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

What the Animal Kingdom Can Teach the SBC

Tom Ascol has articulated quite well the great issue before us as Southern Baptists. In a post lyrically entitled What Shall We Be in the SBC?" Tom comes to the following conclusion "I really do believe that, despite our differences, Southern Baptists can work together if we can agree on the centrality and power of the gospel for all of life. I am convinced that a growing number of Southern Baptists believe this, too. Because of this, I anticipate better days ahead. My SBC missionary mother-in-law from the Far East sent me the following video that illustrates fellowship despite extraordinary differences. If the animal kingdom can do it, so should we Southern Baptists!


77 comments:

Joe Blackmon said...

I have contended and still contend that while we can cooperate and agree to disagree on some issues, there are others that we cannot and should not simply sweep aside. For example, I could and have ministered and fellowshipped with someone who did not agree with me regarding the doctrines of grace. That's a pretty minor issue. However, if a Southern Baptist Church had homosexual members or women in a pastoral role I would consider either one of those situations non-negotiables. There is no way to maintain our personal intergrity if we simply say "Anything Goes" with regards to doctrinal intergrity.

debbiekaufman said...

Joe: No one is saying anything goes, although I would say separating with someone over the doctrine of grace to be a stronger statement than I believe we as Christians should be sending. Balance is always a good idea.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

Sigh.

One of these days I believe you will see how absolutely absurd it is to compare a practicing homosexual serving as pastor with a female serving as pastor. One is active in immorality. The other is a woman. No comparison.

Nobody's asking you to agree with women pastors or hire women pastors. But you honestly could not cooperate with a woman? Would you refuse to perform a funeral assisted by a woman pastor? Would you refuse to participate in a community worship service with a woman pastor?

Just asking.

Blessings,

Wade

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I think the true biblical position is that while we extend grace to those who believe differently than we do, our ultimate goal is to obey the commands of Scripture. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 that some are given different gifts to edify and build up the church...(v.13 "until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God's Son."

Folks, we are commanded in Scripture to agree.

Paul again tells the church in Corinth to (1c1:10) "all say the same thing, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction."

R.C. Sproul once said that it is NOT enough to 'agree to disagree.' God's Word is too important.

And so I close with my humble opinion. Cooperation which makes us feel good for the purpose of "ecumenical photo shoots" does in no way glorify a righteous and holy God. We are commanded to get it right--each of us. I, therefore, a [servant] in the Lord, urge each of us to walk worthy of the calling we have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. (E4:1-2)

© 2009 RevKev

Rex Ray said...

Joe,
Glad you’re back—you’re sort of like a bull’s eye on the target range. I was afraid you’d faded away like an old soldier.

There’s a group of Jews that wear pants that have the ‘stride’ to their knees. (About like some kids wear theirs today.)

In one concept, I believe you'd fit right in because their theology degrades women so much they believe the Messiah will never be born of someone so unworthy.

You guessed it. The long pants are to catch the baby in an instant miraculous birth of an unsuspecting MAN.

Joe, would you come nearer accepting women pastors if the SBC required them to be disguised as male? How about a fake beard?

Rex Ray said...

When my grandfather died, the neighbors would borrow his wolf hunting dogs.

Each time, his favorite dog would run to each rider and then return to the kennel never to hunt again

WatchingHISstory said...

For example, I could and have ministered and fellowshipped with someone who did not agree with me regarding the doctrines of grace. That's a pretty minor issue. However, if a Southern Baptist Church had homosexual members or women in a pastoral role I would consider either one of those situations non-negotiables.

I would perfer a woman preaching grace than a man with a low view of grace, or at least a man who considered the doctrines of grace a minor issue.

Minimizing grace is what has got the SBC in the mess it is now!
I would choose a homosexual member over an Arminian any day. You can help a homosexual but I am about convinced that an Arminian is beyond help!

Jeff said...

I tend to agree with Joe if he is talking about women serving as sr. pastors. I am not sure Joe was comparing the two together. He was just saying those are two instances. I agree with him I would vote a church of out of the association in a minute if they had women as sr. pastors or homosexual members not under church discipline.

WatchingHISstory said...

Jeff

a SBC pastor with a low view of grace is OK!

I know a SBC pastor who had a low view of grace and worked with a homsexual associate under him for over 20 years! I wonder why the Holy Spirit let this go on so long?

It is a streach but there seems to be a connection between low views of grace and homosexuality. I know that is hard to believe but there is precedence for it.

Thy Peace said...

About Homosexual Members:

They are sinners. Just like us. We are all sinners. All sinners needs Jesus Christ. All sinners need the Church for fellowship. All sick people need Hospitals for getting better. All sinners need Jesus Christ and the Church to get better and to be free of sin.

