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

A Personal Testimony About My Journey

Yesterday I received an email from a friend and denominational leader asking me a few questions about my views on "women in ministry." I took the time to respond to his questions with the following email. The person, who shall remain unnamed, had three questions in his email. (1). Could you give me your views on "women" pastors? (2). What are the reasons you are troubled by the proposed "disfellowship" of a church that has called a woman pastor? (3). Where can I learn more about this issue? My response, in full, is below.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dear ________,

I hope you are staying warm and safe in this horrid cold and icy weather. I had every intention of driving to OKC to attend the Evangelism Conference Monday, but made the decision to stay in Enid and drive my wife to OKC Monday afternoon for her Master’s classes at the University of Oklahoma Nursing School. She is about a year away from graduating with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nursing, and I did not want her to drive on the icy roads. I’m glad I made the decision to stay in Enid because it must have become really icy in OKC because OU called off school at noon and we ended up not coming down at all. I have not heard about the Evangelism Conference, but I do hope that things were able to be rescheduled.

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed my post on Union Mission. My research on Epaphras Chapman (1788-1825) and the first mission team to the Osage Indians gives me a deeper appreciation for the Osage tribe in Oklahoma. There is some great history among the people, even a great Christian history, and their story is not well known. Thanks for your prayers for the young man I mention in the blog post who is sick. So far it seems that doctors are optimistic about a full recovery.

I realize that Dr. Bob White (Executive Director of the Georgia Baptist Convention) may be a friend of yours, and I do apologize if my post has been an inconvenience to you in any way. Frankly, the last three years have tempered me. I no longer can remain silent when I see people, churches or missionaries publicly humiliated, as I believe FBC Decatur is now being shamed in the press. I well remember the vote in the Capital Association long ago over "disfellowshipping" a church because the church ordained a few "women" deacons. At the time, I was opposed to the Associaton's motion to "disfellowship" First Baptist Church, but since I was not a member of the Capital Association, I did not make my opposition to the motion known. I do appreciate the fact that you voted against excluding the church from fellowship, and I even more appreciate your reason for doing so – you did not see forbidding women serving as deacons as a “clear” truth. I would concur. In fact, when I read of deaconess Phoebe and other women who “served” the church in Scripture, I find it hard to wriggle out of the New Testament concept of women deacons.

I also appreciate that the issue of women pastors is not as “foggy” for you. Frankly, up until about five years ago, I would have said the same thing about women pastors. I was quite dogmatic myself. I felt that “liberals” and those who denied the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s Word were the only ones advocating women pastors. I have since learned that there are many solid conservative evangelicals who believe that the Bible, under no circumstances, prohibits a female from pastoring a church, and there are even a growing number of solid, conservative evangelical theologians who believe the sacred text advocates women are gifted to serve in all capacities within the church, even pastors. Some of these conservative Christians who believe women can serve as pastors, and who also hold to the inerrancy and infallibility of the Word of God, are men like John Zens (Are the Sisters Free to Function), theologian Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian (Beyond Sex Roles), and the ongoing ministry of Christians for Biblical Equality. CBE’s statement of faith on their website states the following about their belief in the Word of God:

We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, is reliable, and is the final authority for faith and practice.

You observe about me in your email, “I sense an openness to a woman senior pastor in your comments.” I think that what you may be actually observing in my writing is an openness to listen to Christian people who believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, but who also argue, from the Scripture, that women can be serve the church as pastors. I personally hold to the complementarian approach at this time, but I am seeking to demonstrate, as you did years ago, that Christian people can disagree on issues that may not be as clear as some suggest.

More pointedly, I would like to make a prediction. History will one day look back on this issue of “women” pastors in the SBC as we now look back on slavery within our Convention. The equality of gender in terms of the pastorate is something that I believe can be competently argued for from Scripture, just it was argued by some Southern Baptists in the 1845’s that the Bible teaches racial equality, even though most Southern Baptists at the time believed slavery was condoned, even advocated in the Bible. There are many verses that speak of gender and racial equality within the New Covenant, and for some to argue that the pastor’s office should be barred from women, just as some Southern Baptists once argued that blacks should be barred from citizenship, church membership and church offices, seems to me to be a denial of the overall spirit of the New Covenant. Though I would not personally lead my church to call a woman senior pastor for cultural reasons, I do not see it as a “moral” issue, or a “liberal” issue as I once did. Thus, there should be no “disfellowship” from churches who choose to call a female pastor.

Let me be clear though. I am not advocating that a church should call a woman as pastor. Nor am I advocating that a church should always and only call a male pastor. I am simply open to the arguments on both sides. I see my brothers and sisters in Christ on the opposite spectrum of this issue being both Bible-believing followers of Christ who have simply reached different conclusions on this issue. Could I change my mind about women pastors? Yes. Will I change my mind about women pastors? I don’t now. Maybe. Maybe not. But what I am advocating is that we don’t automatically assume that people are “liberal” simply because they believe the Bible places no prohibition on women pastors are liberal. I will also pointedly oppose any action by any of our Southern Baptist state conventions or the national convention, to disfellowship from a church that has chosen to call a woman as a pastor.

Frankly, I want my name on the books on this one. I will not stand by and be silent. A few years ago I might have been silent because I was unaware of the biblical arguments from the other side. In fact, I thought that some were “denying” the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible, and the end result was “women” pastors. I no longer think that way. I haven’t changed my mind on the issue, I just simply see evangelical, conservative Christians who disagree, and do not believe we should separate. There are good, godly men and women are on both sides of this issue. And I think that we should learn to cooperate.

The middle ground is to let churches be autonomous. Let those churches who wish to have a female as their pastor call one, and don’t make a move to disfellowship from them. Let those churches that wish to believe that the “office” of pastor is reserved for the male only, call only male pastors. But let’s learn how to cooperate as a Convention because we believe in the same Christ, the same gospel, the same Bible. I really think if we focused on evangelism and missions and all the things we had in common, we would have very little time to point our fingers at others and accuse them of “liberalism” or “heresy.”

Finally, you mention in your email -

“I realize your point is not so much the fact that Julie Pennington-Russell is the woman pastor but that if they [the Georgia Baptist Convention] are going to disfellowship the church then integrity for you would be to separate period.”

You are absolutely correct. Disfellowship is to undo the “koinonia.” It is to say, “We have nothing in common.” Yet, Dr. White privately told Pennington-Russell that he would come to her church and help them when the Holy Spirit moved on the church and people were being “saved.” If you are going to say that FBC has nothing in common with the Georgia Baptist Convention, then the leader of the Georgia Baptist Convention had better make no such private, personal promise unless he intends to stand by it – which means then that he should FIGHT against the disfellowship because he believes he has something in common with FBC Decatur.

Bottom line, Southern Baptists too often pronounce judgment and condemnation before we dialogue, reflect and consider the consequences of our anathemas. I am simply asking for dialogue, patience and Christian grace. Let’s cooperate, not separate. We unite because of Christ and the glorious gospel, and we fund our kingdom work through the Cooperative Program. If we keep moving down the line toward of disfellowshipping from churches that interpret the Bible different than we do, then we ought to change the Cooperative Program’s name to the Conformity Program. If we don’t stop the nonsense of narrower and narrower parameters of fellowship and cooperation, then pretty soon the SBC will be the size of a mega church and not the largest Protestant denomination in the western world.

I, too, am sad about having to report on the sad state of a sister Southern Baptist Church. However, it is necessary. Nobody would ever grasp the inconsistencies of a Convention disfellowshipping from a church over who is called as their pastor unless I was specific. A Baptist convention can’t “disfellowship” churches for calling a pastor who doesn’t meet one of our interpretative qualifications for pastors (male) without “disfellowshipping” from other churches who call pastors who don’t meet even clearer biblical qualifications for pastors (gentleness, self-discipline, etc . . . ), or we display an extraordinary inconsistency. Of course, the answer to the dilemma is to be consistent in letting autonomous churches practice their autonomy and quit interfering. That’s the Baptist way.

I hope this email clarifies what I am thinking. I am hopeful that you will see the value of not ending up on the wrong side of this issue of women pastors. The wrong side is not complementarian or egalitarian. The wrong side is demanding that churches, of which you and I are not members, be either one or the other.

In His Grace,



Wade

261 comments:

1 – 200 of 261   Newer›   Newest»
Dr. Jeff Greene said...

I thank the Lord, Dr. Burleson, for your articulate, transparent testimony. I am pastor of a small but solid Bible church that is considering associating with the SBC. We had several leaders who expressed concern about the move to join, but over last few weeks several of your articles have circulated among our church leaders, and to be frank, your defense of biblical truth, gracious response to those who disagree, and desire to cooperate with other evangelicals has led us to recently vote to proceed with the petition to become a member of the local Southern Baptist association. It's a year long process for us, but your writings are a direct reason for us to move in the direction of cooperation with other churches identified as SBC.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Trajectory

Wade, this is what I believe you have been able to see.

If people only zoom in on the particular issues [PPL, disfellowshiping over gender, close communion, etc] and not zoom out on the trajectory of where Southern Baptists seem to be headed, then I think they have missed it.

In other words, the point is not so much the narrow issue of ___________ but the broader issue of divide, divide, divide, divide...

Grace

Benji

P.S. That's how I see it at least.

Benji Ramsaur said...

I also do not think the BF&M closes the deal on stopping this trajectory because it does not say "We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as THE ONLY essentialS to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice."

I'm not advocating that it should or should not say this BTW.

Thy Peace said...

Amen.

Jeff said...

Wade,

Your honest discussion and admission of your wrestling and willingness to learn (and even be wrong) is refreshing to some of us who have given up on the SBC. The Christian life is a progressive journey. Woe unto us when we think we have it all figured out!

Thank you for your humility and may God bless you as you continue to wrestle and write....

Jeff

Wade Burleson said...

Robert,

Converse with Mike privately or on your blog or on his. Please keep comments related to this post. Thank you. Your comment, which is deleted, is not germaine to this post

Robert said...

Wade,
How is that cooperation....It is not!

Robert I Masters

BTW ---Mike does not let me post on his blog.

Robert I Masters

Robert said...

Wade,
Just like that post must Southern baptist do not want women pastors.
Dont like it ...get a gun and start a revolution or find a like minded denomination

Robert I Masters

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,
How do you interpret these Bible Verses in your support for Women Pastors?

?
Titus 1 : 5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God's steward must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Wayne

gmommy said...

Don't like it ...get a gun and start a revolution or find a like minded denomination

Robert I Masters

Gosh...should we also go back to burning people at the stake who dare to disagree with the SBC/BFM???

I had no idea how narrow and arrogant Baptists were until I started attending other churches.
Most of the things I defended all these years turned out to be reality.

Tim G said...

Wade,
You said in this post "I no longer can remain silent when I see people, churches or missionaries publicly humiliated..."

Why did you do that which you say you must speak our against?

Pastor Tony said...

Brother Wade,

I only post occasionally here and only when I feel compelled to do so. But with this post you have shown a dual-mindedness.

I am not talking about the issue of women pastors. It is only somewhat relevant to the problem at hand. The BF&M 2000 clearly states that the office of senior pastor is limited to men. Thus, if GBC has a church that is in direct opposition to their statement of faith, they may disfellowship.

When you stood up at the IMB about PPL and "valid" baptism, I wholeheartedly supported you because these were divisions that were in addition to the statement of faith. In this case, however, GBC is acting according to their statement of faith. The church has decided to go contrary to that statement. What choice does the GBC have?

Sorry, Wade, where divisions are created by the statement of faith, disfellowship is the only recourse. On issues that are not in the statement of faith, we need to offer grace and cooperation. But the BF&M2000 is the arbitor in this situation.

Tom Parker said...

It was said--"But the BF&M2000 is the arbitor in this situation."

I did not know we as SB had an arbitor other than Jesus Christ.

Am I correct in that the above statement is saying--kick them out. How many years has this church been a part of the SBC?

We never had a creed prior to the 2000 BF&M, but we do now and it is used to kick out those that dare disagree about the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

The use of the Bible and inerrancy did not get rid of all the "liberals" and so the BF&M had to be revised in order to have a way to get rid of those that would dare call a woman as a Pastor.

I hope I am wrong but I fully believe the 2000 BF&M will be revised so that others can be kicked out.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Pastor Tony,

"Sorry, Wade, where divisions are created by the statement of faith, disfellowship is the only recourse."

Then consistency would demand that the GBC disfellowship from every church that does not practice close communnion.

BF&M--Christian baptism...is PREREQUISITE to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper." (emphasis mine)

I wonder what financial status they would have as a result.

Grace

Benji

Stephen said...

Wade,

Thanks for sharing your personal feelings and experiences. As usual, you are right on the mark.

I regret that we have interjected the BF&M 2000 into the argument. It is so irrelevant, unless one wishes to replace Baptist autonomy with creedal orthodoxy. At the risk of being obnoxious, I again call for replacing the BF&M with the RA Pledge.

Stephen said...

Wayne Smith:

Cultural context ......just like the verses about slaves.

Thy Peace said...

" ... get a gun and start a revolution ... "

The Biggest revolutionary in the entire universe is Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Biggest weapon in the entire universe is The Word of God.

One can also cause change by writing, rather resorting to guns. In lot of cases, pen is more powerful than a sword.

Wade Burleson said...

Pastor Tony,

Read what Benji Ramsaur wrote to you in his comment. Your belief that a church should be "kicked out" for not agreeing with the 2000 BFM is as absurd a statement I have heard. It flips Baptist ecclesiology on its head and makes me wonder if you are a closet creedalist and should join a denomination with creeds.

The Preamble of the Baptist Faith and Message makes it clear that every church, every pastor, every Southern Baptist is bound by conscience, and is NOT bound to the BFM 2000.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Wayne,

See Stephen's response.

As you reread it, let me ask a question. Does your wife wear jewelry? Has she ever adorned herself with gold? Has she ever worn a pearl necklace or pearl ear rings?

As you answer my questions, please give me your interpretation of this text:

"women (are) to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes" (I Timothy 2:9).

Wade Burleson said...

Tim G.

The answer to your question is probably found in Scripture as you compare why it was Jesus took a whip to the Pharisees using the house of God for personal gain and he showed incredible compassion to a poor, downtrodden half-breed adulterress at the well. You treat the abuser different than the abused.

Blessings,

Wade

Benji Ramsaur said...

"It's so obvious how bitter you are toward the wrong that was done toward you when you were a trustee. I'm sorry for what you experienced. It's say, though, that you continue to bash the IMB and SBC because of your hurt feelings. and out of your bitterness. One day, I hope you'll forgive them."

I actually believe the exact opposite.

It is also interesting how your comment shifts attention away from the issue to the "person" of Wade.

I wonder if the person you should pray for is yourself.

Grace

Benji

P.S. Could you share with the rest of us where Wade has called people derogatory names or some such thing out of supposed bitterness?

ezekiel said...

Thy Peace,

Great thought!

Heb 4:12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

What seems to be growing here is thought based upon one's own reading and influence of the Holy Spirit. We see it with Wades post today, Kevin's willingness to study and openess to changing the way he thinks on the subject of women pastors.

This doesn't happen in churches where the preacher is god and the only word is his. It doesn't happen with people that are determined to believe what someone else has taught them, too lazy or too busy to work it out for themselves in the Living WORD.

Would that we all read more, study more and discuss more with a love for Christ our head, and our brothers and sisters.

I too believe the WORD is a lot better weapon than a gun, at least in the war we fight now.

Eph 6:11 Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
Eph 6:13 Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

Guns are for fighting in the flesh. Something we seem to be all too well at doing these days.

ezekiel said...

Wade,

Not sure that is a door you want to open with Wayne. The way it sounds he would have them all in Burquas.

Wade Burleson said...

Benji,

The anonymous comment to which you refer was deleted because it so happens the person who left it was not "anonymous" but has posted here under his name very often. His I.P address revealed to me his identity, and frankly, I felt his lack of courage should not be rewarded by allowing his comment to stand. However, your response, signed as it is, shall stand.

