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

A Tale of Two Churches and Their Leadership

A recent post on Baptist Life caught my attention. It seems that 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. It seems that the Southern Baptists of Georgia passed a motion at last year's convention that the Convention would not receive money from First Baptist Church, Decatur because Julie is a woman, and she is the lead pastor. The good people of the Georgia Baptist Convention did not deem it worthy to communicate with the pastor or people of FBC, Decatur their intentions before taking last year's action. Possibly having learned their lesson, three Georgia Baptist Convention denominational officials met with Julie Pennington-Russell last week to inform her and the leadership of FBC Decatur that more than likely the church would be "disfellowshipped" from the Georgia Baptist Convention at next year's annual meeting. The denominational leaders present at this meeting were Robert White, Executive Director of the Georgia Baptist Convention; Danny Watters from the GBC Church-Minister Relations office; Gerald Harris, Editor of the Georgia Baptist Index; I will let Julie's words in her newsletter article describe her reaction to this information that she received from the three Georgia Baptist Convention leaders:

(I posed a question to them) that’s been puzzling me since November. “What’s the difference,” I asked, “between the GBC’s decision not to receive our money and a formal ‘withdrawal of fellowship’ from our church?” The response was a watershed moment for me. They replied: “As it stands now, even though we won’t accept your money, FBC Decatur is eligible to receive help from the Georgia Baptist Convention. We can still provide materials and services for your church such as the training of Sunday School or Vacation Bible School leaders, or help with evangelism and things like that. If we withdraw fellowship then you wouldn’t be eligible to receive those services.”

Not sure I’d heard correctly, I pressed a little. “Do you mean that if I called you up one day and said – ‘The Spirit is doing something amazing at First Baptist Decatur! Waves of men, women and teenagers are responding to God and are being baptized and we could use some additional help in giving them a good foundation. Could you send a team over to meet with our folks?” – are you telling me that the GBC wouldn’t want to help us with that?” To his credit, Robert rushed to assure me that he would be willing to come over and help us “personally – just not as a representative of the GBC.”

When I read Julie's article two quick things came to my mind:

(1). Robert White, the Executive Director of the GBC, ought to at least consider resigning if the Georgia Baptist Convention, the Convention that he leads, votes to disfellowship from FBC, Decatur. Why should he consider resigning if this happens? Simply because his own conscience would be violated. Any Executive Director of who lives by principle, and would personally assist a Southern Baptist Church in need would, for principles sake, seek to stop, speak out against, or work to prevent a motion to disfellowship from that self-same church. Dr. White's admission that he himself would personally assist FBC Decatur in their time of need is commendable. If he doesn't live out his personal principles as he leads the Georgia Baptist Convention then he is drawing a salary for convenience's sake and not one based on integrity. Since I am sure Dr. White is a person of integrity, his resignation if this motion to disfellowship is passed would cause Southern Baptists to admire his courage of conviction and might possibly knock some sense in all of us.

(2). Denominational leaders expressing "concern" over what some in the Convention think about sister Southern Baptist churches, to the point of allowing a motion to "disfellowship" from those sister churches, is a very dangerous precedent that leads to an even more slippery slope. Where will it stop? What if some of us are "concerned" about other churches in the Southern Baptist Convention that have "male" leadership? Do our denominational leaders bear a responsiblity to step in to help churches facing financial issues, problems that may force banks to foreclose on those churches? What if those problems are due to "poor" leadership of the male lead pastor? Do our Baptist Conventions have the duty to "disfellowship" or "discipline" those churches that allow autocratic, authoritarian male pastors to run amock, causing all kinds of problems in the church? Are we genuinely concerned about our churches, or are we playing gender games?

The Bizarre Nature of SBC Disfellowship

I do not know Julie Pennington-Russell. I have never met her. But, before I wrote this post I spent a couple of hours getting to know her. I read this Atlanta Magazine Article about her. I listened to two of her sermons. I read where one conservative pastor said Julie handled "the attention and displeasure with grace and aplomb. I scanned the last six newsletters of First Baptist Church, Decatur, and learned several things about FBC under Julie's leadership.

(1). Many are coming to faith in Christ at FBC Decatur, even choosing to write their testimonies of faith in Christ on the church's website for all to see. The testimonies of those whose lives have been delivered from various addictions are quite gripping.

(2). First Baptist Church, Decatur's financial giving increased by three percent in 2008 over 2007, even though the last quarter of 2008 was one of the worst economic quarters in last 70 years.

(3). I read where a member of FBC Decatur, a man who has been a part of FBC for over five decades, said, "I have never been more excited about being involved in a congregation. More than 60 members joined last year. While most churches inside the Atlanta perimeter are struggling, new converts are being baptized and people are giving generously to support innovative ministries to reach out into this diverse community at FBC Decatur."

(4). The two sermons I listened to by Julie Pennington-Russell were expositional in nature, illustrative in narrative, and delivered succinctly, warmly and with a genuine desire for listeners to be transformed by Jesus. It was as conservative a message doctrinally as I have heard, and frankly, far less serendipitous and shallow as I have heard from some of her male Southern Baptist counterparts. It was refreshing to actually hear the Bible being taught.

(5). By all measures, missional, evangelical, financial, and biblical, FBC Decatur is a church worthy of our fellowship. Regardless of your feelings on the "lead" pastor being a female, you and I are not members of the church, and nobody is forcing us to be members. We are simply called to fellowship.

The idea that the Executive Director of Georgia could personally be involved with FBC Decatur in terms of fellowship, but NOT as a representative of the Georgia Baptist Convention, makes me wonder if somehow, someway, we Southern Baptists have forgotten that the Convention is composed of PERSONS, the root word of personally, personhood, etc . . . I would like to know one reason why, though we may disagree with a church calling a woman "lead" pastor, we should formally disfellowship from such a church? I may be concerned for that a church, but why disfellowship? What if I have concerns for a church pastored by a male who may be exhibiting decisions or character that don't reflect "the biblical qualifications" for a pastor? Will the Convention listen to my concerns and go warn that pastor that "some" in the Convention might make a formal motion we disfellowship from the church he pastors? What if that church is being run into the ground financially, will the Convention see fit to "disfellowship" from that church?

Let me illustrate the inconsistencies that arise when Georgia Southern Baptists make it known they wish to "disfellowship" from FBC Decatur.

(Update: Edited, January 29, 2009). In the original post I gave an illustration of a Southern Baptist Church that is pastored by a man that has displayed to me personally, and to others that have served on his staff, character qualities that are opposite of those qualities that qualify a man to be pastor. For example, anger instead of gentleness (patience), selfishishness instead of self-control, finanicial chaos instead of managing financial affairs well, etc . . . My reason for comparing this pastor with Julie Pennington-Russell was simple: Why would the Southern Baptist Convention move to disfellowship a church who called a pastor that didn't meet one of the qualifications of pastor as some interpret it (maleness), while we do nothing about disfellowshipping from a church that has called a pastor that doesn't meet other much clearer qualities of a pastor as listed in I Timothy 3:1-9? Let's not be so inconsistent. Let's either meddle in the affairs of EVERY church that has a pastor that is not qualified (in our minds) and "disfellowship" every church that calls a pastor unqualified (biblically) to pastor, or let's not meddle AT ALL as a Convention. My argument is the latter. Our Southern Baptist Convention should let autonomous churches call whom they desire as pastor, to refrain from making "moral" judgments as to the worthiness of the pastor, and to help churches and pastors in their time of need. The Georgia Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention should NOT disfellowship from First Baptist Church, Decatur.

Nor should our Southern Baptist Convention or the Arkansas Baptist Convention "disfellowship" from the other Southern Baptist Church I specifically mentioned as well. In fact, we should help. I had called the pastor of the struggling SBC church before I posted the original post and left a detailed message of what I would be writing about his leadership and church troubles. He returned my call today. He said that my assessment of his ministry was judgmental. I countered that I, too, had personal experiences with him under his leadership, which only confirmed what his former staff members told me about his biblical pastoral qualifications, or lack thereof, so I wrote with firsthand knowledge, not second hand. But my point was not to emphasis his unworthiness as a pastor (though I stand by my assessment of his lack of biblical qualifications in at least three areas), but to reveal the fallacy of people (including me) attempting from "disfellowshipping" from churches by making "judgments" about the worthiness of that autonomous church's pastor. The pastor was quiet, and he seemed to genuinely reflect on my words. He expressed that times were tough, and the factors involved in his church being in financial shambles had more to do with the economic environment and the broken promises of people who owed the church money more than it did his lack of qualifications to pastor the church. I told him that I accepted his explanation, but the point of my post stands. I am trying to get Conventions to "stop" judging churches about they call as pastor. If you open the door of "disfellowship" on so-called "biblical qualifications" of a pastor, then you better be prepared to disfellowship a ton of churches in the SBC. The better solution is to let each autonomous church determine if the church's pastor is qualified. That is Baptist autonomy.

We also should do all we can to help our sister Southern Baptist churches instead of publicly humiliating them. Our church currently has a fiscal year surplus. We have received more dollars in receipts than what we have budgeted. I told the pastor of the church that I wrote about that if his church was about to be in default on their bank loan this month, to let me know, and I would take the need of his church before our Finance Commitee and church body to see what we could do to help them make one of the church's $33,000 payments. I don't have the authority to pass such a motion, but I would do my part to help our church see the importance of helping our sister church who is struggling.

In the coming months, you will hear how our church will be helping FBC Decatur and Pastor Julie Pennington-Russell as well.

I refuse to be silent while the Southern Baptist ship is sinking, and for heaven's sake, I need others in the SBC to help right it.


In His Grace and Truth,


Wade Burleson

284 comments:

1 – 200 of 284   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Maybe someone can help me: I can't find in either the Old or New Testament where children of God are free in Christ NOT to choose each other even if we seriously disagree with each other. The brothers and sisters among us who may choose to ignore valid warnings of the church concerning their actions are to be treated as pagans and tax collectors--whom, we understand, we're responsible for leading by word and deed to a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

I believe: God will have His children behave as the children He's made us through the cruel death and following resurrection of His only begotten Son, Jesus. Woe to any one of us who doesn't respond to God's cautions quickly!

Let's hold convictions and the courage which should accompany those convictions, maintain the personal integrity we'll need at Judgment someday soon, but still seek to disciple/be discipled at the points at which we disagree within God's family. No one has arrived fully yet.


David

Scott Shaffer said...

Wade,

It seems to me that many of the problems you have highlighted, the so-called "narrowing of parameters", would go away if the SBC actually had a creed or statement of faith that member churches were required to affirm. What are your thoughts on this?

Darby Livingston said...

Wade,

This is just a question because I'm trying to figure out the reasoning just like you.

Is it possible that churches who allow women pastors are considered beyond the bounds of orthodoxy, while the churches who are led by abysmal male pastors are within the bounds of orthodoxy, but just not living up to it? IOW, a SB wouldn't fellowship with a Buddhist because it's not considered orthodox. It doesn't matter how devout he is.

I hope that question makes sense, because I don't know how else to phrase it. I'm not saying I think along the lines of the question, just trying to sort it out.

Anonymous said...

It is a sad sign of latter-stage Pharisaism that folks are so confused on biblical priorities.

Something about gnats and camels....

Thy Peace said...

Amen, Pastor Wade. Good post. I would gladly be a member of FBC Decatur, if I was living in Decatur, Georgia.

Also in the future if you can expand on this " ... violating the Baptist principle of free dissent ... ", by giving Baptist history lessons/posts, that would be terrific. It appears, Baptists are forgetting their roots. As for me, I would like to be educated and challenged. Thanks.

Thy Peace said...

"(5). It seems that at IBC, like it was at the IMB when Pastor Tom was chairman of the trustees, control is exerted by intimidation and fear."

Pastor Wade, are you saying that Pastor Tom Hatley was chairman of the trustees at IMB? (when you were also a trustee)

Wow! If so, what a tragedy!

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

Baptists have historically said, "No creed but the Bible." Why can't we just simply allow Southern Baptists to abide in fellowship with us when they simmply tell us that what they do is because of their interpretation of the Bible - even if their interpretation differs from ours?

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

Leslie Andres, the editor of Hard Ball Religion is sending the galleys to me soon, and you can read all about it. But, to answer your question now, "Yes, Pastor Tom was chairman of the IMB board of trustees when I served as a trustee. John Floyd followed Tom Hatley as chairman of the board."

Dr. Mike Kear said...

You are always making us think, Pastor Wade, and for that I am grateful.

Julie Pennington-Russell is not a Buddhist or a Hindu, she is a Christian who is follwing the call of God upon her life. As such, I would have no problem fellowshipping with her (or even having her as my pastor if the Lord placed me in her congregation).

In the case of Pastor Tom Hatley, my issue would be trust. I would have no problem fellowshipping with him as a fellow Southern Baptist and a brother in Christ. But could I trust him with the oversight of God's business in the church?

I feel like I could trust Pastor Pennington-Russell with my fellowship and my money. But I couldn't disfellowship either person because they are both children of my very own Father.

Thanks for the call for consistency!

jasonk said...

I noticed that the lesson in the Sunday School class I attended this week was written by a woman. I'm thinking of a word...it begins with the letter h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y.
What's more, it was a terrible lesson--turning 1 Thessalonians 5, which tells believers to be prepared for the coming of the Lord, into a lecture on temperance. Fortunately, our teacher was wise enough to point out the irresponsibility of using a passage to promote one's misguided conclusions.

Wade Burleson said...

Mike,

Good point. I think you realize that my goal is not to cause people "distrust" Tom Hatley.

My goal is to ask the positively pointed, sharp question that follows:

On what biblical basis are you disfellowshipping from Julie Pennington-Russell?

And, if the answer is, "because the Bible says the pastor is to be a male" . . . then I will respond:

Then get some real courage, and go disfellowship from those churches where males are not displaying the qualities of a pastor like being "above reproach, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?" Or, do what I do, and say, "Let autonomous Baptist churches take care of their own business, and let's quit this silly talk of disfellowship"

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Let autonomous Baptist churches take care of their own business, and let's quit this silly talk of disfellowship!

Exactly!

Dr. Mike Kear said...

BTW, yes I did understand that your point was not about distrusting Pastor Hatley but rather about being consistent in our Baptist principles.

Wade Burleson said...

Mike,

I knew that you did, but I wasn't sure about the others. I know you and think quite a bit alike (that's scary!)

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

As to creeds: I agree--only the Bible.

