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

Why Can't We Ever Admit We Might Be Wrong in Our Interpretations of the Infallible Word of God?

Last month the President of Bob Jones University publicly apologized for his school's racism. The President spoke on behalf of all of American Christianity and the problems that Christians, particularly in the south, had with slavery and racism. There are some who feel that any discussion of American Christianity's sins regarding race should never be discussed, much less used as a teaching tool for the present. I am of a different opinion, however, and so it seems is the President of Bob Jones. A discussion of our past sins is important for the integrity of our future. Bob Jones was absolutely correct in offering a public apology. However, though I commend the President for his apology, there was an interesting statement he made about the reason his university was racist:

(L)ike any human institution, we have failures as well. For almost two centuries American Christianity, including BJU in its early stages, was characterized by the segregationist ethos of American culture. Consequently, for far too long, we allowed institutional policies regarding race to be shaped more directly by that ethos (i.e. American culture) than by the principles and precepts of the Scriptures.

Did you catch that? American Christianity's view on "race," including two centuries of southern slavery, was because American Christianity followed culture rather than Scripture.

Sigh.

Christians in America, particulary conservative Baptists in the South during the 19th Century followed their interpretations of Scripture regarding slavery. Southern Christians, including Southern Baptists, promoted slavery because of their interpretation of Scripture, not the "ethos" of culture.

Let me illustrate. One of the passages that addresses slavery is found in Genesis.

"Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem.'" (Genesis 9:25-27).

Baptists, Presbyterians and other southern evangelicals in the 19th Century took passages like the above and taught that the Bible not only condoned slavery, but advocated it as a proper and just institution. For example:

"The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example." Rev. Richard Furman, D.D., a Southern Baptist pastor from South Carolina.

"[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation...it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts." Jefferson Davis. (Dunbar, Rowland, "Jefferson Davis" Vol. 1, page 286).

Now, fast forward a couple of centuries and we have conservative, evangelical Christian Bob Jones University apologizing for their racism - but the fault lies with the "ethos" of culture, not their faulty interpretations of Scripture.

A Modern Application

Some modern evangelicals, including we Southern Baptists, would do well to remember history. There is nothing wrong with interpreting the Bible and coming to conclusions about what you believe. In fact, every Christian should study the Word and hold fast to that which we believe the Bible teaches, always being willing to elucidate for others our beliefs when asked.

But other than the diety of Christ, salvation by God's grace through faith in Christ, and the foundational Christian doctrines it would be wise for all of us to have a little humility about our "interpretations" of God's Word.

Any Christian who acts mean-spirited toward those who disagree, or tries to bully other Christians to believe a certain way through intimidation, would do well to remember Christian history and the number of times we have wrongly interpreting the infallible Word of God. Advocates of closed/open communion, or a particlar ecclesiology, or those who are pro/con women in ministry, or promoters of cessationism or continuationism, etc . . . should always LISTEN to others, COOPERATE with those evangelicals who disagree, and REALIZE that one day we may end up apologizing for our previous understanding of what the Bible teaches.

If you don't see yourself as possibly being wrong in your interpretations, you are precisely the kind of Southern Baptist that would have kept slaves and justified it by claiming God's "infallible, inerrant" Word condones it - without ever questioning that your interpretation could be wrong.

A little humility and a great deal of love should characterize all of us Christians when it comes to our interpreting the infallible Word of God.

And when we discover a mistake, we ought not blame it on "culture."

In His Grace,


Wade

213 comments:

1 – 200 of 213   Newer›   Newest»
Brent Hobbs said...

"Most southern Christians, including Southern Baptists, promoted slavery because of their interpretation of Scripture, not the "ethos" of culture." I'm not sure how that statement could ever be proven. I think both probably contributed.

It seems a little difficult to argue one versus the other here. I wonder if there might be a little either/or fallacy going on in this post.

Maybe faulty exegesis and interpretation led to their errant view of slavery. Or maybe a cultural view of slavery prevented them from being able to do the kind of biblical exegesis and interpretation they should have been doing. The interplay between the two is probably what made the issue such an impenetrable fortress.

But the point is well taken that we must always be humble in our interpretations of the non-essentials and willing to search out the possibility that someone else may have a better answer.

Thy Peace said...

Amen, Pastor Wade. From my limited knowledge and understanding of the Bible, we can believe the Bible to be inerrant, but differ in interpreting the Bible. It appears the difficulty comes, when one takes a passage from one section of the Bible, but ignoring whole other sections of the Bible that illuminates/elucidates/expands/corrects. When one takes the WHOLE Bible in to consideration, there are fewer errors in interpretation.

This can also be found in the simple way that Christ embodied the Whole Word of God and as we see Christ in our fellow brothers and sisters and we honor Christ in them, there are fewer conflicts. At least human conflicts. Though theological conflicts will always be there, but the animosity will be lessened or there will be more grace and love in our disagreements.

I will admit this is very hard to follow. But I try.

"A little humility and a great deal of love should characterize all of us Christians when it comes to our interpreting the infallible Word of God."

Amen.

Robert I Masters said...

This is so yesterday......boring.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

What in the world are you trying to say? I am going to have to start calling you "the Rambling Man" : )

JRM

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I find this post neither boring nor rambling.

Stephen Pruett said...

One of the most frustrating experience in following your blog and others for the past few years has been the unwillingness of many to allow any possibility their interpretation might be wrong. Their comments usually refer to the inerrancy of scripture and its absolute authority and they simply assume that there is no other reasonable interpretation than the one they prefer. However, if you actually start asking them to address specific problems with their interpretation, I have yet to find one who had reasonable answers.

It is interesting that you bring up both cultural influences and faulty interpretations. I believe the SBC has become so fearful of inappropriate cultural influences that it has used "conservative (socially that is)" interpretations of scripture. Dr. Patterson told me as much in a letter when I questioned why the sections on women in the family and church were added to the B F & M. I pointed out that citing the passage of submission of wives to husbands is fine, but the passage on each submitting to the other and that in Christ there is no male nor female should also be cited. He indicated that he wanted to push back against aggressive feminism. I believe some of the interpretations favored by some of our leaders are not the best possible exegesis seasoned with humility but are an excellent example of wanting to counteract cultural trends and interpreting scripture to accentuate that need.

I agree that there is much in our culture that we should resist. However, we should never let this (or any other aspect of culture) to influence our interpretations, and we should admit that there are reasonable alternative interpretations about many 2nd or 3rd tier doctrines. In the past, Southern Baptists acted wisely to leave interpretation of such disputable doctrines to individual churches. Now that we have begun adding them to the B F & M, we simply set ourselves up to be sorry again when our understanding of scripture changes. I don't mean to offend anyone, but I would be wiling to bet (if a deacon could do such a thing) that if our culture continues to have a dimmer and dimmer view of prohibiting women from jobs for which they are clearly qualified and this leads to major loss of members in SBC churches, there will be an enlightenment among SBC leaders that will result in a new interpretation on this matter. Previous posts on this blog have included very sound objections to the current interpretation and arguments supporting an alternate interpretation, so this will not be a case of abandoning scripture. It will just be a shift in opinion regarding interpretation.

Kevin M. Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin M. Crowder said...

Robert I Masters:

We could play chess??

e4

Your move.


K

Brent Hobbs said...

Kevin, Did you just quote yourself?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Sort of. :)


After I typed it, it just sounded so inspired, I felt it needed preserved in the annals of GATTY's Greatest Quotes. :)

Brent Hobbs said...

Until you've been published, you may want to avoid quoting yourself. That's reserved for guys like D. A. Carson and N. T. Wright. "You're just making yourself look ridiculous." -BAH

Big Daddy Weave said...

"Christians in America, particulary conservative Baptists in the South during the 19th Century, did not follow culture. They followed their interpretations of Scripture regarding slavery."

Wade, I'm going to have to disagree. That's a very simplistic conclusion. I really don't know of any respected historian (who studies religion and the south) who completely removes "culture" from the equation. A more credible historical argument regarding slavery/Jim Crow would evaluate the merger of cultural assumptions with Christian and biblical justifications. The historians that I've studied will say that arguments by Christians in support of slavery, fervent anti-communism, anti-Catholicism, and segregation were derived primarily from cultural considerations AND THEN found expression in biblical rationale.

John Lee Eighmy's "Churches in Cultural Captivity: A History of the Social Attitudes of Southern Baptists (1972)" supports that thesis. Eighmy's thesis has been accepted and put forth by quite a few Baptist historians since 1972. Samuel Hill, who writes the foreward in "Churches in Cultural Captivity" has also made the same argument. There are few names in southern religious history bigger than Sam Hill. Taking culture out of the equation presents an incomplete historical picture.

Baptists should take the blame for allowing themselves to be held captive to that culture. We Baptists in the South been caught in cultural captivity, southern-style, on more issues than just slavery and segregation...

NativeVermonter said...

"But other than the diety of Christ and salvation by God's grace through faith in Christ - the two cardinal doctrines of Christianity - it would be wise for all of us to have a little humility about our "interpretations" of God's Word."

Ah man, what a bummer,I'm only allowed to be sure about two doctrines before I have to kick it into humility.

Brent Hobbs said...

NativeVermonter,
Last time I checked being sure and humble weren't mutually exclusive.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

You wrote... "But other than the diety of Christ and salvation by God's grace through faith in Christ - the two cardinal doctrines of Christianity - it would be wise for all of us to have a little humility about our "interpretations" of God's Word."

Am I missing something? Are these the only cardinal doctrines? Perhaps you may want to revisit this thought.

- I agree on the point that BJU is shifting blame to culture.

- I agree on the point that we should listen to others who have differing viewpoints.

- I disagree on the point that "cooperation" is built around only 2 cardinal doctrines.

- I agree that we should be humble.

On a side note, I was pleased not to read an article proclaiming the exploits of Sam Bradford this morning. :)

Go Gators!

Karen in OK said...

When you say "THE two cardinal doctrines", I have to disagree. There are more cardinal doctrines than that, such as the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

G said...

Wade,

You said: "Bombastic, mean-spirited, arrogant bullies who try to tell others that they are speaking on behalf on God would do well to remember Christian history and the number of times we have wrongly interpreting the infallible Word of God."

It would do ALL of us good to remember that while the Word of God is infallible/innerrant, that our interpretations of the Word are oft times far from it.

I have absolutely no problem with The Word being innerrant. I expect that God is oft times quite disappointed with what we do with His Innerrant Word from time to time.

But for some who hold the bully-pulpit, that thought is wasted.

Gary Skaggs
Norman, OK

Chris said...

Many have noted that it was a culturally informed read of scripture that led to the propagation of slavery. One wonders whether or not the same cultural syncretism is at work in some form today? I have ideas, but I'll let others actually answer that question.

But I think we have also come up against the rub for Wade's entire argument. For a long time he has proclaimed that we should have solidarity in the essentials and grace in all else. But what is essential will vary from group to group. Wade listed off two things; others have come along and added to that list. Catholics, Methodists, and Presbyterians all have a very different idea of what is essential than what Baptists would. Others have the opinion that everything is essential. Where does one draw the line? How does one draw the line without it being based on personal preference? Does this mean we should treat everything as essential? Nothing as essential? Or is there somewhere in-between that isn't already completely biased?

Kevin M. Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ml said...

Wade, isn't this the difference between Christianity and religion? Religion brokers people and behavior, leverages power, and dictates or mandates what people ought to think and do. Whereas, Christianity is discerning relationship empowered by the guidance of the Spirit who adopts us, leads us, and convicts us in regard to sin. Not antinomian but freedom to become who God recreated us to be in Christ.

Wade Burleson said...

Big Daddy Weave,

I can accept your conclusion, and I freely admit my post is too simplistic in terms of not recognizing cultural influence.

My point, however, remains.

A conservative Christian who follows Christ never says, "I'm doing what I am doing because of culture." He says, "I'm doing what I am doing because I am following Scripture."

When we realize our mistakes (or sins), it would be better to acknowledge our faulty interpretations rather than shift blame to culture.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Gary Skaggs,

Your point is well taken.

That is a poorly written sentence, one that I will change.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Chris,

In a CONVENTION - you draw the line of cooperation broadly.

In a CHURCH - feel free to draw the doctrinal line as tight as you please.

For some reason, there are Southern Baptists who somehow treat the Convention, agencies and seminaries like they are a CHURCH!

They are not.

Wade

Kevin M. Crowder said...

[Reposted for Brent's benefit. Originally posted as comment number 7 in response to comment #1 and the OP.]

Brent,

I am not sure an either/or fallacy is the problem here. Faulty logic? Absolutely. I agree with Wade on one point and disagree on another. First, I find that ORU is shifting blame on the culture to minimize the impact and to distance themselves from their poor choices. Apart from that I disagree with Wade's entire thesis.

Here is why: First let us draw our attention to the idea that cultural ethos is not to blame and that poor a interpretation of Scripture is. This would suggest that Christian’s of early America read Scripture, noted the accounts of slavery, interpreted such accounts as a thumbs up from God, and then went out and bought a pair for breeding. As if Scripture were a great big advertisement for slavery.

Hardly!

This ethos was engrained in generations of believers and non-believers before America was founded or discovered. Scripture was twisted to accommodate the sin.