Here's hoping Tim and others read it.

Rex Ray said...

To whom it may concern,

Those that make the BFM 2000 their god, have a paper god.

The old conventions of Texas and Virginia refuse to accept/bow to the 2000.

The SBC rejects these old conventions from being employed such as officers, professors, missionaries, janitors etc.

Why does the SBC not kick them out?

MONEY

God may call, but His voice is muted by Pharisee rules made by Pharisees.

When the ‘glue of missions’ that held Baptists and the ‘ship of Zion’ together was replaced by ‘man’s doctrine’, cooperation has crumbled and the ship is sinking.

Thanks, Wade, for helping some Baptists to wake up, but too many like Robert Masters, Tim G., and Pastor Tony are full of sleeping pills.

hashman said...

It seems that your criticism used to be, don't go narrower than the BFM, now the BFM is too narrow.

Why is the bar moving? Are you, and where you are on your journey, now the bar for making judgments on the doctrinal convictions of other autonomous bodies like the GBC?
hashman

Joe White... said...

Is conservative the new liberal moniker?

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

To Fundamementalists, every conservative is a liberal.

Wade Burleson said...

Hashman,

From the beginning I have stated that the BFM should never have placed the prohibition of women "pastors" in the only consensus confession of faith we Southern Baptists have. Further, the BFM advocates closed communion, the semi-Pelagian doctrine that a sinner only becomes guilty he he or she personally and actually sins (a denial of original sin), and leaves out the historic doctrine of the priesthood of the believer.

The document is not infallible and inerrant. It is manmade.

The Bible is my guide, and my conscience is bound to it, and nothing else.

What is absolutely bizarre, however, is that those who pushed through the BFM 2000 are now seeking to go even BEYOND it and hammer people who disagree with them.

Games up.

Blessings,

Wade

DT Boy said...

I personally do not know a lot about what is going on in Georgia but I did a quick search of their website and they do not list the BFM 2000 in their purposes and values section. In fact this is what it says....

Purpose & Values
Purpose Statement
The Georgia Baptist Convention is a living partnership of churches growing in grace, strengthening one another in faith and working together in obedience to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.
Values Statement
Based Upon The Bible
Driven By Evangelism
Committed To Missions
Empowered By Worship
Focused On Church Growth
Engaged In Christian Education
Excelling In Leadership Development
Compelled By Cooperation
Vision Statement
The Georgia Baptist Convention will achieve its purpose by God's grace, through the power of the Holy Spirit, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and guided by God's Word, the Bible.

Georgia Baptist Churches will be assisted in the pursuit of this vision by a Convention Staff comprised of increasingly highly-trained, creative consultants clustered in integrated, field based ministry teams committed to quality performance, devoted service and fiscal efficiency.

It would seem to me that this would allow an SBC with a female pastor.

I think the other issue at hand is what about those churches who never embrace the 2000 BFM. Does this mean they are no longer an SBC church? Should their credentials at the National Meeting not be accepted? What if a new church never affirms any of BFM yet desires to be fellowship with the SBC, Is that ok?

As a denomination we need to answer what it means to be in fellowship and what is "required" for this fellowship to happen. I personally think the threshold is pretty low in the sense that there are only certain core believes that we must agree on.Beyond that we can simply agree to disagree.

It is interesting many church planters are finding that for them to succeed they must expand their network of cooperating churches to beyond SBC churches. Many them do this under the radar for fear of their SBC being negatively affected. This is just sad to me. To think that we must limited ourselves to the resources (including people and ideas) of the SBC just does not seem right to me in consideration of the common fellowship that we all share in Christ.

I know there are some in denominational leaders who understand the need to cooperate with those outside the SBC and it is my hope that these leaders will be able to move our denominational entities towards this kind of fellowship. One such leader is Ed Stetzer and I would encourage you to read his post about Southern Baptist getting out more. You can find it at

http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/2009/01/baptists-need-to-get-out-more.html

Wade, I appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts on this issue and many more.

Scott Shaffer said...

It is interesting to note what E.Y. Mullin had to say about Baptists, creeds, statements of faith, and cooperation. You can read the article here

http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=14248

Benji Ramsaur said...

North Carolinians,

If the church you are a member of "doesn't" practice close communion, then you might want to think about that if the the BF&M comes up for a vote at the NCB convention.

Anonymous said...

SOLIDARITY

SBC leadership operates by looking for those to 'isolate' and 'remove'.

Is there a way to protect churches that some of the leadership want to 'remove' ?

There may be.

The principle is an interesting one:

But help me to identify the biblical reasons for it.

Example 1: A high school student is a cancer victim and receives chemo.
All of his hair falls out as a result. When he returns to school, he finds that his teacher and his male classmates have shaved their heads.
QUESTION: What is the lesson?
Why did they do this?
Was it a Christian act?
What inspired them?

Example 2: It is World War II,
the Nazis have conquered tiny Denmark. They order all Jews to wear the Star of David so they they can be identified (and eventually rounded up for extermination).

But something happens. King Christian X of Denmark appears the next day on the balcony of his palace wearing a Star of David.
By the next day, virtually all of Denmark is wearing the Star of David. And lives were protected.

What is the lesson here?
Is it biblical?
Why did the King do it?
What was the inspiration?

Example 3. Herein, you can think of a time when you or someone you know stood up, DRAMATICALLY, OPENLY, PUTTING YOURSELVES AT RISK FOR HUMILIATION OR DESTRUCTION, and doing it for the love of one another. I'm sure there are many, many examples out there.

Baptists: you need to do it One More Time: this time for your church.
Why would you do it?
Is it biblical?
What would inspire you to do it?

Benji Ramsaur said...

"Our confession of faith has remained unchanged for over 75 years on this issue. Your comment about churches in North Carolina considering the 'close' communion issue when they consider the BF&M 2000 suggests otherwise."

How?

I brought up the issue of "practice".

Grace

Benji

Anonymous said...

Quibbling over who to invite to the Lord's Supper?

Very shallow in the light of this:

" One out of every five children in our affluent nation is poor. What does this mean? It's difficult to imagine children in the United States going to bed hungry each night; we assume that that happens only in the so-called Third World. "

So while you quibble, think about it, is it worth your time and effort to use your energy and gifts to deny ANYONE the LORD'S SUPPER;

when one out of five 'lambs' in our country go to bed hungry?

'Feed, my lambs . . ."

One out of five. That's a lot of hungry lambs to be fed. Some of them won't make it long enough to learn of Christ or be baptized.
Better feed 'em.
Then come to the Lord's Supper
and don't 'quibble' that someone might be there who 'doesn't belong'. HE would not send them away.

What is REALLY important?

Joe White... said...

Wade,

Could it be to Liberals, every conservative is a fundamentalist.

knnuki said...

You've said: Bottom line, Southern Baptists too often pronounce judgment and condemnation before we dialogue, reflect and consider the consequences of our anathemas... If we keep moving down the line toward of disfellowshipping from churches that interpret the Bible different than we do, then we ought to change the Cooperative Program’s name to the Conformity Program. If we don’t stop the nonsense of narrower and narrower parameters of fellowship and cooperation, then pretty soon the SBC will be the size of a mega church and not the largest Protestant denomination in the western world.

I couldn't agree more! Why does the starting place in all these discussions have to be accusations of heresy, breaking of fellowship, and all that negative stuff? It's a poor witness and has no scriptural justification. As far as the SBC growing smaller and smaller, narrower and narrower goes, I think that's inevitable. It will, as well, become more marginalized and less effective for the kingdom as it goes down that road. Pity.

greg.w.h said...

Wade wrote:

which means then that he should FIGHT against the disfellowship because he believes he has something in common with FBC Decatur.

Note Wade's appeal to integrity. And lest we forget, the root of the word integrity is the same as the word integer. We know integers as "whole numbers" which lack fractions. Integrity means being entirely consistent in public and in private. As one wag put it, integrity is who you are when no one else is looking.

Bob White is displaying a lack of integrity by supporting a public policy that he privately disagrees with. But you must give him CREDIT for the reason he is saying what he is saying: as an employed leader, he is trying to reflect the majority view of the group of Baptists he provides leadership to. But in private, he recognizes the value of fellowship with fellow believers and recognizes this church as fellow believers. While I agree with Wade that he should lead on this issue and not split his public and personal viewpoint, this kind of triangulation is one form of temporary compromise while we seek a better understanding. You have to agree that Bob is in a tough position and it is easy to oversimplify what is required of him.

I also am reminded of Jim Fitch's comment on one of your posts, Wade, that moderates often lead because they can find the common ground for leadership. They aren't being explicitly liberal or even disloyal. They simply value the relationship highly and work the politics to preserve the relationship. (Disclaimer: Jim was my "boss" for a week during Spring Break from SWBTS in the spring of '86, and got me my start in software by employing me to do a Super Spiral model in Lotus Notes. I went from there to my first job as a programmer for a company some of you might remember: Membership Services, Inc. Dad worked in his group at the SSB.)

I think our goal in a disagreement should be first and foremost to genuinely understand the other side's arguments and argumentation. If we cannot do that, we lack the minimum empathy that should be present in us as believers in Christ Jesus. And we need to get down on our knees and pray for the Holy Spirit to restore to us that first love not just for Christ but for our true brothers and sisters that populate the UNIVERSAL Bride.

If we think there will be complete agreement with one interpretation of Scripture, I offer a single counterargument to disprove that notion: the history of the church.

Given that the history of the church proves that there will be deep, prolonged disagreement, then the next step is to ascertain what God's will is regarding how we should handle that disagreement. In that regard, I offer Jesus's high priestly prayer as being an overriding statement of policy: unity is preferred. And the statement of that policy in prayer suggests that God is deeply concerned about the cause of unity and how it impacts the Kingdom.

We have to become convicted regarding our disunity. Southern Baptists are prideful and have literally wallowed in the "success" of disunity over the past 30 years. The result is that we consistently go on witch hunts on ever finer levels of detail of theological differences. They we go church to church, association to association, state convention to state convention, entity to entity firing those we disagree with.

No, I won't give you specifics. If you care about it, you'll go ask questions and see if it has happened. And if you're a believer, you'll mourn the disunity that we as Baptists have brought to the church. And maybe, just maybe, you'll pray for God's leadership on the issue. And maybe, just maybe, he'll soften your heart.

It reminds me of Joshua meeting up with a certain "man" and asking him which "side" he was on. I think most of us know the rest of that story...

Greg Harvey

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

I believe if you took a straw poll of those evangelicals who understand the issues, the overwhelming majority would not say the Southern Baptist Convention is dominated by liberals who believe every conservative is a Fundamentalist. The thought is almost laughable.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Rev. Burleson. I am just thankful for the women who have not waited until you and others are "convinced through biblical arguments" before they responded faithfully to God's call in their lives.

Thank you for your willingness to be open to the Lord in your life, theology, and service as well.

Wade Burleson said...

Greg,

Well said.

Anonymous said...

What was JESUS CHRIST ?

liberal, moderate,
conservative, fundamentalist

?

What do these terms mean anymore?
If they are 'epithets' thrown at each other, and their meanings change at wim, what's the point?

The CR movement was supposed to 'preserve' values in the SBC.
But it became a 'radical' movement to seek out and destroy all opposition to a few leaders' rule.

So what about Jesus?
Where does He 'fall' in all of this name-calling.

jle said...

I am a pastor who reads scripture a teaching that the "office" of pastor is specifically for God called men.

With that stated, I refuse to go on a witch hunt for churches which choose to call a woman as their pastor. I refuse to stand and fight against an entity which is not one I am a part of, making decisions which have nothing to do with me.

I have no problem distancing myself, my monies and my attendance from things to which I oppose. There are too many lost people to be political on every issue. I have no interest in getting people to follow me, I would rather have them follow Jesus.

My prayer would never be for a church to find success due to gender or personality but for a church to live out holiness in a fallen world.

Women pastors, are not a secondary issue for me as I understand scripture. Let any church call who they wish, then I will decide what I must do in my walk to continue to be faithful. Personally taking a stand to remove someone who is not like me is not my thing.

Anonymous said...

Although I don't percieve women in pastoral roles as the Scriptural ideal I do regard the exceptions, I was reading the following over "disfellowshipping" over women deacons by the Capital Association and was astonished. There is actually no basis for that act biblcially AT ALL! Even conservatives like JOHN MACARTHUR subscribe through a very detailed study of Scripture that there were women deacons in the church. Don't fight too many battles at once Wade!

Anonymous said...

Adding: These leaders need to be careful becasue factionalism is also a deed of the flesh! Discipline alwasy implies restoration! (Galatians 5&6)

Anonymous said...

JLE wrote ' . . . I refuse to go on a witch hunt for churches which choose to call a woman as their pastor"

It IS a witch hunt.
Except, this time, they want to burn the 'witch' inside of her church so that they all are punished.

sick

Anonymous said...

The strangling begins with an inability to spell.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's the maidens that save the dat. I have a feeling that Julie doesn't NEED to be afraid. She is too focused on serving Christ, to be 'worried' about her OWN survival.

Why did God call and send Julie?
Why did God allow PP to make such a fool of himself with that idiot Christman video?
Why did God make it so that Hatley falls on his can and is buried by a ton of debt, while he flails at those around him?
Why indeed?
Did God send the CR movement to test the Christianity of the SBC?
Trials come. And lessons come with them.
It's not the trials that matter.
It's how YOU respond to them.

Robert said...

Wade,
Why do you do this ...............

Tim G said...

Wade,
You said in this post "I no longer can remain silent when I see people, churches or missionaries publicly humiliated..."

Why did you do that which you say you must speak our against?

Wed Jan 28, 03:51:00 AM 2009

calling someone a racist is a pretty serious charge.

Yes I know that you did not make that charge but you encouraged others to go to that post by linking it.
I also wonder if you if you are neglecting your God given duty as overseer of your church since since Dr Kear is a member in your church.


From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade.

It might be that God doesn't want Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell wasting her time in the SBC.

We need to stand for what we need to stand for, but the outcome may be a major pronouncement from You-Know-Who, re: the SBC.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

You wrote... "I believe if you took a straw poll of those evangelicals who understand the issues, the overwhelming majority would not say the Southern Baptist Convention is dominated by liberals who believe every conservative is a Fundamentalist. The thought is almost laughable."

Wade, I believe you are correct. Who said that it was?

Anonymous said...

"Ted Haggard and his wife are going to be interviewed on Oprah this afternoon."

Off-topic, but just this:

Alexandra Pelosi said that she 'felt sorry for Haggard' because he was an outcast from his church. She was impressed that they, a 'Christian' organization, had so thoroughly abandoned him.

When Alexandra Pelosi is 'sorry' for someone and when an 'evangelical' church 'disfellowships' someone,
that is worth mentioning, in its contrast.
I guess this makes Alexandra an 'unChristian liberal'
and
this makes Haggard's church a
'Christian' conservative entity?
I guess. ?
I'm confused.

CONFUSED

Robert said...

Anonymous,
What you describe is called "Church Discipline"....it is a Biblical practice.
Not practiced as in former days but much needed in this post-modern era.

Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Anabaptist originator Balthasar Hubmaier stated that there can not be any true church without churhc discipline.

Anonymous said...

Wade, thank you for your openness.

I admit to being dogmatic on the subject of the place of women, coming to where I am after a long struggle to understand the issue. It is often that way for women, especially those growing up Southern Baptist. We hear the voices telling us we are secondary creatures (however it is phrased) but feel God telling us we should serve with our abilities, which may not fit what some say are the only things open to us to do.

It appears that Julie Pennington-Russell is a gifted pastor. Maybe the Georgia Convention people are jealous. :-)

I remember the fuss over women deacons in the Capitol Association and attempts to disfellowship.
There were fears that when churches in my association began to consider the issue there would be problems, but they were defused, and now at least two churches in my association have had women deacons for some time with no noticeable ill effects.