Ask me what I believe completely, I'll hand you a Holy Bible. Ask me what REPRESENTS my theological beliefs as a Baptist and Southern Baptist, I'll hand you a copy of the Baptist Faith and Message confession--any of its three versions, as each one ONLY is REPRESENTATIVE but actually DOES represent my theological beliefs as a growing student of God's Word (48 years of age, and over 20 years in vocational ministry). If others can do the same, with no hidden agendas and etc., I probably can cooperate with them in the cause of Christ.

Barna's research indicates there are more atheists and agnostics among America's adults than there are evangelical Christians (though evangelical and non-evangelical Christians far outnumber other faith adherents among adults in the U.S.). If God's church will make the progress it can in the 21st century, we also will have to cooperate with other serious believers outside of our denomination. If not, we will go the way of others who would not get-it-together together.


David

Anonymous said...

DAUGHTERS OF HIS CHOOSING

Why is it that people say that we cannot receive the Word of God, in the most important ways, from a woman?

Why?

When, it was through a WOMAN that the Father sent His Son to us:

there was the Angel Gabriel,
and there was Mary, then the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit

no man needed.

A WOMAN, chosen at the Dawn of Christ's Earthly Existence, and given a Most Sacred Announcement of the Ages by the Angel:

and Mary said "YES "

and so, in the Bible, the Gift of Christ, the Living Word, comes to us through a woman who said YES to God.


"And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God."



And then when the time came for Christ to be resurrected, why is it that people say that we cannot receive, in the most important way, the Words of Christ from a woman?

WHY?

When it was a woman, Mary of Magdalene, who was the first to see the risen Lord. And He had NO PROBLEM telling her to go and give the news of His Resurrection to the Disciples.
And the Magdalene said 'YES',
and went forth to do His bidding.

no man needed

A WOMAN. Chosen to serve at the Dawn of Christ's Resurrection Day

So if we are told of the lower place of a 'woman'
in bringing to us the blessings of the Living Word,
may we at least stop for a moment, and remember,
remember
WHO it was
that God's choices honored so.

At the most important times,
THE WOMEN were there:

the girl Mary, to whom Gabriel came;

the Mother Mary, who stood at the foot of the Cross,

the Magdalene, who was sent to give a Most Sacred Announcement Of The Ages:
"HE IS RISEN"

I guess someone forgot to tell God that these women of the Scriptures were 'not good enough'; someone forgot to tell God that the women
'needed to be always under the authority of a man';
'were not to be trusted to deliver the LIVING WORD to the waiting world';
'were not to be trusted to deliver the Announcement of the Risen Lord.'

My thoughts are that God knew what He was doing.
In His eternal 'culture', these 'daughters of Eve'
were very worthy indeed to be vessels of the Good News.
Their words ring in our hearts when we read the Holy Writings. And we listen.

I hear the fundamentalists' voices raised against women as
'unworthy' to be of greatest importance in bringing to us the Living Word.

But it is the Lord that speaks to me, from His choosing, of a different way . :) L's

Anonymous said...

Darby wrote, "IOW, a SB wouldn't fellowship with a Buddhist because it's not considered orthodox. It doesn't matter how devout he is."

Wow.

Did you know that the Buddhist would not judge the behavior of the SB at all?

The Buddhist would accept that the behavior of the SB in choosing 'not to fellowship' was simply the way it was. No judgment, no questioning, no 'hard-feeling'. Just peaceful acceptance of the act of the SB as the act of one who is what he is.

A whole 'nother religion.
Very peaceful.

Darby Livingston said...

I don't want to hijack Wade's post. I was looking for an example of how someone other than myself might justify their biases and picked Buddhism. I think it was in line with the intent of his post. But let's not get ridiculous. A quick scan of the net will show much Buddhist persecution of Christians around the world.

Thy Peace said...

This is related to this post.

Under Much Grace Blog: Getting Back to Overcoming Botkin Syndrome

Overcoming Botkin Syndrome: Jesus Was Angry - Guest Entry written by Adele Hebert

Overcoming Botkin Syndrome: Jesus Loved Women by Adele - Another entry from Adele Hebert, Independent Scholar

Anonymous said...

Wade,

"Why can't we just simply allow Southern Baptists to abide in fellowship with us when they simmply tell us that what they do is because of their interpretation of the Bible - even if their interpretation differs from ours?"

How far does this extend?

Michael

Scott Shaffer said...

Wade,

Not exactly. There are the London Baptist Confessions and the New Hampshire Baptist Convention to name a couple.

It puzzles me that on the one hand we have a group of churches that cooperate for the purpose of missions (all that is needed to be a member church is to give to the cooperative program)yet on the other they appear to be reluctant to codify a common set of beliefs. Then we throw in the BF&M, which specifically addresses the issue of women pastors, but don't even require churches to affirm it. It sounds like a recipe for the types of conflicts that we see.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

You wrote: 'To his credit, Robert rushed to assure me (Julie) that he would be willing to come over and help us “personally – just not as a representative of the GBC.”

I can see this man is struggling.
His FIRST instinct, as a child of God, is to come and help. In 'rushing' to assure Julie, his response is instinctive: inspired by the Holy Spirit, and in keeping with Christian charity.

And yet he is afraid.
He hesitates to be integral in his offer. He divides himself into two parts: the one serves the bidding of the Holy Spirit, doing the work of the Kingdom of God; the other serves 'another master': those whose earthly judgment and control threaten his position in the world (the earthly church structure).

And so he serves two masters.
And he is divided.
And maybe thinking that it is okay that way "for now".

And something important is lost in him. But he will figure it out.
The Holy Spirit will work on this man's spirit and soon, as he helps Julie's church, he will 'get it'.

The people who want to divide and separate use a lot of intimidation.
Could it be that there are some signs of co-dependence in the SBC. The 'bullies' do their thing. They are allowed to do it by good people. The good people try to keep the bullies placated so that life can go on and 'everything will be all right'.

And one day, maybe it isn't good enough anymore, and the good people will stand up and stop their 'enabling' of the bullies.

Wade, what is going on in the SBC is a kind of spiritual abuse on the part of the bullies;
and a placating 'co-dependency' on the part of the 'good people'.

The signs of this are there.
Or how else could good people, for so long, allow the bullies to do so much harm, and keep silent themselves? They are trying to make it be 'all right' again, and so they give in. And hope for better days.

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

Why are we narrowing the BFM to include matters not essential to the gospel? Why the women pastors prohibition?

Why not a prohibition on angry pastors? Why not a prohibition on fat pastors who give indication of a lack of self-control?

Please understand, I'm not advocating the above, I'm simply asking why we allow certain people to put non-essentials in the only doctrinal consensus we Southern Baptists have

Anonymous said...

DARBY said, " But let's not get ridiculous. A quick scan of the net will show much Buddhist persecution of Christians around the world."



DARBY, go to THE source:

The Buddha said in the Dhammapada:

*Victory breeds hatred.
The defeated live in pain.
Happily the peaceful live
giving up victory and defeat.
(Dp.15,5) and

* Hatreds never cease
by hatred in this world;
through love alone they cease. This is an eternal law. (Dp.1,5)

Scott Shaffer said...

Wade,

1. Apparently it doesn't matter what is in the BF&M because member churches don't have to affirm it.

2. Having said that, who decides what are the essential Baptist doctrines? Couldn't you argue that they have in the BF&M?

Anonymous said...

What did the early Christians do before they had the written Word?

What did the Baptist Church do before there was a BF&M ?

What was it that was MOST IMPORTANT ?

What was at the core of the Church?

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

How about a little refresher course about the BFM 2000. You seem to be expressing dismay that "churches don't have to affirm it." Listen to the BFM 2000 preamble.

Any group of Baptists, large or small, have the inherent right to draw up for themselves and publish to the world a confession of their faith whenever they may think it advisable to do so.

That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.


Nobody should ever have to apologize for disagreeing with a confession.

Bob Cleveland said...

Regardless of the BF&M 2000's statement limiting the pastorate to men, the Preamble to both the 1963 and the 2000 versions also states that any group of Baptists has the right to publish their own statement of faith; further, that only the Bible is binding, not the BF&M.

So here we have a church threatened with disfellowship, for doing, in effect, exactly what the Preamble to the BF&M says they are free to do.

It's a good idea to cry "the sky is falling" when it really is falling.

Wade Burleson said...

Bob,

Great minds always think alike.

:)

Anonymous said...

The ultimate authority for ANY Christian is one's conscience, as it is informed by the Holy Spirit, after prayer.

All else are 'guides'.
But if one's conscience is under the influence of the Holy Spirit, then one is bound to obey his conscience. No excuses.
One MUST answer to the 'Higher Authority'.

Scott Shaffer said...

Wade,

OK, then an SBC church could theoretically develop their own statement of faith that is in direct opposition to the BF&M in many aspects, rendering the BF&M meaningless.

Anonymous said...

"Why not a prohibition on angry pastors? Why not a prohibition on fat pastors who give indication of a lack of self-control?"

Why not a prohibition on pastors who allow a pedophile to stay on staff. Or one that does not call teh authorities when a sexual crime against a member is committed by one of the staff?

Instead, they are given SBC speaking engagments

Lydia

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

Make your only consensus doctrinal statement of faith for missions cooperation very broad.

Your church should feel free to make as narrow of a confession as you desire.

Keep the cooperative one broad.

Why is that hard to understand?

Anonymous said...

We give ear to our consciences:
we search out our ways
and we seek

TO RETURN TO THE WAYS OF THE LORD . . .

God said to Abraham, "Walk before me, and be perfect" (Gen., xvii, 1) To this precept the Prophet Jeremias referred when he sang in his Lamentations:
"Let us search our ways, and seek, and return to the Lord" .

Wade Burleson said...

Of course, Lydia, you realize I am arguing that we ought to have none of the restrictions, instead of picking and choosing which ones we like.

Stephen Pruett said...

The only basis of which I am aware that is stated in the New Testament for disfellowship is blatant heresy or visible and unrepentant sin which would discredit the church. All doctrinal disputes of which I am aware, short of heresy, were dealt with by convening a council (e.g., in Jerusalem) or by writing letters explaining the error and urging a change (e.g., most of Paul's letters in the NT). I really cannot understand how people who claim that the Bible is inerrant can ignore its teachings on something this important.

Even more of a concern is the observation that the issue of women pastors is one which is not an open and shut slam dunk case in scripture. Those who believe ordaining a woman pastor is a sign that a church is ignoring plain teaching of scripture simply have not studied the issue carefully, or if they have they have not been objective. The famous 1Tim 2 passage generally cited as clearly prohibiting women pastors is not that clear, for many reasons. First, Paul says I do not permit (not it is never permissible anywhere). Second, Baptists take other similar passages (e.g., 1 Corinthians 11) as culturally influenced and figurative (we do not require short hair for men and long hair for women), and the reason given by Paul for this advice is remarkably similar to the reason given in 1 Timothy 2. Why interpret one passage one way and another very similar passage a different way? A common theme in Paul's instructions with regard to the role and behavior of women in church can best be understood as indicating that there were some women in some churches who were abusing their new found freedom in Christ to act in a manner that disrupted services. This is the only way I can make sense of Paul's recommendation for women to keep quiet in church and his approval of women prophesying and praying in church. If both the instruction to keep quiet and to not exert authority over men in teaching were meant for all churches for all time, how can the approval of women prophesying and praying be acceptable? Prophesying in particular includes an element of teaching and must be done with authority since it is by definition a word from God.

I know Wade prefers the complementarian view on this matter, and I am not certain that this view is wrong. However, the issues I noted above and many others raise enough questions to suggest to me that allowing women pastors is as defensible from scripture as not allowing them. This is one of the best examples I know of an issue that should only be addressed by a local body of believers. To formally disfellowship a church for this opens the door to disfellowship for 5 point Calvinism, minority views on eschatology, open or partially open communion, acceptance of Baptism (by immersion after salvation) by another denomination, etc., etc., etc.

Anonymous said...

To whom shall we go , Lord, Thou hast the words of eternal life.


INTEGRITY:
We cannot go down two divergent roads at the same time.
We must choose. And then, we must live with that choice.



The Road Not Taken
R. Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Scott Shaffer said...

Wade,

I understand completely. We are back to square one - Who decides what goes in the BF&M?

Anonymous said...

'and sorry I could not travel both, and be one traveler'

My father used to tell me not to be a 'mugwump'.
I remember asking him, when I was little, what a 'mugwump' was.

He said: a mugwump is creature with his 'mug' on one side of the fence and his 'wump' on the other.

Integrity.

Some parents know how to teach it.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Lydia, you realize I am arguing that we ought to have none of the restrictions, instead of picking and choosing which ones we like.

Mon Jan 26, 11:37:00 PM 2009

Of course. But if the BFM is going to elevate women preaching to primary doctrine status, (using the two proof texts in the NT) in order to cooperate, shouldn't we at least make the distinction that there are other very serious concerns, too? At least until they take it out?

Just musing a bit. I agree it needs to be broad with the imperatives of the salvic Gospel.

BTW: I am impressed with Mrs. Pennington's deameanor and professionalism in this affair. I plan to do some listening to her messages when I can. I have only heard horrid things about her on Mohler's blog. I think I will judge her on her message. Not her gender.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Dear Scott,

It is whoever has the power that vote, decides what Christ wants you to believe.

The next time there is a vote, someone who wins the power might decide that Christ was wrong and the powerful then change the BF&M and straighten Christ out.

Anonymous said...

Just for a resource on the topic of women teaching men, check out this open letter to women in the Body by Frank Viola. It is quite good.

http://ptmin.org/role.pdf

Lydia

Anonymous said...

When Julie asked Robert this:

' Could you send a team over to meet with our folks?” – are you telling me that the GBC wouldn’t want to help us with that?”


To his credit, Robert rushed to assure me that he would be willing to come over and help us “personally – just not as a representative of the GBC.”

JUST SUPPOSE GOD INTERVENED
AND SAID: 'Robert, choose one.'

Is there any doubt in anyone's mind what Robert would choose.
No.

I sometimes think that if we made all our decisions as if we were to face God and answer to Him immediately, there would be so much less confusion in our choice-making. Oh, yeah. . .

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous above does a very good job answering your question Scott.

I'll add just one thing.

When the SBC claims 16 million members, and we struggle to get 5,000 messengers at the annual Convention where the Baptist Faith and Message is adopted, then I can guarantee you one thing - it is not the majority of the SBC who decides what goes in the SBC.

Further, when Paige Patterson was President of the SBC, he appointed the members of the BFM Committee. Let me say that again - Patterson appointed the members.

So, the people who decided what went into the 2000 BFM are those who have been handpicked by Dr. Patterson.

Thus, his views on women, Landmarkism, etc . . . are reflected in a document that should have been reserved for major doctrinal issues, and not the petty picolos of the President.