Wade's theory would be like saying that homosexuality is caused from a poor understanding of the relationship between David and Jonathan. No! Again, Scripture is twisted to accommodate the sin which is propelled by a cultural ethos which says that love is simply a pragmatic emotion.

We cannot blame our sin on a poor interpretation of Scripture. We must blame our poor interpretation of Scripture on our sin.


-Kevin

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

I think you may find we are saying the same thing.

"Scripture is twisted" to accomodate sin.

The only difference may be that I see BOTH liberal and conservative Christians doing this - while you seem to see only the liberal. The liberal twists Scripture to take away - the conservative twists Scripture to add to it.

There is a curse at the end of Revelation pronounced on anyone who would do either. That is why, to me, it is too serious of a discussion to dismiss it.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

It seems to me we may have a "chicken or egg" thing here to some degree. Is it bad interpretation that comes from the influence of a bad culture or is it bad culture that comes from the influence of a bad interpretation of scripture? Whichever, an honest approach to the text with the spirit you advocate is absolutely essential.

One thing for sure. Neither those involved in bad culture OR bad interpretation will like or enjoy the work of those who approach scripture as you suggest.

Both of the former have an agenda, I think, that mitigates against an openness to true biblical reality. One hates and fears the culture and the other hates and fears the bible. Neither has a longing to be transformed by His grace. Neither will be. It takes a real humility and openness to Him for that to happen.

Wade Burleson said...

Dad.

Bingo.

I think that some believe I am saying that the southern Christians' interpretations of Scripture impacted culture toward slavery.

Others' think I am saying that the culture impacted the church and tainted the church's interpretations of holy Scripture.

Both miss my point.

What drives a conservative, evangelcal Christian is his or her interpretation of the Holy Scripture.

I'm asking for humility in all of us, including me, to realize that our biases, however they may be formed (i.e. sin, upbringing, culture, hurts, pain, etc . . .) often impact our interpretations.

Therefore, we ought to be humble in our conclusions and listen and dialogue with those who disagree.

I may be too confusing of a writer for others, like Jack Maddox, to understand the point. Thanks for helping.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

I see the twisting of Scripture equally from the conservative camp both now and then. Infact, it could be said that slave owners WERE the "conservatives." Today, closer communers ARE the "conservatives" I am only suggesting that this cultural ethos of which you speak is more to blame initially (for the ideology not necessarily the action) than is a poor interpretation of Scripture.

The problem is of course (and I really like your Father's post preceding mine) is that traditional fundamental conservatism uses Scripture not only to the letter, but also as a handbook (complete with handy flip tabs) to fix their broken life. And so we see, sadly, a pragmatic approach to interpretation reading cultural presuppositions into Scripture.
K

PS: This is why the Landmark Baptist Preacher’s Starter kit always includes one copy each of the Thompson Chain Reference KJV, Nave’s Topical Study Bible, Cruden’s Concordance, and a John Rice Commentary on Revelation.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I think the key word is "Cooperation" as it relates to both Liberals and Conservatives. When my interpretation of the scriptures is the only one it immediately stops any discussion or cooperation.

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

What a interesting thread. And, for the first I recall (lately anyway), I am openly agreeing with Big Daddy Weave! Sorry, Aaron I hope we don't ruin our reputations :^).

Nonetheless, he could not be more correct--your premise pertaining to culture's role is far too simplistic.

Further, I would ask, what do you suppose drove, in large part, Western culture's identity but Western Christianity?

Yet, while we must never forget the despairing blotch of advocating the economics of trading in human souls, whether passively or actively, by both Western Christianity in general and evangelical Christianity particularly, it cannot be forgotten that it was also evangelical Christianity itself which self-corrected this immoral madness. The Church led the righteous crusade against slavery and overturned it.

Now as for a couple of little matters. First, you write: "But other than the diety of Christ and salvation by God's grace through faith in Christ...it would be wise for all of us to have a little humility..." Wade, sometimes you appear to think none of us have the memory of a peckerwood.

It wasn't two months ago you were slinging your six guns, waving them around in the air, charging heresy because some did not word their doctrine of the Trinity the way you interpreted the Council of Nicea. What a Georgia hoot.

Also, if I may, Wade, going back to this "cultural" thing. You are on public record asserting that your church does not recognize women in ministry to the point of serving as pastor. The kicker is, you state the reason is cultural, not biblical.

Finally, you write the "Bombastic, mean-spirited, arrogant bullies who try to tell others that they are speaking on behalf on God... Advocates of closed/open communion, or a particlar ecclesiology..."

First, Wade, please link to me one, single example that fits your description of "Bombastic, mean-spirited, arrogant bullies" pertaining to communion practices. Let's go get them together. I will be right by your side.

Second, please give us one example of precisely whom is trying to tell us "that they are speaking on behalf on God" concerning communion. Robin Foster put a post recently about communion, but it wasn't about what God said but what Baptists said in the BF&M. Surely that's not what you're referring to. So, what is it? We'd like to know.

In addition, you refer to "a particular ecclesiology." By this, Wade, what do you mean? For my own part, I thought the Baptist movement essentially both was and is an ecclesial movement. If I am incorrect, please instruct me. I need to know.

With that, I am...

Peter

Chris said...

Wade,

I hear what you are saying, and I'm on your side of this issue, but what is broadly at a convention level? What is too broad? What isn't broad enough? And how do you make the determination without using only your own prejudices?

Anonymous said...

For all readers, beware of the sin of false humility...it is the most egregious error of pride

Only By His Grace said...

Wade another both good and very important post, thank you.

I guess "no" is the hardest word to pronounce either audibly or silently in the English language; however, I have found for us preachers and other theological teachers that "I don't know what that passage means" is the hardest sentence for us to speak in any language.

Phil in Norman.

RM said...

Why is it that when people want to "admit" something or "apologize" for something it is always directed at conservatives? This holds true in Baptist ranks as well as in our political culture as well. I never seem to hear liberals or moderates apologizing for anything and I can assure you that they are not sinless.

I have no problems with conservative theology or political idealogy--its some of the leaders that make me car sick.

Greg Alford said...

Wade,


In a CONVENTION - you draw the line of cooperation broadly.

In a CHURCH - feel free to draw the doctrinal line as tight as you please.

For some reason, there are Southern Baptists who somehow treat the Convention, agencies and seminaries like they are a CHURCH!

They are not.


Wade, I think you have uncovered the “root” cause of the majority of the controversy we are seeing in the SBC Today. Some are attempting to force the “Baptist Identity” of their Church upon the Convention, agencies and seminaries. This of course is a recipe for killing cooperation in the Convention.

I would love to see you expand upon this comment in a future post!

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

Past mistakes aside for a moment, I can tell you that BJU has an awesome homeschool curriculum.

Now that I think about it, I'm sure glad so many people put my past mistakes aside.

Even for a moment.

SL1M

Wade Burleson said...

SL1M

Agreed

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

If I am incorrect, please instruct me. I need to know.

Were I to feel your plea of necessity genuine, I would definitely be there for you.

Since it is contrary to my nature to feel the need to correct anyone, I must decline your request that I correct you.

And, in the likelihood you write back saying it was never your intention to be corrected by me, but rather, to point out my incorrectness, then a more sincere response to my post would simply be to state your case.

Blessings,

Wade

greg.w.h said...

Peter:

It's a blog. He gets to say what he thinks. If in his opinion the increase in efforts to control theological doctrines and positions come across as bombastic--which he has discussed AT LENGTH in past posts--then that's his opinion. Whether or not it's truth isn't just a matter of rhetorical discussion, to be honest. At some point, you have to factor in that the leadership of the Convention does some pretty stupid stuff.

As a specific example: Johnny Hunt just was elected as the president of ALL Southern Baptists. And he immediately hosts a conference taking aim at Reformed/Calvinistic SBs. That's just plain idiotic and no matter how you managed the rhetoric in the building at the conference, the fact was that it was a direct attack. Bombastic. Mean spirited.

And Wade commented on it from the pew at the conference. Let's GO GET'EM!!

Greg Harvey

Stephen said...

Peter Lumpkins wrote "...it cannot be forgotten that it was also evangelical Christianity itself which self-corrected this immoral madness. The Church led the righteous crusade against slavery and overturned it."

This historian disagrees. The "Christians" leading the crusade against slavery were mostly Unitarians or Transcendalists. They had a relatively small role in overturning of slavery. The true Christians who had the most important role in bringing about the end of slavery were the Christian slaves who were part of black abolition. They were a subset of a larger group of northern free blacks, former slaves, and slaves who escaped from the plantations during the war. It is true that some northern white denominations called for the end of slavery, but their role was minimal compared to the role of the afore mentioned blacks.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Johnny Hunt...elected as the president of ALL Southern Baptists...taking aim at Reformed/Calvinistic SBs...plain idiotic...the fact was that it was a direct attack. Bombastic. Mean spirited." (emphasis mine)


Amen.

Let's talk about who his replacement is going to be.

Paul Burleson said...

Peter,

While I do not agree with your assessment of this post, I do NOT believe being simplistic is bad. With regards to "simplistic..." I've always been of the opinion that a complex point is better served by getting it down to a simplistic statement.

The Wright brothers were not troubled by the simplistic design of their flying machine. Just that it fly. That was their purpose. The complexities of it all could be dealt with later. It appears to me THAT IS the general purpose of a blog. To get an idea out with as much simplicity as possible and the complexities can be worked out in the conversation. [Comment section] This would, of course, assume a dialogue is desired and that the one writing believes not all questions have been answered in what one has posted on the subject being addressed.

I have a feeling our blogs [sermons too for that matter] would be better served with some of that attitude. I know relationships thrive on it.

By the way, were one to accept your premise...that this is too simplicitically stated...you would have to agree that it isn't EASY. [Simple and easy are not the same that's for sure.] That's why so few are willing to do what the title of this post [and it's body] suggests.

Stephen said...

Christians who supported slavery did so mostly because of the cultural ethos, which included an economic aspect as well. Baptists were opposed to slavery prior to the 19th century. In the early part of that century, Richard Furman voiced a scriptural defense of slavery. Was it a coincidence that the cotton kingdom was being born at that time? I don't think so.

The cultural ethos, however, was shaped by the view that God had ordained a social order. This part of the ethos was based on an interpretation of scripture. It seemes like a "chicken or the egg" scenario. I suggest that the economy of slavery was a major factor in promoting this interpretation. On the other hand, there is no literal New Testament condemnation of slavery. STOP!!! Don't accuse me of supporting slavery!

I wish that when people try to apologize for the past, they would simply state that they reject the cultural norms of the past without casting stones. If we tread down the "repenting for the past" road, history shows us many people who should travel with us.

Karen in OK said...

Stephen,
There were a number of different Christian groups beyond your description.
William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect, and John Newton had a great deal of influence on the abolition of slavery and on American abolitionists.

John Adams, second president of the U.S., spoke against slavery and saw it as a great evil.

You have identified a very important stream of influence, but no means all.

Elisabeth said...

I like this post. I was led away from Christ by a pastor that many thought was as extremely Godly man because he was politically conservative, believed in traditional services, hymns were the only Godly music, was against rock and roll, dancing, etc. But his heart was far from God.
The pastor I have now is exactly the opposite. He's not traditional at all. Our church is totally non-traditonal. Our music is Christian rock. But this pastor says the Bible is the infallible Word of God - even if he doesn't always agree with others' interpretations.
It's so easy to look at the externals and say "Godly" or "not Godly", but looking at the externals without looking deeper can lead to an incorrect conclusion

Alan Paul said...

I still haven't seen anyone answer the question that is the headline... I see alot of arguing as usual, but no answers. Perhaps that's because noe of us can really admit we're wrong?

Stephen said...

Karen,

I was referring to Americans. Wilberforce and Newton were the most important Englishmen. They had a major influence on the abolition of the slave trade and slavery in England. Of course their influence did carry over to America.

Like Adams, many people (including Southerners)spoke against slavery and saw it as the evil that it was. Most northerners, however, were free-soilers and cared little about ending slavery in the South.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

I believe if you will go here, you may find that Southern Baptist have done well to remember history.

Also, our Brother Peter has reminded us of your post on women in Ministry that your church's belief about such was based on culture. Is that not the same as what you are accusing BJU of doing?

Blessings,
Tim

Wade Burleson said...

Alan Paul,

Perceptive, prescient, and particularly profound point.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

You write Brother Peter has reminded us that . . . your church's belief about women in ministry was based on culture"

Please, Tim, if you could enlighten the pastor of the church where I attend as to what "my church" believes about women in ministry, I would be most grateful.

I am quite confident that there is no official position but you and Brother Peter seem to know something I do not.

In His Grace,

Wade

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I would really like to know what Tim Roger's view is on Women in the Ministry as it relates to the SBC.

G said...

Not to chase this rabbit across too many section lines, but over the last few of Wade's posts one was a whole lot BIM and other posts had BIM threads woven liberally through the posts, and especially the comments.

I wonder...

Did any of the church plants which Paul helped with practice a BIMish bent toward the Lord's Table? If so, was Paul allowed to participate? Was he allowed to partake at the church in Jerusalem?

Was Paul authorized by each of these local churches to baptize for them? If so, under what office and whose authority? Was Paul baptized correctly? All we know is from Acts 9:18 that said "he arose and was baptised". Who baptised Paul and did this person have the correct BIM "Pedigree"?

