gay theology of those like Soulforce. Darby's point is quite salient on this issue, if we open the door, how wide will it swing?

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

My confidence in the atonement of Jesus Christ for sinners is not shaken by churches that call women as preachers. I feel sorry for those who immediately see a crisis in the Christian faith when someone is serious about seeing texts in context and come away with a different conclusion than us on non-essentials.

Jeff said...

I glad you see how clear I am, and I am glad we do not rate sins. Which sin can we commit and still be faithful to Scripture? Please straighten me out on this one. :)

If the call is correctly handle the word of God which part are we not to handle correctly?

Thanks for your humble service to the convention by attempting to lead some people like me to the light.

But then again, perhaps I am staying put for the same reasons, or at least that is how I contextualize my ministry.

I am surprised that a man of your intelligence cannot grasp the principles used by homosexuals are the same as those who believe in women preachers/pastors. Your smiley face reminds me of the smiles I get from some people after the insult me. They say it with a smile, but the intent is still received.

Nevertheless Blessings to You
Jeff T

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

No offense intended. I honestly appreciate a man as straightfoward as you who compares the dark and sinful euphoria of homosexual relationships with the dark and sinful practice of a woman proclaiming the glorious riches of Jesus Christ to a sinner who happens to be a man.

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

I trust your readers will take the time to not only read Emily's very good essay but also the comment thread which, from my perspective anyway, reveals quite nicely just who is the inconsistent one.

What, I'd really like to know though, if you don't mind is which SB theologians argued since the Bible is infallible, therefore the institution of slavery is so? That does not seem to be Manley's argument but rather his assumption. Hence, it appears a hermeneutical question, not one of infallibility.

Moreover, as a followup, it'd be nice to know specifically whom you are referring to today that argues from infallibility to complementarianism rather than arguing from Scripture's *meaning*.

You further state that "Some Southern Baptists in the 1800's were not convinced the Scriptures supported the insitution of slavery, but *personally supported slavery for personal and cultural reasons* and did not harbor animosity toward those on the other side." What do you mean by "personal & cultural"?

And, if you don't mind, could you please name for us some of these giants of SB history who believed they stood squarely for slavery but not because Scripture warranted it?

What seems to continually confuse me is how those who are either egalitarian or self-proclaimed 'complementarians'--but for cultural and personal reasons, not scriptural--cannot seem to understand that SB, for good or for bad, became a complementarian community in 2000. Most egalitarians fully accept this. They know they possess little hope for a place in the denominational service line. Why one continues to kick this dust baffles the heck out of me.

Mercy. With that, I am...

Peter

Jeff said...

Mike R, I would like to play a game and see what our churches would like if contextualize everything.




As you can see their is blank spot because that is exactly what the church would be in our world.

I am aware of the dangers of an extreme literal approach to Scripture, but there are certain areas where Scripture is clear as I have tried to demonstrate to Wade, but he can't get past the analogy to see the principles of the argument.

Nevertheless Blessings to You

Jeff T

Debbie Kaufman said...

I must admit that it is difficult for me to read many of these comments. Thankfully I am comfortable as a woman who is in Christ, that was not always the case. Reading some of these comments makes me remember why.

Paul said...

I believe the major problem many have in all of this is a lack of faith in the guidance of the Spirit of God. We must have every jot and tittle hammered out with logical, hermeneutical precision to avoid error because we no longer believe the Spirit is up to the task of leading us into truth. We no longer believe that he is capable of sufficiently guiding us where Scripture seems to be difficult or unclear. We think that is too "subjective" and prone to error, when in reality our dependence upon our own reasoning/interpreting abilities has not kept the church from error - ever. And so we beat one another up with our own interpretations out of fear rather than confidence in God and his work. It was just a matter of time before this conversation went down the road of "if we budge in small things we'll soon give up the gospel" because we don't trust the Spirit to keep us.

Sad, really.

Darby Livingston said...

"I feel sorry for those who immediately see a crisis in the Christian faith when someone is serious about seeing texts in context and come away with a different conclusion than us on non-essentials."

Don't cry for me Argentina. I for one do not immediately see a crisis in the faith over differing interpretations. However, I also do not think that eventual crises in the faith can't happen by going down this road. For instance, John Piper is about to release a refutation of NT Wright on an issue that seems to be nothing more than a contextual disagreement. It is precisely because Wright is so solid as an expositor, and so respected by such a wide range of Christians, that sharp minds like Piper must refute him. In the end, I think Piper will show how the gospel itself is threatened by the different view.

Debbie Kaufman said...

No offense intended. I honestly appreciate a man as straightfoward as you who compares the dark and sinful euphoria of homosexual relationships with the dark and sinful practice of a woman proclaiming the glorious riches of Jesus Christ to a sinner who happens to be a man.

That's our minister folks. :)

jthomas899 said...

Debbie, But who are we judge the homosexual as sinful? What right do we have? Are we being consistent? The homosexual would say we are not. My point which both you and Wade missed was a comparison of the principles not people....When you jump to conclusions it makes dialogue difficult.

Darby Livingston said...

Let's be honest, an elder is far more than just someone proclaiming the glorious riches of Jesus Christ to a sinner who happens to be a man. That may be the task of an evangelist. But eldership is about more than that. I hope we don't have to define every term now in order to be taken rightly.

jthomas899 said...

Again to show the shortcomings of Wade's argument.

Suppose, The homosexual pastor preaches the Gospel, and a sinner is saved. So does it make it right to misinterpret the qualifications for the office of pastor?

Nevertheless Blessings to You.

Jeff T

Anonymous said...

Bob,

You said... "God can do anything He wants to, anywhere He wants to, anytime He wants to, any way He wants to, and to or with anyBODY He wants to."

You seem to forget this fact, namely that God cannot deny Himself and that He will not contradict Himself or His Word. God means what He says, and says what He means.

The Bible record is clear textually and contextually... Pastoral leadership is given by God to men. Men are to be the spiritual leaders of the home and the church. This is God's design, and it illustrates the miraculous relationship of Christ and His Church.

Are men and women equal in the eyes of God... Absolutely!

Are men and women indentical in the eyes of God... Absolutely Not!

Equal worth... but not equal roles.

Thanks...
Joe W.

Big Daddy Weave said...

Volfan,

Do you hold that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God?

Aside from holding to the inerrancy of Scripture, what must a person ALSO believe to be in good standing with you?

It seems that so many have forgotten that many "inerrantists" are also "egalitarians." Down here at Baylor, we call 'em Northern Evangelicals. In many cases, that's an appropriate description.

The current SBC has decided to exclude this group of inerrantists. So be it. It's just rather odd that the so-called "Battle for the Bible" was supposedly about inerrancy yet folks like Volfan aren't willing to cooperate with a group of inerrantists with a different view of gender....

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Acts 18:

24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor[b] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.


Seems to me Priscilla was involved in explaining to Appolos the way of God more clearly. Woman teaching a man.

Matthew 28:

5The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."


Women were the first evangelists of the resurrection.

Galatians 3:

28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


Seems as clear as Paul saying women arent to teach men.

The question becomes, as Wade has alluded to, there may be more than one explanation as to why Paul women not to teach. Everyone on this list is likely familiar with the arguments.

Generally, the women were uneducated. Where they were educated, like Priscilla, there is no condemnation.

It would have been culturally inconceivable for a woman to teach a man. Not so today.

The "authority" argument doesn't wash with me due to Galatians 3.

Also, my grandmother (in a different denomination) pasted a church for over 40 years with wonderful results. You'll have a hard time indeed convincing me that women are not qualified to pastor.

But feel free to try.
:)

Thanks Wade for your even-handed approach to this subject.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

sorry for the typos.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Let me save you all some time. Here is a baseball bat in the shape of a Bible. Go ahead, beat me. It's faster.

Wade Burleson said...

Debbie,

You're funny.

:)

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

I'll gladly take the blows for you Debbie.

Does it seem odd to anyone else that "we" say women are equal-they just cant do this or that? That seems unequal to me.

And what about this one?

Ephesians 5:

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.


Men are definitely supposed to submit to women. And vice-versa.

volfan007 said...

i'm ready to join with anyone... anyone...anyone who believes the bible and seeks to live out it's clear teachings. now, if someone wants to dismiss the clear teachings of scripture... then, adios, muchachos! yall didnt know that i could speak spanish, did ya?

now, about things that are not clearly taught in the bible...the gray areas...we can agree to disagree all day long and still worship together, and then go eat a cheeseburger together. but, when someone starts denying the clear teachings of the bible, then there's a problem.

david

Wade Burleson said...