Jeff said...

I must agree with Wade on one particular point. The double standard is intolerable and duplicitous. The way in which the SBC leadership conducts itself is much closer to phariseeicalism (sp?) than to the image of Christ the great shepherd. And their behavior as under-shepherds, I think disqualifies them from serving as shepherds of God's flock who do not "Lord it over the sheep".

But...Was it a mystery to any that the SBC leadership would take a dim view of a women as a head pastor/preacher? Are we so myopic that we do not understand that the SBC DOES NOT approve of women in the pulpit. Why this church took this step and appointed a women in light of the FACT that they had to have known the position of the SBC is beyond my comprehension. Were they shocked when the good ole' boy network acted like good ole boys?

Wade you have been in the SBC for most if not all of your life...are you REALLY surprised at this disfellowship action?

I personally would have never supported any church leadership going into such debt as the Ark. church when the congregation was obviously dwindling...and I would have left such a fellowship with such carnal leadership. But nor would I put my family under the teaching of a women as the primary filter of God's word to a congregation.

Paul; the Apostle-with Apostolic authority from God, penned the words in Timothy under divine inspiration from God, that he suffered NOT a women to teach nor usurp authority over a man. I did not write that, the SBC did not write that. THAT is GOD's standard very clear from God's word. Why is that so hard to grasp. This was not a cultural ploy for Paul to find acceptance in the culture of his day, Paul often railed against the culture of his day.

This is in the "Pastoral epstles"...where God directed Paul to set in order the things that were lacking in the local church.

Whatever man may say about women as pastors of the church...God says that is disobedience.

Are other sins equally heinous...absolutely, and I for one have refused to join with, and have left churches with dictatorial leadership.

Having seen biblical and godly New Testament leadership modeled for me during my eight years as a member of Emmanuel Enid, I know what good leadership looks like.

I grow weary of Christians who want to put unbiblical restraints on my Christian freedom...I am told that I cannot have wine with my dinner, I am told that pastor friends of mine are in sin if they smoke a cigar (explain Spurgeon if you would). I am put under any number of humanistic nonbiblcal rules and restraints to my liberty. BUT then there are those who are going to tell me that Paul was wrong to make statements that restrict women in public ministry.

In answer to one persons post here on the blog, Paul NEVER said that the women are "Unworthy"...he said that God has appointed a specific role for a man and another for a women. There may be some radical hate filled persons who claim women are unworthy, but that is not who you are arguing against. You are arguing against God's word. To make the fallacious argument that those of us who are sticking to the clear words of scripture are calling our sisters in Christ "unworthy" is to use an argument against that which is not proposed. Women are most worthy...but it was God, not me, not the SBC, not Paul, who set the parameters. Please give me the passage that clearly refutes Paul's unambiguous declaration in the letter to Timothy.

With love and grace to all, and yes I would fellowship freely and openly with the church in Georgia, including their pastor...But in good conscience before God, I could not join or place myself under that unbiblical authority.

Grace to you all, and may peace reign even in this touchy issue.

Jeff Rogers
Colorado Springs, CO
http://www.prosthero.blogspot.com

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

Having known you personally for years, and trusting your ability to discern the truth of Scripture, regardless of man's traditions, I would simply suggest that you may be just a smidgen too dogmatic on this particular subject. For instance, take a gander at your fellow New Covenant theologian and his quite bilbical take on this issue.

Darby Livingston said...

"Nobody should ever have to apologize for disagreeing with a confession."

It's ironic that the reformation came about as a revolt of conscience against the councils of man,

then the anabaptists that some want to celebrate so incessantly fought against the new creeds of the reformers because of conscience

and now the battle for conscience continues on. It seems the only thing that really changes is the creed, but never the demand to follow one.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"she is a Christian who is following the call of God upon her life"

I disagree. God does not call women to pastor local expressions of the church. This is simply not a point of debate for me. But here is the deal. I belong to a denomination who has already spoken to this. So it is a mute point. But rest assured she will be judged by the Breath of the Almighty.

But while we are on the subject of disfellowshipping, let me publically disfellowship a few churches from my personal ministry:

1. FBC, Decatur, GA. Reason? Unbiblical leadership.

1a. All other SBC churches with chick senior pastors.

2. All the churches of the Jefferson County Association of SBC Churches (MO) who support their D.O.M.'s position that "no Calvinist Preacher will pastor in this Association."

3. FBC, Woodstock, GA. Reason? Pastor fired staff member for adhering to the Doctrine's of Grace; Pastor hostile to Calvinists.

4. All SBC churches dually aligned with the CBF, or any of its state affiliates (I understand that this removes alot of good BGCT churches--but hey, you sleep with the goats...)

5. Any church who's pastor preaches a manipulative sermon channeled to a dramatic alter call.

6. Any church whose total membership exceeds its avg weekly attendance by more than 300% (I would prefer to use the figure of 150% but we will have to work up to that slowly)

7. Any church whose pastor believes that once the SBC has shown the "Jesus Film" to every people group of the world the Jesus will come.

8. Any church who's pastor relies on Strong's Concordance for his (or her [see #1a]) exegetical study.

9. Any church who's pastor has a problem with Al Mohler, John Piper, D.A. Carson, John MacArthur, John Calvin, or the Founders folks.

10. Finally, any church who's pastor does not have every intention of purchasing Wade's new tell all book about the IMB.


For those left, we will be moving this year’s Annual Meeting to one of the Manly dorm rooms at SBTS to save costs.

K

Jesse said...

Is this to say that there are no women pastors exhibiting poor leadership abilities and running their church into the ground or that there are no male pastors exhibiting great leadership abilities whose congregations are exhibiting exciting growth?

Wow, it's a wonder that God calls any men to pastoral leadership.

Jesse

New BBC Open Forum said...

On what biblical basis are you disfellowshipping from Julie Pennington-Russell?

And, if the answer is, "because the Bible says the pastor is to be a male" . . . then I will respond:

Then get some real courage, and go disfellowship from those churches where males are not displaying the qualities of a pastor like being "above reproach, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?" Or, do what I do, and say, "Let autonomous Baptist churches take care of their own business, and let's quit this silly talk of disfellowship."


Profound! Great article, Wade.

Jesse, don't be ridiculous.

Les Puryear said...

Wade,

I want to say that I do not agree or disagree with the action already taken and the alleged intended future action of the Georgia Baptist Convention. Personally, I don't have enough information either way to have a valid opinion, thus I offer none on those issues.

However, I will offer an opinion regarding autonomy. You said, "Let autonomous Baptist churches take care of their own business, and let's quit this silly talk of disfellowship." I agree with you on that statement. However, if you agree with autonomy of the church, do you not also respect the autonomy of the other bodies, such as associations and state conventions?

Right or wrong, the GBC is an autonomous organization which can decide to do pretty much anything they vote to do. Just as my state convention is made up of baptist churches in our state, so is the Georgia Baptist Convention.

As a pastor of a church in North Carolina, I have no voice in the actions of the GBC. Neither do you. You can disagree with the actions of any state convention all you want, but each state convention is autonomous and its policies are voted upon by its messengers, as is their right.

I would not take too kindly to those outside of my state chastising my state convention for actions voted upon by its messengers. When someone does this, they not only impugn the state convention leadership, but also its messengers.

Thus, I would gently advise you to tread lightly in your criticism of other state conventions.

One last comment, and then you can let me have it if you wish. :)

I am disappointed that you would target the challenges that any SBC church is facing for public consumption. The matters of Immanuel Baptist are no one's concern except for the people who are Immanuel Baptist Church and those with whom they are affiliated. Believe me when I say that I have no love for the way things were handled at the IMB Bot under Tom Hatley's leadership. However, I also see no reason to display the dirty laundry of an autonomous SBC church for all to see. IMHO, it's none of anyone else's business.

Crusades are fine regarding SBC agencies which are the responsibility of all Southern Baptists. As I have in past, I support your point of view on many of the issues within our agencies. However, I think you cross the line when your crusading intrudes upon the autonomy of state conventions, local associations, and individual churches.

As always, my comments are meant to be constructive, not destructive.

Kindest regards,

Les Puryear

New BBC Open Forum said...

Why are we narrowing the BFM to include matters not essential to the gospel? Why the women pastors prohibition?

Why not a prohibition on angry pastors? Why not a prohibition on fat pastors who give indication of a lack of self-control?


Good point. Wrath and gluttony are among the seven deadly sins. Being a woman... isn't.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

This young theologian needs to correct many of the elder theologians and readers of this blog on one very important point as to the passage often quoted or referenced from 1 Tim 3:1-7.

When Scripture gives a "list" to any person, it is given with the understanding that that person, though saved by grace, is still a fallen creature under the ever present influence of sin. Additionally, the process of sanctification is just that--a process. No pastor on earth and in history can ever live up to the qualifications of 1 Tim 3:1-7 perfectly save 3 situational commands (two explicit, one implicit)

1. implied that one should be a man
2. must not be married to more than one wife in the eyes of the Lord.
3. must not be a recent convert. (“recent” is subjective, but most of us with half a brain understand this.)

These 3 commands have nothing to do with sanctification. All of the others, though one must possess them to a degree, do not preclude one who indeed makes mistakes from time to time.

Please think through this from a logical perspective. The poor comparisons and fallacies being spewed in this comment section are not without a host of sad mis/pre-conceptions.


K

Wade Burleson said...

Les,

Unfortunately, if the Georgia Baptist Convention is like the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, just a few hundred of the several hundred thousand members actually attend the state convention. Worse, a few are able to push through narrow agendas, like disfellowshipping from Southern Baptist churches, without the entire Convention being able to consider the consequences through healthy, vibrant debate.

Of course the Convention is autonomous. But when leaders run the Convention like they would a local church, and remove anyone who disagrees, then we have lost sight of the nature of cooperation.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade, in response your response to Wes.

I disagree. Churches who do not send a full slate of messengers have disfellowshipped themselves by defalt. What say you to that?

K

Wade Burleson said...

Les,

As always, you are free to express you disappointment in the comment section of my blog.

Your concern for Immanuel's problems being made public is admirable.

Are you also concerned with the public denigration of First Baptist Church, Decatur because a Convention is seeking to "disfellowship" the church because of their "sin" of calling Julie to be pastor?

Which sin is greater? To call a woman as pastor or to allow a church to default on a loan and be absorbed by a bank?

Just asking for consistency among our our SBC leadership.

In His Grace,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

I find that many churches are much more concerned with local ministry than denominational politics. If the Convention were to realize that the local church is the highest authority, then we wouldn't be in the position of church autonomy being threatened.

New BBC Open Forum said...

First...

Anonymous said...

Why not a prohibition on pastors who allow a pedophile to stay on staff. Or one that does not call teh authorities when a sexual crime against a member is committed by one of the staff?

Instead, they are given SBC speaking engagments

Lydia

Mon Jan 26, 11:28:00 PM 2009

Then...

Wade Burleson said...

Of course, Lydia, you realize I am arguing that we ought to have none of the restrictions, instead of picking and choosing which ones we like.

Mon Jan 26, 11:37:00 PM 2009

The sheep says...

... nothing. The sheep is speechless. {shaking head in disbelief}

gmommy said...

It IS about power, control, and the good ol boys.
This female pastor gets a visit and is told they are going to break fellowship with her church.

A Pastor of an SBC church decides to keep a minister on staff (who counsels victims and is a first responder for children)AFTER he confesses he is a child molester.
Who paid a visit to this pastor?

Tommy Gilmore's sexual abuse was known by more than one pastor... as was Darrell Gilyard's...FOR YEARS.
Why would pastors turn a blind eye to children and youth being sexually abused and not fear a visit or dis fellowship?????

Because the granddaddy of all the good ol boys set the example for them to follow.
It's acceptable for ministers to be sexual predators in the church but NOT acceptable to be a woman.
See:
stopbabtistpredators.com

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

I'm sorry, but for you to comment would be a violation of a previous oath you made. If you choose to break it, feel free to comment again. I've done my part to remind you.

In His Grace,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

New BBC Open Forums,

I am not suggesting Lydia's restrictions are not valid. On the contrary, it was my recommendation at the SBC that would have established a database to track ministers that were molestors.

I think you misunderstood what I was writing to Lydia. I was not saying her restrictions on ministers were not valid (on the contrary, they are the law of the land), I was simply saying that my hypothetical case of disfellowshipping from church's because of their pastor's weight (self-control) and lack of gentleness were just as absurd as disfellowshipping over gender.

I probably could have worded my response to Lydia better.

Wade

Gary said...

Wade,
I get frustrated concerning this topic because Scriptures indicate that it is not in best interest of a church. Here me out though fully. It is not that they can't lead a church but it is still a sign that the church has problems because somewhere a man is not leading. She is well equipped in the Scriptures but I think this subject has to be examined fully. It is about the fact that pastors tend to be high end administrationally these days and don't have the low end mentoring aspects as much in the churches as they used to. To a commendation of women in leadership, I have mentioned to someone else before that I have seen women do a better job in para-church administrational positions like Mrs. Tilley Bergen in Arlington. The teaching task in Timothy designates a close-knit relationship much like mentoring relationship and in the formative years. All men need a male to lead and this is statistically proven. Could it be the shame is on us males?

Stephen Pruett said...

So Kevin, are you saying there are no other passages in which the term "man" is used in generic fashion to mean human being? Don't make me list them. I think you know there are dozens if not hundreds. There is no particular reason to think the passage you cite is not also an example of this. Oh wait, there is a reason. You came to the scripture convinced that this was the case and you are always right. Sorry about the sarcasm, but I just can't take your consistently mistaking your assumptions for clear teaching of scripture. Scripture is clear on all essentials; it is not clear on this or 5 points or less or cessationist vs continualist or precise sequence of events in end times--you get the idea. Please see my post above and definitively refute the points made there. If your position is so certain, it should be easy to do so!

Wade Burleson said...

Gary,

I would prefer not to discuss hypotheticals.

Let's talk about FBC Decatur.

I just have one response to your questions of shame in relation to FBC Decatur. I think the members of that particular autonomous Southern Baptist Church would probably be offended at your question. I can't speak for them.

I can speak for my church, however, and would say I see a very healthy balance between males and females and their leadership in our church.

Anonymous said...

Why would they be offended? I did not say that she was not equipped to lead. I am totally is the wrong to single them out, your right, the problem is a lot more cultural I believe. In working with some males working towards the ministry, I have seen some quit persuing because they needed strengthing in some areas and they did not get it or know how to jump through hoops. It is not about that church I kow not anything about them. It is blight on the culture. Look at the television and shows and how the American male is percieved. Divorce is not much different inside and outside. That only shows that mentoring is needed. We do need to consider some shame on us, I believe.