So again, thank you.

Susie

Robert said...

Anybody want to sponser a motion to "disfellowship" Immanuel for Wades promotion of Women as Pastors.
He was doing this way back in the beginning of SBC OUPOST.

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Please, sign your name. Too many comments under no known name. All deleted.

Wade Burleson said...

Robert's comments are allowed to stand because he signs his name for all to see the character and disposition of the man behind the words.

Dr. Phil said...

Robert (Bob) I. Masters,

You need help. Call me for an appointment. I'll get you right in.

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to think that when the SBC left the Nothern Baptist in 1840's, it lost a quinessential aspect to bear one another's burdens with the Body. I do not need the glory for all of it is His. And that I will sign it with anonymous.

Karl Heilman said...

Wade,

Thanks for the "testimony about your journey". I have never posted a comment to your blog before but felt compelled to do so this time. I appreciate your brave stand and humble approach to an issue that should be a matter for a local church to decide. As a Virginia Baptist pastor, I am labeled "liberal" simply because I will cooperate with another Baptist church that has or supports women in ministry. I'll not ramble on but again offer you my thanks and encouragement.

Karl Heilman

St. Steven of St. Paul said...

Dear Wade,
One quote from your blog stands out strongly to me. "Though I would not personally lead my church to call a woman senior pastor for cultural reasons, I do not see it as a “moral” issue, or a “liberal” issue as I once did."

Cultural reasons. Could it not be said that these could also be called traditions of man? If cultural reasons are a stumbling block to interpretating scripture let us indeed return to the cultural practices of the 1rst century. We can glean them from Paul's epistles quite easily. Of course we would hardly recognize American christianity or many baptist practices today were we to do so.

I encourage you to consider church participation (or individual) with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. I believe it represents the best that was identifiable in the SBC.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I submit that aside from the problem of remaining sin, the BF&M2000 has turned into a unholy and unnatural disaster. So I submit an older historic confession to bind us all together in Christ.

The 1619 Belgic Confession with minor baptistic revisions to Article 34 (The Sacrament of Baptism).

This I could sign with enthusiasm.

My more detailed study of the BFM 2000 over the last year, along with some enlightenment from Wade's blog has led me to believe that the BFM2000 will be looked upon in the annals of history as the most divisive document in confessional and creedalistic history. The early fathers and reformers knew how to write creeds and confessions. Let us take a biblical and reactionary approach to solving this problem.

Sign the Confession Today---Get a FREE Waffle!


k

Robert said...

Kevin M Crowder,
May I ask why you dislike about the 1689?

Robert from Geneva

St. Steven of St. Paul, MN said...

Hey Robert,
Your 1619 confession - how about a question about this: "He himself wrote with his own finger the two tables of the law.Therefore we call such writings holy and divine Scriptures."
Do you think there might be room for some interpretation about how God produced the 10 Commandments for Moses?

Robert said...

Hey St Steven of St Paul,

That would be 1689 London Baptist Confession.

Maybe you meant KMC1

Here are some thoughts on what you are saying from the
Reformed Baptist Church of Grand Rapids

"We regard the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 (excepting the assertions regarding the salvation of the mentally incompetent [10:3]) and the identity of the antichrist [26:4] and the Canons of Dortrecht (excluding Article 17 of the first head of doctrine) as excellent, though not inspired, expressions of the teaching of the Word of God. Because we acknowledge the word of God written to be the supreme authority in all matters of faith, morals, and order, we adopt these two historic documents as our doctrinal standards. We find them to be an assistance in controversy, a confirmation in faith, and a means of edification in righteousness."

Robert said...

Here is an excellent link to what the 1689 actually says.

Please read the introduction

http://www.founders.org/library/bcf/confession.html

Benji Ramsaur said...

K,

You said "My more detailed study of the BFM 2000 over the last year..."

I actually wish tons of SBC pastors would do the same as you did [if they have not] with a view to seeing if every jot and tittle of that confession can be "exegeted" from Scripture.

I personally don't think so.

Cindy said...

As I post this comment, the first comment under this thread appears on my computer screen. Dr. Jeff Greene thanks the Lord for this "articulate, transparent testimony." How well stated, and IMO, one of the loveliest compliments one can bestow on a fellow Christian, I think.

Raised in an egalitarian denomination, in my recovery from the fideism in that corner of Christendom, I tempered my views about what the best standard was for pastors and elders -- conforming out of a conservative interpretation of the Word to a very soft complementarian view. Depending on your perspective on this issue, I have either the advantage or the disadvantage of having little focus placed upon gender as a faith concern, and certainly not as a central doctrine. I have and continue to view this as an intramural issue.

And though my faith does not depend on circumstances or evidential proof, I believe that it should stand the test of credulity, a part of which comes from the fruit produced by thought. "Ideas have consequences." Our faith should produce good, sweet fruit that brings glory to God and ministry to the church.

The reasons behind my outspokenness on some of these matters related to gender come about because of sour and bitter fruit the likes of which I never saw to this manner or degree in any egalitarian group. In addition to my personal experience in a spiritually abusive complementarian group, I have spent the last two months encouraging others from several comp groups where terrible physical and sexual abuse of women has occurred. I'm deeply, deeply grieved, but I believe that this bitter fruit stems directly and indirectly from the lack of appropriate personal boundaries taught to women in many comp groups as well as the preoccupation with sex by way of gender. Women are created for men, and the exorbitant amount of attention paid to this theme as one so central to Christ crucified eclipses the Gospel message and seems to me to result in scapegoating and dehumanization.

I'm convinced that the men who teach the ideology NEVER intend for their words to foster abuse, but the logical conclusions from their arguments nonetheless fosters abuse of women rather than protection of their integrity and well-being. These are not nameless faces and hypothetical characters but are living breathing women and children that have been both physically and sexually abused, then beaten with the Word of God to submit to all suffering through the surrender of all personal rights. I've written to them, talked to them on the phone, weeped with them and been righteously indignant over how their churches treated them as aggressors for supposed bitterness and for failing to follow inappropriate "forgiveness" which has been defined as reconciliation that is void of appropriate, reasonable personal boundary.

I've also worked with inner-city churches where there were no adequately trained male ministers and leaders, but there are women who have some expert training and experience, ministering primarily to other women and children. This is also the case in many mission fields where there just are not enough men to properly carry out these ideal paradigms that harder complementarianism teaches. It is a very 20th Century American model that often does not adapt to other cultures.

I don't know what to do with this bitter fruit, examples of which have been graciously presented here on Grace and Truth to You. And I am grateful. I am grateful for the willingness to productively discuss the bitter fruit here, discerning why it is so problematic.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Robert,

I will have to read it and study it. I just know from a careful read of the Belgic, that I was hugely impressed with its nature and scope.

St. Steven of St. Paul,

I once sit in on a Sr. men's SS Class and the topic was Abraham's potential sacrifice of Isaac. The LifeWay Student Guide has a picture of a nice big alter. The entire class period was spent trying to decide how Abraham hauled all those rocks to the site, or how long it took him to build what looked like to them a 4' high x 6' long alter x 3' wide. I chimed in as respectfully as I could and killed the debate. Why? Because whether God used his finger, his toe, or a red sharpie to write the 10 Commandments is "MOOT" when the wording, not the content of this confession has already been altered twice I think by the Synod of Dort in 1618-19.

My answer: Who cares. The phrase "finger of God" should not be taken literally by you as I am sure it was not by Guido de Bräs.

But I tell you what, our new Belgic Baptist Convention can split before we begin. I suggest the following 2 sects:

The Literal Finger Belgic Baptist Convention

The Anthropomorphic Finger Belgic Baptist Convention

I shall join the latter. :)


Please except my apology for any undue amount of sarcasm present in my comment. ;)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Benji,

The 25 and 63 are simply too liberal for my taste. I think the 2000 was a rush attempt to fix them that quite frankly failed. I have copies of it in a track rack in the foyer of my church. I give a copy to all visitors in a welcome packet. I am not in a position at present to lead my church away from the BFM. I studied the BFM in preparation to do a Wed Nite Series on it using the Mohler, Kelly, Land book. I never did the Wed. Nite Study. Finding a new confession is a backburner project for me at the moment.

K

Anonymous said...

ohhhh k, nice use of 'moot'... and sarcasim? pray tell, where?

Native Arkansan said...

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Please, sign your name. Too many comments under no known name. All deleted.

Wed Jan 28, 04:16:00 PM 2009


Uh Wade ol' boy? Ya missed a few.

Anonymous said...

native arkansas, shhhhhh....do ya think he saw me?? ;-)

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Great post Wade. Thanks for your level-headedness.

dm

Anonymous said...

THE 'CHILDREN OF WISDOM'


How Jesus Changed the Way to Treat Women:

"Christ fulfilled many centuries of Jewish law and custom.
He consistently treated women and men as equals.
He violated numerous Old Testament regulations, which specified gender inequality.
He refused to follow the behavioral rules established by the three main Jewish religious groups of the day: the Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducees.

The actions of Jesus of Nazareth towards women were therefore revolutionary. Some examples are:

He ignored ritual impurity laws:

Mark 5:25-34 describes Jesus' cure of a woman who suffered from menstrual bleeding for 12 years.

In Judean society of the day, it was a major transgression for a man to talk to a woman other than his wife or children.

He talked to foreign women: John 4:7 to 5:30 describes Jesus' conversation with a woman of Samaria. She was doubly ritually unclean since she was both a foreigner and a woman.
Men were not allowed to talk to women, except within their own families.

Jesus also helped a Canaanite woman, another foreigner, in Matthew 15:22-28. He was willing to talk to her, and is recorded as having cured her daughter of demon-possession.

He taught women students: Jewish tradition at the time was to not allow women to be taught.

Jesus overthrew centuries of tradition.

In Luke 10:38-42, he taught Mary, sister of Martha.

He used terminology which treated women as equal to men: Luke 13:16 describes how he cured a woman from an indwelling Satanic spirit. He called her a daughter of Abraham, thus implying that she had equal status with sons of Abraham.

"The expression 'son of Abraham' was commonly used to respectfully refer to a Jew, but 'daughter of Abraham', was an unknown parallel phrase...It occurs nowhere else in the Bible."
It seems to be a designation created by Jesus.


Luke 7:35 to 8:50 describes how Jesus' forgave a woman's sins. He refers to women and men (i.e. "all" people) as children of wisdom.

He accepted women in his inner circle: Luke 8:1-3 describes the inner circle of Jesus' followers: 12 male disciples and an unspecified number female supporters (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and "many others.") It would appear that about half of his closest followers were women.


He appeared first to one or more women after his resurrection: Matthew 28:9-10 describes how Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" were the first followers of Jesus to meet him after his resurrection.

Women were present at Jesus' execution: Matthew 27:55-56 and Mark 15:40-41 describe many women who followed Jesus from Galilee and were present at his crucifixion. The men had fled from the scene. (John 19:25-27 contradicts this; the author describes John as being present with the women.)


He told parallel male/female stories: The Gospel of Luke and Acts shows many parallel episodes: one relating to a woman, the other to a man. For example: Simeon and Hannah in Luke 2:25-38
Widow of Sarepta and Naaman in Luke 4:25-38
Healing of a man possessed by a demon and the healing of the mother of Peter's wife, starting in Luke 4:31
The woman who had lived a sinful life and Simon, starting in Luke 7:36
A man and woman sleeping together in Luke 17:34
Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11
Dionysius and Damaris in Acts 17:34
Lydia and the jailer's conversion in Acts 16:14-34



"Luke expresses by this arrangement that man and woman stand together and side by side before God.
They are equal in honor and grace; they are endowed with the same gifts and have the same responsibilities."



He expressed concern for widows: Jesus repeated the importance of supporting widows throughout his ministry. The Gospel of Luke alone contains 6 references to widows: (Luke 2:36, 4:26, 7:11, 18:1, 20:47 and 21:1)
Divorce: In Jesus' time, a man could divorce his wife, but the wife had no right to divorce her husband. This practice is supported by seven references in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) in which a husband can unilaterally give his wife a bill of divorce. There were no references to a woman giving her husband such a bill.

In Mark 10:11-12, Jesus overthrows this tradition and states that neither spouse can divorce the other; he treats the wife and husband equally.





In his defense, he might have chosen only single people because he wanted disciples who were unencumbered with spouses. In first century CE Jewish culture, unmarried women traveling with men would cause so much criticism that the reception of Jesus' teaching by the public might have been impossible.


Treatment of Mary Magdalene:
In Matthew 28:1-7, after Jesus' resurrection, "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary" receive the first apostolic commission of any human - to tell the good news of the resurrection to the disciples. This is reinforced by Jesus' appearance before the two women. The two Marys were thus the first apostles.

The The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies comments:

"Mary Magdalene is mentioned in the Gospels as being among the women of Galilee who followed Jesus and His disciples. She was present at His Crucifixion and Burial, and went to the tomb on Easter Sunday to anoint His body. She was the first to see the Risen Lord, and to announce His Resurrection to the apostles. Accordingly, she is referred to in early Christian writings as 'the apostle to the apostles'."

Anonymous said...

EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES:
MARY MAGDALENE

Was a woman the equal of the Apostles ?

Yes. According to the traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

"Mary Magdalene is honored as one of the first witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus, and received a special commission from him to tell the Apostles of his resurrection (John 20:11–18).

Mary's role as a witness is interesting due to the fact women at that time could not be witnesses in legal proceedings.

Because of this, and because of her subsequent missionary activity in spreading the Gospel, she is known by the title,

"EQUAL OF THE APOSTLES "

She is often depicted on icons bearing a vessel of ointment, not because of the anointing by the "sinful woman", but because she was among those women who brought ointments to the tomb of Jesus. For this reason, she is called a Myrrhbearer"

WatchingHISstory said...

Wade

For what it is worth and most people don't take me seriously, I have given this topic some thought while working today. I work as a hourly wage-earner and do hard labor which frees my mind to meditate.

I Tim 6 came to my mind. My thesis is that the SBC has lost the essence of what the gospel is about. The heavy emphasis of free will has brought a confusing mixture of human will and sovereign grace. This cooperation is not a wholesome view of grace.

V. 1-2 suggest that primary and secondary roles need to exist in harmony. Employer/employee relationships; male/female etc. work together. The honor of God is at stake.

God works with all to produce harmony, especially when the words of Christ are honored.

Your discussion of women pastors is a heated issue as demonstrated in the last two posts.

I am attempting to NOT oversimplify the issue. However I believe with God's help there is a harmonious solution that brings glory to God's name and His doctrine.

But given the SBC's tract-record there is arbitration that results from STRONG self-determination. This comes from the view of the gospel that makes the individual the determiner of his own destiny.
God has lost a place in arbitration and often lawyers take His (Holy Spirit) place.

So what you have here is an endless discussion of over 200 comments and soon this post will reach the same. v.4-5 descibe the communications. The annonymous comments can get downright disrespectful and some become so self-righteous with scripture quoting to the point of nauseum.

The overly educated flaunt their knowledge. The witty resort to ad-hominen attacks without any attempt to dialogue. This tells me that God has withdrawn from these people and left them to their own devises.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."

What is my view of women pastors? I believe that the Bible supports male eldership. Women can be deacons, prophets, evangelist teachers (in a restricted sense) etc. There are primary and secondary roles and these are not to be ignored. Primary/secondary are not a matter of importance but of divine order. IMHO

Native Arkansan said...

St. Steven of St. Paul said:

Dear Wade,
One quote from your blog stands out strongly to me. "Though I would not personally lead my church to call a woman senior pastor for cultural reasons, I do not see it as a “moral” issue, or a “liberal” issue as I once did."

Cultural reasons. Could it not be said that these could also be called traditions of man? If cultural reasons are a stumbling block to interpretating scripture let us indeed return to the cultural practices of the 1rst century. We can glean them from Paul's epistles quite easily. Of course we would hardly recognize American christianity or many baptist practices today were we to do so.