Volfann,

Would you please give me the clear teachings of the Bible on the following:

(1). Can a woman ever teach a man or have authority over a man?
(2). Should the Lord's Supper ever be shared with people not part of your local church?
(3). Is it a sin for a believer to pray in a language he does not understand?

Those three are sufficient for now. Also, please answer this question. If someone disagrees with you on the above, would you consider him or her a Southern Baptist worthy of your cooperation?

Belief Matters said...

David, I want to have a baby, but can't. Yet, I am equal to a woman.

Please no jokes :)

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Belief Matters,
Your desire to have a baby is a physical difference not an equality difference. I enjoyed the thought though. Thanks for the laugh.

Volfan,
I assume you agree with the clear teaching of scripture that women are never allowed to speak at all in church?

1 Corinthians 14

33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, 34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Anonymous said...

DavidM,

You said "Does it seem odd to anyone else that "we" say women are equal-they just cant do this or that? That seems unequal to me."

No more odd that "we" say God the Son is equal with God the Father--He just couldn't do this or that [i.e., disobey His Father]

1 Cor. 11:3

Oh, how I need to read some of this "Risk Management" book...

Grace

Benji

Darby Livingston said...

I want to say I see where Wade is coming from here. I generally agree with his point, I just think great care must be taken to determine where to draw the line. He makes it clear in his last response to volfann that there are parts of Scripture open to interpretation. Those texts aren't going to get any clearer. One is just going to have to settle on what he thinks is right and humbly wait it out. In the meantime, he can't demand everyone else conform to his view on the issue. I agree with Wade on this, and try to be very careful about what I call "a clear teaching of Scripture."

volfan007 said...

david m.,

it would be helpful if you would take things in the context in which they were written. and, i believe that it's imperative to me as a christian to understand the bible and obey it's teachings...dont you?

this chapter was about tongue speaking and prophecy in the church, and some were apparently asking disruptive questions during the worship service. that's what this chapter is all about.

therefore, i'm also against women speaking in tongues in the church service, and asking questions when it's not appropriate, or prophecying in the worship service.

you know, i think some of yall should heed what paul was saying here: "for it is shameful for women to speak in church."

wow! can it get any clearer than that. so much for women pastors and preachers. thank you, david m. for bringing this verse to our attention at this point.

david

Belief Matters said...

David, You assumed that being a pastor is a equality difference, and I say it is not. It is about roles that God has given us in life. We are both right. The Galatians Scripture has to do with being equal,but nothing to do with our role in God's kingdom. If we are all equal why is Wade a better preacher, than me. Various reasons, but it appears God has gifted him with better skills to some degree. Is that fair?

Jeff

Wade Burleson said...

Darby,

You and I agree on what the issue is all about. Thanks for the comment.

greg.w.h said...

I actually think the most powerful argument so far is the one in this question by Wade:

"In your study of the Word of God, are these women continuing in open, unrepentant sin - and if so, is Ichabod (the glory has departed) written over the ministries, and do you believe that unless they repent they may very well not be saved?"

Not only did my parents serve in Indonesia with many single, career-long, female missionaries (including Catherine Walker for those of you who have participated in the PrayerLife study), but I also have a number of close friends who serve in other churches in roles that are restricted--in Southern Baptist life--to men. While the women missionaries were always careful in their actions and attitudes to comply with even the most rigid expectations of the "sending churches", there were times that they preached and times that they established new churches and times that they taught men...because no one else was available and the spiritual need was great (similar to the comments about pastors in China.)

Indeed, Catherine Walker, my mom and Marge Worten all wrote programmed instruction materials that were used in the churches to teach pastors after the Semarang campus was closed. My mom (BA English, Howard Payne; MA in Rel Ed, SWBTS; and more recently PhD in Ed from University of Hawaii) has also contributed to several other Baptist pubs used by teachers.

In order to claim that ALL of these women were at various times in sin is also to claim that Deborah--the judge of Israel--was also in sin. Yet she offered the role to a man and warned that the men would be shamed for being unwilling to take up that role. She wasn't in sin. Neither should we carelessly claim that these more recent women--many or most serving in roles where men were unavailable or unwilling to serve--are in sin.

In fact, if anyone is in sin, it is the men who claim that women should not be able to serve in certain roles before volunteering to meet the needs those women were willing to meet. Kind of like complaining about abortion before you file to adopt children in foster homes or in orphanages.

Which leads me to this thought. If this verse is true--

"Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

--then how come we spend more time complaining about others actually doing those prepared in advance GOOD works instead of getting out there and joining them?

Greg Harvey

volfan007 said...

wade,

1) i dont believe that a woman should teach over men in the authoritative position as teacher of doctrine according to 1 timothy 2:12-15. it's not what God wants us to do, and thus it will lead to weakness and bad things down the road.

2) the Lord's Supper is open to interpretation in my opinion. it's a matter of how the church sees it...how they believe.

3) while it's not a sin for a believer to pray in a ppl, it's not taught in the bible. if they feel the need, emotionally, to do this...if it helps them in some way, then go ahead. it aint gonna hurt anything. unless, they start teaching it and promoting it...that everyone should do it. then, it becomes a problem...a big problem.

wade, as i've said before, i've pastored churches that had women teaching men in a class...i have pastored churches that believe a little differently about the Lord's Supper(who should be allowed to take it)....i have pastored churches that have people with a ppl. i have loved these people. they have loved me. i have worshipped with these people. and, i have sought to teach them the truth about these things. btw, when the women were shown the truth about this, they all willingly quit teaching classes with men in them, and told me that they never felt right about it anyway.

and, if a church had a woman pastor and wouldnt repent of this, i'd be for putting them out of the association that i belonged to. after much trying to help them see the light.

david

Tim Guthrie said...

Maybe one must look at the understanding of "office" vs. "doing good works" to really grasp the idea that Women should not be Pastors. And please know that in using the term "office" i am looking at that from a biblical sense and not from a "sitting in a chair" perspective.

One might also remember that God forbids many things that man may not understand.

Indeed much is being revealed in this discussion - much!

Wade Burleson said...

Volfan,

I am interested in your consistent hermeneutical response to David B. McLaughlin's question - not your inconsistent, twisted contextualized of a response. Don't make me lose my respect for you David. :)

Your answer to Mr. McCLaughlin contextualizes the text and evades the clear teaching of Scripture. The command is for 'women to remain silent' and there is no word about 'tongues' in the verse at all. In fact, the verse clearly says opposite of what you say. The Bible does not say "If a woman wishes to speak in tongues or interpret tongues she should keep silent"

The Bible says "If a woman wishes to inquire about something she should keep silent and ask her husband at home."

David, you earlier said, "If someone wishes to dismiss the clear teachings of Scripture . . . adios"

Do you wish us to bid you farewell?

The Scripture is clear. A women is to be silent in church. Why do you put up with ignorant, misguide, or rebellious women? Do you not confront them and seek to correct them of their sin?

Seriously, I am interested.

Or could it be that there are some texts that are not as clear as you would like for them to be, and there are some texts that must be contextualized due to the culture at the time in which it was written?

Could it be that David B. McLaughlin has caught you in a trap of your own making?

Belief Matters said...

Wade, You continue to make my argument for me about contextualize and homosexuality. Are you not aware they use the exact same argument you are using? Come on Wade, you know this. A man as smart as you! :)

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Or could it be that there are some texts that are not as clear as you would like for them to be, and there are some texts that must be contextualized due to the culture at the time in which it was written?

Could it be that David B. McLaughlin has caught you in a trap of your own making?


Don't know if it worked, but that was certainly the plan. You made my point nicely for me Wade.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Darby,
Amen brother preach it!

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Volfan,

My brother you've placed yourself at a horrid disadvantage--answering a host of questions from some who refuse to entertain questions themselves.

I hope you survive. Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Belief Matters said...

I don't see where David has done anything at all. He has misapplied Galatians 3. He has determined his own means of what it means to be equal.

I would assumed David has no problem with homosexual pastors since those pastors are questions as cultural by some people.