Gary said...

Clarifying something a bit more
Some men are very good in pastoring but they may not be good adminstrationally. Some women are very good in theology and adminstration but there is a a particular male if they are triangulated in their walk needs a male. This is the gest I am getting at. Anyway I am realizing that the internet doesn't necesarily solve this issue either. Personal appraoches are alwasy needed.
IN HIS GRACE, BY ALL MEANS

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thank you for the clarification, Wade. That wasn't how I read it. My apologies.

Gary said...

I am not sure I hold to full autonomous positions either. Some ecclesiatical ethos are global as well as local. Church discipline can affect another. If a member is not handled properly and they leave to go another church, that saga continues.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Stephen Prutt,

I am happy to debate you in a brotherly spirit. Careful not to patronize.

We are in agreement that the use of the English word man (anthropos) can refer to a man, a woman, or a set of people without regard to their gender. but Paul does not use anthropos in verse 2. He uses andra (accusative of ἀνὴρ). The passage is literally translated: "a one woman man" or "a one wife husband."

That we must agree on. As to its context, meaning in light of the whole of Scripture--one could possible argue (as I think Wade does) that culture imposed on Paul a way of writing that would seem to not jive with Jude. Hence, a faith once for them and twice for us.

One thing I did learn in my quick look at my Greek NT is that the pronoun "he/his" used 8 or 9 or so times in the passage comes simply from the use of the 3rd person singular (and sometimes possessive) verbs used.

So how do we know if he is referring to a man or is gender neutral? what is the antecedent of the implied pronoun? It must be the word "anyone" (Greek word “tis”=nominative masculine singular) I will have to do a more detailed word study other various forms of this word, but it does have a a form for all three genders. For neutral rendering of the word, Paul might have used "ti" but this is getting beyond my present knowledge. Something I will look into more deeply and study.

Suffice to say--the passage is not clear on its own--but if we use Scripture to interpret Scripture, I bet we can all arrive at the same Holy Spirit supplied answer.

:)

Anonymous said...

Depressing state of our christian culture in America.

Post before this one with an awesome story of God's power and faithfulness.

25 comments in a couple of days.

This post about a woman being the pastor of a church (and really, that is essentially what it's about).

70 comments in a couple of hours.

So sad.

I'm gonna go back and read the previous post again.

Gary said...

I thought the previous post was excellent as well. The conversion of Native Americans with men like Isaac McCoy and Sheldon Jackson are incredible stories and testimonies. The willingness to go into the wilderness and reach the unreached and what some to percieve as the unreachable.

Gary said...

In reading back over, the conflict with the church it just grieves me more, Wade, I look at Revelations and think that perhaps those mid-tribers may indeed be correct. The Trinity is an advocate that corrects and restores. This is nuts to disfellowship the church and make some sort example. Paul sets the example in Galatians that if you bite and fight among yourselves you wil be comsumed by each other.

John Daly said...

Just because His Church is not living up to His standards in so many areas does not give it permission to violate yet another. This would also include those who do not have a biblically led elder Body as well.

Again, Julie for president but never for pastor.

Oh, and you lose the right to be out-of-shape if you call yourself a leader, so don't waste your time responding to me...go hit the gym.

Gary said...

Brother Wade,
Still on my mind can't sleep.......Have you taken the grievances with various leadership to Ken Sande's Peacemakers for arbitration?

Gary

Anonymous said...

I don't usually give links but here is one to "The Gender Debate Is Ultimately About Jesus"
http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3536&Itemid=9

In it the author, David Gushee, states that those holding the complementarian view agree that there is something women can't do, but don't agree on what and why other than "the Bible says so". The reasons given in the Bible are not cited because those holding the views don't want to say that women are lesser creatures in some way(though obviously this is what they imply). Anybody remember "separate but equal" in regard to race, when it was separate but certainly not equal?

Jesus welcomed women (and others who were treated as secondary or outcasts in the society of His time). Gushee also says that it is hard to imagine that Jesus would not want the help of half the human race to do His work.

I remember when in Oklahoma (and probably elsewhere) attempts were made to disfellowship churches who chose to have women deacons, which does not seem to be as much of an issue now.

I find it interesting that many would have no problem with a woman leading the country but not a church. Though I suspect that many of the same ones who were all for Sarah Palin opposed Hillary Clinton more because of her sex than her politics. (Same with Obama, I suspect many voted against - or for, it must be admitted - him because of his race. But that's a different argument, though of the same type.)

It comes down to this: women are human or not. Choose one and go with it. Or as one slogan puts it: Ordain women or stop baptizing them. (If you tell them they can follow Jesus they may think they should do what God calls them to do.)

Susie

Charles Page said...

Wade

Would a church whose pastor believes that redemption is particular without a free offer to all be disfellowshiped?

Would a church that refused to send money to any mission society but insisted on their own mission projects be disfellowshipped?

Anonymous said...

As to the BF&M2000, it does claim to be an "instrument of doctrinal accountability" which previous confessions did not - they even opposed such an idea. This is an idea alien to historic Baptist beliefs.

The BF&M2000 was written by a handpicked group, unlike the 1963 version which was written by a committee of leaders from all state conventions, and thus more representative.

Unfortunately many people (not just the Baptists who voted for it) can be stampeded into something by leaders who connect it with certain ideas and imply that one is wrong to be on the other side. This is how all the change in the SBC came about. People were told that if you don't agree with ____ you don't believe the Bible or you are not a Christian or some other accusation.

The idea has been attributed to Hitler that if you say a lie often enough people will believe it (I think the idea is a lot older). Anyway that is what happened.

What is done is done, and now the SBC has been changed for the worse. As long as the BF&M2000 is considered the standard things will be thus. It will be used as a club to beat anyone who disagrees with it or its interpretation by those in power.

I have no problem with those who agree with it writing such a confession; that is their right. I do have a problem with their claiming it to be a document representing Baptist beliefs, at least certain parts of it. And I have a major problem with how it has been used.

Susie

Tom Parker said...

Has anyone ever thought that SBC now stands for--SOLELY BOYS CLUB? Something to think about.

Lin said...

"2. He uses andra (accusative of ἀνὴρ). The passage is literally translated: "a one woman man" or "a one wife husband."

Kevin, that disqualifies you because you are not married.

The passage starts out with 'anyone' who...the word is 'tis' meaning ANYONE.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

You wrote to Les these words... "Just asking for consistency among our our SBC leadership."

From everything that I have read, the GBC is being extremely consistent. First, they affirm the BF&M. Second, they passed a resolution to refuse funds from a church not in compliance. Then they will take the next logical step of disfellowship.

GBC=consistent.

A couple questions...

1) Why would FBC Decatur be "entitled" to GBC funds if they are not in friendly cooperation?

2) What should/could the GBC do in response to this church in Arkansas?

3) When did you (a Pastor in Oklahoma) get elected into the role of overseerer of the GBC?

Joe White... said...

Wade,

My last question to you was not meant to sound so harsh. I am just wondering where is the consistency in your writing. You like to argue for autonomy and dissent, but then you publically call for the resignation of a man you probably know very little about.

Tom Parker said...

Joe White:

Did I miss something? I did not see where Wade asked anyone to resign.

Thy Peace said...

"Have you taken the grievances with various leadership to Ken Sande's Peacemakers for arbitration?"

SGM Survivors: SGM Seeks “Peace” With Noel And Family

SGM Survivors: An Open Letter to Ken Sande At Peacemaker Ministries

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Lin,

There is pretty good evidence to suggest that Paul was not married, but then his live is not our standard. I happen to know of another 33 year old who was not married. ;)

But, I am indeed a "one woman man." I have never been with another. I pray for her with growing frequency--whoever she is.
I intend to make her a happy woman as she will make me a happy man--both in Christ.

As to the word tis.....anyone does not mean a pool of all humanity. anyone, or "all" means anyone or all from a subset of those whom the author intended. If this is all men and women, or all men, or all those whom the Lord has set apart, then we need to perform due diligence to the study of this word tis (and its many forms) to determine if gender can be asserted. Additionally, Paul has the prerogative to begin with a pronoun if it was assumed in the day through the whole of written and oral Scripture that God calls men to lead flocks.

I hope you will prayerfully join me in a study of "tis" 'Tis' our duty as believers to know Paul's intent here.



Of course someone with greater and more learned knowledge of Koine than this 4th semester student could feel free to chime in.

But, consider this: 1 Tim 3:1-7 will either turn out to be conslusive (men only), or inconclusive (no specification) in which case passages in Titus, and a greater feel for Pauline theology must be taken into consideration.

K

Joe White... said...

Tom Parker,

In point number 1, Wade wrote... "Robert White, the Executive Director of the GBC, ought to at least consider resigning if the Georgia Baptist Convention, the Convention that he leads, votes to disfellowship from FBC, Decatur."

Then Wade added... "If he doesn't live out his personal principles as he leads the Georgia Baptist Convention then he is drawing a salary for convenience's sake and not one based on integrity. Since I am sure Dr. White is a person of integrity, his resignation if this motion to disfellowship is passed would cause Southern Baptists to admire his courage of conviction and might possibly knock some sense in all of us."

Lin said...

"There is pretty good evidence to suggest that Paul was not married, but then his live is not our standard. I happen to know of another 33 year old who was not married. ;)"

That is my whole point. You are reading a prohibition that is not in there. For you, as a single man, and for a woman.

And thanks, I have taken ALL of scripture into consideration including the OT which does NOT prohibit women from preaching to men. So, it is strange that there is a NEW prohibition in the New Covenant. How strange that we ignore Pentecost and pretend that 'prophesying' is not really what it is. So we change that definition, too. But then, we invented the institutional church, too. Complete with pulpits, altars and stages. A far cry from Lydia's living room.

Anonymous said...

Hi JEFF,

you wrote:

"Paul; the Apostle-with Apostolic authority from God, penned the words in Timothy under divine inspiration from God, that he suffered NOT a women to teach nor usurp authority over a man. I did not write that, the SBC did not write that. THAT is GOD's standard very clear from God's word. Why is that so hard to grasp." ?

Hi Jeff,
It's me, L's, and I wrote
at 9:54 P.M. Monday,
'Daughters of His Choosing' wherin I explained something I CAN grasp.

I CANNOT grasp St. Paul's words when I see the actions of the Lord.
I think Paul was inspired, but he also a man of his era.
But God is eternal. I am, as you know, of another faith, and we also are stuck in the 'culture' of that ancient time; but slowly, slowly, our women are beginning to come into more positons of responsibility in the Church. The day of my father's passing, the hospice nurse was also a Catholic Eucharistic Minister, and my father, thanks be to God, received communion together with all of us.
The bonding of that communion experience has sustained me in my grief. So, even my church, which changes SO slowly, not in weeks, nor months, but more in centuries, has given to women a most precious ministry.

As for 'preaching' the Word:

What is more important, Jeff:
the MESSENGER or the MESSAGE ?

And God HAS called women.
And they have said "YES".
If God has honored them so,
how can men ignore HIM?
What is SO HARD to grasp about that? L's

P.S. There have been cultures that were matriarchal in dominance.
Patriarchy and matriarchy are cultural phenomena. Patriarchy is not a universal phenomenon on our planet.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

1. God never intended the church to stay in Lydia's living room--get over it.

2. I am trying to meet you on bended knee while systematically taking our objections one at a time while we pour through Scripture with a magnifying glass. You end it by stating you have studied ALL of Scripture. I will never in my lifetime get a chance to study all of Scripture. I will have to rely on help from others.

Your lack of a desire to think through this critically is evident in the fact that you cannot see that the idea of gender and "singleness" are mutually exclusive issues in the quoted phrase. Because we agree on the implications of one does not make me an idiot for not agreeing with you on the other. Please do not insult my intelligence.

Btw, we agree that the passage does make an explicit prohibition against women as pastors, but that has never been mine or other's argument. The point is an example is set, am implication is clear. Do we as Baptists not take the same implication and example as to believer's baptism??????


Think about it, if you have not already in your plenary Study of Scripture. The Bible makes no explicit command to baptize after one says the "sinner's prayer."

We follow example--an implied directive--as we see it.

K

Anonymous said...

KEVIN said 'But rest assured she will be judged by the Breath of the Almighty.'

oh Kevin, so will you, so will you. And we will all be there to see it.

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

I would think that you, above all men, would realize that the judgement and condemnation of God for those who trust in Christ is born by the Son at Calvary. I have listened to Julie express a very bold faith in Jesus.

She will not, contrary to your assertion, be "judged" by God, but rather, she will be crowned a co-heir with Jesus Christ.

Anonymous. So will Kevin.

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

The motion to disfellowship FBC has neither been offered nor adopted. Dr. White has about ten months to save his convention and his integrity (i.e. living out his convictions before men).

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

You ask, When did you (a Pastor in Oklahoma) get elected into the role of overseerer of the GBC?

The day I made the vow I would no longer keep silent when the SBC, either state conventions or the national convention, pushed through asinine motions that reflect on all of us.

Anonymous said...

Seeing the wonderful growth of Julie's church as it has reached out to and meets the needs of so many;

And seeing the troubled church of
Pastor Hatley, whose importance in the politics of the SBC is known,

I have two comments:

1. God is culture-blind when passing out His Gifts to His children. He sees beyond the male and female chromosomal patterns, straight into the hearts and minds and souls of the person, so that His gift will not be wasted.

2. Psalm 147
God favors the meek over the
proud. That old smug prejudice against women is not born of humility, but comes from pride.
And, in the case of these two pastors, we see God's Hand at work.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
You said, “Patterson appointed the members.”

I believe there were about 15 appointed that met behind closed doors, and said something like, “We can’t tell you what we’ve written, but you’ll like it.”

That was in contrast to the 1963 that was open to the public and welcomed input from anyone.

Do you believe what the 15 appointed wrote had the stamp of approval from Patterson?

Or another way of asking; do you believe they put their stamp of approval on what Patterson wrote?

I agree with Susie saying, (Tue Jan 27, 08:51 AM) the idea of the 2000 being an “instrument of doctrinal accountability” is alien to historic Baptist beliefs.

This “accountability” is shown in the hypocrisy of the oxymoron statement of the 2000 saying:

“Baptists deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. The office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

The SBC becomes a religious authority when it imposes a confession of faith upon its churches.

Anonymous said...

THE LORD UPHOLDETH THE HUMBLE

Psalms Chapter 147:1-6


א הַלְלוּ-יָהּ:
כִּי-טוֹב, זַמְּרָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ-- כִּי-נָעִים, נָאוָה תְהִלָּה. 1

Hallelujah; {N}
for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely.