Just now catchin' up on my readin' but as one who knows all about "culture" that's 'zactly what I was thinkin' when I read that Steven! Amen bro!

Wade, them fenceposts must be gittin' kinda ruff on tha posterior.

Native Arkansan said...

There are primary and secondary roles and these are not to be ignored.

Could ya give me a bible refrence for them "primary and secondary roles?"

Charles Page said...

Wade
here are some anonymous comments I have to deal with on my blog. theses are the same (I believe) who comment here and especially on NBBCOF

Is this glorifying God and His doctrines?

Anonymous said...
Look this guy is closet homo besides whatever else he claims to be. We know what he really likes and enjoys. It is time he came out and joined the rest of us.

January 22, 2009 4:41 PM


W said...
By the way, are you actually a closet homosexual??

Anonymous said...
W: Charles is in fact a closet homosexual but he has been over to see me a few times. And we weren't in the closet were we Charline? He likes being the lady because he does not have what it takes to take on a living preacher like you suggest and he calls you a coward?

January 27, 2009 9:36 AM

Anonymous said...
Wanna guess they are secretly homosexual lovers?

January 28, 2009 9:06 AM

WatchingHISstory said...

NA

Yes

Only By His Grace said...

Wade,

K.Crowder mentioned that the BF&M '63 was too Liberal for him. If you have a hundred people in a room and the subject "Liberal" comes up, there will be one hundred definitions of Liberal. It has become "the elephant gun" to use against anyone with whom we disagree; however, in this case, I think the '63 BF&M was wide in perspective in order that both "Yankee and Rebel" churches could unite under one banner for a Mission Purpose both at home and abroad to win a world to Christ and disciple those won as seen in our Sunday School Board and the old Foreign Mission Board.

I think the problem with the 2000 BF&M is that it is so narrow it has become the gun to kill those who will not be whipped into line. It will be a long day under the sun with no water on a hill of ants with honey running over my body before I sign anything that infringes on my soul competency as a Baptist including any BF&M. If my interpretion seen in my faith and practice is not good enough then I will not serve in a SBC organization, and heck, I wanted to become the next President of SWBTS.

BTW, Kevin, thank you for the comments and your intense interest in learning. Your heart is showing and I think that is a good thing.

Phil in Norman.

Rex Ray said...

Louis,
You say, “I’m still waiting for you to tell me what the ‘moderate recipe for understanding the Bible’ is.”

On Wade’s post of Friday December 12 (WMU) I said on Sunday Dec 21, 3:41 AM, “Louis, the recipe of moderates have for believing the Bible is in the word ‘infallible’.

Webster—Infallible:
(1.) Incapable of error.
(2.) Dependable; reliable.

So Lewis…I take the recipe of Webster’s second definition ‘infallible’ while you take his first definition.”

On Wade’s post of Monday December 15 (Why can’t we ever admit we might be wrong on our interpretations of the infallible word of God?);

I wrote, in my opinion, the fallacy of the Chicago Statement saying the Bible was perfect but believers had to see “illusions” in the Bible.

I also backed up the BFM saying, “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” as explained by the lawyer for the SBC, Michel Whitehead.

Lewis, you were the next to comment saying: “Since Rex re-posted what I think he termed the moderate ‘recipe’ for understanding the Bible …” and ended by saying: “Rex thanks again for setting out your thinking on this.”

Lewis, my question is: If you can’t remember what I said, why can’t you remember what you said?

May I ask a question? Have you ever answered my request to tell what “illusions” means to you in the Chicago Statement?

If your answer is yes, would you explain again? If the answer is no, would you please explain?

Wade Burleson said...

Native Arkansan,

What you call a fence post is simply the knowledge that humans like you and me, with interpretations of Scripture like ours, are fallible. Your cocksure attitude is called "faux" by the French, which means "false." It is a false sense of your own ability to know the mind of God when it comes to women in ministry. Though I agree with you and am personally a complementarian, I have a true understanding of our ability to err in our interpretation of Scriptures that are not as clear as you would have them be.

Anonymous said...

The Holy Scriptures are mysterious: once I think I am 'familiar' with them, I read them and see something more.

Speaking of these writings in human terms is not going to cover what the mystery is all about.

There is something sacred within these writings: not 'God' as such and we do not worship 'the Scriptures', no.

But there is something that God has touched in a way that gives each person the gifts He wants them to have from the Scriptures. Something blessed.

We should be careful and reverent when we approach these writings.
They convey to us from the Lord a special kind of blessing, if we are open to receiving what the Holy Spirit intends for us, at that moment.

Words like 'inerrant', phrases like 'without error', all seem to miss the point:
that, it is not the Scriptures we have to argue for. The Holy Writings stand on their own, from time immemorial.

It is our approach to them that may be flawed, if we come to the Scriptures without bowing our heads in humility and asking to be taught from the Holy Writings by the Lord.

The mystery is this: the Holy Writings are of a depth and a breadth beyond our ability to plumb. We cannot completely fathom them.
And yet, the heart of a young child can understand, with perfect clarity, the story of Jesus' love contained within these Writings.

There is a lesson there, I think. L's

Rex Ray said...

To Anonymous THE ‘CHILDREN OF WISDOM’
You did well in showing how Jesus treated women with respect which was not how the BFM 2000 treats them today.

The 2000 would have demanded Mary to join Martha in the kitchen and not worthy as men listening to Jesus.

The 2000 says she is “to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.”

Paraphrased: ‘Stay in the kitchen and wash those pots and pans!’

Jesus answered, “Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42 Contemporary English)

Paraphrased: ‘Women are free to choose anything God calls them to do’.

The 2000 reminds me Christ warning in (Mathew 15:9)

“Teaching as doctrine the commands of men.” (Holman)

“They teach their man-made laws instead of those from God.” (Living)

“They teach man-made ideas as commands from God.” (NLT)

“You teach rules made up by humans.” (Contemporary English)

happy gram said...

robert i. masters. why do you stress yourself out by continuing to come to this site and offering bitter comments that serve no purpose other than to make yourself look pitiful. you sound like an angry old man to me.

Anonymous said...

Hi REX RAY,
it's me, L's

You seem very stressed by this BF&M2000. I sure don't blame you, but don't let it get you down.
In all honesty, most anyone can see the difference between the 1963version and the 2000.
When people hear how it was written behind closed doors by a hand-picked few, then they will 'get it' that it is a political device. What confirms this, is how it was used politically, much to the disgrace of the Church. Very sad.

But as hard as the leadership tries, it cannot claim that the 2000 BF&M is a sacred document and can be profaned by someone disagreeing with it. Nope. They are completely unable.
It is a man-made document, used to harm others. It was made by men, and a lot of people have been hurt by it's mis-use. Clear as day.

Even if the Holy Spirit doesn't intervene with discernment here, I think people are smart enough to figure this out. :)

So, be peaceful.
The 'bad guys' are BEGINNING to self-destruct. (I think they got too greedy.) God will preserve the Church. Love, L's

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade said

" To Fundamementalists, every conservative is a liberal"

To that I say AMEN!!!!!!!!

During my seminary days, I had one guy tell me it was fundys like me that were ruining the SBC and NOT 10 MINUTES LATER a man told me it was liberals like me that were ruining the SBC.

bless you wade

wtreat@centurytel.net

Anonymous said...

FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING:

Psalm 90: A Prayer of Moses,
A Most Humble Man

90:1
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.

2
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3
You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”

4
For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.

5
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:

6
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.

7
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.

8
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.

9
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.

10
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty. yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.

11
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?

12
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.

13
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!

14
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

15
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.

16
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.

17
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!


RETURN O LORD ! HOW LONG?
HAVE PITY ON YOUR SERVANTS

Robert said...

Happy Gramm
Not sure how discussing the 2nd London Confession of faith makes me an angry old man.

Feel free to make personal attacks.... ...usually a sign of weak arguments.

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Pege' Rogers said...

Wade, A Bishop must be blameless and the husband of ONE WIFE...Paul tells Timothy. Doctrine nor hermeneutics is dictated by culture. Our God does not change because of our culture nor the opinion of "learned" or "godly" leaders who connfessing to wise spew this is foolishness. Women are not to be Pastors not because we do not know scripture or love our Lord as much as men but because the Lord specific disallows it. Feminism has permiated our the minds of christian women to where they have become desensitised to what the Lords teaching really is. It takes tremendous strength to be a helpmeet to a husband, a mother of Godly children and to minister to theose in the church and community.
Wade, you are being decieved. Your heart of compasson is understood.To compare the god given role of women in the home world and church to slavery is ludicris. I am an heir together with my husband to the grace of life and a joint heir with Christ.I am not unworthy because I cannot be a pastor. I can be dogmatic on this is because the scripture is clear. Wade, I am afraid you have bought a bill of goods on this one. This is foolishness and a twisting of scripture that I never thought you would be so naive to be influenced by. I want to, and will be with the Lord help, be all I can be in Christ according to the parameters of the word of God not culture and opinion of feminism in the church. It is time for women to humble themselves before the Lord and seek the true place, the glorious place for them in Christ and i can dogmatically say that is not in the pulpit.

William Madden said...

Hi Wade,

I haven't posted on your blog in a while. As you know, I am a former journeyman who served with the IMB in Thailand in the 1990's. I am also now a member of First Baptist Church of Decatur GA.

I have several friends and acquaintances who served on the pastor search commitee that called Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell to our church. I can say with certainty that our search committee had no specific agenda to seek a woman pastor. On the other hand, neither did we have an agenda to exclude one. FBC Decatur has been progressive on women's issues for many years, and we have had many strong women leaders in associate pastor positions and also women deacons and deacon chairwomen.

After reviewing many applications and interviewing many applicants, each individual search committee member was asked to pray and confirm for him or herself privately the person whom he or she felt led by the Spirit to call as our pastor. As it turned out, all members of the search committee decided in private prayer that Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell should be the person that we would call as our senior pastor. When the committee came together to discuss the results of their private prayers and announce their decisions, they were joyful that they were in one accord.

We have been very blessed to have Julie as our pastor these last couple of years. The church is growing, with new members and baptisms occurring all of the time. And the church is stepping out to begin bold new missions ventures that meet the needs of our inner-city environment.

Of course, I don't approve of the GPC's actions against our pastor and our church. But I also don't think for even one minute that such actions will hinder the beautiful work of God that is taking place in our beloved church.

It's always good to read your blog, and I pray blessings on you and your family and your ministry.

Best,

WM

Native Arkansan said...

Robert I Masters said...

Wade,
It seems to me that your agenda is soundly defeated by the fact that you bring articles like this to your blog.
Mary Gruben makes no theological case
at all for her positions. Why promote
this article?

Honestly I would rather put my eggs in the basket with The Young ,Reformed ,Restless . Your vision for the SBC are more like the Stinky Grave clothes.

Here is a alternate position that reflects a Biblical Model.
And Yes I know that Ray Ortland is not a Southern Baptist.

http://christisdeeperstill.blogspot.com/

This will be my last post on your blog.

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Wed Dec 31, 03:59:00 PM 2008


I guess ya must of jus' mint it was yer last post in 2008 right?

happy gram said...

RIM: i'm not arguing anything. i'm just along for the ride!

Robert said...

Native Arkansas,
Fair enough....you got me!

I man is allowed to change his mind.

Robert from Geneva

Anonymous said...

To WILLIAM MADDEN,

Thank you for sharing with all of us about your church.

You wrote this:

" After reviewing many applications and interviewing many applicants, each individual search committee member was asked to pray and confirm for him or herself privately the person whom he or she felt led by the Spirit to call as our pastor."

COMMENT: What wisdom to pray first and then be led by the Spirit. A time-honored way of seeking God's Will.
And to do so PRIVATELY, so that each individual was in communion with the Spirit, without outside influences of 'the group'.


Then you wrote:

"As it turned out, all members of the search committee decided in private prayer that Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell should be the person that we would call as our senior pastor. When the committee came together to discuss the results of their private prayers and announce their decisions, they were joyful that they were in one accord."

COMMENT: Joyful. But were you really surprised?

and then you wrote:

"We have been very blessed to have Julie as our pastor these last couple of years. The church is growing, with new members and baptisms occurring all of the time. And the church is stepping out to begin bold new missions ventures that meet the needs of our inner-city environment."

COMMENT: If the Good Lord knew that you would all be caring for the needs of the 'lease of these', why would He not increase your numbers? Good to see Christians LIVING their faith and putting it into action to help others.

And then, you wrote:

" Of course, I don't approve of the GPC's actions against our pastor and our church. But I also don't think for even one minute that such actions will hinder the beautiful work of God that is taking place in our beloved church."

COMMENT: Your Church has built on faith, and the 'gates of Hell' will not prevail against it.

William Madden, you are truly blessed to see the Hand of God move. Your church sought prayer instead of clinging to prejudice, and God has answered mightily. Thank you for sharing this wonderful news.
Your church is a model for others that would make a difference by bringing Christ to others.

Jon L. Estes said...

Pege' Rogers,

I love the first name. Thank you for your gracious spirit in which you wrote your post. I am with you on this.

God's calling to pastor is not determined by ability, skill, success, likability or anything but the Holy Spirit and His harmony with scripture - or scriptures harmony with Him, which ever way one would wish to state it.

As there is a biblical restriction concerning gender for the office of pastor, who am I to place myself above scripture and say something obviously contrary to it.

A man who is a tyrant as a pastor can change his behavior (without surgery) but a woman can not change her gender (without surgery - another discussion for another day).

Once again, thanks for your words they were what needed to be stated.

Anonymous said...

JON,
read ALL the scriptures.

Who are we to limit the Holy
Spirit's use of anyone's gifts based on cultural prejudices?

The contrast between Julie and Tom is an example. One is gifted and the other struggles even so much as to have common respect for his church members.

When the Holy Spirit 'ordains', there is NO argument.
And when the Holy Spirit does not
'ordain', it is all too obvious.

Take another look at THE BOOK.

greg.w.h said...

Pege' Rogers wrote:

I am an heir together with my husband to the grace of life and a joint heir with Christ.

That's LDS/Mormon theology, by the way, not biblical. In heaven there is no marriage. The two become one through the joining of flesh on earth, not the joining of spirit.

You are not a joint heir with your husband to any spiritual blessing except those you enjoy here on earth: relationship, children, grands, extended family, etc. Yes you will enjoy those same relationships in heaven and perhaps even the friendship with your husband will continue there. But it will not be marriage and there will not be marriage in heaven.

Jesus himself said "do you not know" on this subject.

Now that we have that "cultural" mis-perception out of the way, you might want to note Wade's earlier questions: do you adorn your hair? Do you wear makeup? do you wear jewelry? If so, then you are in disobedience with the most straightforward interpretation of the Bible regarding that behavior. And your only claim for that disobedience is that Paul intended those directives for a particular cultural context.

It isn't that you are wrong in treating one verse as cultural and in not treating them all the same way. It is that you are unloving and uncaring in how fellow believers--all fully appropriating God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ for salvation--have been led by the Holy Spirit to interpret the same passage.

If you believe they are wrong, that's fine. But you are not their judge. I realize most Southern Baptists believe they are qualified to judge, but the Bible is also VERY CLEAR on that subject, too: only Jesus Christ of all people--both fully man and fully God--is qualified to judge. I think we have a responsibility to articulate with full fidelity the faith that has been handed to us. But we must leave room for others to articulate with full fidelity the faith that God has given them, as well.

Whether it is a man or a woman in the pulpit is a matter of personal conscience just as whether contemporaries of Peter and Paul ate meat sacrificed to idols. Again, it isn't that your view of Scripture is incomplete, it is that your full insight is incomplete regarding whether or not the Holy Spirit has led others to the interpretation they now hold.