Jeff

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,
God’s Word never changes to keep up with Our Times. Therefore
1Ti 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
Dr. John Frame has this to say about allowing Women Elders in the church and I agree with what John has to say. I have the highest respect for this man of God and the Wisdom God has Given Dr. John Frame. I do believe Dr Greg Welty would agree with me that Dr. Frame is one of Gods most Humble Servants.

Please read this, at:
http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/2002Women.htm

In His Name

Belief Matters said...

I have notice that Wade does not answer questions, ignores those things that he cannot answer, and or contextualizes them to fit his own argument.

Jeff

Anonymous said...

David,

What if a pastor of a church in your association has a bad temper? This temper erupts frequently and is well known by many in his community. People from the local school to the Christian bookstore talk about it.

Would you seek to "put them out" of the local association?

Or would you let his congregation deal with it?

Sheila

Anonymous said...

Time to indulge me. Thanks ahead of time.

What's funny (but not really) is that 10 years ago, I'm Volfan (and a few others). I lived in mostly white suburban America. I'm making around 90 grand a year. I have a nice home, 2 cars, 3 kids, and a wife. I'm recording a few of my favorite shows during the day and after tucking the kids in I will watch them with my wife. Every so often we would go out to eat at a restaurant. Once or twice a year we would take a little trip somewhere. And of course, every Sunday and Wednesday we are in church. Playing the game. Teaching a class. Kids are in AWANA's. Singing in the choir...yada, yada, yada.

And then, God calls us to the mission field.

Ugh!...and WOW!!!

Now, we have none of that...yet we have so much more.

Some of you need to get to the mission field to straighten out your "exegesis skills". I used to think I was smart also.

What can God do and who can He use? It all becomes real clear out here away from the "distractions".

And I know by now that I better not get in the way with my demands that I know it all because it's all so crystal clear!!!

I'm here. Please use me again today, dear Lord.

SL1M

volfan007 said...

wade,

i really dont know how to answer to your response. of course, we always take scripture in context with which it's written. but, some things are clearly universal in thier application. i suspect you know that, and you know better than that jumbled response that you gave me. our job is to learn the bible as it's written, in context, and believe it and obey it. and, for those things that are hard to understand, we should let the rest of the bible be our context as well.

wade, you ended your response to me like this:"Could it be that David B. McLaughlin has caught you in a trap of your own making?"

what? what in the world are you talking about? i'm not trying to beat anyone, nor win anything. i'm just trying to believe the truth. a trap? good grief, charlie brown.

david :)

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Sheila


1 Timothy

1Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer,[a] he desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.


Seems to me the local congregation would be within their rights to remove your hypothetical pastor from their hypothetical pastorate for their bad temper as well as alot of other things. Better yet-should have known them better before placing them in such a position.

I don't know what they should do about putting the pastor out of the "association" since scripture doesn't speak of such things.

Not to spark the debate further or in a new direction, but for the record, it is my belief that the prohibition in v2 about being the husband of but one wife had to do with polygamy and not divorce. However, the cautions in v4 mean we should not look lightly at divorce among leaders. I do not believe however that every divorce should disqualify someone from leadership.

And yes it says "husband." But i dealt with that earlier that a woman in leadership would have been culturally inconceivable. Not so today.

But I agree with Darby's post above about being careful about what is "clear."

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Jeff,
Homosexuality is more than just a cultural issue. It is a physical issue. IMHO, scripture is more clear on the homosexuality issue than the woman teacher issue. In case that wasnt clear enough, no, I do not agree with homosexuality. If someone is homosexual, they should be celebate.

I would be interested though in your scriptural list of roles that men and women are not allowed to share.

Seriously. I'm not trying to lay a trap here. Just curious.

Anonymous said...

David McLaughlin

I was actually referring to volfan. But I did agree with your response! The situation I described is obviously a painful local church concern, and not an associational matter.

Sheila

Wade Burleson said...

Peter and OnlyMYBeliefMatters,

All relevant and important questions have been answered thoroughly. You may not like the answers but we won't keep answering until the answer is what you like.

Bennett Willis said...

Personal ramblings:
I seem to recall that one of the BFM's said that Jesus was to be the filter through which scripture was to be interpreted. As a result of this point of view, I have always taken some of Paul's teachings with a bit of salt. He is consistent (like Volfan007) but sometimes he seems to have failed to study adequately what Jesus modeled about women and their service to God. Also Paul points out that sometimes he speaks for himself--and when he says "I do not let women..." this seems to me to be a self expression.

I would encourage each of us to find the comment in this thread about women being pastors of living churches in other parts of the world. [05 September, 2007 11:34] Perhaps we should decide that we should not be so confident about women being limited in their positions of service. Or do we think that God's rules are different for China?

Bennett Willis

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Also Paul points out that sometimes he speaks for himself--and when he says "I do not let women..." this seems to me to be a self expression.

amen

jthomas899 said...

Wade "Be A Hero" Burleson :)

Its your blog! So do what you want, but don't expect others to answers questions that they deem secondary.

David, I have already answer that question. I can't keep answering till you get the answer you want.

Anonymous said...

If females are not to teach males, at what age does this begin to apply? From birth (the nursery), elementary grades, youth, - just where do you draw the line. I suspect that the most adamant one against females teaching males does not have all male teachers in his church from the nursery up.

In the same book (I Corinthians) where Paul is quoted as telling women to be silent in church he says how women should pray and prophesy (preach?): with their heads covered. It seems to me that some study of context and interpretation is in order to reconcile these passages.

Just thought I'd muddy these already murky waters some more. :-)

Susie

Cate Hanchez said...

I teach 5th grade Sunday School--boys and girls. Recently our memory work included Matthew 28:19-20. How should I teach this to 5th grade girls? Was the Great Commission given to everyone or just to the men?

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

To the contrary, *all* is not *all* here, brother. *All* happens to be, at least from my view, what can be answered with as little commitment as possible. That way, there's little need to stick to one's guns.

Take the question about the phantom SBs of 1800s who believed slavery was an institution to be embraced not because it was Biblical but because it met "personal & cultural" criteria. Who these great Baptists are we are not privy to...yet. Ah, but they exist...Trust us, they exist.

With that, I am...

Peter

Belief Matters said...

The Great Commission is for all people. The office of pastor is for men only, not women.

A True Southern Baptist :)
Jeff

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Lumpkin,

Do you agree with our Baptist forefathers who, according to their own pen, believed slavery to be a divine institution and based their view on the infallible Word of God?

If not, would you please explain why your view is different from theirs, and there can be two differing interpretations of the same, sacred, infallible text on an issue that seems so clear?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Peter: Why do you think the Southern Baptist Convention was formed to begin with? History Peter, history.

greg.w.h said...

You know, Jeff (beliefmatters), your stance is consistent with the traditional notion held by Southern Baptists. And I have no disagreement with that. But in reality, I suspect God permits and blesses a broader interpretation than Southern Baptists bring to the table regarding women in certain leadership roles.

And to the extent that we disagree with the Savior or the Father on this, we are actually wrong, even if we have Scripture justifying our position. I am offering that we should only with great care cut off fellowship or denounce other members of the Body of Christ who are the Redeemed of very land, tribe, and nation. Because doing so violates our shared confession of 2000. That doesn't mean we can't isolate ourselves and remain separatists from the broader Body, but denouncing those whom Christ loved and redeemed is hardly justifiable.

And I suspect the Holy Spirit is as offended by us denying the full work of Redemption as Jesus seemed to be by warning us against denying the work of the Holy Spirit. What will we do if the glory of God departs from us because we're too stiff necked to admit that God gets to run his universe HIS way...that he's God and we're not??

And if the New Testament was just another set of rules that self-righteous men were supposed to enforce, why bother with Jesus dying on the cross? Wasn't that system already in place? We ought AT LEAST to proceed with GREAT humility. I'll offer that some of the women who read the responses of men on this thread might take issue with the humility with which the question of the role of women is being approached in the SBC and in this discussion. If they are taking issue with it...is it impossible to imagine that God does, too?

Greg

Wade Burleson said...

OnlyMYBeliefMatters,

Many of us would much rather be identified as a true Christian rather than a true Southern Baptist.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

jthomas899,

David, I have already answer that question. I can't keep answering till you get the answer you want.

Scoured this page and cannot find it. What time and date was the post?

Lin said...

"I'll gladly take the blows for you Debbie"

Mr. Mclaughin, That is one of the most loving comments I have ever seen anywhere on the blogosphere.