ב בּוֹנֵה יְרוּשָׁלִַם יְהוָה; נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יְכַנֵּס. 2
The LORD doth build up Jerusalem, He gathereth together the dispersed of Israel;

ג הָרֹפֵא, לִשְׁבוּרֵי לֵב; וּמְחַבֵּשׁ, לְעַצְּבוֹתָם. 3
Who healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

ד מוֹנֶה מִסְפָּר, לַכּוֹכָבִים; לְכֻלָּם, שֵׁמוֹת יִקְרָא. 4
He counteth the number of the stars; He giveth them all their names.

ה גָּדוֹל אֲדוֹנֵינוּ וְרַב-כֹּחַ; לִתְבוּנָתוֹ, אֵין מִסְפָּר. 5
Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.

ו מְעוֹדֵד עֲנָוִים יְהוָה; מַשְׁפִּיל רְשָׁעִים עֲדֵי-אָרֶץ. 6
The LORD upholdeth the humble; He bringeth the wicked down to the ground

Stephen said...

Kevin Crowder wrote

"1a. All other SBC churches with chick senior pastors."

Your statement is arrogant, un-Christlike, and virulently sexist. You owe an apology to all women who serve our Lord. After your apology, feel free to climb back under your rock.

Christa Brown said...

I too received communication from J. Robert White, Executive Director of the Georgia Baptist Convention. In a signed letter on Georgia Baptist Convention letterhead dated April 27, 2005, he stated:
"Thank you for alerting me of information that you have regarding Tommy Gilmore. In my position as Executive Director of the Baptist Convention of the State of Georgia for the past 12 years, I have not been aware of Tommy Gilmore. However, the information that you shared is very helpful, and I assure you that it is taken quite seriously. Your letter will be kept permanently on file...."

Tommy Gilmore worked for years as children's minister at FBC-Atlanta, the church pastored by 2-term SBC president Charles Stanley. And when the SBC gathered 50,000 people at the Georgia World Congress Center for what was reported as the largest-ever gathering of religious people, the minister placed in charge of child-care arrangements for those 50,000 people was Tommy Gilmore. In hindsight, it is very difficult for me to believe that Robert White had no awareness of a Georgia minister who was as prominent as Tommy Gilmore.

Gilmore left Atlanta in 1999 to become children's minister at the church of former Florida Baptist Convention president Dwayne Mercer... and then went on to another Florida church. He was able to continue working with kids long after a lot of people, including Mr. White, had been informed about him.

But Mr. White's do-nothingness wasn't anything unusual. I informed 17 other Southern Baptist leaders - in Texas, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. Even though I painfully shared awful details with numerous people, and even though I virtually begged for help, and even though another Southern Baptist minister readily substantiated my story (a minister who actually knew about the abuse when I was a kid... except he apparently didn't think it was "abusive"), and even though the Baptist General Convention of Texas had Gilmore's name in its confidential file of ministers who have been reported BY CHURCHES for sexual abuse, and even though the BGCT's policy at that time required a minister's confession or "substantial evidence," no one in Southern Baptist circles did diddly-squat and Gilmore continued to work with kids.

But oh gee whiz... the Georgia Baptist Convention goes to great lengths to make sure it doesn't have any churches pastored by women. Misplaced priorities? Yeah, I think so.

And as I sit here, I'm looking at the logo tag-line on the Georgia Baptist Convention letterhead: "Healthy Kingdom Churches Empowering Kingdom Growth." I don't think so. "Healthy Kingdom Churches" don't allow for child predators to stay in positions of ministry. "Healthy Kingdom Churches" don't have so many leaders who so persistently wash their hands of any responsibility for clergy child molesters who roam among them. "Healthy Kingdom Churches" don't pass child predators on to other churches and other states.

But oh gee whiz... I guess I'm supposed to be grateful to Mr. White because he didn't kick me in the teeth (the way some other Southern Baptist leaders did), because he politely thanked me for the information, and because he put my letter in a file.

Wade Burleson said...

Stephen,

A great man once said, "Youth is to wisdom what money is to a pauper; both absent and needed."

Wade Burleson said...

Christa,

I believe you and Lydia have said the same thing in this comment section. My first response to Lydia did not reflect in writing the affirmation I had in my heart for her words. A couple of people mmisunderstood, so in honor of her comment and your's just above, let me try again.

For laymen and fellow pastors to remain silent when a Southern Baptist Convention is seeking to disfellowship from Julie Pennington-Russell and First Baptist Church, Decatur, when little or no attention is paid to child molestors, sexual abusers or criminal perpetrators in the pulpit by those same Conventions, then we will be found just as culpable as those in leadership.

Joe Blackmon said...

I am not in a Georgia Baptist Church. I am proud as a Southern Baptist however that they did the right thing and stopped taking money from a church that is thumbing its collective nose at the clear teaching of God's word. It is a shame that it took them so long to get to that point and that they have not disfellowshipped them.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

What is truly "asinine" is how you declare these motions as "pushed through" and propose to speak for all Southern Baptists. It seems Georgia Baptists have decided for themselves, in a democratic process, that a member church with a female pastor "reflects" poorly on them. A church with a female pastor is clearly outside the BF&M, an administrative committee recommended the change, and the messangers agreed. Still not sure where you get the gumption to question this convention's consistency or Robert White's integrity?

msvoboda said...

This post is ridiculous. We could find 100 stories that go both ways... There are female pastored churches that are declining and male pastored churches that are doing really well.

I wonder why you haven't donw a post on those stories?

Anonymous said...

I just read the text of Julie's sermon, "A Word For The Wind And The Waves", and it was completely in line with my Christian beliefs.

It gave the story from the Bible.
It gave many connections to our own lives of the teaching of the Scriptures.
It inspired and gave hope.

I think any Christian could read that sermon and come closer to the Lord Jesus.

Julie points to Christ.
No doubt about it. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Joe Blackman,

Please give to me the following details:

(1). Where is your church membership?
(2). Tell me about your family. Are you married? For how long? Have you or your wife ever been divorced?
(3). Do you have children? Have they ever been in trouble with the law?
(4). Have you ever experimented with drugs or alcohol?
(5). Do you struggle with anger?
(6). Would your wife, family and co-workers call you a gentle man or a harsh man?
(7). Are you a faithful giver to your church?
(8). What is your reputation like in the community?
(9). Do you love money? Would others say you are greedy?
(10). You would confess to us those sins that you keep secret, fulfilling the command "confess your sins one to another," and "he who says he has no sin makes God to be a liar"?

Joe, if you think these questions of mine toward you cross the line of propriety, and frankly, I have no right to ask them of you in a public forum -

I agree.

It's a little the way I feel about your comment above seeing you have nothing to do with First Baptist Church, Decatur.

I am advocating that we ought to leave FBC Decatur, IBC Rogers and Joe Blackman alone, concentrate on our work, and only do our part to love one another, support one another and help one another.

If the Convention feels the freedom to go after one church, then they open the door for everyone coming after everyone else.

Wade Burleson said...

Matthew Svoboda,

Next time Southern Seminary offers a course for college kids on logic, take the opportunity to attend.

It will prevent you from deducing illogical conclusions about the point of this post. This post has nothing to do with pastors and their abilities, whether male or female.

It has everything to do with a Convention selectively disfellowshipping from churches that violate only those areas of belief or practice that actually bothers them - while ignoring all others.

I am advocating that we fellowship around Christ and leave local matters in churches to those churches - and stay out of their business.

Wanda said...

Kevin Crowder wrote:
"All other SBC churches with chick senior pastors."

Stephen said...
"Your statement is arrogant, un-Christlike, and virulently sexist. You owe an apology to all women who serve our Lord."

Thanks, Stephen, for coming to the defense of Christian women. You are a true gentleman!

Waiting for an apology Kevin . . .

God remembers every thought and every word that comes off our lips or fingers.

Wade,

Thanks for bringing this serious matter to our attention. It's very troubling to me, and it may affect whether I remain a Southern Baptist. All of these SBC restrictions are suffocating me, and I may have to go elsewhere to function effectively as a Christian.

Blessings,

Wanda

Wade Burleson said...

Wanda,

Hang in there.

If all the people who thought like us left the SBC we would only have a couple of hundred thousand people remaining in the SBC.

Wade Burleson said...

Off to work on icy roads. Visiting the hospitals and staff meetings. Will be unable to respond until later.

Anonymous said...

Just a friendly interjection.

When Christa said: "And when the SBC gathered 50,000 people at the Georgia World Congress Center for what was reported as the largest-ever gathering of religious people,...", I couldn't help but think of every Sunday at Joel Osteen's church.

50,000 people and all of them nothing but "religious".

SL1M

Anonymous said...

JOE WHITE wrote:
'It seems Georgia Baptists have decided for themselves, in a democratic process, that a member church with a female pastor "reflects" poorly on them."

COMMENT: If something 'reflects poorly' on Georgia Baptists, it is not Julie.


And this quote from Mr. White:
"Still not sure where you get the gumption to question this convention's consistency or Robert White's integrity?"

COMMENT: How dare any Baptist in the SBC question the supreme authority of the Great Patterson, the grand pooh-bah of the 2000 BF&M ?
Oh, it's not that hard at all.
Actually, it is very easy to do. :)

And poor Dr.White's integrity?
Well, Dr. White's comment to Julie did indicate an internal conflict: how to help without getting into political trouble with the SBC.

His integrity is probably intact.
He just needs to think about it and choose which road to take.

Dr. White wants to help Julie.
This is good.

Dr. White is afraid to help Julie as a representative of the GBC.
That 'fear' and 'hesitance' is a red light for him that his conflict is not with serving Christ but with fearing the judgment of men.

He will figure it out. :)

Anonymous said...

there are 2 words i despise in the world of southern baptist male dominated politics: autonomy and perception...............thanks-debi maestri
bella vista, ar

James B. Foyle said...

Wow! To coin a couple of phrases, this posting stirred the pot amite and brought 'em all out of the woodwork. It has been fascinating reading. Just to throw my two cents worth in--I did meet Julie Pennington-Russell 10 or 12 years ago. I think she was pastoring in Waco at the time. I also heard her speak a couple of times. Other than someone on television, she was the first woman I had heard preach. What I remember is someone who impressed me as having a strong, mature relationship with Jesus Christ and a deep love for people. And by the way, the two sermons I heard were better than most I had heard anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Wade, hope you keep safe on those icy roads. As for me and my house, we are staying in. I went out yesterday and decided that was enough for me till it warms up and melts, unless it was more important than anything I can think of at the moment. So far today only the cat has dared to go outside, and he didn't stay long.

Susie

Joe Blackmon said...

Wade

(1). Where is your church membership? Grace Baptist Church

(2). Tell me about your family. Are you married? For how long? Have you or your wife ever been divorced?
Actually, my wife and I have only been married once--to each other.

(3). Do you have children? Have they ever been in trouble with the law?
2 kids--one is 5 and one is 2. They haven't had a chance to get in trouble with the law. If they do while living under my roof, the law is going to be the least of their worries. :-)

(4). Have you ever experimented with drugs or alcohol?
Drugs-no. I have drank before. That's not something I'm proud of but I can't exactly undrink the stuff now. What's done is done.

(5). Do you struggle with anger? From time to time. It depends on the situation.

(6). Would your wife, family and co-workers call you a gentle man or a harsh man?
Well, that would kinda depend on the situation. I *think* in general they would say gentle with a little bit of grumpy old man thrown in to keep everybod on their toes.

(7). Are you a faithful giver to your church?
Nowhere near as faithful as God is in providing for me.

(8). What is your reputation like in the community?
Well, to be honest, I'm not sure how many people in the community know me, Wade. Therefore, I can't answer the question with any degree of reasonableness. I don't think, however, there are folks in the community that would say "Yeah, that ol' Joe ain't worth even shooting. It'd be a waste of a good bullet".

(9). Do you love money? Would others say you are greedy?
No. Cheap perhaps but no, not greedy.

(10). You would confess to us those sins that you keep secret, fulfilling the command "confess your sins one to another," and "he who says he has no sin makes God to be a liar"?
Dude, there ain't enough room in cyber-space for this. I'm not a wretch--I'm so far beyond "wretch" it's not even funny. The fact that God saved me blows me away every day.

Be careful going to work.

Tom Parker said...

Slim:

You said--"Just a friendly interjection.

When Christa said: "And when the SBC gathered 50,000 people at the Georgia World Congress Center for what was reported as the largest-ever gathering of religious people,...", I couldn't help but think of every Sunday at Joel Osteen's church.

50,000 people and all of them nothing but "religious".

SL1M

How do you know that the 50,000 people are nothing but "religious."
Are you God?

Joe Blackmon said...

Oh, and Wade...

it's "Blackmon" not "Blackman". You ribbed me good about misspelling Resurgence in "Mainstream Resurgence" once so I had to add that. Haa

Anonymous said...

PEOPLE ARE LEAVING. WHY ?

"In American pluralism, there are things you can say in your congregation that will fill the congregation with "Amens and "Hallelujahs, because it's a statement of conviction.

"God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew is the classic one.
I suspect [Former SBC President] Bailey Smith had said that all over Oklahoma for years and everybody agreed with him. But here's what they learned:
What sounds like conviction in your particular sect can easily sound like bigotry when it gets on CNN.
And you don't get to control what you meant by it.
They've done that for so long in the public square, once a year at least, meeting some place and beating up on some subgroup in American culture.
And people can read the newspaper. In pluralism, everyone gets to speak.
But once you speak in the public square you don't get to control the definition of what you say.
So there are fascinating case studies on that level.
But basically the whole SBC system is coming apart and they don't know what to do about it.
And we haven't even started the conversation about Calvinism as the new inerrant theology for people who have an inerrant Bible.

So that's where they are. Is the Southern Baptist Convention going to vanish? Oh, heavens, no. But it's in big trouble - and that doesn't have anything to do with liberals or moderates or women."


HAS THE 'SBC' BECOME A PLACE FOR BIGOTS TO PARADE THEIR HATE?

'meeting someplace, and beating up on some American subgroup?'

Is it such a bad thing that the haters come to blog in support of the bullies here? Once the haters 'come out of the closet' in full gear, we see them for what they truly are:
little bullies riding on the backs of bigger bullies, whose power can only come from 'good people' who try to placate them so 'everything will be all right' again.
It's not working, folks.

Dr. Mike Kear said...