You can say the same thing you said with less dogmatism and more love and come across as winsome and beautiful. But the way you said it makes you sound like a legalist and a Pharisee. Note that my reflection of beauty is not based on the adornments you almost certainly wear in opposition to direct Scripture, but on the character of your heart.

The same is true--I believe--of every single person that responds to this situation without demonstrating they understand the essentially cultural nature of some of the direction in the New Testament/Covenant. You have failed to demonstrate that understanding in your comments.

I am not intending to pick on you, per se, except that by the same standard that you are using against this church, you should not speak in public because Paul forbids it.

With all Christian love, see how uncomfortable that shoe is when you actually try to wear it faithfully? This problem is less simplistic than you have considered it being. It is not simply black and white. God for his own reasons has led people to interpret the Bible differently than it is written in its most straightforward reading. And I think that's perfectly acceptable.

Anyone reading this might think I'm an egalitarian. I'm not. I'm a complementarian who read Jesus Christ's high priestly prayer and concluded that it is our responsibility to seek unity and to avoid disunity and that such efforts take precedence over smaller considerations. Since neither the term "egalitarian" nor the term "complementarian" even appear in the Bible, I've concluded it's a smaller consideration than "that we are known by our love" or "when you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me."

Note ESPECIALLY that in Matthew 25, that last phrase cut both ways in identifying BOTH the goats AND the sheep. Jesus Christ WILL NOT OVERLOOK what we have and have not done to our brothers and sisters in the faith. He says so in that passage.

Greg Harvey

Jon L. Estes said...

Anon (mystery person)...

JON,
read ALL the scriptures.


I have and continue to do so. Thanks for caring though.

Who are we to limit the Holy
Spirit's use of anyone's gifts based on cultural prejudices?


Since all scripture is inspired, was it the Holy Spirit who was prejudice?

And why should the gifts that a woman have be used in an area God restricts? There are many areas of service other than the office of pastor. It is not about the gifts a person possesses. Maybe this is what separates our positions.


The contrast between Julie and Tom is an example. One is gifted and the other struggles even so much as to have common respect for his church members.

Yes, there are differences but they are different. Ones calling is not determined by their giftedness if that giftedness is in conflict with scripture. A pastor who shows no respect for the church members is also in the wrong. Again, he can change and find himself line with scripture, a woman can't.

Don't let giftedness get in the way of truth.

When the Holy Spirit 'ordains', there is NO argument.
And when the Holy Spirit does not
'ordain', it is all too obvious.


God can use me, the chiefest of sinners, to speak giftedly and be liked by many but that does not make me a pastor. My calling as a pastor is because of God and His word, nothing to do with my giftedness or likability.

Take another look at THE BOOK.

Would you like to sign your name so we can see who is hiding behind such arrogance. If you are in my neighborhood I'd love to sit down with you and have coffee and talk about this with you. I'll even bring THE BOOK.

Anonymous said...

The story of Deborah in 'Judges' haunts the 'keep them women in their places' crowd.

Some interesting efforts have been made by them to keep Deborah 'in her place', but to no avail.

Her general would not go into battle unless she led them.

Her story is among the oldest writings in the Scriptures.

To ignore it, or to diminish it, is a choice. But to read it and learn from it is another choice.
After which, it is a little difficult to keep up the 'women ain't supposed to be no leaders' war cry.

Deborah's story is too haunting.

greg.w.h said...

P.S. Another consideration: Jesus describes as unforgivable the action of denying the work of the Holy Spirit. If that doesn't cause great caution in our religious pronouncements, we lack wisdom.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

Dear JON,

Don't you know the Source of All Gifts, in Whom we move and have our being ?

Our gifts come to us from Him and we must use them wisely and account for their use on the Day of the Lord.

Thy Peace said...

Greg Harvey: It's a pleasure to read your comments. Thanks for explaining issues with patience and grace.

Anonymous said...

Here is a question to wake everyone up:

is God male, or female ?
OR IS GOD SPIRIT ?


Someone please tell me what a set of male gonads has to do with preaching?

WatchingHISstory said...

Greg Harvey

I too appre3diate your comment. Good!

I think I tried to say the same thing only you did it far better than I.

Jon L. Estes said...

Anon (the behind the curtain person - come our, come out whoever you are...),

No one is saying women are not gifted. This is not the issue, even though some might want it to be. The issue with gifts need to be... are we using them in harmony with the truths found in scripture?

I'm not even saying your church can't call a woman to be their pastor. They can and I support your right to do so. I cannot make any church be or do right, I have a hard enough time trying to straighten myself out. I will say, I will not attend a church with a female pastor. Why? Because I think it is unbiblical.

Gifts do not equal calling. I have no doubt there are many women who are more gifted in speaking than me or you but that does not make it biblically sound for a woman to pastor God's church.

Speaking of an example given by someone else on this thread concerning the whole committee came to the same conclusion...

That has happened in many cases also with men. It happened to me in a past pastorate and 9 months later I was asked to leave. Not because I was a tyrant or a bully or even ungifted. I was asked to leave because people were being saved. Yes, He can even use someone like me to bring people to Him and others within His family won't like it.

I'll stick with scripture on this, for me I have no battle to fight but the battle for truth where God places me.

Wade Burleson said...

Greg Harvey,

Your comment is as fine an explanation of the real issue as I have read. By the way, Peggy is a friend and a former church member (she and her husband Jeff moved away for job purposes). I think the world of them both, and their understanding of Scripture is second to none.

I have learned a great deal about the Bible, life and what it means to be a follower of Christ from Peggy's life and words. She is an excellent teacher, and as illustrated in this comment section, she knows what she believes and is quite capable of instructing men, even pastors like I. I so believe Peggy might pause be she asserts others are wrong in their views, and not be quite so dogmatic when it comes to pronouncing other women are morally wrong when they teach and lead men. Her excellent example should convince her of the opposite.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous, a rather crude question, but I find it remarkable that characteristics of both males and females are anthropomorphized when it comes to describing the character of God. Paul himself speaks of "the agony of childbirth" as he watches young Christians receive the new birth and struggle in the beginnings of their spiritual life. God is the Creator of both male and female, and neither the male or the female, fully portray God - both male and female are the image of God.

Rex Ray said...

Robert from Geneva,

I read your comment and your name was last in my mind when I started reading the next comment from Anonymous.
I guess I was too sleepy for I thought you were still writing. The comment was to WILLIAM MADDEN.

With each statement made, I grew more excited with ‘your’ words of wisdom, and thought YES!

I should have known if something’s too good to be true, it’s probably not.

Greg,
Good job on giving the facts to Pege’ Rogers and Jon.

Sorry my last comment was on the wrong post.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

I agree with most of your comment to anon, that is in part the essence of complementarianism; that together the man and woman, through the bonds of "holy matrimony" more full image forth the creator through obedience and love and worship. But, would you not also agree that the anthropomorphic language given to us in Holy Scripture is overwhelmingly paternal in nature? Take for instance Eph 4:1-6, a passage I recently preached on, here we clearly see the trinity unfolded culminated by "one God and Father of all." a phrase referring the paternal nature of the entire Godhead--or at least is the opinion of many well respected scholars.

I guess I am asking if you think referring to God as Heavenly Mother is consistent with the authorial intent of the writers of Holy Scripture?

k

Jon L. Estes said...

Gregg,

Again, it isn't that your view of Scripture is incomplete, it is that your full insight is incomplete regarding whether or not the Holy Spirit has led others to the interpretation they now hold.

Would you accept this reasoning from those who hold to the belief that scripture isn't inerrant? That homosexuality is not a sin?

Would you care if they saw your opposition as the way you said it makes you sound like a legalist and a Pharisee.

We have all drawn lines in the sand and many have drawn them with a clear conscience against women pastors. Are they wrong? I don't think so.

If a woman wears jewelry and it is wrong and she continues to wear jewelry it is till wrong and this is one subject which needs to be dealt with on its own terms and not mixed with a list of other do's and dont's. Wearing jewelry or make-up really have nothing to do with women pastors being right or wrong.

Can we ask...

Why would God forbid women to be a pastor?

and then...

Why would God forbid a woman to not wear jewelry?

What conclusion do we come to on each one?

Thy Peace said...

This is the full text of Julie Pennington-Russell, pastor of First Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia, wrote in the January 23, 2009 FBC newsletter about a meeting she had with denominational leadership of the Georgia Baptist Convention.

Prior post comment

Jon L. Estes said...

As culture continues to change,what will the next generation accept as good and useful in the lives of Christians which we presently object.

Today the fight is for the right for women to pastor churches. Although I believe scripture speaks against this, I believe it will become common. The argument is used that "once we stood for slavery and now see it as wrong" to support women pastors. Will the next generation or after begin to fight for homosexuals rights to pastor a church? Using the argument, "once we stood for men only pastors and now we see it as wrong".

How enlightened do we need to become before scripture is the dark book and culture is the light for our paths?

The argument for women pastors using our historical position on slavery is wrong. Why can't we just use scripture?

Where does God use gender in reference to pastors? What gender does He refer too?

We can't use God is Spirit because we are not God. We need to use what He gave.

More later, as time permits.

Bob Cleveland said...

Greg,

It looks to me as if Pege' was quoting 1 Peter 3:7 and Romans 8:16-17. How is that "LDS"?

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

Bob (and Pege'):

I may have misread the intention of this statement:

I am an heir together with my husband to the grace of life and a joint heir with Christ.

Because of the phrasing...separating the "heir together" with her husband as different from the "joint heir" with Christ, it came across to me as if she was emphasizing inheritance of the grace of life as a result of the marriage. That is a Mormon position, not a biblical one.

The 1 Peter 7 verse is not emphasizing a state caused by marriage that results in grace, but that both the husband and wife share in the same grace and, therefore, husbands should treat wives with that in mind. A wife is not with her husband a joint heir due to the marriage relationship according to that verse. But they share the same grace.

Similarly, the Romans 8:16-17 passage does not import or imply that marriage creates a special form of shared grace, but again emphasis is on the similarity of every individual Christian's shared inheritance/heritage both to God and the sharing of the inheritance that belongs to Jesus Christ.

Her wording led me to read it the way I did, but in retrospect, I realize she might not have intended it the way I read it. That she did not quote the verses but only alluded to them with truncated phrases strengthens my view that she intended the reading that I "read", but it doesn't prove that she intended it.

Greg Harvey

Bob Cleveland said...

Greg,

Gotcha. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

And so, once again, culture trumps the Bible?

No. Just no.

And the idea of different delineated roles for the two sexes does not make women second class citizens, unless you subscribe to the idea that to be male is inherently better than to be female.

No church just HAS to be part of the SBC. I suggest churches look at the teachings and statements of the SBC. If you are in accord, stay. If not, go. Quietly. Without a spirit of rebellion.

Being obedient to scripture IS going to make us at odds with the prevailing culture. That is not a bad thing.

I understand the scriptural arguments for the "feministization" of the church. I understand there are those that disagree with those arguments.

What I find distasteful are the putdowns (like likening not ordaining women to supporting slavery) and personal attacks rather than honest BIBLICAL debate, and the appeals to modern culture rather than honest Biblical debate.

Linda

debbiekaufman said...

Linda: Would you have said what you have in the 1950's or earlier?

John: This is the difference, passages in scripture that show women deeply involved in ministry. Christ's own attitude toward women and his inclusion of them even in his ministry. Scripture interprets scripture and I have yet to see homosexuals included in ministry in the state they were in at the time.

Paul said...

God's fullest and clearest Word (Hebrews 1:1-3) came into the world through a woman. Apparently she just wasn't allowed to talk about it publicly. To men.

Native Arkansan said...

Wearing jewelry or make-up really have nothing to do with women pastors being right or wrong.

Can we ask...

Why would God forbid women to be a pastor?

and then...

Why would God forbid a woman to not wear jewelry?

What conclusion do we come to on each one?


I'm eagerly awaitin' tha answers! 'Cause if ya wanna read tha bible "literally" it seems ta me they'd both be wrong.

Jon L. Estes said...

Native Arkansan,

Literally they both are wrong but that does not answer the question, why?

Could the jewelry reason be because of modesty and not drawing attention to ones self?

Could the pastoral position be because God has a design that makes it this way?

greg.w.h said...

Wade (I'm getting to these out of order):

I "sigh" as I write this, because I recognize that my limitations and outright failings as a communicator are once again visible: as I just commented to Bob, I responded to something I thought was being said rather than to what Pege' might have intended to say. One of the difficulties of this kind of communication medium is that it strips out non-verbal cues and quick confirmation of intention.

I am absolutely sure that Pege' is gracious and quite knowledgeable and that there are times when I am neither. One of my most important "talents" may be that I am the source of my own humiliation in many conversations, providing a self-reproach to my own pride. I know my wife Jen has wondered on many occasions if that is a special "gifting" that I have.

I try at least to acknowledge when that "gift" is in operation and apologize. I apologize to Pege' for even the slightest nuance or hint in my comment that she would take offense at. And I acknowledge that some of the comparisons I make--which express frustration with how we as Southern Baptists behave in general--might have seemed directed especially at her. I don't know her well enough to make those comparisons and it is unfortunate if even one person were to think I somehow intended them that way.

The generalizations, unfortunately, deserve attention, though, which is why I bring them up. They represent perception of who we are that is carried by other members of the general public of the nation in which we live.

I did intend to write as to a grown up, as I always do. And I hope I can count on Pege' to respond to me in exactly the same way my own mother and my wife do: engaging the conversation fully and expressing her full opinion regardless of whether she agrees with me or not. And to complain when she feels I've stepped on toes needlessly. That way my "gift" can be corrected with wisdom from God Almighty expressed through the mouth (and fingers) of others.

I also want to repeat something I think I've commented on before, but in case I haven't: I do not think that my gifts in interpreting Scripture exceed those of practiced theologians or even experienced Bible Study teachers and pastors. But the perspective God gave me is a very unusual one and I feel responsible for presenting it at this juncture in time as God leads me to present it. That my views are controversial I acknowledge. Whether they are directly from God I cannot make a claim to. That there are times I must speak I will claim responsibility for.

And that I am aware of the Old Testament standard for speaking about God (or for God) without truth is a weight I continually feel on my shoulders. I try to never, ever be flippant. But I realize I can slip into cynicism at times and the root of that cynicism is a deep hopelessness about how Christians treat each other and my concern that on this side of the River Jordan we simply have to endure it and can't change it.

My personal response to that cynicism is to force a smile, engage in a prayer, and count on God to continue to finish what he has begun in me, hoping that others might be similarly led, resulting in an expansion of general grace to both the saved and the unsaved. That God could actually accomplish something like that in spite of my shortcomings gives me great hope. And that I'll be perfected and this sinful nature will one day no longer influence me causes even greater hope!

Greg Harvey

Wayne Smith said...

Wade Burleson said...

Wayne,

See Stephen's response.

As you reread it, let me ask a question. Does your wife wear jewelry? Has she ever adorned herself with gold? Has she ever worn a pearl necklace or pearl ear rings?

As you answer my questions, please give me your interpretation of this text:

"women (are) to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes" (I Timothy 2:9).

Stephen said...

Wayne Smith:

Cultural context ......just like the verses about slaves.
Wed Jan 28, 09:58:00 AM 2009

Wade,

So your God is a CULTURAL GOD, is that what you are saying?

The God of My Belief and Bible is IMMUTABLE.

Wayne

greg.w.h said...

Jon L Estes asks:

Would you accept this reasoning from those who hold to the belief that scripture isn't inerrant? That homosexuality is not a sin?

Do I think it is a matter of conscience whether "any ole" church insists on the use of the term inerrant or not? Yep. Southern Baptists don't include it in any of the BFMs after all.

I think homosexuality should be equated to the Corinthian sexual sin and is a cause for separation from a local church. But I think adultery, morbid obesity, (especially for leaders) justify the same treatment, and I know Southern Baptists local churches do not disfellowship for all of these sins (or are at least VERY slow to act.)