Lin said...

1 Timothy 2: 15But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint

How do we deal with this one as inerrantists?

Belief Matters said...

David, I have already answered that.


A True Historic Baptist :)
Jeff

Alan Cross said...

Volfan said,

"i'm ready to join with anyone... anyone...anyone who believes the bible and seeks to live out it's clear teachings. now, if someone wants to dismiss the clear teachings of scripture... then, adios, muchachos! yall didnt know that i could speak spanish, did ya?"

now, about things that are not clearly taught in the bible...the gray areas...we can agree to disagree all day long and still worship together, and then go eat a cheeseburger together. but, when someone starts denying the clear teachings of the bible, then there's a problem."



David,

This was exactly the point that David Rogers, Dwight McKissic, Sam Storms, myself, and many others made over the Private Prayer Language issue. We are inerrantists who read the clear teaching of Scripture to allow for a prayer language between a person and God based on a clear reading of the text. I am not trying to talk about PPL again, but the clear reading of the text was thrown out by your compatriots, in my opinion, and we were led down a path of hermeneutical gymnastics to make the prescribed position fit.

So which is it? Do we follow the clear teachings of Scripture or do we manipulate the texts to make them say what we want them to, and then call that the clear teaching of Scripture? Or, is it YOUR version of the clear teaching of Scripture only? How about MY version? Or, should we all follow whoever happens to hold power, because in the 1800's those who held to slavery being the clear teaching of Scripture were in power, so their version won the day.

Again, I am not talking about women preachers here. I am against a woman being in authority over a man because that is what I see Scripture teaching. I am talking about your statement regarding the clear teaching of Scripture. When do we follow it and when do we enforce OUR version of the "clear teaching of Scripture?"

Wade Burleson said...

Alan,

It would be interesting to hear an answer to your question from David, BeliefMatters, TThomas899, Peter Lumpkin and a host of others - but I'll settle for David.

Darby Livingston said...

Alan,

If your questions could be answered in a consistent, articulate way, much progress could be made. If your questions aren't allowed to carry the weight they impose, then not so much. I am so looking forward to an answer.

jthomas899 said...

I have simply adopted the "hero" style of answering questions. I urge all others to treat Wade as he has treated us. Disregard questions we don't want to answer. Posts like this is why I will at SBC Convention next summer. :)

A True Southern Baptist.
Go to BF&M2000 :)

Jeff

Darby Livingston said...

One has bowed out.

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Wow, Wade, what a post. 106 comments, so far. I confess that I am happy not to be the one answering all the inquiries and challenges.

But, I appreciate you bringing this matter again to our attention.

My question for you may or may not be a rabbit trail. I leave it to you to decide and I respect your decision.

Knowing your position on the BFM as the sufficient guide for convention entities, then what is your feeling about the fact that the very same BFM excludes someone like me (and others) from serving in SBC entities because of my (our) disagreement with the relevant section (i.e., office of pastor limited to women) of the BFM?

I know this isn't terribly important to most, but it is immediately applicable to me and others like me.

Grace and peace to you and yours,

Emily

Chuck Bryce said...

All,

I'm not bright enough to set a trap for anyone so answer away:

Is there an "office" of Prophet in the Bible (ephesians 4:11?) and what does it mean to prophecy? What is the nature and function of a prophetess? (Luke 2:36 for one)

I have grown up in churches without women as Deacons. Is there a difference between the diakanous of 1 Timothy 3:8 and the diakanon Phoebe of Romans 16:1 (Is the real problem here that in many of our churches Deacons function as a ruling board rather than as servants as the word suggests?)

I'm just curious for everyone's opinion/interpretation.

Chuck

Wade Burleson said...

JThomas899,

I sincerely desire to know how old you are? No offense please. I am interesting to know your age because of your last comment. I would guess you in your twenties with less than ten years of experience in the pastorate.

In His Grace,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Emily,

I wrote a letter in the late 90's that was published as an op-ed in our Baptist state paper The Baptist Messenger that argued against the insertion of the female section in the BFM 2000.

It's not that I necessarily disagreed with it personally, but rather, it is very, very dangerous to place demands for interpretative conformity on non-essential issues within a major confession of faith that forms the basis of denominational cooperation.

I have repeated this mantra for nearly a decade and have done all I can to draw a line in the sand to ensure it never happens again.

I also believe that you are not prohibited from serving in the SBC. Simply let people know your position on this non-essential and tell them you affirm all the essentials of the faith.

In His Grace,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Chuck,

You ask a great question. The whole issue of 'office' sounds very Roman Catholic. Jon Zens does a great job in my opinion on this subject. Google him and you will find the appropriate articles.

Anonymous said...

Wade Burleson said..."My personal belief, Mike, is that pastoral leadership is male - but I also personally believe I could be wrong on this issue. I have said this one cajillion times. :)"

Wade, are there any "non-essentials of the faith" that are black and white to you? Or are there any second or third or fourth or... tier issues that are black and white to you."

Wade, are there any "essentials of the faith" that are black and white to you? Are there any "essentials of the faith" that are not black and white to you?

Pressing you a bit please, however, when the Bible says it, I believe it to be right. Women cannot pastor or be an elder.

What is so hard about believing that without waffling or straddling the fence? Is the pastor of Emmanuel, Enid afraid/fearful of being correct in the world today? Surely not.

davidinflorida said...

Wade,

God made Eve as a helper to Adam.

Paul refers back to this order when he discusses men and women in church context in 1 Tim 2:12-14.

When Paul describes bishops, deacons, and elders, he describes them as men; 1 Tim 2-8 & Titus 1:9

Now , go back a few comments ago to SL1M. He is in the battle field where most of us lazy hyper-blessed great Christian theologians probably wouldn`t dare to go. And while I`m sure that they would like to have the time to sit around a debate things all day they don`t have that luxury. Although he didn`t` mention it, I would guess that he has seen women pastors used in the field to bless the Kingdom of God.

In Vietnam where pastors spend years in prison for preaching Jesus, at times women have had to step in to keep underground congregations alive.

In other areas women have had to step up to the plate because men were not availible or they just wouldn`t do it , thereby relegating their authority to the women.

In lieu of all of this, I feel strongly in both ways. In other words, I see your (Wade) confusion......

Debbie Kaufman said...

Wade: I began chuckling at anonmyous' last question to you. Especially since the poster is anonymous. But also they obviously have not read your posts for the last two years. :)

Bennett Willis said...

A bit of levity in this long list of comments. One of my college professors also taught my Sunday School class. He told of the time (in high school) when they were going to have a debate on slavery. He was very pleased to get the "against it" side of the topic. His opponent had an ancestor who was a preacher from the 1850's and they had the handwritten copies of his sermons.

Dr. Barber (John) said that he was trampled by scripture and lost the debate by a lot. He was a history teacher but he got a lesson in real history that day.

Bennett Willis

Lin said...

"God made Eve as a helper to Adam."

Exodus 18

"4The other was named Eliezer, for he said, "The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh."

The word 'help' is 'ezar' which is the exact same word used in Genesis 2 to describe Eve's role.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

I have some serious questions.

Do you think the BF&M 2000 is more of a institutional/social conservative confession of faith than a theological confession [like the First London, Second London, Abstract, etc.]?

If so, then do you think its social emphasis plays a huge role in what links the SBC to the Republican party?

Think about the difference between merely approving of a confession verses getting excited about a confession.

Do you think the BF&M 2000 is a confession that is more likely to get a culture warrior excited than a theologian?

It seems to me, based off of my reading of old Biblical Recorder articles, that it was in 1902 that the Biblical Recorder went from having an emphasis on meaty theological articles to an emphasis on institutions.

And I am wondering if the BF&M 2000 shows the results of a shift from theology in the denomination to institutions and social stands.

What think ye?

Benji

Wade Burleson said...

Benji,

I think ye have hit the proverbial nail on the head.

jthomas899 said...

Benji good insight, I would have to agree with you. Therefore, why the push at last years convention concerning the BF and M...what was the motive behind that?

-1) Theological.
-2) Social.
-3) Political.

Jeff T---just a wanna be.

CB Scott said...

Wade,

I know this is not really the topic of your post.

Vol said he would "never want slavery to come back."

Vol, It has never left. There is more slavery inour world today than at any time in history. Thousands of slaves come into this country every year. Thousand go out of this country every year.