And how in the world was someone who was an accomplice to so many murders allowed to teach and preach, and why was he recognized as an authority and one who could be trusted as a conduit of the Word of God?

Perhaps there are present-day applications?

Just wondering out loud...

Gary Skaggs
Norman

Scott Shaffer said...

Wade, Peter, and Tim,

Here is what Wade has actually said about culture's influence on his position on women in pastoral ministry:

I have stated my view of women pastors on several occasions. The BFM 2000, with very poor foresight, made that a standard of cooperation. I am in personal agreement with men being Senior Pastors, but have absolutely no problem fellowshipping and cooperating with churches who choose to call a female pastor. And, if someone were to ask, my personal prohibition of women senior pastors is only personal, cultural and confessional - I see NO such prohibition in Scripture. Therefore, to call 'liberal' a church in another denomination that calls a woman to be pastor or shepherd, or to oppose a academically qualified, God-called woman from teaching the Hebrew Scriptures to other God-called men in a seminary setting is beyond the Scriptures. The Bible is to be our sole and sufficient source for faith and practice. 3/25/08 comments

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.
Wed Sep 05, 11:15:00 AM 2007

I have repeatedly and publicly said that I would never lead my church to call a woman pastor for confessional, practical and cultural reasons.8/15/07 comments

Joe White... said...

Wade,

You asked Brother Tim this question... "Please, Tim, if you could enlighten the pastor of the church where I attend as to what "my church" believes about women in ministry, I would be most grateful.I am quite confident that there is no official position but you and Brother Peter seem to know something I do not."

I think what Brother Tim and Brother Peter are referencing are comments like this one that you made repeatedly in the Women in Ministry Posts you put up at the beginning of the year...

"Wade Burleson said...
John,

There is absolutely no biblical prohibition for a woman teaching Hebrew at a seminary - none. Nada. Nothing.

The only discrimination I currently hold to is a prohibition of women serving as Senior Pastors - and that is personal, confessional and cutural (N.W. Oklahoma). It is not biblical since there is NO biblical prohibition about women serving as pastors.

But I am choosing not to make an issue of the Baptist Faith and Message - even though the prohibition should not have been placed in the DOCTRINAL confession.

Mon Mar 31, 12:22:00 AM 2008"

greg.w.h said...

Stephen wrote:

I wish that when people try to apologize for the past, they would simply state that they reject the cultural norms of the past without casting stones. If we tread down the "repenting for the past" road, history shows us many people who should travel with us.

So we need to home in on the word "norm". The entire effort of the Conservative Resurgence was to (re)establish the Bible as the source of norms. Yet Furman's use of the Bible to keep slavery--especially skin-color-based slavery--as a "norm" belies the fungibility of "norms" and therefore of theology regardless of what the Bible actually says.

The problem is a deep one and the only solution is actually appears to be a grievous departure from Jesus's high priestly prayer: to permit vast diversity in how churches--write both small and large; local, national, and international, and of all "31 flavors"--implement understanding of Jesus's ministry and of the Great Commission itself.

The choices actually ARE simple:

1. There is a vibrant, existing set of traditional interpretations that are a closed canon on what the Bible means that everyone is to follow "or else".

or

2. God continues to reveal Himself progressively through a combination of Scripture and directly leadership of the Holy Spirit and gradually corrects human failings within local gatherings/movements eventually impacting nations.

Stephen's very brief comments regarding the impact that slaves had on slavery is the best BIBLICAL explanation for how slavery of proto-Israelites in Egypt were freed: God heard their cries. So it is, by extension, the best explanation of how slavery in the United States ended: God heard their cries.

If God overthrew the evil institution of slavery in the US, then those institutions that argued for its continuance were God's enemies. That would include the SBC. And the fact that we did a little one-year resolution on how bad we felt doesn't erase that historical fact. And all of the bad theology that supported the institution--as is the case when anyone chooses enmity with God--had strong Satanic influence.

Which is why Wade's title question is VERY important. If we cannot admit that our interpretations might be wrong, then Satan wins when we ARE wrong. And he wins through the simplest of mechanisms: pure, simple pride.

Greg Harvey

ml said...

Wade [and others], The conversation on this thread points to the veracity of the original blog thought. The truth is our dialogue/debate about woman and ministry is completely irrelevant to a lost world. We spend way too much time monitoring behavior so we can determine those in or out of the club. There is no checklist or trivia test that we answer that will satisfy God's wrath. The ironic truth is that most of our churches are perfectly constructed to return to the 50's. Let me encourage you to read Ed Stetzer's blog on the topic of in the world but not of the world. http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/2008/12/bh-church-leadership-book-interviews-kerry-oberbrunner.html#more

[Sorry I cannot get the hyperlink to work]

There are three books worth investigating from this blog:

Kary Oberbrunner's The Fine Line: Re-envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture

Michael Horton's Where in the World is the Church

Bob Briner's Roaring Lambs

Here is an interesting thought from Oberbrunner on why Niebuhr is no longer relevant to our present day culture--in 1951 the world was very different. Homosexuality was considered a mental illness. The divorce rate was less than ½ of what it is today. Prayer was still allowed in school. Abortion was illegal. There was no Internet or cell phones. And attending movies was considered a sin by many.

We spend way too much time excavating cultural expressions and debating their plausibility or sinfulness [i.e. blogging] rather than the modes of translating the gospel through those cultural expressions. By the time we have arrived at our biblical answer the culture usually has moved on and we end up looking more irrelevant and wondering why we are so far behind the culture--just compare the copy-cat Christian music and the college station music.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe White,

When you find The First Wade Burleson Baptist Church, please let me know. Until then, I still look for the answer to the question from Tim as to what "my church" believes about "women in ministry."

Frankly, the subject has never been an issue, and nobody around these parts is even asking the questions you guys seem focused upon.

Anonymous said...

Joe,

Could you please provide those of us interested in the Bible where there is a prohibition for women pastors from Scripture?

Tom Parker said...

Joe White:

Does the Bible allow for Women Deacons?

Scott Shaffer said...

Tom and others,

The post isn't about the role of women in the church and if I may be bold, it isn't what Peter and Joe were trying to discuss. The question was related to how we allow culture to influence our interpretation of scripture. Peter's point was that Wade himself has admitted that his position on women pastors, at least at his home church, is culturally influenced.

Wade, am I correct in assuming you took issue with Peter's question because he confused your personal position with your church's position?

Joe White... said...

Wade,

You wrote... "Frankly, the subject has never been an issue, and nobody around these parts is even asking the questions you guys seem focused upon."

Actually; we are not raising this issue, you are. With all do respect; you are the one who posted a 7 part series on Women in the Ministry, and you are the one who included the subject here in this current post, and you are the one who has a label on your home page... "Women in the SBC"... with 18 posts attached to it. Clearly, you are the one raising this issue, asking this question, and focusing attention upon it.

As to whether or not anyone else is asking this question... please see the question from Anonymous and Tom Parker right below your response.

And as for all the semantics over the word "my", that ranks right up there with the definition of the word "is" by former President Clinton in my book. I think we all know what Tim meant. (Hint: it was not the First Baptist Church of Wade Burleson). I will let Tim answer for himself on this one, but I do surmise that he meant the Church where you Pastor.

You may not like it, but you did say this about your opinion concerning women Pastors... "The only discrimination I currently hold to is a prohibition of women serving as Senior Pastors - and that is personal, confessional and cultural (N.W. Oklahoma)." Thus the statement from Peter Lumpkins that... "You are on public record asserting that your church does not recognize women in ministry to the point of serving as pastor. The kicker is, you state the reason is cultural, not biblical."

It does seem that you have weaved a very tangled web.

Joe White... said...

Tom Parker,

You asked me... "Does the Bible allow for Women Deacons?"

The official Southern Baptist Convention statement regarding women in the ministry (taken directly from www.sbc.net) is this... "Women participate equally with men in the priesthood of all believers. Their role is crucial, their wisdom, grace and commitment exemplary. Women are an integral part of our Southern Baptist boards, faculties, mission teams, writer pools, and professional staffs. We affirm and celebrate their Great Commission impact.

While Scripture teaches that a woman's role is not identical to that of men in every respect, and that pastoral leadership is assigned to men, it also teaches that women are equal in value to men."

I am in agreement with this statement and can cooperate with any Southern Baptist Church that practices such.

Now... to give you a more direct and personal answer. No, I do not believe it does.

greg.w.h said...

Joe White wrote:

It does seem that you have weaved a very tangled web.

Help me out, Joe. Are you explicitly accusing Wade of deceiving or only implicitly accusing him?

Greg Harvey

debbiekaufman said...

Wade is willing to cooperate. Our church is willing to cooperate. My question is gentlemen, are you?

Joe White... said...

Greg Harvey,

You asked... "Are you explicitly accusing Wade of deceiving or only implicitly accusing him?"

Neither. I am merely suggesting that perhaps he has stated in the positive, paradoxical statements.

Debbie,
Please find my answer to your cooperation question already written in my response to Tom Parker.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Joe: So in other words, no, you wouldn't cooperate with a church that had a woman minister.Am I reading your correctly?

If I am,could you think of being wrong in this interpretation? I am asking in what I think is the point of this post.

William said...

Scott,

Yes, you are.

Mark said...

"Why can't we ever admit we might be wrong in our interpretations of the infallible Word of God?"

Because I would rather be sure about something that is wrong than unsure about something that is right.

Because I have too much of "the Fonz" in me (tho I still can't make jukeboxes play by punching them).

Because admitting I might be wrong somehow seems to weaken my position; and if my positioned is weakened so am I. Typically, where my position is weakened I tend to speak more vociferously and act more confidently in order to compensate.

But maybe I'm all alone.

Mark Sims
FBC Perrin, TX
"the greatest church in Texas"

William said...

Joe,

Please, in all your biblical wisdom, give the clear, concise prohibition in Scripture that women are not to serve as "Senior Pastors."

When you show me chapter and verse, I will change my personal prohibition from women serving as "Senior Pastors" from cultural, confessional and practical to biblical.

As it stands now, I see both interpretations of Scripture (pro/con) as legitimate interpretations. This post simply cautions people like you from being dogmatic about interpretations in the absence of a clear prohibition.

Thanks,

Wade

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

Do you think SBC churches that have Women deacons are of a Liberal bend? Does the BF&M need to be revised to only allow men deacons?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"My question is gentlemen, are you?"

Nah. And only out of shear principle. Of course that principle would be the undeniable truth of Scripture which is clearer as to the gender of the Elder and Deacon than it is on the literalness of the Lake of Fire.

And no, I would have not owned slaves.


Kevin

Tom Parker said...

Kevin:

Feel free to chime in on the question I asked of Joe White.

Joe White... said...

Debbie,

You are reading me correctly. I believe it was Moody who said... "The power to convince and persuade comes only from someone who is both convinced and persuaded." Let's just say I am convinced and persuaded about more in the Bible than the "2 cardinal doctrines" that Wade purposes, and that I also think cooperation requires more than an affirmation of them.

William,

I have no desire to go through this tortuous conversation again.

Tom Parker,

1) Yes
2) No; although I would vote for it if it ever came to the floor.

Do any of you three feel that Wade has put forth paradoxical statements concerning culture and Biblical interpretations?

Scott Shaffer said...

Wade,

This is an intriguing dilemma. Please allow me to make a couple of observations.

1. To answer the question of your post, we don’t like to admit our interpretations are wrong because we like to be right. It is a pride thing – sometimes.

2. In this particular post, you reduced to two doctrines, those things that without agreement on we cannot cooperate: the deity of Christ and salvation by grace through faith. We should show humility and realize that we may be mistaken about our interpretation about other doctrines. I agree that we should show humility, but how is that you reduced non-negotiable doctrines to two? And who gets to pick the two? One hundred years ago, Torrey and others published The Fundamentals in response to liberalism and higher criticism. I believe they settled on 7 fundamentals. You didn’t mention the Trinity, inerrancy of Scripture, Christ’s return, etc. In one of your posts several months ago that dealt with primary, secondary, and tertiary doctrines, I recall asking you what you considered to be primary doctrines. You mentioned five (I don’t recall which ones and I am unable to find the comment), but here you mention just two. My point is who decides what issues are non-negotiable? Who decides what interpretations we can be cocksure about? The larger context of your posts typically deals with all things Southern Baptist, but many other non-baptist groups would affirm the two essential doctrines you have listed. It seems to me that the convention should determine what doctrines are truly essential.


Interested in your response,

Scott

Wayne Smith said...