I think the sacrificing meat to idols is a much better correction model for women in ministry than the gross immorality model, myself. Yes it is a matter of conscience that some believers--perhaps even entire local congregations--do not let women serve as senior pastors and view the Bible as disallowing it. But the same view was taken with respect to sacrificing meat to idols. Some used Scripture (OT) to justify that position as well.

Hopefully this doesn't result in a discussion of either an inept comparison of women to meat or women in minstry (as a sin) to homosexuality (as a sin). I think both comparisons would be equally invalid, don't you, Jon?

Greg Harvey

Stephen said...

Wayne,

If I understand your logic correctly, the immutable character of God commands slaves to remain in slavery.....according to the New Testament verses that deal with slavery.

Mary DeMuth said...

Thank you for an evenhanded, humble post. I love that you have a learner's posture.

Anonymous said...

debbiekaufman--I don't understand your question to me.

I will make some general statements and if they don't answer your question to me please rephrase it and I will attempt to answer you--hopefully coherently. LOL.

I don't view the 1950's as a bad old time when women were subjugated to men.

I do believe in equal pay for equal work. That part of feminism I am in total agreement with. The idea of two equally educated and experienced public school teachers doing the same job being paid differently due to gender is hogwash. That form of inequality NEEDED to be fought and changed.

That doesn't mean, however, that I buy into the radical feminist viewpoint that the only difference between the guys and gals is their respective reproductive organs. I don't buy into the "it takes two paychecks" myth. I don't buy into the idea that being a wife and mother and homemaker is boring, or for trained monkeys, or unfulfilling for women in general. Now, if a specific woman would find it so, I suggest she refrain from marriage and procreation and focus on a career.

I do believe that the big lie of feminism is that unless gender roles are eliminated women are not equal. That is high chauvinism, for it carries the inherent idea that only the male role is worthy or important.

I believe society has lost something very important. I believe there is nothing more important than raising the next generation properly, and evangelizing it. I believe scripture teaches the best way to achieve that is with a father providing for the children and taking care of the public sphere, and with a mother primarily responsible for the home and children and taking care of the private sphere.

However, in eagerly embracing our culture rather than transforming it, we (the culture in general) tossed those ideas out as hopelessly old fashioned and narrow minded.

So instead we try to convince ourselves that we are doing something bigger and more important as we hustle the kids into the minivan and toss them yet more preprocessed garbage and call it a meal. No time for devotions so we pop a "religious" video in the on board dvd player. Frazzled and hassled for time, husband and wife argue over who will stop at Taco Bell that night and who "has" to see to the kids' baths and homework that night.

And we call it progress. We point to our degrees and our giftedness and our financial bottom line. We brag that "betty crocker has left the building and she took mr clean with her." (And constantly bemoan our epidemic of obesity and worry about things like antibiotic resistant strains of germs.)

I believe the Creator left us some pretty clear instructions as to what makes for a healthy happy home.

We tend to ignore those instructions and "do it MY way".

And wonder why we are so miserable.

Linda

Native Arkansan said...

Jon Estes,

I'm guessin' yer wife jus' wears modest jewlry.

Anonymous said...

WADE wrote: "God is the Creator of both male and female, and neither the male or the female, fully portray God - both male and female are the image of God."

So, we may have erred in over-emphasizing the 'maleness' of God because we understand the concept of a father her on Earth.

Have we sinned in describing God in male terms only ?
From this 'casting God as a male figure', have we undermines the female aspects of the Creator AND
of the Creator's human children who are female?

Does the trouble stem from our inability to 'see' God as anything but a 'HE' when we know that God is Spirit?

Native Arkansan said...

...an' has long hair and prays with her head covered.

Anonymous said...

You can see all the fun men make of their wives and we wonder why men in general cannot respect women in general: it starts at home, guys. WISE UP.

IT IS NOT FUNNY ANYMORE,
your wives only act like it doesn't bother them,
and your daughters and sons are listening.

Show respect.

Native Arkansan said...

Anon 5:11,

Here's a good example. Yer right. It ain't funny.

John Moeller said...

Wade,

You said in your post; Bottom line, Southern Baptists too often pronounce judgment and condemnation.....

it brings into remembrance many verses on this very thing... and then I read over a hundred comments, many of which are very judgmental and condemning.

my 2 cents.... Anyone who is inspired of God to preach, teach, etc..., I am not going to say anything bad about. God called them, it's none of my business why God called them, and I am not going to tell God he made a mistake.

Anyone who says ANYTHING about FBC Decatur is really judging God, God's call on Mrs. Russell, God's leading in the church body, God's leading in the selection committee, and God's desire for the future of that church.....Ye shall know them by the fruit.... I see fruit!!!

Quote and interpret your scripture all you want, but bottom line is, God is doing something NEW at FBC Decatur, rejoice in it, support it, or get out of the way of it....

Anonymous said...

Good Grief.

This 'woman pastor' is shaming our legitimate male pastors by suceeding in bringing new souls to Christ and going out of her way to be successful just for the publicity. Imagine. Having the gall to preach in the pulpit. So what if new souls are being saved?
It would happen anyway, eventually, with a male preacher.

This woman needs to give up the pulpit, admit she was wrong, and go the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where Dorothy Patterson will give her instructions on the important things for a woman: such as how to iron her husband's handkerchiefs properly. (true)

This woman 'preacher' is making the men look bad by comparison, and since she is not supposed to be preaching, this is a terrible sin.
She needs to ask the forgiveness of the men in the church. God doesn't need her it says in the Bible. Get her out before she does any more damage.

Anonymous said...

HER FATHER'S GIFT

"Although son Franklin has assumed leadership at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Safer described ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ as "the child whom Billy Graham claims is the best preacher in the family." Calling her "part southern housewife and part global guru," Safer added,
"In a Southern Baptist CULTURE where men typically run the house and the church, she cannot be ordained. She is a preacher without a church, but a preacher nonetheless who has a gift, her father's gift."

Or, does Anne have her Father's gift ?

If she does, no power on Earth should keep her from preaching.
If it does, it violates the Will of the Father.

Anonymous said...

REV. JULIE: CELEBRATING
THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT

These fruits are in very short supplie among the male SBC leadership these days:

Thank God for blogging which has exposed this:

"What has happened as a result of the blogging in the SBC:

The SBC oligarchy’s choice didn’t get elected as president in 2006. An unknown named Frank Page did. He was the best president of the SBC since Jim Henry.
The world got to see the pitiful theology and ethics of
TOM HATLEY, John Floyd, Jerry Corbaley and most of the board of trustees at the IMB.
An interesting thing has happened…I am told that the one who really began pushing for the adopted PPL and baptism policies is now working to overturn those policies.
They did not anticipate the divisiveness it would bring.

Page Patterson at SWBTS was effectively neutered. The documentation that came out about his spending, his theology regarding women, and how he was attempting to achieve the firing of Jerry Rankin (among other things) has rendered him a persona non grata for most.


One of Patterson’s mouth pieces, Malcolm Yarnell, whom I affectionately call “Yarni”, is only welcomed in certain venues. His landmarkism and baptist identity theologies are not welcomed in most places either. Most people don’t listen to them anymore.
An entity president, who was set to run for the SBC president, told his staff that he would not run.

The reality that his character flaws were being revealed on the blogs was too much.

The blogs stemmed the growth of landmarkism within the convention. Hopefully, that will not raise its ugly head again.


The major outcome of SBC blogging, however, has been to expose the
LACK OF CHARACTER of those who led it for so many years.
Good theology did not result in right practice.
What you do is a result of what you believe. It is evident that so many of the the SBC leaders over the past two decades lacked right belief, because their character was severely flawed.
SLANDER, LYING, MANIPULATION,
BLACKLISTING, BLACKBALLING:
these are not the works of the Spirit."

excerpted from W.Phillips

Anonymous said...

I suspect this anon is Malcolm Yarnell's ex wife. Only she would know his name is Yarni. She has an axe to grind.

Anonymous said...

we say Father God
we struggle with 'Mother God"
But The Master of the Universe Is Only 'I Am Who Am'

Motherly feelings and instincts also come from God. It did not bother Jesus Christ to express a motherly instinct:

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem. . . ! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. . . !" (Matthew 23:37).

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

When God describes the church in the book of Acts, I envision a body that wasn't real long on deep theology (what with no New Testament and all) but with a HUGE dose of personal experience, and of the presence of, the Person of, Jesus. And that presence showed up in the sort of love that had them giving their stuff away to those who needed it.

Nowadays, we have a huge dose of theology, what with the whole Word (and plenty of folks who know what all it means), but we do seem a bit short on whatever it was those folks had, 2,000 +/- years ago.

And in case nobody noticed, compare the BF&M '00 to the '63 version, and see how many little steps the new one took, to put just a bit more distance between the guy in the Pew, and the Person of Jesus.

Wade Burleson said...

Charles,

I hope you are successful in finding the anonymous person who lacks both courage and integrity. I don't, however, believe it is wise to accuse somebody who signs their name to what they post of being the "anonymous" person.

I would suggest you follow my policy on anonymous comments.

Ignore them.

Charles Page said...

Bob

You mean Matthew, Mark, John, Peter, James etc were short on theology! They were first century Jews and knowledgeable of the O.T. scriptures. They had personal contact with Christ and got three years of personal teaching 24/7.

We, today, don't know near what they understood. Then they had the Holy Spirit to guide them. They did not put up resistance to Him. God captivated a Jewish scholar, Saul; and used him to lead the Gentile expansion with full knowledge of what the O.T. meant in that endeavor.

What do we know today? None of our best theologians believe the same way. Nearly all disagree what the Word is about. We have hundreds of versions of any doctrine. We are not united at all.`

Paul started out saying, "we see thru a glass darkly, we understand in part" How much more deminished has that glass become and how many more parts do we have, none hardly connected at all. We think we have the Word, but there is a famine of hearing the Word today.

We have Ezekial who will follow with a hundred copied and pasted texts, thinking he has the understanding. He hardly understands at all!

Stephen Pruett said...

Pege' et al,

A bishop must be husband of one wife. If this statement is all inclusive, Paul would not have been qualified because he had no wife. There are many, many examples in scripture in which the reference is to males, but it obviously applies to females as well.

The reason there is a connection between jewelry, fine clothes (which would be virtually all Baptist women's clothes today, in comparison to Paul's day), long hair for women and short hair for men is that all of those are specified in scripture, but almost all Baptists conclude that these commands were influenced by the culture of the day and should legitimately be interpreted in light of cultural changes. That being the case, there is no reason not to treat 1 Tim. 2 the same way. In fact, the justification given by Paul for prohibiting women in authority over men is eerily similar to the justification for men having short hair and women long.

This does not lead to "cultural accommodations" on matters that are not obviously culturally influenced. Various acts that are identified as sin in scripture remain sin whether the culture agrees or not. But scripture does not identify women serving outside the boundaries noted by Paul as sin. Furthermore, these boundaries seem to me to be directed to particular problems with certain women in certain places. Otherwise, how can it be explained that Paul supports women prophesying, when prophesy is by nature authoritative?

The bottom line here is that careful exegesis without the influence of culture one way or the other can lead to different conclusions on the matter of women pastors. Interpreting scripture in a manner designed to push back against culture can lead to errors just as interpreting to accommodate culture. Dr. Patterson told me in a letter, that the sections on women were added to the B F & M in response to radical feminism. It's fine to oppose radical feminism, but scripture should be interpreted objectively and not molded to fit the needs that we perceive. Objective analysis indicates that there are insoluble questions and contradictions if the prohibition in 1 Tim is intended for all times and all places, and these disappear if this instruction is seen to be directed to a specific situation.

At the very least, the arguments in favor of allowing women pastors are sufficient to indicate that scripture is not absolutely clear on this and this should never be a basis for disfellowship of a church by an association.

The argument that the church should join a body that agrees with if it doesn't like the position of the SBC is an fine example of turning reality on its head. The reality is that the church in question is displaying traditional Baptist values of studying scripture and exercising their autonomy under God alone. I have stated before, that disfellowship for anything other than purposeful and unrepentant sin or heresy has no precedent in scripture. If we move beyond scriptural precedent, where do we stop? Do we disfellowship a church because they have an obese male pastor (unrepentant gluttony?)? Do we disfellowship churches that do not practice close communion (a la B F & M 2000)? If so, a church of which I was a member recently would be out even though it has been in the top 5 in the state in baptisms for the last several years and would not call a woman pastor. The trajectory toward exclusion and conformity must stop or the SBC will quickly become irrelevant.

Thy Peace said...

Debbie Kaufman:

I have been spending lot of time in Cindy's blog:

Under Much Grace blog

Excellent resources and materials.

Steve said...

Wade, I sure hope all these kick-em-out Stubbornentalists are greeting each other with holy kisses whenever they meet on Sundays!

Tim G said...

Wade,
I did not know that Bro Tom had published heresay facts about your church? Could you point me to these? I will withdraw my admonition to you after reading them.

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

I do know what it is that you are asking, so I can't answer your question. There is, however, no need to clarify since I am uninterested, nor do I care, whether or not you withdraw any admonition to me.

Blessings,

Wade

debbiekaufman said...

Linda: Thank you Linda. You actually agree more with me than you do not. Egalitarians would agree with your last post. Contrary to rumors they are not radical feminists.

I asked the question because there was a time when culture agreed more with what you said in your first post. Could not the same be said of the complimentarian view being based on culture if one lived in the 50's or before?

I'm simply saying that this should not be a divisive issue nor dogmatic. Each holds scripture to a high standard, both reject radical Gloria Steinem feminism, both base their view on scripture with scripture to back their view.

Tim G said...

Wade,
You care when others are done wrong yet you do not care when you do wrong to others?

Would take too kindly to someone posting information from a heresay source about your church?

Simple question dont you think?

Wade Burleson said...

Tim G.

The word is hearsay, not "heresay."

And, I can assure you that people write hearsay about me all the time, but I pay little attention to it and give no effort to correct it.

However, what I write is fact and only first hand knowledge, not hearsay, regardless of your pontifical pronouncements to the contrary.

Blessings,

Wade

Wayne Smith said...

WADE,

So your God is a CULTURAL GOD, is that what you are saying?

The God of My Belief and Bible is IMMUTABLE.

Wayne

Wade Burleson said...

Wayne,

God is unchangeable and immutable. Culture changes.

That is why Paul on one hand would demand circumcision and on the other condemn those who demanded it.

That's why sometimes it is wise to eat meat from the shambles, and sometimes it is not.

Blessings,

Wade

Tim G said...

Wade,
I just do not what I would do without your cathcing my typos or mistakes. If I were only like you - wow!

First hand from a former staff member? Your methods are now exposed by you and I am so thankful you are owning up to it.

P.S. Do I need to apologize for the incorrect spelling or just go back to using !!!!!! which you just love?

Stephen said...

Wayne Smith:

You have joined a long list of fellow believers who cannot admit their inconsistency of applying NT teachings literally. No one has ever replied to me with justification for taking the verses about women literally, but not applying the same standard regarding the verses about slaves.

I say this with all due respect and love for you as a fellow believer.

Anonymous said...

It is my belief that if Christian men actually took the Scriptures
TO HEART as they were meant to be taken:

1. they would not be disrespectful to women

2. they would not be disrespectful to each other

Anonymous said...

Early Christian thought was so vibrant, alive, and energized, that it could actually claim as its own inheritance the intellectual and cultural heritages of both Greece and Rome.

That Christian thought could commandeer the language and ideas of the very cultures who thought to dominate it, demonstrated the power and vitality of early Christian thought.

Today's 'fundamentalists' display a panoply of anger, hatred, and 'shake your fist' opposition to a culture that they are powerless to affect.
Is it because they do not have the power that the early Christians had to transform their world ?