White slavery is epidemic. Governments (including ours) do not really try to stop it due to the economic problems it would cause it they did.

Sorry. It is just a touchy subject for me.

cb

Tim Guthrie said...

Benji,
You do make a point but only partial. Though there may be some of a social/cultural slant to the BF&M 2000 we must realize that Theology should speak to and how we respond to the social/culture. Not visa versa.

The Bible is clear regarding the role of women concerning Pastoring - it is against it. Why the confusion unless we are trying to allow our society/culture effect our Theology?

All other scenerios and analogies are useless and emotional if you ask me.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Tim,

I am quite comfortable with the social stands on marriage, homosexuality, abortion, and even male leadership in the church in the BF&M 2000.

However, as I pointed out earlier, there is a big difference between merely approving of something verses getting excited about it.

The BF&M 2000 is a confession I approve of generally, but not a confession that makes me do anything close to cartwheels.

Don't get me wrong, I am a complimentarian and I am BIG TIME against abortion.

But I don't want these kinds of social stands to be DRIVING the denomination.

I want the gospel to be driving the denomination.

It is an issue of what is driving or being emphasized in the denomination.

I also don't like the idea of the denomination playing back on its heels in reaction to the culture instead of penetrating the culture with the gospel.

Alan Cross said...

I am sure that the reason that Volfan and others have not answered my question is because they have not been back to this blog. With it being Wednesday night and all, I can understand. I was only just able to return myself.

Volfan (David), if you do return, I really would love an answer to my previous question in case you have missed it. It was comment #99 or so. If anyone else wants to tackle it, I would appreciate that as well.

Belief Matters said...

I'll do something that Wade tends not to do I'll answers Alan's question.

-1) Always follow them.
-2) Always do our best to reform.

Now spring your trap. ;)

A true Southern Baptist
Jeff

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Should women be allowed to braid their hair?

1TI 2:9 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

No traps. Just wondering what your views are on this passage.

I think the best case to be made against women teaching men was brought up by davidinflorida who pointed out that in the context of saying women should not teach men, Paul referenced Adam being formed first then Eve. This is why I am not dogmatic that everyone else is wrong but me on this topic.

But I think we also need to recognize that this passage contains some sticky statements.

If we accept the "literal" interpretation that women cannot teach men, then from the very same passage we have to accept that women literally cannot braid their hair and are literally saved through child-bearing.

And why did Paul say here "And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." when he said in Romans:

RO 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--

Why did he not say that death came through one woman?

My point is that this passage is not as clear as some may say. No matter how many times they say it.

There, horse dead.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Tim,

The Preamble to the BF&M 2000 states:

"New challenges to faith appear in every age. A pervasive anti-supernaturalism in the CULTURE was ANSWERED by Southern Baptists in 1925, when the Baptist Faith and Message was first adopted by this Convention. In 1963, Southern Baptists RESPONDING to assaults upon the authority and truthfulness of the Bible by adopting revisions to the Baptist Faith and Message . The Convention added an article on "The Family" in 1998, thus ANSWERING CULTURAL CONFUSION with the clear teachings of Scripture. Now, faced with a culture hostile to the very notion of truth, this generation of Baptists must claim anew the eternal truths of the Christian faith.

Even with the "positive" sounding language of "answering/responding", this statement sounds REACTIONARY to me.

It's like what a friend told me once about the church John MaCarthur pastors. He said that if some public figure falls into adultery, you have all these churches that start having sermons on adultery.

But not the church MaCarthur pastors because they have already dealt with adultery.

In other words, MaCarthur takes a positive approach to preaching the Bible instead of merely "reacting" to what is going on in the culture.

It seems to me that the SBC has possibly been on a reactionary ride for a number of years now.

Belief Matters said...

David, Just because you say its not clear doesn't mean anything. Your appear to totally ignore sound interpretive skills, so that you can convinced yourself that its ok to have woman pastors.

My question is if we quit taking a literal approach to Scripture on certain areas where does it stop? Why not take allegorical approach?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

If the BF&M 2000 is a culture warrior confession.

AND

If it is going to be held up as a strict subscription standard

THEN

The tone of the SBC in the coming years will be culture warrior oriented, not gospel oriented because what is emphasized in the confession will set the tone for the denomination.

Fair analysis?

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Your appear to totally ignore sound interpretive skills, so that you can convinced yourself that its ok to have woman pastors.

I'm officially insulted. Which sound interpretive skills did I ignore? How do you know I ignored them?

My question is if we quit taking a literal approach to Scripture on certain areas where does it stop?

We stop taking it literally when it is not intended to be taken literally, and/or when it is given in a cultural context that may no longer apply. I'm pretty sure that is a sound interpretive skill.

For example:
Do you literally believe a woman is saved through child-bearing?

If not, then where do your unsound interpretive skills end?

Belief Matters said...

Didn't mean to insult. I should have put a :) after all that makes everything ok when you do that---right Wade? :)

Belief Matters said...

This horse is dead. I'm moving blvg that the Bible clearly teaches that only men can be pastors.

Jeff

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Jeff,
I'm already over being offended. Lets get a cheeseburger sometime.

dm

Dr. Danny Chisholm said...

I'm actually surprised this discussion is taking place in SBC circles. The BFM 2000 is crystal clear on the matter.

Anonymous said...

I remain puzzled over how often the NT seems to separate the genders' roles, and then proceed to tear down all the differences among humankind.

Having been in multiple settings where women led groups of worshippers, and, at other times, workers, I have to admit they all worked as well as when men enjoyed protected access to these positions.

Our traditionalist brothers need to check whether they reflect only the infallible scriptures or maybe just a little bit of human tradition and comfort mixed in.

Greetings from Hoptown, Ky., the home of human tradition, weakness, and comfort zones.

Steve Austin

Belief Matters said...

Steve, Just because it works doesn't mean its biblical. Just because it feels good doesn't mean it biblical. You can't put experience above the Bible.

A True Southern Baptist

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

I see why some get very frustrated with the blogging medium. It seems that many of us on this thread are simply talking past each other, rather unintentionally, I'm sure.

I dare say we don't keep our mouths (or fingers) still long enough to really listen to (read) what the other is saying.

I pray that our listening skills improve, not just on this blog, but everywhere in the SBC and beyond.

jthomas899 said...

Good to hear from you Emily. Your logic is worth listening to even when we might disagree.

I am trying to remember if you are the Emily who is known for her Greek skills. A friend of mine commented on a lady from DTS (?) who had quite an understanding of biblical Greek.

Does modesty keep you from telling us if you are a Greek Guru? :)

A True Southern Baptist
I bleed Lottie Moon.

Jeff T

Gary Snowden said...

I couldn't help but chuckle to myself at the last comment by JThomas as he signed off saying he bleeds Lottie Moon. Having read your earlier comments in the string, I think you're idealizing Lottie as the symbol of the Cooperative Program or the IMB's annual mission offering and little more. Or don't you realize that she was a preacher and teacher of the gospel and did so with men in her audience? That would get her branded by you as unbiblical as I read you earlier remarks.

jthomas899 said...

Gary, Thanks for appreciating my humor. You must be the smartest man on this blog. I have serious at times, but also been writing stuff that's really off the wall.

Serious: However, the difference has been pointed out. A woman might preach, but what we are discussing is the office of pastor.

Cheers to Gary
Still Bleeding Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, and Dixie Jackson (for the Arkansas' people on the blog)

Jeff

CharlieMac said...

To those men who absolutely know without a doubt that the Bible forbids a woman from pastoring a church or teaching men, I would ask does your woman wear gold, pearls or expensive clothing? (Same passage, same context, same Paul, yet one you enforce, one you poo-poo.)

How can any of us ever absolutely unchangingly know, while on this side of heaven, exactly what God intends us to understand about the Holy Scriptures?

Can we learn more and understand more if we approach scripture study from a known viewpoint or when we approach scripture study with and open listening heart?

Paul absolutely knew what God had called him to do. That is until he was struck blind. I pray that more of us will be willing to listen and learn before we are face to face with the Lord.

I agree with my fellow Alabamian, God can (and does, contrary to the BF&M) use anyone in any position He wants.
Mac McFatter
Semmes, AL

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

A woman might preach, but what we are discussing is the office of pastor.

OK, let's kick this dead horse.

I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

If you take this literally, how in the world does it allow women to preach? Especially to men?