Gary Skaggs,

Tim Rogers can speak for Himself, but I wanted to share what my ESV Study Bible Notes have to say about Women in the Church. Now Women in the Ministry outside the Church would be another Subject.
1 Tim. 2:12 I do not permit. Paul self-consciously writes with the authority of an apostle (e.g., 1 Thess. 4:1; 2 Thess. 3:6), rather than simply offering an opinion. This statement is given in the context of Paul's apostolic instructions to the church for the ordering of church practice when the church is assembled together. In that context, two things are prohibited: (1) Women are not permitted to publicly teach Scripture and/or Christian doctrine to men in church (the context implies these topics), and (2) women are not permitted to exercise authority over men in church. (The reference for both “teaching” and “exercise authority” here is within the context of the assembled church.) Women teaching other women, and women teaching children, are not in view here, and both are encouraged elsewhere (on women teaching women, cf. Titus 2:4; on women teaching children, cf. 2 Tim. 1:5). Nor does this passage have in view the role of women in leadership situations outside the church (e.g., business or government). The presence of the word or (Gk. oude) between “to teach” and “to exercise authority” indicates that two different activities are in view, not a single activity of “authoritative teaching.” “Exercise authority” represents Greek authenteō, found only here in the NT. Over 80 examples of this word exist outside the NT, however, clearly establishing that the meaning is “exercise authority” (not “usurp authority” or “abuse authority,” etc., as sometimes has been argued). Since the role of pastor/elder/overseer is rooted in the task of teaching and exercising authority over the church, this verse would also exclude women from serving in this office (cf. 1 Tim. 3:2). Thus when Paul calls for the women to be quiet, he means “quiet” with respect to the teaching responsibility that is limited in the assembled church. Paul elsewhere indicates that women do speak in other ways in the church assembly (see 1 Cor. 11:5). See also note on 1 Cor. 14:34–35

Wayne

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

My church should determine which doctrines are essential for fellowship among those who are members of my church.

The church is the highest authority.

In your view, the Convention would be.

wade

Scott Shaffer said...

Wade,

Thanks for answering, but you have misinterpreted what I wrote. God, through scripture, is the highest authority on who we should cooperate with and the local church should determine that. However, when you belong to a convention it seems that the convention will determine to some extent what is a shared belief and what are essential doctrines to belong to the convention.

The fact that you yourself have suggested on different occasions different essential doctrines, points out the dilemma you will face if the convention doesn't come to some agreement on essential doctrines. It is unfortunate that the BF&M can't be used in this manner.

Anonymous said...

Wade:

This is a big deal. I am glad that BJU finally came around.

It is sad that it's 2008 and not 1908, but better late than never. How sad it would be if BJU actually continued a racist stance. At least there is something good to celebrate.

Although I deplore the moral state in the U.S. today, we could be living in a day when there was general agreement on moral issues, but millions of people were enslaved. I often ask people which they would prefer.

The truth is that all cultures are fallen, and that does affect how we view scripture. No doubt about it.

However, if we follow that line of thinking too far, we can end up in a place where we feel afraid to say anything to anybody about any subject with any authority.

We have to find the balance of humbly holding fast to truths that we see and know only by faith. We should be humble. But we should hold fast to things - even if they are only an interpretation, as most of our faith is. Otherwise, we hold on to nothing.

Which is the greater danger - doggedly holding on to ideas and truths we believe to be true, even to the death, and run the risk of being wrong, or not holding on to any truths because we fear that one day we could be shown to have been wrong?

We shold hold and fight for truth, even if it is an interpretation, we should be humble in doing so, and we should study as hard as we can so that we can be diligent about those truths that we hold - to make sure they are truths.

Finally, some prioritizing is in order. Figure out what's worth holding on to.

I believe that churches AND denominatons both set parameters around what they believe. A denomination or a church may be as restrictive as it wants. That is decided by the members of the respecitve organizations.

Louis

CB Scott said...

"My church should determine which doctrines are essential for fellowship among those who are members of my church."

I agree.

Therefore, when many churches who have done that very thing come together in doctrinal unity stating they all believe the same and vote to send forth missionaries to all the world those missionaries should work and minister within the parameters of the established doctrinal unity.


Also, if I say:

"A conservative Christian who follows Christ never says, "I'm doing what I am doing because of culture." He says, "I'm doing what I am doing because I am following Scripture."

It should stand to reason that every vote I take will be based upon my desire to follow Scripture and nothing else.

cb

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Ya know Tom, in reality I am sort of between a rock and a hard place on the issue of the gender of a διάκονος. A servant right? Certainly in the generic use men and women can be servants of the Lord and servants of the Body of Christ. I have a lady in my church that has gifts which could be considered useful to a deacon. She is an RN with the gift of compassion and has a heart for service to the elderly. But, this is here ministry. I do not consider what she does as an extension of my ministry as Pastor/Elder. The office of Deacon, in my opinion is just that: and extension of the ministry of the Pastor. Hence that man who holds the office of Pastor must meet certain requirements commensurate with that of the Pastor.

So, the Rock? Scripture.

The hard place? The immense value we must place on the gifts of women in ministry. (The hard place in not giving them some sort of divine title)

I think however the resolution can be found in the complementarian approach.

There is an identity crisis with men in the church today. I think women could greatly assist in bringing balance to this problem.

Thanks for the opportunity Tom!

Tom Parker said...

CB:

Do you think the BF&M needed to be changed as it was? Also, very few people participate in the SBC convention anymore and I'm not sure the revision of the BF&M would have occurred if people had better understood what was being changed. There is just way too much politics in the SBC. Too often at least to me it seems make sure you have enough votes on and issue and ram it through knowing it is near nigh impossible to undo it after the change has been made.

Russell said...

I admitted I was wrong and became an Anglican :)

Batchaps said...

Sorry, I used the wrong account to admit I was wrong- this one is the correct one :)

Greg Alford said...

Tom,

Who cares what the “Majority” of SBC churches believe? If these small Churches and their Bi-vocational pastors don’t care enough to spend their vacation time and money to attend the convention each year then they should not whine about the way the large and mega churches are running things… (wink!)

Tim Rogers,

I almost forgot... did you know that the majority of Southern Baptist believe Semi-Pelagian doctrines of some stripe?

Grace Always,

Thy Peace said...

The only person in this post and comments to have mentioned, The Holy Spirit is Greg Harvey here.

In the earlier post, Lydia wrote this here:
"Personally, I do not believe the Bible can be understood in a spiritual way unless the Holy Spirit is illuminating truth as we study and pray. Without the Holy Spirit, it is a history book or a club for some."

Now if the interpretation of scripture are sometimes incorrect, does it mean The Holy Spirit is not guiding us or that The Holy Spirit guides us only at times or does the guiding of The Holy Spirit is dependent on the relation of the individual with Our Lord Jesus Christ? And if people make incorrect interpretation, can we say they are doing it on their own (without divine guidance as provided by The Holy Spirit)?

I do not wish to be provocative here. Just puzzled with the divine nature of The Holy Spirit's involvement in helping the Christian in their interpretation of the scriptures.

Anonymous said...

I was reading Paul Burleson's comments on the interaction of culture and interpretation of scriptures.

It occured to me that sometimes we forget that the human authors of holy scripture, although inspired by the Holy Spirit, did write from the perspective and limitations of their own culturals and times.
I say this, because I believe that the more that we learn about the times and cultures of those Biblical writers, the more we can glean from the nuances of their writings: things we may have missed because we are separated by such a span of time and place and culture.

I have tried to study more about Judaic history and tradition myself, hoping to enrich my own understanding of the New Testament writings. It definitely has helped to cast light on some meanings that I had missed by not understanding that ancient culture.

I think there is much to learn from each other about scripture: but, in truth, a prayer to the Holy Spirit in humility before reading the Holy Writings, is the best preparation.

Do Protestants pray before they read? And after they read? L's

Tom Parker said...

Greg:

I agree with everything you said. I never have liked the way we let the few messengers that go to the SBC decide for all of those millions that have no vote or voice in the process.

Greg:

Be careful or Tim Rogers will ban you from Wade's Blog--wink wink--he can not do that can he--whew, I was worried for just a moment.

I keep hoping that people in the SBC will wake up and see that just a few people speak for the 16 milion, 15 million, 14 million, etc, whatever the number of Southern Baptists are.

Thy Peace said...

Correction: ml also mentions the Spirit here.

Anonymous said...

CB wrote,

'It should stand to reason that every vote I take will be based upon my desire to follow Scripture and nothing else.'

Remember, remember, it is the Living Word that you follow. Scripture is not to be worshipped but reverently read as inspired and inspiring. It will never be a substitute for the Living Word, who is Jesus the Christ.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Formally, I think the BF&M defines what are the essential doctrines of the SBC.

Informally, I think the people on the ground, in general, do not affirm the entire BF&M.

There's a difference between the formal and the informal in my opinion.

If there is going to be any change, then I think it will take sacrifice--i.e., actually coming to the convention with a voice of change.

CB Scott said...

Tom Parker,

I will risk taking hits from all sides and answer you questions truthfully. (according to my understanding)

I was never really all that interested in the BF&M. (I have said that many times in Blogtown.) It is not a perfect document in any of its renderings and it never will be no matter how often it is revised.

Scripture is the only perfect document in existence. We should earnestly seek unity within its parameters.

I know why the BF&M was revised. So do many other people. The revision occurred because the majority of messengers voted for its revision. I was among those.

Politics is part of the texture in all of human endeavor. Yet, there is far too much in the SBC.

No one at the SBC in many years had to "ram" anything "through."

As you stated, and I agreed; The SBC is political. All you have to do is count the votes properly before any "vote" takes place. If you have enough votes it is done. If you do not have enough votes; You wait.

I think I have answered your questions to the best of my ability within the scope of a blog comment. I hope you can appreciate my efforts even if you disagree.

Also, as I read some of the comments in this thread, I realize the "Battle for the Bible" will never be really over before the coming of the Lord.

cb

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I see you are still using "infallible, inerrant"

I call your attention to a piece that came by an article (My Bible is True) written by Duke McCall.
Any talk about inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Scripture, truth without and mixture of error, must take account of the problems of textual difference and translation. Some who use this language do apparently intending to deceive by not making is clear that they are really talking about the original copy or original and not a Bible available today.
For a thousand years no one has seen any original autograph of each book of the Bible. The earliest copies of the New Testament available to us are in library of the Vatican or the British Museum and were mad about AD 400. They are not exactly a like.
Art

Tom Parker said...

CB:

You said--"All you have to do is count the votes properly before any "vote" takes place. If you have enough votes it is done. If you do not have enough votes; You wait."

Is that what the SBC is all about just winning votes. It sure sounds like it.

Also, you are fond of saying-"Also, as I read some of the comments in this thread, I realize the "Battle for the Bible" will never be really over before the coming of the Lord."

Do you realize how offensive that statement is? There are many people who are born again believers who love the Word of God, but just do not intepret some of the passages the way you and others do. But yet you basically say they do not believe the Bible.
Which is just another way of calling them a Liberal, which is the kiss of death in SBC circles.

I admire your fire and passion, but some of us others have the same fire and passion and will not back down or go away.

Yes, CB, you struck a nerve with me.

Benji Ramsaur said...

"...the BF&M...It is not a perfect document in any of its renderings and it never will be no matter how often it is revised."

If so, then maybe this would have been a good reason for there to have been restraint on including a statement like "these are doctrines we hold precious and as 'essential' to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice" in its preamble.

Thy Peace said...

Art said ... "I call your attention to a piece that came by an article (My Bible is True) written by Duke McCall."

My Bible is true by Duke McCall

greg.w.h said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin M. Crowder said...

"The earliest copies of the New Testament available to us are in library of the Vatican or the British Museum and were mad about AD 400. They are not exactly a like."

And yet those differences are not in contradiction in reference to soteriology, ecclesiology, or any major doctrine of the church.

If you believe in a God who would not perfectly preserve His Word and make it perfectly interpretable with the aid of the Holy Spirit according to His good pleasure, then you do not believe in God.

Oh how Satan loves to creep in...


K

greg.w.h said...

Joe White:

You use the phrase tangled web which is a direct allusion to the couplet:

"What a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive."
--Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi Stanza 17

In American, Canadian, or British English it's impossible to use "tangled web" without alluding to that couplet.

Greg Harvey

greg.w.h said...

Kevin said:

If you believe in a God who would not perfectly preserve His Word and make it perfectly interpretable with the aid of the Holy Spirit according to His good pleasure, then you do not believe in God.

Oh how Satan loves to creep in...


That's certainly a bold faith statement that collides with the fact that there are NO extant original manuscripts and sufficient differences in the existing manuscripts to cause one to at least WONDER which ONE has been so perfectly preserved.

Now I'm not going to say your position is simplistic, but I will offer that you might want to address those inconvenient facts. ;)

Greg Harvey

CB Scott said...

Tom Parker,
Actually, the "fire and passion"
is a little low tonight. I have not called one person a name or berated them:-)

Tom, I did not say winning votes was all the "SBC is about."

Certainly it is about far more. And, actually, far better.

Also, I don't think I am "fond" of saying:

"Also, as I read some of the comments in this thread, I realize the "Battle for the Bible" will never be really over before the coming of the Lord."

I have not said that very often. In truth, I once thought it was over.

Tom, I did not say people who interpret "some of the passages" are not "born again believers."

Also, I did not say you or anyone else "do not believe the Bible."

I will agree with you about one thing here when you say:

"Which is just another way of calling them a Liberal, which is the kiss of death in SBC circles."

Now, Tom, please notice I did not call you a liberal. I simply agree that to be one today, if it is known, is the "kiss of death" in the SBC. There is no doubt about that being very true.

cb

CB Scott said...

Of course, Tom,

There are many things which can constitute the "kiss of death" in the SBC today other than being a liberal.

cb

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"collides" presupposes that your "sufficient differences" produce "inconvenient facts"

And so since it is you who uses the adjective "sufficient," I submit that the burden of proof lies with you to "address" these "inconvenient facts" which call into question the veracity of Scripture.