The hatred of the 'fundamentalists' of the SBC has now turned inward, as more and more among them are found to 'unworthy' of preaching, 'unworthy' of missionary service, 'unworthy of 'teaching in a seminary', 'unworthy' of their fellowship, SO MANY FOUND UNWORTHY.

One wonders what the early Christians would have made of these highly judgmental 'self-proclaimed 'worthy' fundamentalists, who are too fearful to embrace the world around them and claim it for Christ.

Time to reconnect with Jesus Christ, the Source of the power of the early Christians.

Jon L. Estes said...

greg,

I think homosexuality should be equated to the Corinthian sexual sin and is a cause for separation from a local church. But I think adultery, morbid obesity, (especially for leaders) justify the same treatment, and I know Southern Baptists local churches do not disfellowship for all of these sins (or are at least VERY slow to act.)

I agree but one of the two questions asked was:

Would you accept, as valid, this reasoning...

Again, it isn't that your view of Scripture is incomplete, it is that your full insight is incomplete regarding whether or not the Holy Spirit has led others to the interpretation they now hold.

...from those who hold to the belief that homosexuality is not a sin?

It seems you would not. Please correct me if I am wrong. Yet you want to use this line of reasoning concerning women pastors.

I admit I am reading these on break to get away from some much deeper reading and may misread, that is not my intent.

Jon L. Estes said...

Native Arkansan,

I'll let you continue the monologue since dialogue does not seem to be something you are capable of, at least with me.

You may have the last word, to yourself.

msvoboda said...

Wade,

I promise there is no sarcasm on my end, but does it not make sense for a complimentarian convention to not associate with egalitarian churches?

I understand being upset when a church is wrongly publicly humiliated, but that does not mean the State Convention is wrong to disfellowship with them.

Maybe I am having a hard time understanding why it is bad that a convention that believes that the pastorate is for males only disfellowships with a church with a female pastor. It makes sense to me, why the outcry?

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

God is unchangeable and immutable. Culture changes.

That is why Paul on one hand would demand circumcision and on the other condemn those who demanded it.

That's why sometimes it is wise to eat meat from the shambles, and sometimes it is not.

Blessings,

Wade


Can you show me where God spoke of the role of pastor referring to it being by men and then where he referred to it being by women?

I can find reference for men in Timothy but am not finding any for women. Using your argument above i think there would need to be a record of such thought.

Jon L. Estes said...

Steve,

Wade, I sure hope all these kick-em-out Stubbornentalists are greeting each other with holy kisses whenever they meet on Sundays!

Likewise, I sure hope all those jot and tittle erasers are greeting each other with holy kisses whenever they meet on Sundays!

Anonymous said...

There will come a 'time' when State Conventions are no more.

But what they did to distance others from Christ will remain.

If any 'authority' acts against the workings of the Holy Spirit,
it loses its spiritual and moral authority: why?

Because if the State Convention was GUIDED by the Spirit in the first place, how could it act AGAINST the Spirit?

It's all about the 'fruit'.

And no worldly entity, 'self-proclaimed Christian Authority' or not, can withstand the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ask Rev. Julie whose church is experiencing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and shows abundant fruit.

and look at Tom Hatley and Paige Patterson, who now experience the bitterness of their greed and lack of charity: for Tom and Paige, we can say 'thus passes the glory of THIS world'.

Anonymous said...

JON ESTES wrote: " . . show me where God spoke of the role of pastor referring to it being by men and then where he referred to it being by women?

Jon, look at the 'fruit' of Tom Hatley's pastoring,
and look at the 'fruit' of Julie's pastoring,

and see God's answer.

You can dismiss it, and you probably will, but you won't forget it. And something about it will tug at your disrespect for God's calling of Julie, until a small glimmer of doubt about your
belief in 'male' superiority will begin to crumble, especially when you recall this:

that in Galatians it teaches
'that there is neither male or female; but you are all one in Christ Jesus'.

If it is hard to let go of prideful ways, instilled in you by your culture from an early age, remember to look at the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

And know that God has spoken.

Anonymous said...

GREG HARVEY wrote this,

"We have to become convicted regarding our disunity. Southern Baptists are prideful and have literally wallowed in the "success" of disunity over the past 30 years. The result is that we consistently go on witch hunts on ever finer levels of detail of theological differences. They we go church to church, association to association, state convention to state convention, entity to entity firing those we disagree with.

No, I won't give you specifics. If you care about it, you'll go ask questions and see if it has happened. And if you're a believer, you'll mourn the disunity that we as Baptists have brought to the church. And maybe, just maybe, you'll pray for God's leadership on the issue. And maybe, just maybe, he'll soften your heart."

WOW.

A lot of wisdom here.

Clearly, Greg sees the damage that PRIDE, that great blinding sin, can do to a Church, when Satan's attacks are allowed to go without challenge by the members of the Church.

'Humility' is the signature of a true follower of Christ.

"Pride" is the signature of those who follow Satan.

Anonymous said...

"I believe the Creator left us some pretty clear instructions as to what makes for a healthy happy home."

Would you mind sharing those 'clear instructions' with us by citing chapter and verse?

Thanks,

Lydia

BTW: YOu may not be aware that your view is cultural. See, up until around the 70's church doctrine taught that women were inferior and unequal. When that would no longer fly, it was changed to Equal but unequal in 'role'. (Role as in playing a part, I guess)

They even came up with a nice word for it that is redefined from it's original meaning: Complimentarian

Jon L. Estes said...

Anon (stranger in the dark),

Your use of Galatians is not about service but salvation.

I am sorry I refuse to go to the fruit that is shown to determine if a woman should be pastor, that is not where to start.

You bring up Tom Hatley. From what is said about him he needs to repent and reconcile Himself with god and His word concerning his attitude.

I could not be a member in the church He pastors as he is being portrayed. I don't know Tom so I can't speak directly to his situation, except for what is reported. it is my best summation that he does have an attitude issue that does not reflect the person of Jesus but can be changed. I do not know Julie (as you refer to her) but I am sure without a doubt that she is a woman and this can't be changed (without surgery - and surgery is not an issue here - I state this for clarification purposes only). I would not ask Julie to repent of being a woman. I would ask Tom to repent for his behavior.

Another Anonymous in the previous post to which I am replying (is this stranger in the dark, also you?) stated...

It's all about the 'fruit'.

You are wrong. Our fruit may tell others who we belong too but it does not determine our calling.

Why don't you come out of the darkness of anonymity and lets discuss this without hidden motives?

Jon L. Estes said...

Anon Fri Jan 30, 01:10:00 PM 2009,

You were asked to show scripture, chapter and verse, to support your position. Can you do this?

You opinion is no better than anyone elses opinion, take it to the word. Please!

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am having a hard time understanding why it is bad that a convention that believes that the pastorate is for males only disfellowships with a church with a female pastor. It makes sense to me, why the outcry?

Fri Jan 30, 12:13:00 PM 2009

Some of us are having a hard time understanding why an association would pick the woman pastor issue (not clear in scripture despite what you are taught at SBTS) yet would not even think of disfellowshipping with a pastor who kept on staff a pedophile minister. The amount of sexaul perversion in SBC circles is astounding. Why are we not disfellowshipping those churches that were found to cover up such things?

Lydia

Lin said...

"Your use of Galatians is not about service but salvation."

Cheryl Schatz has a great post about this

http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/11/18/galatians-328-is-it-only-about-salvation/

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,

With your way of Thinking, Believing and that of some of your followers, these things of Culture Changes will continue to include Same Sex Marriage as well as Woman Pastors/Elders!!!

Wayne

Anonymous said...

JON, you need not react to any anonymous writers.

Especially, since you are convinced in your own righteousness.

Which by now, we all know.

Jon L. Estes said...

Anonymous said...
JON, you need not react to any anonymous writers.

Especially, since you are convinced in your own righteousness.

Which by now, we all know.

Fri Jan 30, 01:46:00 PM 2009


So I should look the other way when they do there drive by shooting (of words) in the dark? I should ignore their closet self-righteousness? Should those who post anonymously be given a pass on their words since they are anonymous?

Is there a reason you don't speak to the self righteousness of those who post anonymously?

We are on different pages in this discussion and my position is self righteous and the anonymous position for woman pastors is not?

I sure wish we could speak about this person to person but only one of us is willing to show who we are and where we stand.

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,

Where does it say Wife of one Man?

1 Tim. 3:2–3 Above reproach heads the list as the key qualification for an overseer; it is then expounded by the words and phrases that follow in these verses (see note on Titus 1:6). The meaning of husband of one wife (Gk. mias gynaikos andra) is widely debated. The Greek phrase is not common, and there are few other instances for comparison. The phrase literally states, “of one woman [wife] man [husband].” (1) Many commentators understand the phrase to mean “having the character of a one-woman man,” that is, “faithful to his wife.” In support of this view is the fact that a similar phrase is used in 1 Tim. 5:9 as a qualification for widows (Gk. henos andros gynē; “one-man woman,” i.e., “wife of one husband”), and in that verse it seems to refer to the trait of faithfulness, for a prohibition of remarriage after the death of a spouse would be in contradiction to Paul's advice to young widows in 5:14. Interpreters who hold this first view conclude that the wording of 3:2 is too specific to be simply a requirement of marriage and not specific enough to be simply a reference to divorce or remarriage after divorce. In the context of this passage, the phrase therefore prohibits any kind of marital unfaithfulness. (2) Another view is that “husband of one wife” means polygamists cannot be elders. Interpreters who hold this view note that there is evidence of polygamy being practiced in some Jewish circles at the time. On this view, the phrase means “at the present time the husband of one wife,” in line with other qualifications which refer to present character. On either of these views, Paul is not prohibiting all second marriages; that is, he is not prohibiting from the eldership a man whose wife has died and who has remarried, or a man who has been divorced and who has remarried (these cases should be evaluated on an individual basis). (3) A third view is that Paul is absolutely requiring that an elder be someone who has never had more than one wife. But that does not fit the context as well, with its emphasis on present character. On any of these views, Paul is speaking of the ordinary cases and is not absolutely requiring marriage or children (cf. v. 4) but is giving a picture of the typical approved overseer as a faithful husband and father. able to teach. This is the one requirement in this list that is not necessarily required of all believers. It is also not required of deacons. Thus, it is a distinguishing skill required of the pastor/elder. It yields the only reference in this list to his actual duties (see note on Titus 1:9).

Wayne

greg.w.h said...

Jon L. Estes wrote:

Would you accept, as valid, this reasoning...

Again, it isn't that your view of Scripture is incomplete, it is that your full insight is incomplete regarding whether or not the Holy Spirit has led others to the interpretation they now hold.

...from those who hold to the belief that homosexuality is not a sin?

It seems you would not. Please correct me if I am wrong. Yet you want to use this line of reasoning concerning women pastors.


As I wrote before, the comparison of women in ministry to homosexuality is crude and inept. I also very clearly stated that I believe there are different biblical models that are appropriate for handling each situation. I further noted that Southern Baptists are hypocritical for always returning to homosexuality and never dealing with gross immorality such as gluttony as depicted in leaders who are morbidly obese.

Instead of engaging my examples, you're returning to the effort to put words in my mouth, Jon. If you want a conversation, engage my examples. Otherwise, I have to paint you with the same paintbrush I painted Peter Lumpkins before out of consistency: you're being a hypocrite for expecting people to understand and respond to your argumentation while never really attempting to understand and respond to theirs.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

Some people use the Bible like a cafeteria: they pick and choose the verses that suit their tastes.

That's okay. Until they start yelling at others who have done the same thing: only found different verses to choose.

Is this really what it comes down to: my Bible is better than your Bible. ???????

Anonymous said...

"With your way of Thinking, Believing and that of some of your followers, these things of Culture Changes will continue to include Same Sex Marriage as well as Woman Pastors/Elders!!!"

Nice strawman scare tactic but being a woman is not a sin. Being a woman who teaches the Word to anyone regardless of gender is not a sin. But you want to make it one.



Junia

Anonymous said...

In wondering exactly why a woman is 'not qualified to pastor', some might ask: what exactly does a pastor do? I found this response:

"As the service began, the pastor introduced himself and his calling.

"My name is Tom," he said. "I'm a pastor here. It's my job to pray for you, whether you're a Christian or not, and to talk with you about Jesus, whether you're a Christian or not. That's what I do."

It's just that simple, and it's just that complicated. Because talking about Jesus leads us into all aspects of life. And when we pray for people, the deeper, unresolved parts of their lives inevitably surface. It has always been this way.

Around A.D. 400, famous North African bishop Augustine described a pastor's job: "Disturbers are to be rebuked, the low-spirited to be encouraged, the infirm to be supported, objectors confuted, the treacherous guarded against, the unskilled taught, the lazy aroused, the contentious restrained, the haughty repressed, litigants pacified, the poor relieved, the oppressed liberated, the good approved, the evil borne with, and all are to be loved."

How's that for a job description!

In fact, a vice president of human resources for Motorola once told me, "Pastors have more transferable skills than they realize." Especially supervising volunteers. "If you can describe your experience working with volunteers, you'd be surprised how quickly that gets the attention of [hiring] managers."

So, the next time someone asks you what you do, just give them the ABC's of the pastor's task. A pastor is …

ambassador, advocate, administrator,
baptizer, building usage consultant,
confidante, confronter, community builder,
discussion leader,
encourager, emotional baggage handler,
funeral companion,
grace giver, grounds inspector,
historian,
interpreter,
justice seeker,
knowledge dispenser,
latent gift discoverer,
mediator, missionary,
nurturer,
organizer, opportunity spotter,
public speaker, problem solver,
questioner, quarterback,
reviewer, Robert's Ruler,
spokesperson, spiritual director,
teacher, trainer,
unifier, utility player,
volunteer coordinator, vision caster,
wedding ceremony presider,
X-traordinary ingenuity with limited resources (like figuring out a way to use the letter X),
youth advocate, yule celebrator,
zeal stoker, zoo keeper (okay, so it just seems that way)."

Nothing here a woman can't do and do well.

Reminds me of Queen Elizabeth I at Tilbury when she spoke before her troops on the eve of the invasion of England by the Spanish Armada.

She was dressed for battle and she told them that although she had the body of a weak and feeble woman, she had the heart and soul of a King, 'and of a King of England, too'.

Brave words in a world where women were much worse off than they are today (unless, of course, they are fundamentalists): BTW, the English defeated the Spanish Armada.

Can you imagine Queen Elizabeth I giving this speech if she had been exposed to the women's classes at SWBTS in 'properly ironing a man's handkerchief' ?

Gee, then Spain might have conquered England. Where would we be then?

John said...

For Wayne, who had the quote from Titus:

I can see that ALL people from Crete are liars (no exceptions were noted)

A pastor can drink, just not drink so much that they become drunk.

A pastor must be married. And not only married, but must have children (more than one). And all their children must be Christians (so if you have infants, if they are not believers, you are obviously disqualified).

We need to have elders and overseers (not pastors, staff, deacon boards, church councils, etc).

So I would quess that churches that are not like this can't be in the SBC.

I have been around long enough to know that you can'proof text' any point of view you may care to espouse. Why do we feel such a need to constantly narrow who we fellowship with? I see us (the SBC) more and more like the Pharisees and less like the poor publican who beat his chest, lowered his head, and asked God to have mercy on him, a poor sinner. I see that Jesus Himself ate and drank with the sinners and tax collectors, and saved His most pointed condemnations for those who claimed that their rules were there to protect God but showed little concern for sinners.

Jon L. Estes said...

Greg,

I am with you that the comparison is inept but it not the comparison I am trying to make as the point. it is the argument you make...

Again, it isn't that your view of Scripture is incomplete, it is that your full insight is incomplete regarding whether or not the Holy Spirit has led others to the interpretation they now hold.

I see the homosexual issue already being pushed upon the church and it will be one of the next big issues the church will deal with. Maybe not my generation but my grandchildren's (and I have two I am concerned for).

The comparison will be made. The giftedness of the homosexual will be played as a trump card. The woman pastor issue will be used as the slavery issue is being used.