I have to chuckle a little every time someone claims that their opinion on this issue is "the clear teaching of God's word." That kind of statement either comes from ignorance or arrogance. I'm not trying to be offensive. My point is simply that born again, Bible-believing scholars have combed through the Greek and come down on different sides of the issue. I think Wade's point is very clear, however. In these areas where God-honoring Christian scholars and theologians have honest and learned differings of opinion about the interpretations of non-soteriological texts, there is no place for dogmatic anathemas or knee-jerk difellowshipping.

Joe Blackmon said...

Dr. Mike

Glad to bring a chuckle to you. "A merry heart..." and all that you know.

Anonymous said...

Tom - Yes, I am God.

Now do what Job did when he met with God and take your hand and place it over your mouth and speak no further.

I think it's chapter 20 ish?

I wrote it so long ago I can't remember.

SL1M

Please continue to pick fights with KMC. You ain't gettin' one here. Not interested. Thanks in advance and God bless.

Dave Miller said...

My opposition to the IMB policies was that they went beyond our agreed upon statement of belief - the BF&M.

That document, which defines SBC fellowship, clearly states a position on women as senior pastors. It happens to be one I agree with.

Since the BF&M speaks clearly on this issue, it is wholly appropriate for a Baptist entity to withdraw fellowship from a church that violates that.

Withholding fellowship is the only "discipline" the SBC has.

Withholding based on PPL or baptismal administration issues? Beyond our established parameters.

Withholding fellowship from a church that violates our agreed upon understanding of scripture by having a female pastor? appropriate.

We can call them brothers and sisters in Christ, even fellowship with them. But we have every right NOT to call them southern Baptist.

One more thing - the diatribe against Tom Hatley's church is a new low for this blog.

Someone you have struggled with for years, who publicly called you on the carpet at the IMB and tried to have you expelled - when his church experiences struggles and you trumpet those publicly on this blog, it defies logic not to believe there is a personal motive in that.

Why not tell the story but withhold the name?

Anonymous said...

Wade, I'm looking forward to getting your book for our church library. We received a flyer from S&H, advertising it.

I heard Julie preach last year at the New Baptist Covenant (ouch!) meeting in Atlanta. A very fine sermon. One of the best! I'm blessed to be a free & faithful Baptist and to belong to a free and faithful church, trying to be the presence of Christ in a needy community and world.

"There's a wideness in God's mercy." Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!

Florence in KY

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

You are correct on the point of judgment. I pulled the idea of John 12:48 off the top of my head and that verse is clearly speaking of those who reject Christ and DO NOT RECEIVE HIS WORDS.

Though I did not quote the verse, you clearly got the point and so I apologize for using it in a manner clearly and explicitly out of step with Jesus' intent.

However, I cannot say for certain that the verse does not apply to her, just that it is not my place to make that determination.
*******************

As to the "chick preacher" comment. That was not a mistake. I fully intended to use that phrase and will from this day forward use it as the primary moniker by which I name those who participate in this most blatant offense of Scripture.

*Note* for those waiting for an apology, that means you ain't gonna get one--EVER!
**********************

On another note. I would like to submit the idea that the days of local associations and state conventions is over. Today, the world is smaller, and so why do we need to cooperate based on geography? I would actually submit to the idea of the SBC not holding a position on many ideas provided I had a network of churches (Founders, Spurgeon Assoc., Antioch Network, Chick Preacher Churches united, Landmark Separatist Literalistic Dispensational KJV PRETRIB Society, Acts 29, Acts 2, Acts 15, The Whole Book of Acts Fellowship of Churches, The WHOLE Bible Consortium, Calvin is my Homeboy Brotherhood, Freewill Southern Baptist Revivalistic Association of Billy Graham Evangelistic Churches who believe in the Total Efficacy of the Blood Association, Red Carpet Baptist Alliance, Blue Carpet Alliance of Baptists, Green Carpet General Alliance of Baptists, Conservative Association of General Conservative Traditional Baptists who are Generally Conservative, Liberal So Lump It Alliance,…) with which to cooperate for the Kingdom.

Let us unite on that which we agree, and speak not of that which we disagree.

:)

Joe Blackmon said...

"Someone you have struggled with for years, who publicly called you on the carpet at the IMB and tried to have you expelled - when his church experiences struggles and you trumpet those publicly on this blog, it defies logic not to believe there is a personal motive in that."

*faux oriental accent* Ah, sooooo, young grasshopper.

Anonymous said...

Am writing a story for my grandaughter, and I can't wait to see how she thinks it should end. Maybe the children's wisdom can help the dilemma in the SBC.
No harm in trying. Who knows.
Might learn something.

Here's the story:

The He-Witch

For so long, there had been quiet in the land, and the people were themselves at peace. Then some found a different way to see the world, which made the others “uncomfortable”.

Seeing this, the He-Witch waited, then attacked them with their own discomfort:

‘I will tell you how to think, ‘ said the He-Witch.
‘I will drive all away who make you uncomfortable and I will drive away all who do not come unto me.’

And so he made a pledge for them to sign. And they sold themselves to his bondage. And for a while, their discomfort went away, as the ‘He-Witch drove from their midst all those that had found a different way to see the world.

And a dark quiet came over the land.
“I am the only one allowed to speak.” Said the He-Witch.
“Dare to speak against me: you will be damned with the others I drove away, to the realms outside of your homeland.”

And in the great silence, they watched, as the He-Witch took much for himself from their substance. No one knew who would be next as his club fell on the heads of those around them. And, in the silence, fear grew. And the Witch feasted on their fear.

Very quietly, some began to leave in the night. To run from the place that had been their homeland.
And then more, and more ran from the Witch to escape the fear within themselves, the fear that fed the ‘He-Witch’s power.

But not all feared the Witch. And these brave ones worked to bring light back into the land and to bring their countrymen home again.

And then . . . "

Here I let my granddaughter finish the story, and oh boy, can't wait for her point of view. :)

PS. She knows not of any SBC politics, thank God, but she totally gets it when something is 'not right'. :)

Anonymous said...

Dave Miller said, 'One more thing - the diatribe against Tom Hatley's church is a new low for this blog.'

The truth is a 'diatribe'?
Did Wade lie about Hatley?
No.
Hatley self-destructed on pride.
That's the way God set it up.
'pride goeth before a fall' .

some always attack the messenger when the message is not to their liking . . . an attempt at intimidation and undermining.
It won't work on Wade, he's had to deal with much worse, and he's come through with grace and honor.

Tom Parker said...

Slim:

You said--"50,000 people and all of them nothing but "religious".

SL1M

How do you know that the 50,000 people are nothing but "religious."
Are you God?


Your response to me:
"Tom - Yes, I am God.

Now do what Job did when he met with God and take your hand and place it over your mouth and speak no further.

I think it's chapter 20 ish?

I wrote it so long ago I can't remember.

SL1M

Please continue to pick fights with KMC. You ain't gettin' one here. Not interested. Thanks in advance and God bless."

It is funny how you see this as a fight, because it is not.

You make an outrageous comment and I point out how outrageous it is.

You say you are not interested. Fine.

I'm not picking fights with KMC because he is a lost cause. Nothing I humanly do will change him.

You, I at this moment I feel there is hope for.

You attack, but if anybody dares say anyTing they are picking fights. Mighty inconsiStent from where I sit.

Anonymous said...

now, now, children . .

Kevin M. Crowder said...

And then . . . "


...Harry Potter comes to the rescue waving his magical wand and pointing it at the He-Witch shouting, "expecto patronum!" as a great wave of light emanates from the tip of his wand killing the He-Witch. Then the SBC passes a motion to ban young Harry from the land as "he who must not be named" slowly moves in to take back the land.


K

Tom Parker said...

Dave Miller:

Would you be willing to agree that very few people were involved in the 2000 BF&M and that they were handpicked? Also a small number of messengers passed the new BF&M and they barely had time to read the document.

We had gotten along just find without changing the BF&M but now it is used as a creed.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"I'm not picking fights with KMC because he is a lost cause. Nothing I humanly do will change him."


Tom, I am saddened that you feel this way. I consider this a redaction of your previous reconciliatory remarks and hope you would in the future not put others down to make your point. I do not recall a conversation between us on this specific thread so I am not sure why you feel the need to defend yourself. We can disagree on this matter. And that is ok and healthy.

K

Anonymous said...

Wow:

Since when is success in numbers and success in financial offerings the mark of God's favor?

Isn't obeying God more important than nickles and noses?

And why would a church at odds with SBC teachings WANT to be in fellowship with it anyway?

There is a way that seemeth right to man but the end thereof are the ways of death. Prov.14:12.

Linda

Joe White... said...

Tom Parker,

This illustration in Georgia is the very reason that we need the BF&M; and Dave Miller is right in pointing out the logical fallacy that Wade has tried to employ here by linking the "consistent" actions of the GBC with a church in Arkansas. For Wade to ask why the GBC is not... "just as concerned for Immanuel Baptist Church, Rogers, Arkansas" is ludicrous.

Tom Parker said...

Joe and Linda:

Please reread my comment to Dave Miller. I don't think either of you understand what I am saying. When will some be finished with removing people from the SBC that are different from them?

Until the CR we did not look for ways to break fellowship but now it is the norm.

Tom Parker said...

Linda:

Please help me understand how women pastors and the verse you quoted are related.

There is a way that seemeth right to man but the end thereof are the ways of death. Prov.14:12.

Wanda said...

Kevin Crowder said:
As to the "chick preacher" comment. That was not a mistake. I fully intended to use that phrase and will from this day forward use it as the primary moniker by which I name those who participate in this most blatant offense of Scripture.

*Note* for those waiting for an apology, that means you ain't gonna get one--EVER!

Kevin,

Your attitude makes it patently clear to me why you are not MARRIED! You think you are so gifted; however, I've got news for you -- you have quite a bit to learn, and it has nothing to do with Bible scholarship. . .

hashman said...

Wade,
Here's a hypothetical.

If a new baptist church was being starting in your area and their senior pastor was a woman and they petitioned you and your church to become a partner with them financially for a few years.

Would the fact thah the pastor of this new church plant was a woman factor at all in your churches decision? (assuming you had the money to support it)

Just curous.

Tim G said...

Wade,
How in the world can you post about a sister church with only hearsay?

Dave Miller is correct - this is a new low for this blog and one that you as a Pastor would be furious of if Tom or me or anyone else took comments from former staff and posted them publically!

You have crossed the line and you have now opended yourself up to the same while losing the ability to claim fair and balanced and ...

Shame!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wanda,

Thank you for your comment. I was able to squeeze out a small complement with the rebuke.

I will say this however. There are 10 times as many who agree with me on this topic who refuse to comment on wade's blog. While an appeal to the majority can be considered a logical fallacy with which to make ones point, it remains a fact non-the-less.

K

Anonymous said...

RETURNING TO THE REAL ROOTS

Immigrating to Boston from Britain in 1630, Roger Williams is generally regarded as the father of religious liberty in the United States.

He advocated a "wall of separation" between religion and government.

He opposed forced conversion of Indians to Christianity.

He refused to take loyalty oaths. He called himself a "seeker" rather than a Christian.

He was probably the most controversial freethinker of his time.

And he was a Baptist.

That will come as a surprise to many people, who tend to think of today’s Baptists as the bedrock of the Religious Right.

But many Baptists are returning to their roots. Their real roots.

Native Arkansan said...

Wanda said:

Kevin,

Your attitude makes it patently clear to me why you are not MARRIED! You think you are so gifted; however, I've got news for you -- you have quite a bit to learn, and it has nothing to do with Bible scholarship. . .


Ain't that tha truth! I think tha Botkin sisters might be available and KMC (fer some reason writin' that always makes me think of fried chikin) sounds like jus' the type of authoritatical manly man thair lookin' fer. Thair probally a bit younger than KMC but that just gives 'em more time to fill thar quivers.

Lin said...

"1. God never intended the church to stay in Lydia's living room--get over it."

How do you know?

He wanted a big Cathedral in Europe with icons? Or a nice building in Peoria with a mortgage?

"2. I am trying to meet you on bended knee while systematically taking our objections one at a time while we pour through Scripture with a magnifying glass. You end it by stating you have studied ALL of Scripture. I will never in my lifetime get a chance to study all of Scripture. I will have to rely on help from others."

That is sad. The Holy Spirit teaches us. But as a pastor, that is your number one charge. Get to it. :o)

"Your lack of a desire to think through this critically is evident in the fact that you cannot see that the idea of gender and "singleness" are mutually exclusive issues in the quoted phrase. Because we agree on the implications of one does not make me an idiot for not agreeing with you on the other. Please do not insult my intelligence."

Perhaps I am thinking critically and you are thinking with something else? :o)

"Btw, we agree that the passage does make an explicit prohibition against women as pastors,.."

No, we do NOT agree on that. I do not see an explicit prohibition on women pastors. I see a husband who must have ONE wife. That would not apply to Paul or to me if we so desire to seek to be overseers which is a good thing.


"Think about it, if you have not already in your plenary Study of Scripture. The Bible makes no explicit command to baptize after one says the "sinner's prayer.""

I agree but that is not the same thing at all. We have examples of women prophesying in the BODY in front of men.

"We follow example--an implied directive--as we see it."

I agree. I can follow the example of the women in 1 Corin 11 who were wondering whether or not to wear head coverings while prophesying. Or the example of the women at Pentecost if the Holy Spirit so decrees.

Anonymous said...

THAT THEY SHOULD BE ONE

"Women have the same privileges and opportunities as men, given the New Testament. Relegating women to second-class citizenship was abolished when Jesus died on the cross. As it says in Galatians 3:28, “In Christ now there is neither bond nor free, Scythian nor Barbarian, male nor female; all are one in Christ Jesus.”
As far as women being in the pulpit, in the Book of Acts, you will find that Philip had three daughters who were preachers. The apostle Paul in the Book of Romans, the last chapter, the seventh verse, alludes to two people, Andronicus and Junia. Junia is a woman. And then, he refers to them as “fellow apostles,” which in the life of the early church was the highest position attainable in leadership and in preaching.


When they translated the NIV, the men changed the name Junia to Junias. [Editor's note: Read more about the centuries-old Junia/Junias debate.] They made it into a male name. When fundamentalists start changing the Bible to agree with their theology, they have to ask themselves some serious questions.

When the Holy Spirit falls upon the church on the day of Pentecost, Peter says, “This is what was spoken of by the prophet Joel when he said, ‘The day will come when the Holy Spirit comes upon His people, God’s people, and young men”--and then it says--“and young women shall prophesy, (i.e., shall preach).” There is a gift of the Holy Spirit that is given to both men and women in the New Testament. "
Tony

Jack The Baptist said...