Where does this passage literally talk about the office of pastor?

When I went to bed last night I tohught I understood your position. Now I am thoroughly confused.

Scott Shaffer said...

Charlie Mac said,

How can any of us ever absolutely unchangingly know, while on this side of heaven, exactly what God intends us to understand about the Holy Scriptures?

With all due respect, this is a frightening statement. If that is the case, why did God reveal Himself in His word? How then do we apply 2 Tim 3:16-17?

Gary Snowden said...

Jeff,

You're switching horses on us in midstream. (I'm not sure if it's the same dead one that others have referred to or not). Above in a quote dated Sept. 5 at 12:48, you state, "Yes, the principle you teach applies to both. Now, I believe homosexuality is a sin. In fact it is clearly commanded in Scripture

But so is this: That a woman is not to teach a man."

It seems that the issue for you is not just a woman pastoring but also preaching and teaching, hence my reference to Lottie Moon who obviously did both. I'm asking for some recognition of the inconsistencies here.

Bob Cleveland said...

We look at instances in Acts where people "received the Holy Spirit" and they spoke in unknown tongues: we say that does not happen today.

We see Paul commanding us not to forbid speaking in unknown tongues. We (in a practical way) forbid it.

We see Paul say HE did not permit women to teach or usurp authority over men. We say women thus cannot teach.

We see Paul instructing women not to even SPEAK in church. We disregard that as a cultural thing.

We see women as prophets ... which is exclusively an appointment by God ... and deacons, and say God can't appoint them to such things now.

We see Jesus driving sellers of merchandise out of the temple (with a whip, no less) and we let people sell tapes, CD's, books, T-shirts, cokes, etc in ours. Jesus was dealing with sellers of stuff people HAD TO HAVE to worship and we're not!

Consistency? I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Let me hasten to add that you all can interpret this stuff as you are led to; after all, the BF&M indicates you should. But I don't think we ought to throw rocks at folks who are trying to do the same thing. We're probably as wrong as the folks we don't agree with.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Nicely said Bob.

I do think sometimes that online discussions can appear to be throwing rocks when we are actually just conversing and trying to understand the other side. This is why I ask questions for clarification.(And try to answer the questions I am asked.)

Other times we say online things we would never say to someone's face. I'm guilty of that myself.

Finally, tone of voice doesnt work at all online.

greg.w.h said...

Bob:

Thanks...your post is HEAD ON...APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD!!

Greg

jthomas899 said...

Gary, I am sorry for the confusion. I write on the run sometimes. I was commenting on another writer's post on this subject.

I do see a difference between the office, and the function as it relates to the woman.

I didn't know I was in mid-stream. Although with the rain we have gotten the last few days, I wouldn't be surprised.

I am really tired of discussing this, but felt like I needed to clear up my position.

Still Bleeding Lottie....and now J.P. Boyce....

Blessings to you
Jeff

Alycelee said...

As for stirring the pot, I love it.
Keep stirring Wade.
Many times God has 'stirred my pot.' In fact, those times when God has forced me to change my thinking, it comes when God shows me my prejudices. The very confrontation demands that I reject what I thought and embrace what God thinks instead. I'm a work in progress and God is still stirring. I am female and have the same 'cultural prejudice.' In discussing the issue of women pastors I find myself responding with my senses. I react and I know this isn't good. So my prayer again is, God release me, purge me, cleanse my mind and help me think like you do.

I would encourage people to go to Paul Burleson's blog and read his last two post on the messege and the messenger. Making certain the messege brought from the pulpit comes from God and not our presuppositions. A great read.
Thanks again Wade.

jthomas899 said...

I agree I like for Wade to stir the pot. Alyce, been reading Paul and those are excellent postings.

Has he been at your church yet? I have forgotten the dates.

Bleeding Lottie Moon!
Blessings to You
Jeff

Bill said...

What about the idea that the NT uses the word "pastor" to describe a spiritual gift, not an office? Elders and Deacons are offices. (many SBCers would be shocked if they realized the BFM allows for women deacons)

What about the interpretation used by some inerrantists that the word "man" in the passages in question is elsewhere translated "husband." That completely changes the meaning.

What about Dr. Patterson's own reading of those verses which denies that Paul's forbidding of women to teach men is referring to the office of pastor, but applies (evidently) universally, hence the firing of Dr. Klouda. Is anyone willing to stand up and say that women should not teach, or be in authority over men at all, under any circumstance?

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Is anyone willing to stand up and say that women should not teach, or be in authority over men at all, under any circumstance?

No Bill, they won't. Because though they claim to be interpreting the text "literally" they will not be consistent in their "literal" application.

Which is why I love the title of Wade's post:

A Call for Intellectual Honesty and Consistency.

jthomas899 said...

STANDING UP:

I do not believe in women pastors.

I take a logical and reasonable approach to literal handling of Scripture. I follow historical/gram. approach.

David, are you intentionally overstating the literal approach.

I don't follow a wooden literal approach.

To be literal means to take in the context and other things and arrive at the clear meaning of the text.

Therefore I can stand up and say I don't believe in women pastors and be consistent and honest...

Bleeding Lottie
A BF and M kind of man.... :)
Jeff

Jack said...

What’s sad is that the divisions among us over these secondary issues are not accidental.

Sadder still is that those who seek to lead us are those who seek to divide us.

Read the following about the creed they crafted that they now insist we bow before and worship:

“This was the first time since 1963 that Southern Baptists had changed the Baptist Faith and Message - such changes are not made often, or taken lightly. Moreover, this was the first time in the entire 2000- year history of the church (as far as I know) that any denomination has incorporated a statement on the husband's leadership and the wife's submission to that leadership, and on the husband and wife's equal value before Cod, into its statement of faith- these things were assumed true by all Bible- reading Christians before this century, but now the controversy has reached such proportions that these truths need to be affirmed in statements of faith.

The committee that drafted the statement had access to many CBMW materials, and the committee included in its membership both CBMW Council member Dorothy Patterson and Mary Mohler, the wife of CBMW Board of Reference member Al Mohler. In addition, many other leaders in the SBC have had extensive acquaintance with the work of CBMW.

Although Baptists do not formally require adherence to a creed, the "Baptist Faith and Message" still has profound influence in the denomination. For example, in ordaining new pastors, ordination councils will routinely ask whether the candidate agrees with the "Baptist Faith and Message" statement. It will now be very difficult for anyone who holds egalitarian view to be ordained as a pastor in SBC churches. This also applies to denominational leadership: Now that a complementarian position is embedded in this statement, it is hard to imagine how any egalitarian could be elected to any significant post of denominational leadership in the future. And this applies to the appointment of seminary faculty. It is now completely legitimate for SBC seminaries to require that all new faculty hold a complementarian position

As you can understand, such changes will probably set the course of the denomination for decades to come.”

-Dr. Wayne Grudem,
Journal of The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood
Summer, 1998

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Jeff,
I am not trying to overstate the literal approach. I recognize the historical/grammatical approach. But there are other approaches that may also need to be applied.

Last night you accused me of ignoring sound interpretive skills. I asked you which ones and you didnt answer. No problem. I was kind of tired of the whole thing myself.

Maybe you can help me understand your non-wooden-literal approach to this text by answering the question of whether women can braid their hair and are saved through child-bearing.

I assume you will use the historical/grammatical approach in your answer. If you use any other approaches in interpreting these texts, please explain why those approaches should or should not also be applied to the verse in between these two statements as well.

Please do not think I am throwing stones here. Maybe to your surprise I will tell you that I do not think you hold an untenable interpretation of the text in question. I just do not understand how you would apply that interpretation to the surrounding texts.

Maybe you do think women should not braid their hair and are saved thru child-bearing. I dont know. If you do, you would be consistent. If not, you are inconsistent. IMO.

Jack said...

Here's the "money quote" for those who didn't want to read the entire passage of my last post:

"It will now be very difficult for anyone who holds egalitarian view to be ordained as a pastor in SBC churches. This also applies to denominational leadership: Now that a complementarian position is embedded in this statement, it is hard to imagine how any egalitarian could be elected to any significant post of denominational leadership in the future. And this applies to the appointment of seminary faculty. It is now completely legitimate for SBC seminaries to require that all new faculty hold a complementarian position

As you can understand, such changes will probably set the course of the denomination for decades to come.”