My "bold faith statement" thus remains intact as submitted.

But thanks for playing. :)

K

Tom Parker said...

CB:

You said--"Now, Tom, please notice I did not call you a liberal. I simply agree that to be one today, if it is known, is the "kiss of death" in the SBC. There is no doubt about that being very true.

The very sad part is that the term Liberal is a slippery term.

Are you ok with it being the kiss of death? What is a liberal to one person is conservative to another. I never have felt like much is gained by labeling people, but that was part of the CR tactics along with the "Battle for the Bible" and it has worked to this day very well.

It has removed lots of people from the SBC and sadly I thinK more will leave voluntarily or unvoluntarily in the future.

It is about power and control and hardball tactics in the SBC.


cb

CB Scott said...

Tom,

As to "labeling people" I shall ask you: Who called who Fundamentalists?:-)

cb

Tom Parker said...

CB:

I do not know the name of the person, who was it? Who was the person who called someone Liberal--I do not know.
I really do not know what fundamentalist means. It like Liberal is a very slippery term.

I personally wish that the terms Liberal and Fundamentalist would never be used again by anyone because they are sadly used by people to insult other people and that is wrong. I personally do not like to label people and try my best not to.

Wayne Smith said...

CB,

The Battle for the Bible is still Alive as these commits testify to.
God’s Word is the same today as it was in the beginning and should never be changed or interpreted to fit the present Culture.
Rev. 22:6–21 Epilogue. John's epilogue repeats themes of his prologue, reaffirming the transmission and trustworthiness of the book, pronouncing blessing on those who keep its words, and promising the imminent coming of Jesus.
Rev. 22:18–21 Prohibition of Altering the Book, Promise that Jesus Is Coming Soon, and Final Pronouncement of Blessing. I warn is the same verb as testifies in v. 20. Jesus bears witness that no mere human may add to or take away from God's words without incurring the plagues described in this book and forfeiting its blessings. Moses had warned against adding to or subtracting from the Lord's commands (Deut. 4:2;

Wayne

Tom Parker said...

Wayne Smith:

What has been said in this comment stream that shows the Battle for the Bible is still alive?

Wade Burleson said...

Wayne,

We all love the Bible.

All of us commenting here love God's Word.

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Wade, i didn't really know where to write you. this is off topic,but i was wondering if you knew that paige patterson has closed the naylor children center at swbts. i bring this up because of what i read about him closing the sebts children center on your blog a while back. swbts student

Wade Burleson said...

I did here.

Several students and a couple of professors have written to me about financial problems at SWBTS.

I have not, at this time, posted anything about it.

Anonymous said...

Art:

If you will take a peak at the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, it gives a good explanation about the autographs and the Bible we have today.

Dr. McCall, I do not believe, holds to inerrancy, though I don't want to speak for him. I never was able to truly grasp his views on inspiration, and what he really held.

He certainly did not follow the conservative line, but in all his talk and writings, I can't tell you exactly why.

I am guessing he took a very Barth-like approach. The Bible is the Word of God when you interact with it under the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not God's word in every phrase and syllable. I am not sure he would agree that the Bible is objectively true in all that it states. But then, again, Dr. McCall is a very difficult person to read in some respects.

By the way, people don't realize that Dr. McCall was responsible for the biggest purge of the Southern faculty that ever took place. I believe it was 1959, and I believe 9 or 10 profs were fired over their bucking his administration.

Louis

Louis

Anonymous said...

L's:

Protestants do pray before and after we read the Bible - just to God, and not to Mary.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Yes. As I thought.

I just read Dr. McCall's article that someone linked.

The article does two things.

First, it states that Dr. McCall believes that the Bible he holds in his hands is trustworthy, and he is going to follow it. But the article essentially concedes that the Bible in his hands is not inerrant because of textual differences etc. He goes on at length about this. As suspected, he does take an approach very similar to Barth -very experiential. Almost completely lacking in discussing the objective truth of the Bible as a revelation from God.

Second, Dr. McCall avoids talking about the very issue that ripped his Baptist denomination apart. He was the President of the crown jewel of SBC theological education. Even though he was really an administrator and not a Bible scholar by practice, Dr. McCall was exposed to and rubbed shoulders with the giants in SBC theological circles. And yet, the best he can do in discussing inerrancy is to point out that the doctrine talks about the autographs, and since no one has seen the autographs, he basically says it is not relevant.

This is really disappointing.

In his position, with his background, Dr. McCall should be able to say, "yes, I agree with inerrancy because..." or "no, I don't agree with inerrancy because..."

Instead we are treated to evasion. I read the article twice and can guess where McCall stands, but that's because I have some theological training and have observed the theological Kabuki (sp?) dance that starts when you asked someone in a seminary a direct question and he doesn't want to give a direct answer. "Sir, before I answer that question, explain what do you mean by 'Bible' and 'believe'?"

I would think a man of Dr. McCalls' intelligence and years should be able to muster the following statement circa 1980 or so:

"The beliefs of the faculty at Southern range widely when it comes to the question of the biblical texts and the nature of inspiration. For each personal perspective, I suggest you talk to the prof in question, if he will talk to you. But my understanding is that biblical criticism has come a long way since this institution was founded. We no longer really view the Bible as inspired in the verbal, plenary sense. We believe that God was involved in the scriptures, but we also believe that man was involved, too. And accordingly, there are some passages in the Bible that are problematic. The creation accounts, the story of God telling Abraham to sacrifice Issac, lots of the exploits of the patriarchs, the period of the judges and both kingdoms and the prophets. You see the Pentatuch and the rest of the OT afterwards were written in different phases, and were redacted or edited over time, hundreds of years later. Sometimes myth was inserted into the text to build our faith or illustrate a point. Jonah being swallowed by a fish, the stories of Elijah and Elisha etc. The New Testament, too, contains myth. The goal is for the interpreter to strip away the myth and get to the kernel of spiritual truth that is being presented. That is what we are about at Southern. Teaching the student to do that"

Wouldn't that, or something like it, really have been refreshing?

We could have a real discussion of issues. But instead, 20 years after he left Southern, his writing on the inerrancy of scripture is still so intentionally obtuse that anyone can read it and see the parts they like.

And I say all this admiring Dr. McCall.

Louis

Tim G said...

SWBTS Student,
Not only is SWBTS possibly having some economic difficulties, Southern today announced major cuts due to the economic downturn. Monies deposited in investment accounts are not doing what they use to.

All of our entities will be effected before this is over.

Wayne Smith said...

All,

Help for the serious Student of What God’s Word says.
How to Use a Study Bible by Dr. Al Mohler.


http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=2930

Wayne

debbiekaufman said...

I don't believe there is a battle for the Bible any longer, but there may be a battle of interpretations. This is why cooperation in things non-essential is needed. As it seems otherwise just battles in general will never be over, and frankly after years of Baptists battling, not just Southern Baptists, I'm sick of it.

Jack Maddox said...

debbie

Really, if your so sick of it, why do you continue to fuss? I am just saying....

'smiles'

jack

Tom Parker said...

Wayne Smith:

I shall wait for the answer to the question I asked earlier--"

What has been said in this comment stream that shows the Battle for the Bible is still alive?"

I just do not see that in this comment stream.

Anonymous said...

Debbie Kaufman:

I agree with you. The Battle as it once existed is over.

The SBC is diverse in many ways, and their are interpretive differences. Sometimes these are going to turn into policy disputes. If they do, whomever's view prevails and whomever's loses, we are just going to have to walk together.

I, too, am tired over arguing. As a student of history, I don't mind discussing the past etc. But Baptist life needs to be far less bellicose.

Louis

Thy Peace said...

infallible:

incapable of failure or error;

Infallibility, from Latin origin ('in', not + 'fallere', to deceive), is a term with a variety of meanings related to knowing truth with certainty.

Without fault or weakness; incapable of error or fallacy

incapable of error or failure


inerrant:

inerrable: not liable to error

Of or pertaining to inerrancy. Without error, particularly used in reference to the Bible


Wiki: Biblical inerrancy

Inspiration of the Bible: Is the Bible Infallible, Inerrant, and Verbally Inspired?

Inerrant, infallible, indelible, literal: Words about the Bible

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

The Baptist Faith and Message [2000]

Joe White... said...

Greg Harvey,

Thank you for pointing out the allusion to the couplet my words carried. I disagree with you when you say that… “it's impossible to use "tangled web" without alluding to that couplet.” Please understand that in the computer networking industry weaving a tangled web means something different. When I typed the words "tangled web", I simply meant that Wade had intertwined his arguments. This is the second time I have clarified my statement.

So… in order to be clear I will now rephrase that final sentence of that blog post... ..."Wade, it seems that you have intertwined your arguments."

I guess when one cannot refute the question or charge, the only thing left to do is try an Ad Hominem circular argument (i.e. the definition of "my" or the real meaning of the words "tangled web"). :)

greg.w.h said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
greg.w.h said...

Joe:

I'm just telling you what your choice of words signals and the specific quote that it is derived from. While I concede that in some weird, contorted logic that is an ad hominem attack, it mainly is just a crisp warning about the use of that phrase.


Kevin:

from Biblegateway.com (this is specifically mentioned in the NIV listing for John 8 and I used that one because it is the default for biblegateway.com):

((The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.))

There are several such very glaring differences. Many Christians write them off as insignificant, but given that earlier manuscripts don't include a story that has been used in about a dozen sermons I've heard over the years, I'd like to offer that the situation isn't quite as simple as you present it, which is precisely the point I was making.

Greg Harvey

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Greg,

And the point I am making is that there is nothing in this passage which contradicts the rest of Scripture. Was it added after John wrote his Gospel. Probably. It is a true account of what actually happened? Did Jesus really say "he who is without sin...?" It matters no more than the actual occurrence of the parables. Funny however that this passage is inserted right after an argument over the identity of the Christ.

Greg, a wise man once told me that if a passage such as this or Mark 16:9-20 can be preached in good faith in light of the whole of Scripture then preach it, and when necessary include parallel proofs. But if the passage stands alone or in contrast to the whole of Scripture then leave it alone.

Here is my view. I have no problem preaching over the John passage though I will likely not use it as a singular text for an expository sermon but rather as an example of a principle found elsewhere. As to the end of Mark, I will choose to let that passage speak for itself and not address it in my preaching and teaching. What truths are contained there can be found in other places. In otherwords, Mark 16:9-20 is not needed to complete the Gospel.

Thank you however for making this point. Many will use passages like these to try and debunk the veracity of Scripture. I find that with some study, the Glory of the Word always shines through.

Now, here is one for you: I, Kevin M. Crowder, even believe the "mistakes" are inspired. Thus making it important for us (you) to catch them as you have.

Good job! You win!


:)

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

So I ask a very simple question and am accused of being insincere? That's how you answer questions to your position? That's really a very clever tactic, Wade. I think I'll consider that myself;^)

Actually, we both know precisely why you did not answer--it is because you have no defendable example. This is simply another stick on the woodpile of accusation without warrant.

There is not one doubt in my mind, if you had an example you would have offered it. One thing I've learned reading here: when there's resemblance of evidence available for a gotcha, no reluctance exists to withhold it.

Now as for me allegedly speaking for your church's policy, Wade, you are mistaken. You are the one who wrote concerning not only your position but your church's as well, as I recall. If you'd like, I'll try to find the one where you specifically mentioned your church.

Our Scott has kindly offered your own "cultural" reason why you deny women a front seat on your bus. Albeit toward the front of the bus she sits, she'll still just have to take her place in ministry behind men in ministry...all for cultural reasons, no less.

Greg,

As for being "bombastic" and Wade's right as bloghost to be such, I haven't the least quibble. Why would you think I remotely questioned that?

Rather, my concern was and still is, for a single example of not only the "bombastic" but also "mean-spirited, arrogant bullies who try to tell others that they are speaking on behalf on God..." which he refuses to offer. Are you suggesting such a question is inappropriate? Immoral? Off limits? Irrelevant?

With that, I am...

Peter

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Peter,

If I may address this in a roundabout way. Churches which use congregational polity such as my church, Wade's church and most SBC churches make policy up as they go and on an "as needed" basis. Sure some churches have gone the paranoid route of creating complicated constitutions and bylaws which bind the hands of all associated with ministry but most churches have simple bylaws which protect the finances, the choosing of leadership, and some doctrinal guidelines but all from a legal (generally) standpoint.

Churches like this do not even have an "official stance" in abortion. But if you ask the pastor or any member they will tell you "our church is against abortion." In reality the corporate will of the church cannot be known without a vote. If a vote has not been taken (i.e. Emmanuel on WIM) then whomever you ask gets to speak for the body. If you ask me what the official position of Delhi Baptist Church is on the Ordination of Women I will tell you that we do not do it nor do we approve of it. Why? Because that is my position. They were aware that this is my position when they hired me and if they change their corporate will, then they will need to find a new pastor. But in reality, the church has no “official” position.

I would love to know Wade's or any pastor's thought on this. Is the church bound by the views of the pastor insofaras what he will or will not allow? Sometimes a pastor must back down on a small issue, thus the people win, sometimes the people must back down in submission to either biblical or pastoral authority.

Most of the time though it is don't ask don't tell on some things. Why have positions on a matter that will never come up? Just another pointless matter of contention in the body.