Concerning the actions of Southern Baptist "leaders" who treat believers in their employ no better than pagans:

The scripture that has been cited by earlier commenters is the correct one, albeit incorrectly quoted:

"Pride goes before DESTRUCTION - a haughty spirit before a fall."

Anonymous said...

Hello Tom? Anyone home? Hello out there......

You said "You make an outrageous comment and I point out how outrageous it is."

My outrageous statement is that the 50,000 people that go to Osteens church every week are very "religious". And I don't mean that as a compliment.

You, however, defend the people that willingly go to a church in which Joel Osteen is their pastor.

Do you know what Osteen teaches Tom? Could I trust you to go to Youtube and search for "Joel Osteen" and "heretic" and let the results speak for themselves? None of it is heresay, but all from Joels mouth.

I think that your defense of them is the most outrageous of anything me, KMC, or anyone else here might say. It also puts you at odds with 98.237% of the SBC.

Is that stat accurate you might ask? Remember Tom?...I'm God.

You also said to me, "You, I at this moment I feel there is hope for."

You could not be more wrong. There is no hope for me. Please ignore me and move on.

For the record, looking back through the comments, I can not see where you are interacting with anyone reasonably.

So no personal offense taken by me.

SL1M

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

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom

Was that question directed at me or Joe White? Probably Mr. White, but I wanted to make sure I didn't appear to be ignoring you.

BTW, what do you think of the new SAS Risk Assessment Suite? I've done now two audits since that came in affect and let's just say it's "Not your father's Oldsmobile" as they say. Of course, that has nothing to do with this comment thread but I thought I'd give the non-accountants something to scratch their heads about. Haa

Wanda said...

Native Arkansan said:
"I think tha Botkin sisters might be available and KMC (fer some reason writin' that always makes me think of fried chikin) sounds like jus' the type of authoritatical manly man thair lookin' fer. Thair probally a bit younger than KMC but that just gives 'em more time to fill thar quivers."

Funny you should mention the Botkin sisters! I read their book So Much More, and I'm still in shock that some are falling for their backward way of life in the 21st century.

How in the world do they reach the lost with their "Little House on the Prairie" lifestyle? As a wife and mother, I don't want what they're selling!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Btw, we agree that the passage does make an explicit prohibition against women as pastors,.."


Lin....that should have read "does NOT make"

Sorry for that error. I still believe that there is an implied understanding in verse 2 and thus the whole passage. I do not think the translators have it wrong by using "he" as the implied subject of the verbs.

There was another sentence in your comment I found a tad out of line. Please feel free to dialogue with me, but not in that manner. I am a holy pious member of the cloth. Mine eyes have not had to endure such "implied" vulgarities.


:))

Lin said...

"There was another sentence in your comment I found a tad out of line. Please feel free to dialogue with me, but not in that manner. I am a holy pious member of the cloth. Mine eyes have not had to endure such "implied" vulgarities."

Sorry Padre. But this seeking of authority over others is a big fat fat sin trap for you guys. I can feel the arrogance of the comments here on this subject through the computer.

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Tony said, "When fundamentalists start changing the Bible to agree with their theology, they have to ask themselves some serious questions." Of course, that sword cuts both ways. I don't like liberals messin' with the text either. ;) I notice that in the ESV, the translators stray pretty far from the Greek in Romans 16:7, rendering the last sentence as "They are well known to the apostles." The commentary note in the ESV Study Bible hammers this interpretation home by saying that Andronicus was Junia's husband and that Junia "probably labored especially among women." No textual support for that opinion is listed, though. The ESV also translates the same Greek word (gune) differently in different places to avoid any appearance of women in ministry (see 1 Cor 11, where gune is translated "wives" and 1 Tim 2, where the same word is translated "women").

All this to say that it's good for us to take some time in studying the Scriptures. Check out the Greek and so forth. No matter which position a person adheres to, it shouldn't be based solely on a single translation.

(And, of course, we shouldn't disfellowship sister congregations over either their choice of translation or their interpretation of non-essentials.)

BTW, with much of the current SBC thinking on the status of women, shouldn't we call them "brother churches" instead of "sister churches"? ;)

Tom Parker said...

Slim:

I mean this sincerely. When you referenced the 50,000 people, I did not know your where talking about Joel Osteen's church. I honestly thought you were talking about the old days when the SBC had as many as 50,000 messengers.
That may sound unbelieveable but if I have any credibility at all that is what I thought.


So all my coments were made from that reference point.

I really did not have him in mind at all.

Lin said...

How in the world do they reach the lost with their "Little House on the Prairie" lifestyle? As a wife and mother, I don't want what they're selling!

Tue Jan 27, 03:36:00 PM 2009

Wanda, the Botkin types believe that Laura Ingalls was in rebellion to her father and a very bad role model for young girls as she worked outside the home as a teacher at the age of 16. (To help put her sister through blind school) When she should have been home serving her father until she married. She is taught as a bad role model in the Patriarchy movement.

She is too independent and dares to call herself a 'pioneer girl'.

My daughter absolutely loves Laura. :o)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Well, Lin, you have me confused with someone else who is seeking authority. I have an obligation to exposit the Word to my flock. the authority comes from the Word, not my lips.

k

Lin said...

I notice that in the ESV, the translators stray pretty far from the Greek in Romans 16:7, rendering the last sentence as "They are well known to the apostles." The commentary note in the ESV Study Bible hammers this interpretation home by saying that Andronicus was Junia's husband and that Junia "probably labored especially among women." No textual support for that opinion is listed, though. The ESV also translates the same Greek word (gune) differently in different places to avoid any appearance of women in ministry (see 1 Cor 11, where gune is translated "wives" and 1 Tim 2, where the same word is translated "women")."

Thank YOU!

Here are some very interesting challenges with the ESV translation.

http://betterbibles.com/2008/11/27/esv-by-mark-strauss-links-to-each-part/

This is worth reading

Anonymous said...

Most early church fathers describe Junia as a woman, including Origen and Jerome. This is significant because they may be relying on an oral tradition passed down from people who knew Junia. The first known mention of Junia as a male is by Aegidus of Rome (1245-1316). Chrysostom, a misogynist, said of Junia, "O how great is the devotion of this woman that she should be counted worthy of the appellation of apostle!" [3] The Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian church, particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history. ... Origen (ca. ... , by Albrecht... Jerome (ca. ... Saint John Chrysostom John Chrysostom (347 - 407) was a notable Christian bishop and preacher from the 4th and 5th centuries in Syria and Constantinople. ... Misogyny is an exaggerated pathological aversion towards women. ...

Lin said...

"Well, Lin, you have me confused with someone else who is seeking authority. I have an obligation to exposit the Word to my flock. the authority comes from the Word, not my lips."

Good deal. Now get to studying because you have some things wrong. :o)

Dave Miller said...

Tom Parker,

No, I would not agree. The entire convention approved it by a wide margin.

Anonymous said...

The Lost Shepherdess


In exhaustive searches of tombstones and other Roman archeology, the name "Junias" does not appear once.

The name, "Junia", however (meaning "youthful" and taken from Hera/June, the wife of the head of the Greco-Roman Pantheon, Jupiter/Zeus), appears numerous times in Roman writings.

Christa Brown said...

"She is taught as a bad role model in the Patriarchy movement."

Whoa! I had no clue. I loved Laura Ingalls when I was a girl, and my daughter loved her too. Together, we read all the books, over and over. It's beyond my imagination to conceive of how anyone could think Laura Ingalls was a bad role model for girls. Is that for real?

Anonymous said...

Romans 16:1,2,
"I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her...for she has been a great help to many people, including me."

1 Thessalonians 5:12,
"Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you."

Romans 16:6,
"Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you."

Romans 16:12,
"Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord."

Romans 16:3-4,
"Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus..."

Philippians 4:2-3,
"I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, ..., help these women who have contended at my side in the case of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers..."

Acts 21:9,
"He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied."

1 Corinthians 11:5,
"And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered..."

Wanda said...

I want to be sure that no one misunderstands my reference to "Little House of the Prairie". I have two daughters who read these books and watched the television shows when they were younger. We absolutely loved Laura Ingalls Wilder!!!

Here's the deal -- do you want to look like and live like that today? Some in the patriarchy movement do, including the Botkin sisters.

Christa, that was also news to me that Laura was living in rebellion, although it makes sense now that I have a better understanding of patriarchy.

By the way, I follow your stopbaptistpredators website, and I admire what you're doing.

Tom Parker said...

Dave Miller:

Would you agree that the 2000 BF&M was a handpicked committee? Do you know how long the messengers had to view the 2000 BF&M before they voted? Was their any debate?

A very small percentage attends the SBC, I'll be generous, let's say 10,000 out of 16 million.
You said:"The entire convention approved it by a wide margin."


You obviously got the results that you wanted, but there are those in the SBC that do not feel the way you and others do about women.

But their is silence for fear of what would dare happen to a man that supports women in the ministry.

Once we get all the women pastors and their churches out who will be next.

Also the 2000 BF&M is a creed and we never had one before.

I have also asked in the last 24 hours if any one remember Bold Mission Thrust and what happened to it. Care to answer?

Stephen said...

Kevin Crowder, I apologize for telling you to climb back under your rock. I realize we have differences of opinion and should have noted as such. I still find your use of the term "chick" to be sexist, but, hey, God judges, not me. You can just add me to your list of people / churches / organizations from which to disassociate yourself. If, however, you find yourself near Ellerslie, Georgia, please stop by and worship with us at Bethesda Baptist Church. We have a female Music Director who serves the Lord sacrificially and ministers to the choir and congregation. You might want to reconsider using the term "chick." It may interfere with your worship.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Lin,

One Greek words will not nessesarily have the same English equivilant in every context. Words have varients. Careful not place your own restrictions on the Greek language.

Stephen said...

Wayne Smith:

How do we reconcile our support for the abolition of slavery with the following verses?

Ephesians 6:5-9 5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. 9And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

1 Timothy 6: 1-2 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them.

Colossians 3: 22-25 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Stephen,

Thank you.

I promise if I come to your church to worship that I will refrain from using the word "chick." In fact, you will not hear a "peep" from me on the subject.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Mike Kear,

Your last sentence, with a question about "brother churches" was a hoot.

Wade Burleson said...

Hashman,

To answer your question:

No, it would not affect our decision.

We would decide on other factors, not the gender of the lead pastor.

Wade

Anonymous said...

My quote from Proverbs was to highlight the pragmatism in Pastor Burleson's post, and in some of the comments.

The test of a church is not it's numerical gain or it's financial growth.

The test of a church is it's fidelity to our Lord and the teachings of the Bible.

Our society hollers "it ain't fair" if women are not allowed to be pastors. Somehow that means women are treated as "less than" men.

We can explain away all we want, but without some jumping through hoops to do that the scripture is clear that God had something else entirely for women to do. The scriptures are clear that a woman who is married should be tending home and family. Flame me if you want, but I believe in forbidding us the pastorate God was relieving us of that burden in order to free us to do what we really need to do. Only a male power dominated mind (in man or woman) would see that as making women second class citizens. Rather, it makes our job SO FIRST CLASS that we are freed Biblically from the obligations of the pastorate, deaconate, and career.

But we come at the issue with our puny human minds, our own sense of justice, and howling about our rights.

Rather, we should be on our knees seeking the mind of God in the matter and ordering our lives around His word.

We should be following our Lord and picking up the basin and towel rather than fighting for our "rights." Remember, it is the servant, not the leader, who is greatest among us.

Our own minds will tell us that women have every right to be free and do everything a man does.....which will lead us to fractured families, untended children, and the inconvenience of pregnancy....which will lead us into arguing for our right to abortion.....which is our own way leading us right into the way of death.

And honestly, I don't see where the issue of the Decatur church is anyone's business BUT the Decatur church AND those with whom that church wishes to align. If the Decatur church wishes to be accepted as a Southern Baptist Church it is not unreasonable to expect them to conform to the teachings of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Now, as to the other church--I am all for not hiring male pastors who fail to meet the test of Scripture also.

Linda

Lin said...

One Greek words will not nessesarily have the same English equivilant in every context. Words have varients. Careful not place your own restrictions on the Greek language.

Tue Jan 27, 04:32:00 PM 2009

No kidding. One must be very careful not to ADD what is not there, also. It can also be confusing. Here are a few funny ones from the ESV:

Rock badgers are people too!

Prov. 30:26 ESV “the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; rock badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs;”

Comment: In addition to the tortured word order, the ESV’s use of “people” is very strange. We sometimes joke that animals are people too, but surely ants and rock badgers are “creatures” or “species,” not people.

Nice legs!

Ps. 147:10 ESV “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,”

Comment: Taking pleasure in a man’s legs will surely leave readers chuckling. TNIV reads “in the power of human legs”; NET has “by the warrior’s strong legs.”


Such clean teeth!

Amos 4:6
ESV “I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities”

Comment: It sounds like God is distributing toothbrushes to the Israelites. The Hebrew idiom means they had nothing to eat. The TNIV reads “I gave you empty stomachs,”; HCSB: “I gave you absolutely nothing to eat.” NET: “I gave you no food to eat.”


Trembling loins?

Psalm 69:23 ESV Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see, and make their loins tremble continually.

Comment: This translation will surely send twitters through the junior high group. Trembling loins sounds like someone has to go to the bathroom.


“Double-tongued” deacons?

1 Tim. 3:8 ESV Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain

Comment: Sounds like a mock “Indian-speak” (with forked-tongue) or some strange alien creature. The Greek is dilogoi (etymologically, “two words/messages”), which means “insincere,” “lacking integrity,” “hypocritical,” or even “two-faced” (NET; GW).


Keep that faith to yourself!

Rom. 14:22 ESV The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God.

Comment: The ESV seems to be discouraging believers from sharing their faith. But the word pistis here refers to personal convictions about food and drink, not about saving faith.6
TNIV So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.
REB If you have some firm conviction, keep it between yourself and God.


Showing off the flesh

Gal. 6:12 ESV It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised….
Comment: “A good showing in the flesh” sounds like a bikini contest.


Ruth the mother of Boaz?

Ruth 4:14-15 ESV Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, Who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be Renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”

Comment: The only antecedent to “him” is Boaz. It sounds like Ruth gave birth to her husband Boaz.7

Israel’s gender confusion

Hosea 8:14 ESV For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces, and Judah has multiplied fortified cities; so I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour her strongholds.
Comment: Readers will probably wonder why he gets the cities and she gets the strongholds.


Comforted or not?

Acts 20:12 ESV And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.
Comment: “Not a little comforted” sounds like they were not comforted in the least by Eutychus’ recovery. The meaning of course is the opposite, that they were greatly comforted.
TNIV: …and were greatly comforted.
REB: …greatly relieved that he was alive.