Alycelee said...

jthomas899,
Paul will be at our church on Sept 16, 17, 18 & 19.
Sorry Wade, but Jthomas had no email.

Belief Matters said...

David, I can tell you are a godly man. I might just have to take you up on that cheeseburger. :) I am not a great blog writer. I prefer face to face dialogue. The problem is how we define consistent. I can be consistent with the h/g approach to understanding Scripture. Do you see my point? It's not about being literal in a wooden literal sense. Its about being consistent in the method we use. BTW, I mean we work thru h/g approach using the same principles for each text to determine if it is cultural or trans-cultural. Does that make sense?

Alyce now I am in difficult situation. I am taking off that weekend and was thinking of driving to Oklahoma to visit family and then worship at Wade's church. But I would be blessed to hear Paul preach.

Ok, Burlesons whose the better preacher?

Baptist to the Bone.... :)
Jeff
email address jthomas899@yahoo.com

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Jeff,
I have no doubts of your godliness as well.

Since we have beaten this horse into glue, I'll gladly drop the issue until we can get together with some cheeseburgers sometime.

As I continue to close :) let me just say this,

I agree we should be consistent in the methods of interpretation we use. I would question whether the h/g method is the only valid method we should use. I don;t think it should be used exclusively.

I would also question as to whether the h/g method applied properly leads us to your interpretation of the text...or mine.

Wade-thanks for bringing up the topic. Can't wait to see what you have on tap next.

Alan Cross said...

I guess that I will never get an answer to my questions. I can only assume that Volfan and others did not see it.

Wayne Smith said...

Jack Said,
Jack you have no e-mail or a Blog for anyone to know who you are. Maybe that is why no one want to pay attension to your comment.

In His Name

Michael H said...

I think we should think of this
hmmmm... thought.
OK, Now all you commenters and readers out there. Pick a view point, it doesn't matters what or that you believe it.
Now is it more important to make sure EVERYONE knows that they are wrong and that YOU are right OR to make sure everyone's "saved"?
?????

what do you think?

Michael

jthomas899 said...

Alan, They are secondary questions that don't matter. :)

greg.w.h said...

Michael:

A variation on that theme: "Which do you think God cares more about...faith in his Son or doctrinal purity?"

Stated that way, doctrinal purity sounds a lot more like "filthy rags" to me at least.

Greg

Alan Cross said...

Funny, Jeff T :)

Then, I guess that we should not exclude others on the basis of the answers given! Thanks for answering.

Bill said...

So, no one then. OK. I'll refine the question a little. Is someone willing to stand up and say that a woman should not teach a man regarding the things of God? Under any circumstances? (apart from having her husband at her side giving her permission and telling her what to say)

Darby Livingston said...

What's the difference between blog comments and wine (naturally the miraculously created non-alcolic kind)?

Wine gets better over time. :)

Belief Matters said...

Bill, I have answered that. I am very clear where I stand on this issue.

I don't blv in women pastors, and if I remember and read correctly neither does Wade.

CharlieMac said...

OOPS!
I forgot that there are some to whom God has revealed his total self.
Man, I do not even know for sure just what scripture was included when Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy.
Was Paul speaking of the Rabbinic canon or the Septuagint or did it include the canon of scriptures as declared to be complete by the Council of Carthage almost 400 years later? Actually I believe Paul was speaking of the Septuagint in his day, but today's application is to be both the OT and NT.
Actually God has revealed Himself slowly to man as man has progressed through history. Just as individual committed believers grow in faith and understanding as they journey through their lifetime, mankind has grown and understands more about God as history unfolds.
Thus most agree to "adjust" the prohibition and allow women to wear gold, pearls and expensive dresses. Some likewise include "adjusting " the roles of women are allowed to fulfill. It is not an "essential" of faith or salvation.
Sigh. Sorry I frightened some. I was only trying to get thinking processes started.
Mac McFatter
Semmes

volfan007 said...

alan,

for God so loved the world that He gave....

that's a clear teaching of scripture.

whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved....

that's a clear teaching of scripture.

a pastor being a "one woman man" who rules his household well is a clear teaching of scripture.

the fruit of the Spirit is love, patience, kindness, self control..... that's a clear teaching of scripture.

be filled with the Spirit and not drunk on wine is a clear teaching of scripture.

there are many clear, clear teachings of the bible that we should hold to if we want to really be right with God and be living like He wants us to live.

now, whether you hold to a pre trib. or a mid trib. view or a post trib. view of eschatology is something that's not clear in the bible. although, i'm a pre trib. pre millenial guy, and i believe that's what the bible teaches imho. but, we can disagree on such things as this, and it's ok. or, about the length of a mans hair...or about the age of accountability of a child....or about the author of the book of hebrews, etc. these things are not clearly taught in the bible. thus, there should be liberty in these areas. but, the clear teachings of the bible...we either believe them and obey them, or else we're wrong.

about the ppl thing. i dont believe that the bible teaches a ppl. i dont see it. i believe that God can understand english. although, i also dont see a prohibition of you having a ppl either...if you feel the need for it on some emotional level. where most of us would have big problems with a ppl is if someone starts teaching it, or sharing about thier experience, which would influence others to think that this is the way to pray, or worse, to start speaking in ecstatic utterance in the worship services. i have personally always held to a "dont ask...dont tell" kind of idea about ppl. but, if it's really private, then it ought to stay private.

david

Alan Cross said...

Thanks David for the answer. I really respect your position and I think that it is a great compromise for the SBC. You accurately articulated the position of the IMB BEFORE November 2005. That is exactly the situation that some of us have been trying to return things to ever since then. I am not trying to put words in your mouth, but if the IMB would adopt the position that you just stated, I would be thrilled.

I would also be able to accept the discipline of missionaries who tried to get others to experience PPL or who practiced it publicly. Even though I don't think that this is the most biblical position, I can accept that it is a position that respects those who do not believe that it is biblical. I have never been against regulating the public practice in this present environment since it can be very divisive. I have only been against eliminating people who have a PPL, even if they keep it totally to themselves, because you are eliminating a person who is acting according to their conviction on a biblical issue upon which there is much disagreement.

It appears that we agree. Thank you for your honesty.

Jack said...

So... if you believe in a "Don't ask - Don't tell" policy when it comes to PPL you are also saying that the IMB, SBC seminaries and other denominational entities would be better servants if they did not ask applicants whether they practice PPL as a condition of appointment or employment, yes?

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

now, whether you hold to a pre trib. or a mid trib. view or a post trib. view of eschatology is something that's not clear in the bible. although, i'm a pre trib. pre millenial guy, and i believe that's what the bible teaches imho.

I wont dig into it in this comment section, but I am just curious if you think dispensationalism is clearly taught in scripture. Or is a preterist, partial-preterist, or idealist interpretation within the pale?

Anonymous said...

I dearly hope our Holier-than-thou Super Baptists, selective literalists all, continue to entertain Our Lord for the next two thousand years as (hopefully) they have entertained Him for the last two thousand.

I hope they remember to inhale really hard as they draw their last breath in this world so that they will have the wind to run all over heaven telling the people led to Christ by the words and authority of women preachers and missionaries thay they aren't supposed to be saved and had better return to earth so that an approved intolerant man preacher can officially preach to them with all due authority.

"Man plans, and God laughs," we have heard people say; for man to say to God that He can't do something using whoever He chooses ... well, I hope The Lord is in a forgiving mood when one of these troubled ones shows up on Judgement Day.

Steve Austin

Anonymous said...

lnuguciAn IMB M says,

Steve Austin,
You took the words right out on my mouth. I also hope these Holier-than-thou Super Baptists, selective literalists, bleeding Lottie Moon preacher boys never consider becoming a missionary with the IMB. With their attitudes that will not last two minutes on the field. When they see a new Xian baptizing a new convert in a river or bath tub, they will freak out and put in a call to SBC leadership so a white paper can be written and a "witch hunt" can be started to get rid of missionaries who do not "conform." We lost some of the best missionaries in the world over the bfm2000 fiasco.

I better hush before I say too much and get in trouble with my wife.

Wade,
As alwaysTHANK YOU for your insight, your concern and your boldness. We the IMB and SBC need more men AND women like you.

RP in JP

Cheryl Schatz said...

Jeff said: "Which sin can we commit and still be faithful to Scripture? Please straighten me out on this one. :)"

Wolfan007 said: "a pastor being a "one woman man" who rules his household well is a clear teaching of scripture."