So Peter, as to Wade's view on WIM and his church’s position, I would leave it alone. Wade has a large church with I am sure many views on the subject. But he is the pastor and he knows his people. He should with his leadership team be able to address the issue with his people when and if the need arises and since he has admitted that his reasons will not be biblically based, as in his view Scripture in no way addresses the gender qualification of the Pastor or Deacon then he is pretty much free to tackle the issue pragmatically. I on the other hand am will to die on that hill--alone.


K

debbiekaufman said...

debbie

Really, if your so sick of it, why do you continue to fuss? I am just saying....

'smiles'

jack


Because I don't want the Bible chained to the SBC podium with just a select few telling me this is what the Bible says Jack.

Chris said...

Kevin,

While I agree with the bulk of your statement, you used a phrase that irks me, so I'm just going to state my case against it.

You said that the people sometimes have to back down to pastoral authority. Let me suggest that no such thing exists. The pastorate is a function of service, not of authority (despite what PP thinks). Pastoral authority is generally touted by those who indirectly want to do away with the priesthood of all believers.

Where a pastor has any authority, it comes from the scriptures. But that same authority is open to any other believer who takes the time to read and rightly discern the word of God. Therefore, no church should be bound doctrinally or practically by the pastor or by its deacons. It is bound together by the forces that united them in the first place: God and His word.

greg.w.h said...

Peter Lumpkins wrote:

Rather, my concern was and still is, for a single example of not only the "bombastic" but also "mean-spirited, arrogant bullies who try to tell others that they are speaking on behalf on God..." which he refuses to offer. Are you suggesting such a question is inappropriate? Immoral? Off limits? Irrelevant?

So correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there at least two and almost three years of very specific posts on Wade's site where he has in detail outlined specific examples of behavior he believes ranges from condescending to bombastic? And did he or did he not specifically highlight the issues hehad with the John 3:16 conferenced? He does not have to use specific adjectives in the descriptions of events, people, and ideas in every single post on a subject to provide a summary comment over 2.5 years of concerns, does he?

Or is what you're looking for specific things you can argue about so you can attempt to distract people from the overall message that Wade has? Because in my opinion that's what the primary purpose of your campaign has been. He's provided a body of opinion over the past 2-3 years that speaks loudly. You're trying to pretend he hasn't been speaking clearly enough.

You're wrong.

Greg Harvey

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Chris,

Thanks for the response and thanks for agreeing with the "bulk of my statement."

I on the other hand disagree with the bulk of yours. Now, the degree to which pastoral authority extends to the lives of individual believers is another thing. Individual believers are still and always will be responsible for their own thoughts and deeds. But brother, each pastor will stand accountable for the actions of the corporate body which has been entrusted to them, specifically the rendering of God's Word.

Scripture is replete with examples of pastoral authority.


So, Merry Christmas and Happy Irking!

:)

Chris said...

Kevin,

Thanks for your disagreement.

However, is scripture full of examples of pastoral authority, or is it full of scriptural authority exercised by people we call pastors?

And as a pastor, I agree that pastors are held accountable before God. But are they held accountable for their faithful service to the body (including a faithful treatment of the word of God), or are they held accountable for having kept the part of the body entrusted to them in line? I think that the example of Jesus points to the former. Either that, or Jesus was in trouble with God because Judas obviously missed a Sunday morning or two.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"However, is scripture full of examples of pastoral authority, or is it full of scriptural authority exercised by people we call pastors?"

Chris. To me this is the same thing. Not once have I suggested that Pastoral Authority should be anything but biblical. Indeed that authority has its parameters set by Scripture. But, there is in some churches an administrative authority which is "given" to the pastor. Also the setting of the "vision" is to be considered a "directional authority."


After saying all that, let me say this. Good leadership leads without the appearance of authority. The authority given in the minds of the followers is given by default through respect deserved.

It can still tough though. John Maxwell says that is a fine line between leadership and manipulation. So true.

It is the job of a shepherd to guide the flock to do something that is necessary but which they do not know that they need to do.


I hope this makes sense and does not come off like I desire more that Scripture gives me. For I do not.

K

Stephen said...

This may seem like a random post, but here goes: There is a continuing delimma / paradox/ inconsistency about scriptural interpretations. I am sure you will see the point I am making. When I have encountered SBs who believe there is a NT prohibition on women in ministerial roles, I ask them if they support slavery. They look at me as though I was Satan and respond "of course not" I then remind them that a literal interpetation of the NT supports slavery. I have alienated a few believers, but maybe they will begin thinking about cultural context of the scriptures.

Anonymous said...

Poppycock!


-k

Elisabeth said...

You know where you see the most fallout from ministers taking more authority than they should? Spiritual abuse survivor support forums. Also, if a minister takes too much authority, how far is it for the church to go from a biblical church to a church with cultish tendencies, ie. worship the group and the pastor instead of God?
It is good, so good, Kevin, that you see there is a fine line between leadership and manipulation. Crossing that line has hurt many people in many ways.

Tom Parker said...

K:

How do you explain the Bible's position on slavery?

peter lumpkins said...

Kevin,

I am unsure why you responded as you did, for I really have no dog in Wade's kennel at his church. They are autonomous and can hold any view they desire on "WIM." My singular purpose in even raising the issue was the parallel--"according to custom.

Greg,

You just must learn to read the details of what others write. It would save you lots of irrelevant typing. Note once again that about which I requested an example:

"First, Wade, please link to me one, single example that fits your description of "Bombastic, mean-spirited, arrogant bullies" pertaining to communion practices...please give us one example of precisely whom is trying to tell us "that they are speaking on behalf on God" concerning communion."

I chose one specific area he mentioned, which, from what I recall, J316C did not address. Maybe you remember if anyone addressed such during the sessions you attended, Greg.

You assert my "primary purpose" in my "campaign" has been to distract readers from Wade's message. Well, my "campaign" as you call it has simply focused on questions pertaining to credible evidences for the "messages" he's offered.

Furthermore, you suggest that I am "trying to pretend he hasn't been speaking clearly enough. You're wrong." To the contrary, Greg, I do not recall coming here accusing Wade of being vague. Where have I done that?

Instead, it's not that the posts about which I have questioned are lacking clarity; rather, it's that the posts I've questioned lack credibility because they lack credible evidence. Interestingly, that's the very thing I requested about which you are confused above! Go figure.

I hope you have a good afternoon. With that, I am...

Peter

Tom Parker said...

Kevin:

You said--"In otherwords, Mark 16:9-20 is not needed to complete the Gospel."

Then, why is it in the Bible? Did someone make a mistake?

The Bible says all scripture is profitable--why not these?

Rex Ray said...

Tomorrow our deacons will gather for the first time to study/decide/ponder bylaws for our church that’s never had bylaws in its sixty four years. We will also decide on the revision of our Constitution. The old one had 310 words, and after a year the pastor and I (mostly) are presenting one that has 676 words.

After studying fifteen bylaws of other churches, I have used the thinking of KISS to write seven pages for bylaws. The pastor wrote fourteen pages. Unable to agree, we have asked the deacons to help. Of course the number of pages is not the whole problem but the content.

At the bottom of our proposed Constitution is:
Rex said: By-laws…14 pages! Hey, we spent a year on 2 pages. Oh-boy-oh boy.

My pastor said: It is a headache is it not? Yet surprisingly enough, I am enjoying working through this with you. It is forcing me to think through details that I would normally overlook.

Defining positions should not appear as exalted achievements. Nor should rules/beliefs be used as a club.

I’m reminded of my father giving his five year old grandson five dollars if he promised not to stutter.
A short time later, my father said, “Now John, you promised!”

John jerked the money out of his pocket, threw it on the floor, and said, “Keep your filthy money!” (Out of the mouths of babes; huh?)

I know this is not on the topic of not admitting we’re wrong about Scripture, but then again, maybe it is.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Tom,

The Bible does not have a "position on slavery" as it were and as you put it.

Slavery has existed in several forms throughout human history. No all the forms should be considered wrong. Slavery existed in during the writing of both testaments. It is clear to see that slavery, that is to say forced unpaid, brutal labor, is a product of the fallenness of human kind. God used this practice through the agents of "vessels of wrath" to accomplish his will. That being to pour out His wrath , or punish sin and sinful behavior. Of course this can also be seen as God withholding the blessing of protection from His people for their sins.

Class distinctions will always exist. Prejudices will always exist. Only today do we think that we have become so sophisticated as to have eliminated the slavery and prejudice as a social norm. But this is hardly the case. We simply clean it up and give it a different name.

Take Bellevue BC for example. They have made slaves to sin pay for the Gospel. Christ addresses this kind of action in His 7 woes of Matthew chapter 23. Russell Moore gives a splendid sermon on this passage at Highview's Fegenbush Campus on 11/30 Get the download here

Paul is quite clear that slavery is not a way to treat a brother in Christ in Philemon. But he also teaches us that we are to submit to our authorities no matter who they may be--for the cause of Christ.

Slavery has ever only served 2 purposes:

1. Punishment of God's people--the lost enslaving God's people.

2. The shame of the cross--The Pope selling indulgences to fund ST. Peter's. BBC selling the precious Gospel.

This of course does not address all the other forms of slavery: bondservants, indentured servants, etc. These can of course be bad, but in certain cultures and economies these could have been norms.


k

Feel free to correct me where I might be wrong.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Tom,

Try taking a running start at it. Start oh say around Mark 14:10 and read to the end. Try and ignore chapter and verse references if you can and then tell me where you get blindsided.

I do not think I said it wasn't profitable. I simply think the truths can be attained elsewhere. I also do not believe that Mark wrote this. We have a shorter and a longer ending that can be possibilities. It is fun and profitable to study them all. But this type of study can never be done in a group where the possibility of harming the Gospel is a potential. (I guess that could be said of here). But I did say that if this is a mistake, it is still supposed to be there. Just for a different purpose. (And the answer to the question in your mind is I don't know.) :)

K

And just what is your opinion on the matter Tom?

Tom Parker said...

Kevin:

How can we just choose to ignore these verses?

They are in the Holy Bible?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I never said to ignore them.

And you can do with them what you will.

I do not see it as a matter to divide over.

;)

Rex Ray said...

To one and all,
I believe this comment may be more on topic than the previous post.

Inerrancy means one day, we’ll see everything in the Bible perfect because God would not allow untruth in his Word. So one day, the ‘untruth’ we see now will be seen as illusions. As shown by the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy Exposition; C; page 9:

“Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.”

The BFM does not contain ‘inerrancy’. The BFM says:

“We believe that the Bible has God for its author; salvation for its end; and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

Do the following statements mean the same?
1. Without any mixture of error.
2. Without any error.

If you think they mean the same, why does the first have “mixture”?

For many years “mixture’ bothered me until I asked Michel Whitehead, lawyer for the SBC to explain ‘without mixture of error’.

He replied, “Those words means the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue. That’s why we added—all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

Whitehead used two different words in his explanation. One is “Bible” and the other is “Scripture”.

Scripture is God’s Holy Word that is 100% true. The Bible contains Scripture PLUS untruth which are lies, ignorance, stupidity etc.

It takes the Holy Spirit to teach us which is true and untrue.

In conclusion, the BFM and Inerrancy oppose each other.

The irony of the present ‘rulers’ of the SBC is unless you believe in inerrancy you cannot be a seminary teacher, a missionary, or be an employee of the SBC. This warning is shown in the Chicago Preface:

“The following Statement affirms this inerrancy of Scripture afresh, making clear our understanding of it and warning against its denial. We are persuaded that to deny it is to set aside the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit and to refuse that submission to the claims of God's own Word that marks true Christian faith.”

I’m glad we don’t live in the Fifteenth Century or the old Conventions of Texas and Virginia would be roast beef on a stake.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Due to the disruption, distraction, hard feelings, harm among Christians, and their witness, I wish inerrancy would go back to where it came from—the SMILING LIPS OF THE DEVIL.

With all the fuss about narrowing parameters by rules on top of rules, is it not hypocritical to stand for Inerrancy when it’s the biggest one of all?

Anonymous said...

To all and Rex:

Since Rex re-posted what I think he termed the moderate "recipe" for understanding the Bible (which he posted at the end of Wade's last post on the WMU), I have taken the opportunity to re-post my response to Rex.

Here it is.

Enjoy.

Rex:

Thank you for the reply. I know that you spent a great deal of time on it, and that you are trying to communicate.

I do not agree with some of your points, nor do I think they are defendable or commonly shared by most people, let alone most Baptists. This is not directed toward you personally, it's just the ideas you have expressed do not, in my opinion, follow simple English word meanings and such.

Here are my thoughts:

1. Without "mixture of error" and "inerrant" are different words, but they mean the same thing. I think most people would understand that. If Baptists are so complicated that we confuse these two terms to mean different things, our grammar, syntax and idiom rival the complicated Chinese language.

2. The BFM terms from 1925, 1963 and 2000 have not changed when it says the Bible is without mixture of error. "Without mixture of error" is a phrase that goes back to 1925. It was simply carried forward in later versions of the BFM. I have never read any contemporary recollection or recording of E.Y. Mullins (or others that worked on the 1925 statement) that said they chose "without mixture of error" because it had some different meaning from "inerrant."

I have never heard an inerrantist complain about the term "without mixture of error."