If we push sinners away from Church, because they are sinning, they how do they get better? How do they overcome their sins?

Is it in Out of Fellowship, they are cleansed of their sins? Then what about our sins, which we do not make public, but Our Lord Jesus Christ convicts us of, every moment?

I believe, based on statistics, lot of SBC Churches have members who are homosexual. They do not publicly confess their sins, for the very reason, they will be dis-fellowshipped, by other believers, who do not do this one sin, but do other sins, which are not censured in general by believers, but always goes against The Word and The Holy Spirit.

Christa's blog: Autonomy Schmonomy
If congregational autonomy doesn’t preclude the SBC from investigating a church with gay members, why does congregational autonomy preclude the SBC from investigating a church with a reported clergy child molester in the pulpit?

Jeff said...

Thy Peace, Paul told the Corinthians to get rid of the man who was sexual immoral. Take it up with him, not me.

Lydia said...

agree with him I would vote a church of out of the association in a minute if they had women as sr. pastors or homosexual members not under church discipline.

Sat Feb 21, 09:46:00 AM 2009

It is incredible you equate a woman minister with a homosexual but in any case I am even more grieved that you have many obvious examples of perverts in ministry in the SBC but you are not vocal about wanting to vote those churches out of the SBC. For some strange reason many folks use the autonomy excuse when it comes a male ministers sexual perversion even to raping young girls or boys.

Very strange, indeed. A double standard that is heinous.

Jeff said...

Lydia, The local church has the right to do what it wants to do. If a church wants to have a woman pastor good for them, but the association has the right to establish guidelines for its members. If a church wants to be a member of that association it must abide by those guidelines.

I have no equated women and homosexuality. Like, Joe I have given two examples.

Thy Peace said...

Wiki: Owen and Mzee
Owen and Mzee are a hippopotamus and a tortoise, respectively, that became the subject of much media attention after forming a unique bond of friendship.[1]
A baby hippopotamus, Owen, was orphaned in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya near Malindi during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake on December 26, 2004. The baby hippo, weighing 600 pounds (270 kg), was rescued during a day long effort by nearly 1,000 villagers using shark nets. Owen's namesake is a villager named Owen Saubion, who finally tackled the hippo during the rescue.

As of March 2007, Mzee was removed from the enclosure. A female hippopotamus named Cleo had been added to provide companionship for Owen. Due to Cleo's rough behavior with the other tortoises, a decision was made to remove the tortoises. This has resulted in Owen and Mzee living apart, but their friendship, that lasted for over two years, continues to inspire people from all over the world. Owen seems to be adapting to his new companion and it is possible that Owen and Cleo will have offspring when he reaches maturity.


Owen and Mzee

YouTube: Owen and Mzee

Joe Blackmon said...
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Joe Blackmon said...
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Joe Blackmon said...

Let's try this for the THIRD time and see if I can get it right.

Wade et al,

Might I exhort you folks to read a wee bit more carefully. I never EQUATED a woman serving as a pastor to a homosexual church member. I simply used them as two different examples of situations which I would be unwilling to negotiate on.

Wade

Would I refuse to perform a community worship service with a woman pastor? Without a doubt I would refuse to do that. Funeral service? I'm going to have to, as sincerely as I can, plead ignorance and say I can't answer without giving that some thought because I'm not sure. My hesitation? I have never really thought much about funerals or a pastor's role, if any, in a funeral. I don't want to just rattle off an answer without thinking about it. For the record, if I never get asked to perform a funeral it'll be one too many. I honestly would have no idea whatsoever what I was doing.

Wade Burleson said...

Fair enough Joe.

When you reach a conclusion about a funeral service, or maybe even assisting in a wedding when the bride or grooms pastor is female and the other spouse is your member, I would like your input.

I appreciate the fact you are making the distinction between the two and are offering them as two separate examples.

Wade Burleson said...

By the way, it was the motion I offered last year that sought to identify publicly, and remove from ministry all sexual predators, so I make a huge distinction between immoral behavior and gender.

Lydia said...

"Lydia, The local church has the right to do what it wants to do. If a church wants to have a woman pastor good for them, but the association has the right to establish guidelines for its members. If a church wants to be a member of that association it must abide by those guidelines. "

Must be something wrong with the associations that they do not go after churches that have perverts for ministers or those that coddle perverts and allow them to stay in ministry.

But these same associations will go after a church that has a woman minister. Hmm. Sounds like they have their priorities a bit mixed up.

So, the only sexual perversion that bothers them are homosexuals. Not rapists and pedophiles.

"I have no equated women and homosexuality. Like, Joe I have given two examples."

Sure you do. You guys almost always use those two examples together. Funny how that happens. I would think it would be more correct to use homosexuals, perverts and rapists in the same example.