Many liberals today use the argument you use, or something akin to it to say those with more restrictive views have a less insightful understanding of scripture.

Let's just use scripture. That's all I ask. I can not find support for women pastors. There are times I wish I could but I simply can not.

Anonymous said...

Let's just use scripture. That's all I ask. I can not find support for women pastors. There are times I wish I could but I simply can not.

Fri Jan 30, 04:04:00 PM 2009

Wrong focus. Is there a clear distinct prohibition? Keep in mind that women are prophesying and teaching men in the NT.

1 Tim 2 and 1 Corin 14 are not clear and are very badly translated. Authenteo is much debated and we know Paul is speaking of ONE woman. (We also know that women are NOT saved by bearing children, right? I hope you agree with that)

In 1 Corin 14, we have NO law in scripture and we know that what is written there is also found in the Talmud as an oral law and Paul is negating the whole thing. And it would contradict what he is assuming in 1 Corin 3.

Perhaps women just cannot be pastors/elders in Ephesus. :o)

Lydia

Anonymous said...

JOHN said,

'Why do we feel such a need to constantly narrow who we fellowship with? I see us (the SBC) more and more like the Pharisees and less like the poor publican who beat his chest, lowered his head, and asked God to have mercy on him, a poor sinner. I see that Jesus Himself ate and drank with the sinners and tax collectors, and saved His most pointed condemnations for those who claimed that their rules were there to protect God but showed little concern for sinners."

John, I think you've got the idea.

Pretty soon, the SBC wouldn't welcome Jesus because He fellowshiped with sinners.
I guess the SBC isn't a place for sinners, is it?

greg.w.h said...

Pardon my wall of text reply. If you can patiently follow it to the bottom, I hope you'll be rewarded by conclusions that are both well reasoned and provide each who reads them a sense of a weight lifting from your shoulders of expectations that you simply are not capable of fulfilling.

Jon L Estes wrote:

Let's just use scripture. That's all I ask. I can not find support for women pastors. There are times I wish I could but I simply can not.

So you realize that the role of Judge and the administrative role of Pastor both have a judgement and ruling component to them, right? And God chose Deborah. You also acknowledge there are references to prophetesses. Many modern "staff led" Pastors have traditionally had prophecy conferences and never invite women to speak at those.

I'm a complementarian making the egalitarian argument. You want to "use Scripture" and you're an inerrantist, then you should want to faithfully handle the whole counsel of Scripture, not just the convenient parts. You do indeed know all of this. You choose to ignore the part that doesn't fit your private (albeit common, but not universal) interpretation.

Your interpretation is consistent with history, by the way. But history has some side tracks regarding women in these kinds of roles that it would be doubtful were handled as gross immorality. But sometimes the church decided that it should prove to the world that it was the final authority and invariably that stance has led to Christians killing Christians.

There have been women deacons in the church history among church branches that we mostly agree with on central elements. And even the worst outliers--think AOG--are in many ways just as conserative as SBCs morally there are just strong disagreements on soteriology (more Arminian v. less) and expression of "charismatic" gifts.

We keep our focus on whether the SBC should permit women pastors in churches that are affiliated with it. But we do violence to the unity that is the clear overriding policy. The only definitive examples of involuntary disfellowship that I can recall from the NT are the cases of annanias/sapphira and Paul's direction to the church of Corinth.

The "be like the Bereans" model is a better one for dealing with heresy (as opposed to gross immorality). And the "eating meat sacrificed to idols" model is the better one for prolonged, intrinsic disagreement that simply cannot be resolved this side of heaven. None of these justify the capital punishment by the hand of man against others for any of these.

I am using Scripture faithfully in providing an analysis. Plus the result of treating the service of women as ministers as a matter of conscience eliminates the GROSS hypocrisy of women serving in the exact same roles as men in different times and at different churches and consistently calling the women "directors" while we call the men "ministers".

That's just semantic fou fou to try and draw that distinction. And the reason we do it is because men don't really want to serve as children's ministers because it doesn't look good on their resumes. So the women--who often have an extra blessing of empathy for injustice and lack of service that men "seem" to systematically lack--pull up the slack by taking underpaid jobs with less de facto authority.

But the reason I wanted you to respond to my argument is this: you clearly believe that WE defend the Bible and God's character and reputation. We instead are expected to provide an apology (careful argument, not "I'm sorry") for our faith and permit the Holy Spirit to provide the conviction and the defense of the faith. As long as we believe we are the defenders of God's reputation, our rhetoric will continue to be filled with unspiritual pride.

Giftedness isn't the argument, by the way. It's the evidence. The argument is that God is in the business of progressive revelation (a fact that cannot be denied since neither Jesus nor the church were revealed at the beginning of time) and that one element of that progressive revelation might (note the subjunctive) be to set free slaves and proclaim liberty to the oppressed here on this earth and that women being further elevated from the position Jesus lifted them to into fully service is consistent with "in Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither slave nor free, neither male and (kai, not ou) female."

If that "Day of the Lord" moment that Jesus proclaimed came true as he stood before the synagogue is continually expanding as the Kingdom of Heaven expands, then God very well could intend and did call these women who claim a spiritual calling from God to be ministers and pastors. On the other hand, we see absolutely no shadow of turning in either the OT or NT regarding various kinds of gross immorality including homosexuality, adultery, and, yes, mishandling of eating of food (such as Paul's correction, again of the Corinthians, for essentially being gluttons at the observance of the Lord's Supper.)

Another thought occurs to me in response to your argument that the Bible is silent on women being ministers. It also lacks a correction of any woman for attempting to assume a leadership position. That silence--given Paul's correction of the gross immorality at Corinth through the requirement that the man be turned over to Satan--actually is kind of interesting as another form of evidence.

I agree with you, therefore, that your reading of Scripture is reasonable and I believe consistent. You are ignoring evidence of female leaders and prophets especially from the longer history of the OT and treating that as different (and, again, there are good reasons in my mind--such as the male requirement for Aaronic priests--for that.) But you are also avoiding an analysis of the "eating food sacrificed to idols" appeal to conscience.

Perhaps you should explain why you think that situation is not the appropriate model for dealing with this? I'll give you a head start: it doesn't help us resolve what an entity like the IMB should do when a church presents for appointment a candidate the church believes is qualified.

But the crux there is that control of the money for idological purposes isn't a Christian ideal that can be justified by any scriptural reference. While repeatedly we see scriptural expectations that we emphasize the relationship over the principle when the principle is an excuse for not being principled.

A specific example is Jesus's condemnation of the Pharisees setting aside a contribution to God as being available for their OWN use but not even to help their parents. People (general public) perceive Southern Baptists as being more concerned with "evangelism" than they are with meeting people's needs. And they see arguments like this one as being too concerned with "being right" and unconcerned about how we relate to each other. Finally, these people perceive us as hardheaded and unloving because of our complete unwillingness to demonstrate we even have a shred of empathy for those we disagree with.

See that's what someone who was steeped in the church growing up learns when he steps outside of its comforting cocoon. You get convicted on how people see Christians and on whether that might be a more important affront to our Lord and Savior than taking care about tithing cumin and dill. It isn't that we shouldn't tithe the cumin and dill, but that we need to take care of the REST of the Law as well...including the new commandment that we should love one another that our joy will be full.

Which is more winsome: joy or condemnation? "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved." God votes for joy. And his is the only vote that counts. Let the woman who feels called to the pastorate and finds a church that calls her to the pastorate of that church do what both she and they feel they are called--by God--to do. Be joyful on their behalf, and rejoice with them when God blesses them.

Then if you want to explain to your church why you believe the Bible doesn't agree with that and if you want to resign your church when they disagree with you, you've been faithful to the faith that has been handed down to you as you understand it.

God is capable of taking care of himself. He's a BIG God. Arguably we simply need to release the responsibility for defending him and return to the simpler requirement that we faithfully evangelize, disciple, and baptize. If we'll focus on those things, I am convinced God will take care of the rest. Can we PLEASE focus on those things and only those things?

Greg Harvey

Jon L. Estes said...

I'm a complementarian making the egalitarian argument. You want to "use Scripture" and you're an inerrantist, then you should want to faithfully handle the whole counsel of Scripture, not just the convenient parts. You do indeed know all of this. You choose to ignore the part that doesn't fit your private (albeit common, but not universal) interpretation.

Which part do ignore? The things you assume I ignore, are you sure?

Do you think that those who are speaking in behalf of God calling women as pastors are defending scripture, or God? Are they just focused on just ONLY those things?

I'll take your advice if you will demonstrate this focus needed clearly with all who are posting a defense, on either side of the subject.

I have stated that is a church calls a woman as pastor, that is between them and God, not me. I am speaking to a blog which supports standing with and supporting those who call women as pastors and lets just get one with the business of winning our world.

I can do God's business without standing with or supporting those who I believe are outside of God's will in this area. My fight isn't against them but against the enemy of God. I am far from perfect but do not have to dumb down my beliefs to be a witness for Christ.

For many it is not a mountain worth dying on, for many, it is. It would be nice if we could choose other peoples mountains but things do not work that way.

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

Well, if you're not ignoring the arguments that egalitarians made that are clearly based in Scripture--and the predominant example of Deborah--and if that doesn't lead you closer to a conscience-based resolution that allows for disagreement while emphasizing unity (note that the resolution to the food sacrificed to idols disagreement was NOT disunity), then I reason that you are ignoring both Scriptural evidence and reasoned argumentation.

You have yet to engage that part of my argument. So I'll get more specific: do you think that the resolution to the food sacrificed to idols argument includes permission to "not help" those you might have disagreed with on that issue? Because I see no evidence that such a rancid compromise was intended. The compromise that was created was intended to protect the unity of the church and to not permit a relatively unimportant issue to lead to fissure.

Would you agree with that analysis or not? And if you agree with that analysis, can you please present argumentation as to why women as ministers should not be handled similarly for the sake of unity? Where exactly from the Bible do you find justification for disunity over this subject? Is there even a single verse that directly says disfellowship over this issue? Or are you still relying on the gross immorality model of the Corinthian church?

Said more simply, are you giving these women over to Satan for correction or not?

Greg Harvey

Jon L. Estes said...

Several things Greg:

1 - I have not supported to vote to disfellowship a church who calls a woman pastor.

2 - I see this issue (a woman being or not being a pastor) as an important issue.

I find difficulty trying to make the comparison with the food you make.

Anonymous said...

Disfellowship.

'You are not my brother.
You are not my sister.
Leave the table of Our Father'

How strange it is to hear of any Christian community refusing to communicate and share with another Christian community, even those the two may be divided by doctrinal differences.

I think of the 'Lord's Supper' which even for Baptists has some sacred significance in that it is a most reverent memorial. And in receiving the food at the Lord's Supper, we are attesting to the unity of ALL Christians in Christ: all who believe in Him who have ever lived, who live, or who will live, with no divisions strong enough to separate them in Christ.

So I am to turn my back on my own Christian brother.
And is he then to turn his back on me?


No wonder 'Jesus wept.'

Jon said...

Anon,

Are there any parameters outside truth to which you would avoid? I am asking assuming you have parameters?

Jesus has parameters and He set them for us.

greg.w.h said...

Jon:

I understand your discomfort with using a comparison with a biblical controversy based on eating food sacrificed to idols. Don't you think it's kind of strange that the disagreement over that and over expecting the legalistic expectation that all new Christians must follow the Law got mentioned, and the subject of women in leadership--especially considering Jesus's close friend Mary and Martha and Paul's friendship with Timothy's mother and grandmother--didn't generate a whisper?

Might that be because it was even less important than the discussion of eating food sacrificed to idols?

I reject by the way that we can read into Paul's commandments against jewelry AN INTENT in order to excuse ourselves from applying those statements as commandments. Only a cultural argument can be sustained for relaxing those strictures. Why? Because anything less than that is just voting on what the Bible means, especially in congregations that follow a congregational polity.

And once you allow relaxation of strictures based on culture in ONE area, you necessarily have to treat them in other areas as matters of conscience as opposed to strict guidance. Picking and choosing--especially among inerrantists--is hypocritical. The only model that is available is not the gross immorality nor the intentional heresy model, but only the food sacrificed to idols model. We must make an appeal to conscience for unity just as the apostles did, and as Paul specifically provided guidance on.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

JON

What we know is that Jesus prayed for unity. Unity was His wish.


You CANNOT seriously blame Him for all the intra and inter-denominational fractures in the Church? These fractures are man-made.

Anonymous said...

EARLY APPEAL FOR UNITY

96 A.D. Clement of Rome wrote this in a letter to Corinth:

""Why are there quarrels and ill will and dissensions and schism and fighting among you? Do we not have one God and one Christ, and one Spirit of grace poured out upon us? And is there not one calling in Christ? Why do we wrench and tear apart the members of Christ, and revolt against our own body, and reach such folly as to forget that we are members of one another?"

Anonymous said...

"By this shall all men know
that you are my disciples,
if you have love one for another."

John 13:35

Anonymous said...

JON,

God's love is unselfish and unconditional:

'In Luke's Gospel, Jesus elaborates on this "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" principle.

He says, "Give to everyone who asks of you.

And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.

And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?
For even sinners do the same.

And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.

But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.
For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
Therefore be merciful,
just as your Father
also is merciful." (Luke 6:30-36)



Christian Love - Selfless & Giving Love
Christian love is giving to others those things that you would want them to give you if you were in their situation -- and it's doing so even if they can't pay you back.
In fact, it's doing so especially if they can't pay you back! Christian love is respect for others. It's mercy. It's charity.

When the King James translators came upon the Greek word agape (God's Love), in addition to using the English word "love" to transliterate it, they often chose the English word "charity."
This was meant to reinforce the idea that agape is a selfless, giving love. God's Love is unselfish and unconditional. Now we know what is meant by Christian love. Now we know what to strive for…

No where here, are parameters given for 'disfellowship'.

greg.w.h said...

Another passage occurred to me that is actually quite relevant to this discussion:

Mark 9:38-41 (HCSB so that it is all good and properly SBC)

38 John said to Him, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn't following us."
39 "Don't stop him," said Jesus, "because there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name who can soon afterwards speak evil of Me. 40 For whoever is not against us is for us. 41 And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of My name, since you belong to the Messiah — I assure you: He will never lose his reward.


I presume that everyone would agree that the use of the male pronoun "He" in the last sentence is used in a universal way, by the way. ;)

This passage is actually just as strong of an indirect argument as ANY that has been presented so far and DIRECTLY addresses the issue of gifting as evidence. There are only a couple of ways to read this passage. The LEAST charitable way is that we shouldn't worry about what others are doing if we don't understand what they are doing. The MOST charitable way is that those who are acting under different leadership than has been expressed to us by the Holy Spirit carry the imprimatur of direct spiritual leadership if their actions conform with Jesus's commands.

Bob White as an executive director acknowledges with his offer of private help that such is true in the case of this church. That means this church is FOR us/Jesus. Case closed.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

So some would divide the Church again to save the Church?

Reminds me of that story about the Wisdom of Solomon.

Two women came before him. They each claimed to be the mother of a child.

Solomon asked for the child to be brought forth. He said that since they both claimed that the child was theirs, the order was given to cut the baby in half and give each woman half of the dead child.

One woman agreed to divide the child.

Ond woman said, 'No, give the child to her. But do not divide it. Do not kill it.'

And Solomon knew who loved the child best, and who was the child's true mother.

And so it is with the Church.
Is it always to be continually divided, so that we can have 'our' piece ?

Leo Rosten tells a story about two Jews on a deserted island.
They build three synagogues: one for each of them and one that neither of them wants to attend.

Human nature?

Therein lies the answer to our divisions.

We cannot divide Christ, nor the Body of Christ. At least, in Him, we are still members of each other.

oc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WatchingHISstory said...

Why is Jon not giving a profile anymore?

Is he hiding from his congregation?

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