The committee that worked on the 2000 BFM (which was composed of inerrantists I think you will concede) saw no need to put the word "inerrancy" in the BFM because the BFM already said "without mixture of error."

3. I just re-read the BFM. In the article on the "Scriptures" (which also references the "Holy Bible" or "Bible" in the text). So, the term "Scripture" and "Bible" are used interchangeably in the BFM.

4. The term "infallible" is not used in the BFM to describe the Scriptures or the Bible. The term "infallible" has never been used in the BFM in the article describing the Scriptures or the Bible.

5. I have no problem with the term "infallible." Websters says it means, "not capbable of being wrong; unerring." Unerring is synonym for inerrant and is another way of saying "without mixture of error."

I have not found a common dictionary that says these words have different meanings.

So, with all due respect to you and the lawyer source upon whom you relied for a definition (by the way, I don't know who that lawyer is. Jim Guenther has been the SBC's lawyer for years. I know Jim. We are not close. Did Mr. Whitehead preceed Jim as the Convention lawyer?), I cannot see any real difference between "inerrant," "without mixture of error," or "inerrancy" or "infallible."

6. Remember, the Convention has spoken on "inerrancy." It has passed resolutions on this subject, one of which has sort of an interesting place in SBC Convention history. The Convention passed a resolution on inerrancy, I think in 1985 or so. The then Recording Secretary, Martin Bradley, did not put the Resolution in the SBC Annual showing it had passed at the annual meeting. This is a huge error, as any corporate secretary would tell you. It would be like the corporate secretary at the annual shareholders' meeting for GM forgetting to acknowledge that the sharheholders voted on the Board of Directors.

At any rate, for his monumental goof up, Mr. Bradley was dispatched and replaced in a subsequent election. Unlike Lee Porter, whom, despite his moderate affiliation, remained on as Registration Secretary for many years because he did such a thorough job.

So, it's not as if the convention has not ever spoken to inerrancy. And as I said, when Adrian Rogers and the other committee members came to the BFM 2000, they did not alter "without mixture of error" because they did not need to. As inerrantists, they were happy to agree with "without any mixture of error."

7. I really do not understand what you mean by the untruths in the Bible. If you could give me an example that would be helpful (unless you are talking about the "sun" thing in Ecclesiastes).

Rex, thanks again for setting out your thinking on this.

Louis

Tom Parker said...

Kevin:

What do we do with these verses? They just seem to be saying some pretty radical things to do.

Wonder what kind of sermon could be preached from them.

Wayne Smith said...

Tom Parker,

To answer your question, I have to ask you a question. Is it okay for a Woman to be a Pastor of a Church, regardless of the Denomination of the Church?

Wayne

Stan said...

Tom Parker,

Sorry for butting in here but can you refresh your point? Are you saying that the Bible is in error with Mark 16 or are you saying is isn't?

Tom Parker said...

Wayne:

You said to me--"To answer your question, I have to ask you a question. Is it okay for a Woman to be a Pastor of a Church, regardless of the Denomination of the Church?"

I do not understand your question. I'm not following the Denomination of the Church part.

Wayne Smith said...

Tom Parker,

Is it okay for a Woman to be a Pastor of a Church according to the Bible?

Wayne

Tom Parker said...

Wayne:

I will give you the answer to your question--I do not know if it is ok or not.

Some people would answer your question with a steadfast no or a steadfast yes. I can not in good conscience say yes or no.

Anonymous said...

KEVIN CROWDER wrote, :If you believe in a God who would not perfectly preserve His Word and make it perfectly interpretable with the aid of the Holy Spirit according to His good pleasure, then you do not believe in God.

Oh how Satan loves to creep in..."

So, is it Satan who is making all these translations?

Why not just acquire the ORIGINAL Aramaic and Greek verses and teach yourselves to read in these ancient languages. Then, the translators would lose their 'satanic' power to put a 'spin' on the ancient texts?

Anyone who speaks two or more languages KNOWS that there are some words and phrases THAT DO NOT TRANSLATE. Their meanings are lost or mangled in another language. Could all the translations, each written by a different 'denomination' be the reason for so much controversy and division in the Body of Christ?

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

You ask, "First, Wade, please link to me one, single example that fits your description of "Bombastic, mean-spirited, arrogant bullies" please give us one example of precisely whom is trying to tell us "that they are speaking on behalf on God" concerning communion," (and I shall add: tongues, the credentials of the baptizer, women teaching men Hebrew, etc . . . to your request for communion).

Answer: Peter, buy a copy of my book, Hardball Religion (spring 2009), and feel free to send it to me and I'll underline as many quotes as you would like. Or . . .

Read greg.w.h.'s comment above - again.

He did a superb job of answering your question. So, if ants are in your pants, and you can't wait for the book, see greg.w.h. -

Grin,

Wade

Anonymous said...

CB SCOTT says "Actually, the "fire and passion"
is a little low tonight. I have not called one person a name or berated them:-)"


It has been long thought that the more a person PERCEIVES himself to be 'observant' and 'correct' in his belief;
the LESS humility and the more judgmentalism towards others he displays.

The reason is one word: PRIDE

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

Good answer to Wayne.

Here's mine.

Not for my church. But it sure is fine for those churches who have called a woman to be their pastor. I have no command in Scripture that says those churches SHOULD NOT have called a woman pastor, and if they do, they are in sin for doing so. So, who am I to add to the Word of God?

If you ask, why is it 'wrong' for my church - I answer; We have chosen at this time to abide by the BFM, we are in a culture (Western Oklahoma; not China) where this type of thing is interpreted as being "liberal" (and we are not), and frankly, nobody is clamoring to get rid of me as Senior Pastor.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

One final thing.

My church members are not dogs.

Thanks,

Wade

Anonymous said...

On what Bible verses did the leadership of the SBC base their treatment of missionaries and Dr. Klouda?

I would like to know how 'biblically inerrant' their conduct was towards their victims.

AND, on what Bible verses did the people of the SBC decide to ALLOW the leadership to harm so many.

Maybe it isn't the BIBLE that is so full of mistakes.
Maybe it is the MEN that USE the Bible as a club to beat others up.
There is nothing inerrant about the leadership of the SBC.

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin Crowder,

Excellent point to Mr. Lumpkin.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Wade

Anonymous said...

If you worship a God that has created some people on purpose for their destruction, then 'humanity' has lost God's protection as a group.

Once the 'elect' feels 'superior'; then you get the devaluation going on all fronts.

The only hope people have in this world is to say that the only reason a person should be respected is that they are human.

If one of the 'elect' can buy that, then that chosen person may inflict terrible suffering on others, thinking: "if God doesn't value them, why should I?"

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

God values all His creation, even those who are vessels of His wrath, for the Scripture says "God takes NO PLEASURE in the death of the wicked."

The only way you could ever say that God does not value the reprobate is if God TOOK PLEASURE in their condemnation - and the Bible says He doesn't.

Wade

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

Two things: a) if you do not want to offer an example for wild accusations that you make, I think that's just wonderful. Know, however, there will always be those of us who demand more than another person's insistence that the emperor has new clothes.

b) it is not surprising that the little metaphor I employed is interpreted in a horribly skewed manner. Such skewed sense of interpretation of other people's words, Wade, exactly is the reason I have dissented on this blog for over two years.

With that, I am...

Peter

Wayne Smith said...

Tom and Wade,

It would be no difference in the Sin, if A Gay or Lesbian were a Pastor than a Straight Woman being a Pastor.

Wade that was a Funny/Fuzzy answer in your reply Comment above..

Wade, You said ( Not for my church. But it sure is fine for those churches who have called a woman to be their pastor. I have no command in Scripture that says those churches SHOULD NOT have called a woman pastor, and if they do, they are in sin for doing so. So, who am I to add to the Word of God?)

Wade could you interpret what you said in comment I included here.

Wayne

CB Scott said...

Wayne,

Do you really believe;

"It would be no difference in the Sin, if A Gay or Lesbian were a Pastor than a Straight Woman being a Pastor."

Or, were you quoting another person?

I really do not think it would be the same. How could that be the same?

cb

Tom Parker said...

Wayne:

So you go from women pastors to gays and lesbians.

What an outrageous comment!!!!

I shall not in the future respond to you or attempt to ask questions of you.

Also, when I see your name I am not going to read your comment.

CB Scott said...

Tom,

Are you really going to go that far at this moment?:-)

Let Wayne answer the question.

cb

Tom Parker said...

CB:

What do you suggest I do? I do value your advice.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

CD and Tom,

In Wayne’s defense, and from the perspective that Scripture is gender specific as to the qualifications of a pastor, it really makes no difference what the disqualification is.

Can you at least see the validity of the argument whether or not you believe it is true?

k

Scott Shaffer said...

You gotta be kidding. You see no difference between having a heterosexual woman pastor and a lesbian pastor? Look, I think scripture clearly prohibits women from serving as elders, and I think those women who serve as pastors are disobedient. Nevertheless, the difference is huge. Being a woman isn't sinful. Homosexual acts are.

CB Scott said...

Wayne, Tom and Kevin,

I believe the Scripture prohibits a woman from holding the position in a local church.

Yet, I must admit I have known some women who have served well in the position of pastor as far as ministry to people is concerned.

Again, I do not believe it biblical for a woman to serve as pastor of a local church. Yet, I cannot deny some have done a pretty good job of it.

Now, here is why I asked Wayne the question earlier.

There is no way a man or a woman living the life of a Sodomite could possibly minister properly in any aspect of a local church ministry. It is a biblical inposibility. It is also a social impossiblity. A Sodimite is incapable of any type of biblical ministry.

cb

Kevin M. Crowder said...

CB,

Remind us not to put you on the Celebrate Recovery ministry Team.

Scott,

I wasn't kidding. In fact I have tried to stop kidding. No one understands "mid-Missouri" humor. :)

I am not judging the value of the disqualification. I am saying there is NO, absolutely NO good reason for a person to hold the office who does not qualify. It’s not like 1 Timothy 3 requires perfection. "Above reproach" might be subjective but most pretty well understand that in light of remaining sin.

CB,

Can a racist slave owner be involved in biblical ministry?

A pedophile?

A rapist?

One who has committed adultery?

One who commits adultery?

One who thinks impure thoughts about their secretary?

One who neglects their family for the sake of "ministry?"

One who suffers from one abominable sin (all the above)is no more or less qualified than one who is the wrong gender or who has a half dozen spouses.


k

CB Scott said...

Kevin,

I have said I believe the Scripture prohibits women from holding the position of pastor of the local church.

A woman believing she has the right to pastor a church and a church calling her to do so does not constitute the same character as the individuals you have listed.

I am sure you realize that. Just think about it.

A woman with a pure heart, but who has simply made an error of understanding of a biblical principle is not the same as a pedophile or a rapist. Surely you see that?

cb

Kevin M. Crowder said...

CB,

Not once did I say they were the same or different. Only that they both equally disqualify the person from the pastorate. Surely you can see that my friend.

;)

Wayne Smith said...

CB, Kevin and Tom,

I am speaking inside the Christian Church and it applies to any Christian Church Denomination. Sin is Sin in the Church and there is no degree of Sin.
I stated earlier that Ministry outside the Church is for another discussion. Kevin understands what I was saying and I believe CB does also, except he wanted clarification of what I meant.

Wade I still waiting for a clarification of your Comment.

Wayne

Kevin M. Crowder said...

CB,

I should also add that effectiveness in ministry is going to be different and to that end I would agree with you. However, a church who calls a woman as pastor is going to let her shepherd them. Churches who call homosexuals to the pastorate are as well likely to allow that person to shepherd them. So a case could be that either way the ability to minister is not affected. It is just that you and I may not take communion with them, nor cooperate with them nor consider them biblical in practice.

Cooperation is a funny thing though. A year ago I would have called myself non-ecumenical--in fact I did. But this Friday I will be singing in the ministerial alliance community choir at the Lutheran Church next to the Lutheran pastor, a friend I have acquired over the last year. This community Christmas service, along with the giving of baskets of food is a great thing. I am happy to be involved.

Rex Ray said...

Louis,
The start of your ‘debate’ made me smile. You said, “I have taken the opportunity to repost my response to Rex. Here it is. Enjoy.”

You sound like David going to kill the giant and telling the troops to enjoy watching

Better put that victory dance on hold because I’m still talking.

I heard Whitehead speak when he ruled a man’s motion out of order at the 2004 SBC... The man was angry and called him a hypocrite. Whitehead stole my heart when he replied, “I’m not a hypocrite—I’m a lawyer.” I carry his card in my billfold.

Louis, have you heard the best place to hide something is in plain sight? Before I mention an example, let’s agree on some statements:

1. “The office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” (Do you agree that quote is a confession of faith and it’s in the BFM 2000?)

2. The SBC is a religious authority. (Do you agree?)

3. “Baptists deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches.” (Do you agree that quote is in the BFM 2000?)

Well, there you have it Louis, plain and simple—a contradiction in the BFM right out in the open but hidden to men with blind eyes.

They might try to weasel out by arguing the SBC does not “impose” their rule on any churches just as they said they were not imposing the BFM on anyone, but try telling that to the fired missionaries and many others. Try telling that to the 146 year old First Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia.

Would you agree in a debate if a person replies to a question with good answers, they get good points, but if they ignore the question or gives a feeble answers, then they lose points? (See, this makes the fifth question I’ve asked you.)