Since you both apparently believe that a woman is committing a sin against God if she uses her God-given gifts as a Pastor, let me ask you, do you also believe that single men are sinning against God if they become a Pastor? After all doesn't the bible say an overseer is to be "the husband of one wife"? So if you are interpreting this passage to exclude women and charge them with sin, then logically you must also exclude unmarried men and charge them with sin if they become Pastors.

What about Pastors whose wife has passed away. Do you charge them with sinning against God because they choose not to remarry? They are no longer husbands so logically we would need to apply the passage the same way to them.

And what about those Pastors who do not have children and may not want children or not be able to have children? Doesn't 1 Timothy 3:4 say that they must keep their children under control? Then wouldn't we also be able to charge men who do not have children as sinning against God if they become Pastors?

Or....would it be better to interpret this passage saying that *if* the one who desires to be an overseer is male and *if* he is married, and *if* he has children, then he is to be the husband of one wife and be able to keep his children under control. After all 1 Timothy 3:1 does not use the Greek word for a male "aner" but uses the generic word "tis" allowing "anyone" to aspire to the place of overseer. Since the chapter starts out with the generic, then moves into male, husband and father, we either accept that one must be male, married and a father or we can accept that Paul is talking about qualities of an overseer, not a check list of requirements.

Seeing the passage this way would stop the inconsistent charge of sin for a woman Pastor, but no charge of sin for an unmarried Pastor or a Pastor who has no children.

I too have felt uncomfortable with the thought of women pastors mostly because as a child I had never seen women in these positions as role models. That is culture, not the bible. If we are going to claim the bible as our authority, then we had better be prepared to be consistent. If we allow unmarried men as Pastors (and I am not aware of any denomination that refuses to allow a gifted unmarried male to serve as a Pastor) and we do not charge them with sin for remaining unmarried, then we had better think twice about charging a godly woman with sin for being a Pastor. God says nothing about the "sin" of being a Pastor in any list of sins. Why is that? Is it possible that there is no reference to this "sin" because we are the ones who have made it a sin and not God himself?

Which list would you put "teaching the bible to men" in?

Gal 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, "teaching the bible to men"...

Doesn't fit in this list does it? Which list of sin does it fit in? I have yet to find one list that makes teaching the bible to men a sin against God.

How about paying attention to what Paul wrote in Romans 2:21, 22:

Rom 2:21 you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?
Rom 2:22 You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

Perhaps if Paul were living here today he could say something along this line:

"you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself from you own rules? You who preach that a woman is not allowed to be a Pastor, are you an unmarried Pastor or do you refuse to condemn unmarried men who are Pastors? You who say that a woman is sinning against God if she becomes a Pastor, do you dare to become a Pastor before you have had children?

The inconsistencies between interpreting this way are glaring.

Now as to the charge that allowing a woman to be a Pastor would open up the door to homosexuality, there is no comparison of the two. Homosexuality is repeated multiple times as a law that makes it consistently clear that it is a sin. God also lists it several times in the list of sins. But is there a "law" that forbids godly Christian women from teaching the bible to men and makes this a sin?

I have written a post regarding whether God has one unique law that is unlike every other law that God has given us. Is there really a "law" that forbids women from using their God-given gifts for the common good? Read here to see why this is impossible Does God have one unique law?

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

...do you also believe that single men are sinning against God if they become a Pastor? After all doesn't the bible say an overseer is to be "the husband of one wife"?

Cheryl,
Fantastic point. If you dont mind I'll steal it.

Cheryl Schatz said...

David,

Steal away! You have my blessing.

Anonymous said...

Wade et al,
It seems to me that Wayne Grudem has answered all these points and many others in his book..Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth.
I am curious if any of you have read this book? I found it convincing on this subject. Convinced as too the perspicuity of Scripture on this issue!
From the Southern Baptist Geneva:
Robert Masters

Rex Ray said...

Cheryl Schatz,
I’m not surprised no one has challenged your excellent observation and depth of Bible study in your last post.

I’ve emailed it to several people.

Thanks once again for your comments.

johnMark said...

It’s interesting that Dr. Sam Storms has been referenced in the past on this blog and even on this particular post. Dr. Storms has a on complementarianism. He even deals with the analogy of slavery amongst the topics.

So why not question Dr. Storms on this as he’s accessible (I assume), blogs and is certainly seen as an authority and a very good exegete of Scripture here and many other places?

Side note: Steve over at Triablogue posted today the Eclipse of the masculine pronoun which somewhat falls along the lines of this discussion.
Coming in late…
Mark

Lindon said...

From Sam Storms articles:

10. We should also take note of the parallel between the relationship within the Godhead (Trinity) and the relationship between men and women (1 Cor. 11:3). Male headship is likened to the headship of the Father over the Son.

Is he saying there is a hierarchy within the Trinity?

R. L. Vaughn said...

Call me latecomer. I haven't had time to read many blogs and just noticed Wade's post here and the reference to my comments about his comments. I appreciate the spirit and tone of the post. I need to clarify a few points that I obviously did not make clear in my original comments.

Wade writes, "Mr. Vaughn acts like [defending slavery from a perspective of trust in, and standing upon, the inerrant and infallible Word of God] has never happened in the SBC. He implies that anyone who supported slavery -- just as anyone who supported 'women pastors' -- is doing so based upon 'cultural' biases or preferences and is ignoring the clear teaching of God's Word. Pastor Vaughan (sic) acts as if any argument supporting slavery would have to be both ludicrous and incredible."

My comments were not really about 150-something years ago, but rather about the appeal to the past for support of the female pastor issue. I am well aware that past slaveholders both within and without the SBC appealed to the Scriptures for the defense of slavery. I'm not sure just how I acted like that didn't happen.

What I was implying -- and will state here in case it was not clear -- is that to compare slavery and women pastors, then to hedge support of women pastors because that issue makes one personally and culturally uncomfortable is inconsistent. IOW, IF one is _only_ personally and culturally opposed to ordaining women as pastors, why wouldn't it be just as correct and consistent to personally and culturally oppose the emancipation of slaves??

Wade, et al., would you feel comfortable supporting slavery on some grounds of personal and cultural discomfort concerning the emancipation of slaves? This is my point -- if one only opposes ordaining female pastors because of personal and cultural discomfort (not a scriptural reason), wouldn't there be some obligation to get over that discomfort and change positions?

Hope this clarifies. If not, I'll be glad to make another attempt. Thanks.

Melanie W said...

I realize I am late to this conversation, but have just recently discovered Mr. Burleson's delightful blog. I would like to commend all of you who have participated in this dialogue for continuing to discuss this important issue. I get frustrated with those in our convention who feel that we should accept the BFM's stance on gender roles and move on to the "more important" issues, such as evangelism. I agree that we should not allow disagreements over Biblical interpretation to prevent us from cooperating with one another to share the Gospel of Christ. But what if these differences are actually hindering the acceptance of Christ?

My peer group - well-educated, intelligent, often unmarried, independent young professionals - want nothing to do with a faith that provides for the inferiority of women. And I don't care what we as Baptists SAY about women and men having equality as human beings before God. When women are not allowed positions of equal authority, inferiority is implied. Witnessing to my friends, to my colleagues is very difficult in this regard.

Now I am not at all sugessting that we rewrite the Bible to appease the desires of any and every group. But, I think we should take seriously the concern that our possible human misinterpretation of a decidedly murky topic in Scripture would preclude people from receiving the Gospel.

Again, thank you all for your participation in this important conversation. It does my heart good to see a group of fellow believers who have the courage to ask the hard questions and continually challenge the status quo. When even I, a fifth-generation Baptist and graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, feel stifled by the tradition-heavy atmosphere in many of our churches is it any wonder that we often have no impact on the world?

Melanie Warren

Cheryl Schatz said...

Robert Masters said: "It seems to me that Wayne Grudem has answered all these points and many others in his book..Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth."

There is much that Wayne Grudem has not answered. I gave my DVD set to CBMW (Wayne Grudem's organization) about 18 months ago and the material in the DVDs has not been answered by Wayne or CBMW or anyone to this point. If they have the truth, then why cannot they answer me? All they will say about all the new material that they have not answered, is that they have to agree to disagree and leave it at that. It is so sad.

Rex Ray,

Blessings, brother and thanks for your comments!