Oh man!

Rom. 2:1 ESV Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges.
Comment: In contemporary English, “Oh man!” is an exclamation, not a vocative. It sounds like Paul is saying, “Oh man, are you in trouble!” which of course is something like what he means (!), but not what the ESV intended. Even a literal version like the NASB recognizes the potential misunderstanding of the vocative, translating, “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment.”

There are many more...

Wade Burleson said...

Joe Blackmon,

Thanks for your responses. I feel like I know you better, and though it was unnecessary to answer the questions since I was pointing out to you that you had no obligation, at all, to do so, I wish to thank you for your responses anyway.

Sorry about the misspelling of your last name.

Wade Burleson said...

Linda,

You wrote: "If the Decatur church wishes to be accepted as a Southern Baptist Church it is not unreasonable to expect them to conform to the teachings of the Southern Baptist Convention."

Pray tell; how long have you been a Baptist? Have you studied Baptist history? Do you understand how upside the eccelesiology in your above statement really is in terms of historic Baptist ecclesiology? The SBC does NOT dictate to ANY Baptist church what they are to believe.

Your view is a Presbyterian, Lutheran, Anglican, Catholic, Methodist and a host of other denominations' view of ecclesiology, but not Baptist.

Anonymous said...

no, kevin, your authority comes from your interpretation of the Word...

Tom Parker said...

Linda:

I would have to say by your last comment you have some very, very, narrow views, but I could fellowship with you, but not you with me, I would be disfellowshipped by you and others, if there is even such a word.

Not everyone who holds a different interpretation of the Bible as you is a 'liberal., either."

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Pastor Wade, you and Tom Parker both responded to Linda's comment as I was typing mine.

Linda said, "If the Decatur church wishes to be accepted as a Southern Baptist Church it is not unreasonable to expect them to conform to the teachings of the Southern Baptist Convention."

Linda, it is not that the Decatur church wishes to be accepted as a Southern Baptist Church, the Decatur church is a Southern Baptist Church. New rules have been issued, traditions are changing, and now the GBC is deciding whether to pull away from a long established Southern Baptist Church. So it isn't about FBC Decatur wanting to get in, but the GBC trying to find a way to distance themselves from a long established Southern Baptist congregation.

B Nettles said...

KMC said :*Note* for those waiting for an apology, that means you ain't gonna get one--EVER!

Warning to Kevin: If you keep an attitude like that, if you EVER get married, you won't stay married for long. Even if you are right, sometimes you have to apologize. Especially in those cases, life will become much sweeter. Take the advice of someone with 30+ years of married experience.

And to pick on widespread "wrongness," the phrase is "moot point," not "mute point." If you're going to use it, write and say it correctly.

Anonymous said...

Tom - I accept your apology.

I think?

I will note that I can't tell you how overjoyed I would be if I could even begin to make any kind of reference to 50,000 messengers being at a SBC meeting.

Not gonna happen.

Again.

Ever.

SL1M

Anonymous said...

If First Baptist Church of Decatur finds itself no longer agreeing with the teachings of the SBC, why would they not leave?

Or does First Baptist Church of Decatur have rights that the GBC does not have?

For that matter, if the SBC changes and an individual Baptist, individual Baptist church, or state convention finds itself no longer agreeing with the SBC, why would that individual or body not leave?

And take it from a life long until recently Baptist, it is a MOST Baptistic to do two things: accord others the right to interpret scripture for themselves, and to disassociate oneself from those who interpret it markedly differently than you do.

But let's put this in some perspective: suppose First Baptist Church of Decatur had not hired a woman pastor. Suppose instead they had embraced modalism, or denied the reality of the resurrection, or decided there was no need of rebirth?

Do you still think they should be accepted and welcomed as a Southern Baptist Church, or would it be time to disfellowship?

I think most of us would agree there are times to disfellowship. The issue now is THIS a time to do so. And that can ONLY be a decision of the GBC. ONLY that body can determine who can and who cannot be accepted into fellowship.

First Baptist Church of Decatur knew the "rules had changed." They have every right to reject those rules IF they base that rejection on scripture rather than human reason.

But they also have to accept the idea not everyone will agree with them, and those that disagree with them have the right to withdraw fellowship.

I don't make the rules of football. I don't like the rules of football. So I don't play football.

Linda

Wade Burleson said...

Linda,

Please don't be offended, but your style of writing (thought, sytax, narrative, illustrations, etc . . .) sound to me like the writing is from a man. Of course, I could be wrong, but if you don't mind, please identify who you are by full name, where you live, what Southern Baptist church to which you belong. If you don't like doing that publicly, feel free to email me privately at wwburleson@hotmail.com. I always like to make sure those posting are legitimate people.

As to your last comment, allow me to pull out one significant quote:

You wrote:

Suppose First Baptist Church of Decatur had not hired a woman pastor. Suppose instead they had embraced modalism, or denied the reality of the resurrection, or decided there was no need of rebirth?

Are you comparing the "problem" of a woman at FBC Decatur preaching the gospel Jesus Christ to sinners in need of a Savior to the "problem" of (1). Denying the deity of Christ, and/or, (2). Denying the resurrection of Christ and/or, (3). Denying the new birth?

If you see no difference in the hypothetical cases you present, remind me to never nominate you for head of triage. The person who can't tell the difference between a mortal wound and a minor wound in an Emergency Room, and is placed in charge of the ER as a triage nurse, will run the hospital into the ground.

Sometimes I wonder if SBC leaders, such as yourself, can't truly see the difference.

Big Daddy Weave said...

I read Bob White's offer to help Julie P-R (my former pastor) and couldn't help but chuckle.

Bob White has a long record that speaks for itself.

Bob has been quite consistent over the years. I'll give him that. But he's been on a mission to purify the Georgia Baptist Convention for over a decade now. He's helped oust moderate and conservative non-controversial professors, fired the editor of the Christian Index, and now is undoubtedly supportive of the efforts to disfellowship Decatur.

I'm quite aware of the power that Bob White exerts in the Georgia Baptist Convention especially the influence he has over the presidents of Georgia Baptist colleges. I grew up in south Georgia on the campus of a small Baptist college. My dad was a church history professor on that campus for 14 years. My family now lives in Waco, Texas due to the direct influence of Bob White. Bob calls the shots in Georgia. Trust me on that.

I HAVE A NAME

Dave Miller said...

Tom,

Bold Mission Thrust was just another Baptist slogan. Baptists are great sloganeers.

You may not like the BF&M 2000, but it was passed properly by an overwhelming majority of voters. It was not done in secret. We knew going in what it had in it.

My point is that Georgia is perfectly justified in excluding from fellowship those churches that violate its established doctrinal standards.

Tom Parker said...

David:

You said-"Bold Mission Thrust was just another Baptist slogan. Baptists are great sloganeers."

I strongly disagree.It was much more than a slogan!! I remember the excitement that was building for this project particulary 1978 and 1979. I even spoke to a Baptist Church in 1979 about BMT. It died in 1979, the year the CR reared its ugly head. Please read a little bit more about it and I am confident you will find that it was more than a slogan and a wasted opportunity for southern baptists.

As to the BF&M maybe someday soon someone will tell me to get out of the SBC or throw me out because I don't go along with the provision about women pastors and a couple of other issues. I would say that I am at 98% agreement with the 2000 BF&M, but that is not enough for some in the SBC.

Look for more to leave the SBC or be considered to be invisible because they do not agree 100% with the power group.

Thanks for ignoring the facts about the handpicked group for the 2000 BF&M.

Tom Parker said...

Sl1m:

I do apologize.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

B Nettles,

Are you related to Dr. Tom? I am a fan of his.

Let me give you some good old fashion Kevin logic as I wiggle my way out of this mess.

Even as I type, the phrase "chick pastor" makes me chuckle. But then alot things are funny in my head that are not funny to others. No one need get offended by the phrase. Those who know me can I hope tell you that there is not a malicious bone in my body. Some days I like to dress up in my red coat and carry my bayonet and march to my own drum. I am snowed into today for all practical purposes and thus I am adding in my own special way. But understand that on the other side of your computer is a single 33 y.o. pastor and student who has poured several hours into this subject today only to realize he now knows less about the subject than when he woke up. My list of disfellowships earlier started out as a serious attempt until I realized I was the only one left standing. So I sorta ran with all that stuff in my head which I find funny...

A very dear friend of mine emailed me earlier after having read Wade's blog for the first time. She said my comments were full of sarcasm and cynicism but was pleased at my unwavering stand.

I try to think very logically. I do find inconsistencies with my beliefs on this topic. I want to understand this issue from a biblical and practical doctrinal stand point. Then I want to see and study it in action. I have appreciated Wade's writings because he seldom writes illogically. I may disagree with him, but his points are most always valid. He thinks before he writes more than I do.

But I have said in the past and will say it again, that my critics are my best teachers. I am mybiggest critic and possibly best teacher.

Women in ministry is the single greatest issue facing our convention. I know of no other forum discussing it and am happy to be a part of it.

Thanks for the warning btw,

K

Thy Peace said...

"B Nettles,

Are you related to Dr. Tom? I am a fan of his."

----------------------------------
Anonymous said...
Bill Nettles,

Are you related to the famous Dr. Tom Nettles?
Wed Jan 03, 07:02:00 PM 2007
-----------------------------------
Wade Burleson said...
Mr. Anonymous,

They are brothers.

:)
Wed Jan 03, 07:07:00 PM 2007

Pastor Wade's Comment

Nathan said...

From the attitude and arrogance expressed through the words written by certain commentators, I've learned why so many people choose to disfellowship from Jesus.

While certain folks (and for those who are pastors, remember seminary: You are perceived as God's representative) flame each other trying to win an internet argument, I can guarantee a certain pastor in Decatur has spent today continuing the Kingdom's work by introducing folks to Jesus and His redeeming love.

Perhaps we should look and worry about our own selves and our own local churches. Isn't that what Wade is calling for anyways?

Anonymous said...

Big Daddy Weave said...

I read Bob White's offer to help Julie P-R (my former pastor) and couldn't help but chuckle.

Bob White has a long record that speaks for itself.

Bob has been quite consistent over the years. I'll give him that. But he's been on a mission to purify the Georgia Baptist Convention for over a decade now. He's helped oust moderate and conservative non-controversial professors, fired the editor of the Christian Index, and now is undoubtedly supportive of the efforts to disfellowship Decatur.

I'm quite aware of the power that Bob White exerts in the Georgia Baptist Convention especially the influence he has over the presidents of Georgia Baptist colleges. I grew up in south Georgia on the campus of a small Baptist college. My dad was a church history professor on that campus for 14 years. My family now lives in Waco, Texas due to the direct influence of Bob White. Bob calls the shots in Georgia. Trust me on that.



I thought Dr Patterson was the problem ...how can this be now Bob White is the great evil for the liberal Baptist.
I wish they would make up their mind!!!!

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Dave Miller said...

Tom,

Why so hostile?

I have a different view of these things. I have been in an SBC church since I was born. I attended an SBC college, SWBTS and have been in SBC life all my life. I was there when the BMT was being promoted.

What was BMT if not a slogan? Can you remember one definite proposal to reach people? I can't.

All we had was a slogan, with a goal to reach people by 2000.

I believe that far more evangelism has taken place in the SBC because of the CR. Look at the CBF - that's where we would be today if we had not corrected the ship.

Were you there back then? I ask that because I don't know.

Have you looked at the growth numbers of the CBF? How is their evangelism working out?

Had the leftward drift of the SBC continued unchecked, we would be where they are now.

Tom, if you want to continue this, please feel free to email me at pastordave@cableone.net.

hashman said...

Wade,

Would be fair then to say that your church is "indifferent" concerning the gender of the pastor?

Hashman

Anonymous said...

KEVIN,

Have you been disrespecting the ladies again? Better straighten out or God might send the Shekinah to deal with you.

That would take care of your problem really fast.

Wade Burleson said...

Hashman,

We are definitely indifferent on this issue in terms of other churches. The post tomorrow will help you understand our position.

Joe Blackmon said...

Wade

You're welcome, sir. I knew you had said you didn't ask the questions expecting an answer. I just chose to answer them. They were good questions.

I really was just ribbing you about misspelling my name. I have (or had-I think it's broken) a trophy with my name misspelled. Heck, I've worked places where they misspelled it. It was just kidding, dude.

WatchingHISstory said...

Wade

Would a church whose pastor believes that redemption is particular without a free offer to all be disfellowshiped?

Would a church that refused to send money to any mission society but insisted on their own mission projects be disfellowshipped?

Would you allow me to join your church?

Native Arkansan said...

"She is taught as a bad role model in the Patriarchy movement."

"Whoa! I had no clue."


Oh yeah. That little house gal is tha bad seed to them patriats. Jus' look at #19 in tha Prairie Muffin Manifesto.

Mmmm.....muffins! Wait...is a prairie muffin anything like a meader muffin?

Wanda said...

Kevin M. Crowder said:
"As to the "chick preacher" comment. That was not a mistake. I fully intended to use that phrase and will from this day forward use it as the primary moniker by which I name those who participate in this most blatant offense of Scripture."

Kevin,
If you intend on using the phrase "chick preacher", then I fully intend on using the nickname "chick magnet" for you. I do pray that someday you will find the woman of your dreams. Then you will be singing a different tune! Mark my words . . .

Take care of yourself Chick Magnet!!!

bruce mcgowan said...

Thanks Wade! You articulate what many of us as Baptist think.
Bruce McGowan

Native Arkansan said...

Wanda,

That boy ain't gonna attract nuthin' but chicks who wanna be doormats unless he gits a serious attitude adjus'ment.

Tom Parker said...

Dave Miller:

I was not intending to come across as hostile. I am very passionate and feel very strongly about certain things. I am old enough to remember BMT and the CR and I just do not view things the way you do.
I do not see your view changing and neither am I going to change my view.

I really do not believe the SBC sees any use for people like me.

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade, this is purely hypothetical, but very likely. Based on what happened to you at IMB and the treatment you received from the powers be, because of your questioning and attempting to correct or right imbalances ... could the SBC or a state SBC agency do the same to Emmanuel Baptist Church and to you as is happening to FBC Decatur?

In some level this is frightening, but in the realm of possibilities. I am sure the powers to be in SBC would like to silence your questioning. This would have a devastating effect on discourse in SBC.

From my perspective, your questioning helps the intellectual discourse in SBC and educates us peasants (as Lydia would say :-)), and stimulates much brain activity. It is sorely needed at least in my case. Thanks for all you do.

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