Your number (1) says: “Without ‘mixture of error’ and ‘inerrant’ are different words, but they mean the same thing.”

You go about proving your statement by saying “most people would understand that.”

Duhh…I believe you’d find it hard to find most people have even heard the expressions, much less know what they meant. In a debate, you would get more points if you had said, most ‘Bible scholars’ or words to that effect. Even then your proof is weak because you’ve only given your opinion. In math, ‘things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.’

The BFM 1963 says, “The Holy Bible…has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.” End of quote.

I didn’t tell you but you should guess that Whitehead believed strongly in inerrancy by him being in the position he was. He did not agree at all with the BFM 1963 saying “without any mixture of error”. I’ll quote him again:

“That’s why WE added—‘all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy’.”

I recognized Whitehead after the Convention was over, and I asked if he’d seen Jerry Rankin. Jerry was a friend to my missionary son and cousin, and he had mailed many ‘certificate of thanks’ for my working in Japan. His first letter was “Dear Brother Rex”, but after a sharp reply about firing missionaries, his letter was; “Dear Mr. Ray.” I wanted to tell him I felt bad about some of the things I had written, but I never found him.

I told Whitehead that to me with a engineering background “without any mixture of error’ meant there would have to be errors in the Bible. He almost yelled, “That’s exactly with it means!”

He went on to say, “Those words means the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue. That’s why we added, ‘all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

I felt guilty him thinking I believed in inerrancy. He was real friendly and gave me his card. I still like the guy though we’ve never met again. I think Patterson thought I believed also when he whispered in my ear.

Wow! I guess I’ve been a spy.

Well, it’s too late to continue, so I’ll post this and try to finish later.

CB Scott said...

Kevin,

I am sure you sang well.-----As probably did the Lutheran brother:-)

cb

Elisabeth said...

I have known women (senior)pastors. I have been a member of a church in a denomination that allows women in the pastorate. And I will say that denomination does believe in the Bible and does follow the Bible. There are different interpetations of scripture out there. I am not trying to start an arguement or anything here; I will say, however, that saying a straight woman pastor is as bad as a lesbian or gay pastor is a statement that is very unfair to all women pastors, and all who hold the interpretation that scripture does not disqualify a woman for the pastorate.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Well said Elizabeth.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Elisabeth,

I do not know of a Christian denomination who does not "believe in the Bible."

But let me get this straight. Are you saying that to express a view in a civil manner on a blog is "unfair?"

Besides, no one has ever said that women do not possess the gifts and qualities beneficial to a pastor. No one has even suggested that women cannot preach and teach and minister. But to place a female pastor in spiritual authority over men is just contrary to Scripture, to the design of the home, and a slap in the face to the design of the Godhead, the Christ, and His relationship to His Church.

I am more concerned about being faith to God and His Word.

Just a few humble thoughts.

K

Kevin M. Crowder said...

faith=fair...to God His Word.

Wade Burleson said...

Wayne,

I do not feel my statement needs any interpretation. It is as clear as I can be. Let me, however, urge some caution in something you have written.

Without speaking on behalf of the Spirit of God, for I cannot, nor do I claim the authority, I would just offer the following suggestion for you.

IF, the Spirit of God is honored by a woman who faithfully teaches God's Word to men, and IF the Spirit of God blesses the woman who shepherds other believers by pointing them to the finished work of Jesus Christ, and IF the Spirit of God is actually anointing women pastors and teachers throughout the world (particularly in China, Indonesia, and other Far East countries), then I would be very careful about comparing a woman who loves Jesus Christ and is pointing others to the Savior to a homosexual, or a sodomite, or a child molestor.

The offense you cause may not be toward man, but in reality, the Holy Spirit of God.

In His Grace,

Wade

Elisabeth said...

I like the way you said that Wade!

Kevin, the reason why I said it was unfair was for pretty much some of the things that Wade expressed. A woman pastor can point a person to Christ as well as a man can; whereas a person who is deliberately living in sin, or even worse, a child molestor, cannot do so and might even point a person away from Christ.

That said, Kevin, you do sound like a very Godly young man.

Elisabeth said...

Wade,

I've seen some pretty good women pastors in Arizona too!

:-)

Lin said...

"Sin is Sin in the Church and there is no degree of Sin. "

Are you sure? Have you read 1 John 5 or Hebrews 10: 26-31?

Chris said...

I believe that a school of social work at an SBC seminary was shut down because a potential faculty member expressed the exact sentiments you just expressed, Wade.

I don't think that makes you wrong, but I think it makes the SBC in the wrong.

If God calls and qualifies a woman to preach and minister, who are we to object. You can disagree to the likelihood of that event happening, but I would hope that is we ever see God using a woman as a pastor we wouldn't be so crass and un-spiritual as to question her calling.

Lin said...

"But to place a female pastor in spiritual authority over men is just contrary to Scripture, to the design of the home, and a slap in the face to the design of the Godhead, the Christ, and His relationship to His Church."

Kevin, Are you suggesting there is a layer between us and Jesus Christ, our High Priest with a human spiritual authority over another believer? I thought that only Jesus Christ had authority in the church. I did not realize that humans had authority over each other in the Body. What about Jim Jones and kool aid?

Did you ever wonder what Peter's wife did when he was gone all the time and he was not there to be the spiritual authority? What about Timothy's home where his mom and granny were the 'spiritual authorities in the home? Was that wrong? Did they do a bad thing and Paul just did not realize it?

What is the deal with your last sentence? In this scenerio, who is to model God and who models Christ?

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,

I except the caution/rebuke and stand on 1 Tim. 2:12.

This is what Your favorite John Gills has to say about this.
1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, They may teach in private, in their own houses and families; they are to be teachers of good things, Tit_2:3. They are to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; nor is the law or doctrine of a mother to be forsaken, any more than the instruction of a father; see Pro_1:8. Timothy, no doubt, received much advantage, from the private teachings and instructions of his mother Eunice, and grandmother Lois; but then women are not to teach in the church; for that is an act of power and authority, and supposes the persons that teach to be of a superior degree, and in a superior office, and to have superior abilities to those who are taught by them:

nor to usurp authority over the man; as not in civil and political things, or in things relating to civil government; and in things domestic, or the affairs of the family; so not in things ecclesiastical, or what relate to the church and government of it; for one part of rule is to feed the church with knowledge and understanding; and for a woman to take upon her to do this, is to usurp an authority over the man: this therefore she ought not to do,

but to be in silence; to sit and hear quietly and silently, and learn, and not teach, as in 1Ti_2:11.

Wayne

Lin said...

"nor to usurp authority over the man; as not in civil and political things, or in things relating to civil government; and in things domestic, or the affairs of the family; so not in things ecclesiastical, or what relate to the church and government of it; for one part of rule is to feed the church with knowledge and understanding; and for a woman to take upon her to do this, is to usurp an authority over the man: this therefore she ought not to do,"

So Palin, as Governor of Alaska, would not be allowed to lead a bible study group for her staff if males were attending?

Wayne Smith said...

Lin,

Pray the e-mail I sent helps you to understand these Bible verses on Sin.

Wayne

Tom Parker said...

Lin:

I often wonder what would happen in the SBC if every opportunity for a woman to have authority over men were removed what our churches would look like--particularly the ones that would still be open.

Those that believe the Bible does not allow a Woman Pastor--that is your and your churches choice, but with the BF&M as it is now any SB church that were to attempt to have a Woman Pastor they would not be welcome in the SBC. I think that is just plain wrong.

Lin said...

"Pray the e-mail I sent helps you to understand these Bible verses on Sin."

Thank you for sending it! I received it and responded. We are mostly in agreement but not totally.

Lin said...

"I often wonder what would happen in the SBC if every opportunity for a woman to have authority over men were removed what our churches would look like--particularly the ones that would still be open."

Tom, I do not believe any woman OR man has authority over others in the Body. The Word, rightly divided, has authority. There are some passages that will never be completely clear on secondary doctrines. In that case, I think it is a horrible mistake to make Talmudic rules with them.

All true believers are gifted by the Holy Spirit. All gifts are important and should edify the Body. There are no offices just functions. And a true believer will recognize a 'real' elder/preacher.

They are the ones that look most like the 'salt ingredients' of Matthew 5. They would NEVER want authority over others. They would be too busy serving in humility and if they have to correct someone, they would have tears in their eyes.

Bryan Riley said...

I think it is because of our innate desire to set ourselves up as god rather than worshiping the One True God. Even your question demonstrates this because it shows that we may be errant, but God's word never is. We just tend to get the two mixed up without even trying.

Tom Parker said...

Lin:

I said--""I often wonder what would happen in the SBC if every opportunity for a woman to have authority over men were removed what our churches would look like--particularly the ones that would still be open."

To be clear I am not for this, it just seems to me that some in the SBC would love to do the very thing I am raising a question about.

Anonymous said...

Rex:

Read your follow up.

I reposted my response to your comment that you had reposted. It just seemed that they belonged together. I said "enjoy" facetiously because I assumed that people were probably tired of reading our comments to each other, not because I was "dancing" on you etc.

I am still not certain who Mr. Whitehead is, but I am sure he is a fine person and a good lawyer.

First Baptist Decatur is about 3 blocks from my grandmother's home (RIP). I visited one time, but unknown to me, they had an organ concert that night. Yuck! This was 25 years ago or so.

I am still confused by what you meant by a "moderate recipe for understanding the Bible."

I understand what you would say is the Conservative recipe for understanding the Bible, inerrancy.

I would be glad to read more about this moderate recipe. At this point, if I tried to explain it to someone, I could not do so.

The recipt seems to have no clear theme or points that I can see from what you have said so far. I do have all of your questions, and your belief that using "infallible" (which is not in the BFM)is acceptable and preferable to describing the Bible, and that "inerrant" is not acceptable, even though "without mixture of error" is in the BFM because you believe that they mean totally different things.

But that really doesn't get me very far, unless your point is the moderate recipe is that the Bible is infallible. Then I come away with the belief that conservatives and moderates believe the same thing but like different words to believe the same thing. And I don't think that is what you mean.

I would be glad to continue hearing what you have to say on this matter.

Take care.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, mere mortals cannot classify or limit the power of the Holy Scriptures to suit the 'doctrine of the month'.

Whatever terms humans apply to the Holy Writings, they cannot be diminished in their power to bless the reader.

If even a little of what was originally inspired remains within a much-manipulated, mangled translation, that tiny spark of sacredness has great power when used by the Holy Spirit to illuminate its reader.
For this, we can be thankful.

Anonymous said...

December 17: "O Sapientia..." (O Wisdom)
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

Cardinal Newman, 1836
O eternal Wisdom, which proceedest from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from one end of creation unto the other, mightily and harmoniously disposing all things: come Thou to teach us the way of understanding.

The Salisbury Antiphony
O Wisdom, Which camest forth out of the mouth of the Most High, and reachest from one end to the other, mightily and sweetly ordering all things; Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Dom Guéranger, ca. 1841, 1867
O Wisdom, that proceedest from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end mightily, and disposing all things sweetly! come and teach us in the way of prudence.

The English Hymnal, 1906
O Wisdom, which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, and reachest from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.

The Annotated Book of Common Prayer, Sixth Edition, 1872
O WISDOM, which didst come3 forth from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from the one end of all things to the other, and ordering them with sweetness and might: Come, that Thou mayest teach us the way of understanding.

FROM the Sarum 'O' Antiphons
for Advent

Anonymous said...

KEVIN CROWDER wrote:

"But to place a female pastor in spiritual authority over men is just contrary to Scripture, to the design of the home, and a slap in the face to the design of the Godhead, the Christ, and His relationship to His Church."

Kevin, how can you insult God by appointing a female pastor IF GOD HAS CALLED THIS PERSON TO THE MINISTRY?

There is some disagreement among 'Bible-believing' Christians about what constitutes a 'commandment' and what constitutes a 'culturally accepted practice in the time of the writers of the Gospel'.

The times they are a-changin' and the call of women to the ministry by God is alive and well.

For these women, there is no doubt of that calling. To ignore it would be a 'slap' indeed to their Creator and Lord.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it has ever occured to anyone whether or not it is a sin to judge others?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Kevin, Are you suggesting there is a layer between us and Jesus Christ, our High Priest with a human spiritual authority over another believer?

no


I thought that only Jesus Christ had authority in the church.

That is a great Sunday School answer. But biblical ecclesiology gets a tad more detailed than that.


I did not realize that humans had authority over each other in the Body.

Now you know. :)



What about Jim Jones and kool aid?

Faulty analogy.

Did you ever wonder what Peter's wife did when he was gone all the time and he was not there to be the spiritual authority?

Actually I have not ever thought of this, in fact, I will make it a point to never think about it again. :)

What about Timothy's home where his mom and granny were the 'spiritual authorities in the home? Was that wrong? Did they do a bad thing and Paul just did not realize it?

Come on Lin...Hey! I am over here. Get out of left field. :)

What is the deal with your last sentence? In this scenerio, who is to model God and who models Christ?

If you are part of the 144,000 then you need to model God. If you plan on going to the Second heaven then you need to model Christ. If you plan on staying and ruling on earth then you need to drink the Kool-aide. ;)



Merry Christmas Lin.

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