But it does show your view of women.

Bob Cleveland said...

If I were to refuse to conduct a funeral service because someone with whom I disagreed on some theological issues, I would be making the funeral about me and not the dead guy, and certainly not about the dead guy's family.

And I'm not a pastor but I did conduct a funeral once.

I did a rather long post about this whole unity thing and thus far, it seems to have been greeted by yawns (if anyone has read it). The further I go in all this, the sicker the folks ... who use theology as a point of separation ... make me.

Joe Blackmon said...

Bob,

That is a good point---making the funeral about me. That adds something else for me to think about.

As an aside, there may be people who stumble upon this thread who don't know what I meant by "doctrines of grace". In short, I meant I have no problem working with or fellowshipping with someone who is not a Calvinist even though I am a Calvinist. My wife pointed out that not everyone is familiar with what "dontrines of grace" means. If you didn't, now you know and knowing is half the battle.

The other half is violence. I got that off a t-shirt.

Thy Peace said...

Dr. Tom Ascol: Have we lost the Gospel?

1. In preaching

I took several hours last spring to listen to a number of SBC seminary chapel sermons. I heard lots about leadership, commitment, courage, faithfulness, sheep, shepherds, prayer and devotion, I heard very little of Jesus Christ. Often Christ was mentioned almost as an afterthought. I realize that this is far from a scientific study (but if you are interested in one that corroborates my concerns about Southern Baptist preaching, see Marsha Whitten's All is Forgiven) but the sermons were preached by well-known and highly respected Southern Baptist pastors. It is not unreasonable to expect that their sermons to seminarians would be carefully prepared. Assuming that to be the case, I came away from my exercise rather discouraged.

Here is an experiment that I recommend. Get a simple outline of the Gospel in your mind and listen to the sermons preached in your church (even if you are the preacher!) or other churches and try to determine to what degree the Gospel is the basis of them. Too often only some facts related to the Gospel are tacked on at the end of a message in order to justify some kind of altar call, but the Gospel itself is not foundational to it. If a sermon would play just as well in a Kingdom Hall or Jewish Synagogue as it would in a Baptist church, you can be sure it is void of the Gospel.

2. In Christian living

Very often the Gospel is viewed only as the threshhold into the Christian life by which one must enter the kingdom. Once in, however, the Gospel loses its importance. Where this happens in conservative churches moralism tends to gain preeminence and Christianity tends to be conceived in terms of rules and requirements. In moderate and liberal churches sentimentalism tends to reign and attitudes and actions are evaluated in terms of how "loving" they feel. Do not misunderstand--the Christian life includes both rules and especially love (rightly understood, of course), but the Christian life is based on neither. It is based on Jesus Christ--who He is, what He has done and why it matters. That is why we are called to live by faith. Faith in what? Or whom? The person and work of Christ. This is also why Paul could write, "For to me, to live is Christ." Christ was life for Paul because the Gospel had come to him in power. Read the ethical portions of the New Testament to see how the Apostles exhorted the early church to holy living. It wasn't by moralistic teaching. They teach the law on the basis of the Gospel. I see very little concern for the relationship between law and Gospel in Southern Baptist life today. The reason, I believe, is due to the removal of the Gospel from the heart of Christian living.

3. In our churches

The Gospel is the power of God to save all who believe. Churches are to be comprised of those who testify to having experienced this saving power. Of all the sectors of evangelicalism, Baptists most certainly should stand firm on this point. Yet, simply take an honest look at our churches--even good, "Bible-believing," "flagship" SBC churches. What do you find more often than not? Bloated church rolls with twice as many members as regular attenders. The overwhelming majority of our churches have neglected Gospel order, taking cues more from the marketing world or corporate America or therapeutic professions than from Scripture. John Dagg, the first writing theologian among Southern Baptists put this in his Treatise on Church Order, "When discipline leaves a church, Christ goes with it." If he is correct, then how many Christless churches might we have within our ranks? Read Revelation 2 and 3 to see that Jesus Himself warns of this possibility. If the candlestick has been removed from a local church then the Gospel has been taken with it.


Baptist Press: Gospel is focus of SBC unity, Ascol says

Have we lost the Gospel?: Recording of a message

Phill Ellington said...

Have you ever heard of the DDD (Deliberatately Designed Difference) Factor? Devern Fromke shares this concept in his book, "Stories that Open God’s Larger Window." I think it might have some relevance to the Southern Baptist Convention. At least it could be helpful for some folks to understand the differences.

Fromke explains the development of his thought through preparation to officiate at the wedding service of his niece, Lynn, and her husband, Brett. For the wedding he asked the Lord for some special word for the couple. He writes:

I came to this verse: “Mercy and truth are met together…” (Ps. 85:10). Brett personified mercy, and to all her friends Lynn represented truth. All were convinced their lives would complement one another.

In all his compassion and caring, Brett (mercy) was vulnerable alone. He needed Lynn to come along side with truth to balance and make them complete. To know Lynn is to recognize one who is very convinced when a biblical principle is right; it must be carefully adhered to even if it has consequences you might not like. Yet sometimes Lynn might “seem” cold, or even harsh in her insistence that “truth is right.” So, we concluded God could accomplish in their family a divine balance.

Then, as I read further, I realized how the next line reinforced the ame: “righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” I felt it was evident God was bringing Lynn (righteousness) to balance out Brett (peace). Now peace at any price is never right. But being right without any sensitivity for others will not produce harmony. So righteousness and peace need to “kiss each other.”

Though I have recognized that this factor did exist for many years, I have only recently used this title to explain –

…Why in marriage opposites attract.
…Why in theology both sovereignty and responsibility exist.
…Why every church has Marthas (do-ers) and Marys (be-ers).
…Why in elders meetings you have inclusives and exclusives.
…Why in prayer meeting you have the silent (listeners to God) and the vocal (talkers to God).
…Why in every family you have the cautious and the decisive.
…Why in every family you have both the receivers and givers.
…Why in every church fellowship you have passive (quietists who wait) and you have active (pietists who move).
…Why in every country you have both settlers and pioneers.

It becomes evident in every area of life that we have people who act differently. Did this just happen, or should we recognize this as a Deliberately Designed Difference (or limitation)? The more I see this factor, which seems to be built into the fabric of things, I conclude it is God’s way of bringing balance ---His way of showing our need for one another, but also our great need for Him.

Fromke concludes:

Mercy and truth are like two wings of a bird. Peace and righteousness also need to complete one another. Yet too often these very virtues become competing issues, when God has designed them to be completing issues. Competing or completing – which will it be? How can mercy and truth complete one another, and accomplish God’s intention? I’ll try to explain it this way: if truth is a thesis, and mercy is an antithesis - and only as both die, can they come into synthesis (or resurrection), then a new agreement or divine harmony is possible. God’s order and arrangement reveals wisdom.

If we try to keep this universe principles-centered we will remain frustrated, for every principle has its counter-balancing principle. God Himself must choose: will it be mercy or truth? Will it be peace or righteousness? Or will it be both? Because we are forever dependent upon a word (rhema) from the Lord, it is imperative that we recognize …

this universe is Person-centered,
but by His design it is principles-governed,
and will be purpose fulfilling.

Christiane said...

Hi WADE,

It's me, L's a.k.a. Christiane.

I just saw the lovely film and haven't read any comments yet.

I did not comment on the previous 'preaching' post, but I will now:
those two beautiful animals were sent here to preach something we could not learn from each other, or from any words.

A long time ago, I wondered how it could be that the King of the Universe would confine Himself to the limits of 'WORDS' or 'LANGUAGE' in his communication with us. But soon I discovered that He has many other other ways to reach us, also.


These two creatures beloved of their Creator, from two different doctrines, I mean species, found each other; accepted each other for who they were; and cared for each other, using some form of communication far stronger than our pitiful limits of language, some invisible, yet very real, bond of love and trust.

Using our eyes, can we 'hear' what the two animals were sent to 'preach' to us?
And as 'the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve', can we ask of the Good Lord the grace to understand the meaning of this teaching?

And having been so blessed, can we not then remember to give Him thanks? L's

Lydia said...

Phil, Thanks for not describing the DDD's as pink and blue. That is what so many are doing about spirituality and faith in the SBC. It is disheartening.

Thy Peace said...

Dr. Tom Ascol: WSJ on church discipline

When a person is removed from the membership of a church in keeping with our Lord's teaching in Matthew 18, he or she is not to be "shunned." Neither should they be forbidden to sit under the public preaching of the gospel. They need the gospel and, while we cannot treat them as members any longer, we should welcome them the same way we would a "Gentile or tax collector" (in other words, an unbeliever). We recently had a member who was excommunicated several years ago show up for a worship service. I was glad he was there and told him so. I prayed for him during the worship, that God would capture his heart with the gospel. This is far from the caricature that is portrayed in the WSJ.

Bob Cleveland said...

Joe, thanks for that response.

I just got home from watching my grandson's Upward Basketball game (he's a coach). One of the kids on the opposing team has some severe limitations, and could only stand by the foul line, near the basket. Twelve times, during the game, the other kids on the team HANDED HIM the ball so he could shoot.

The opposing team had one child with some problems, too, so he stood by their goal. So one time, the OTHER team got the rebound and gave it back to this kid, who scored a basket!

The kid who got the ball twelve times made eight of the twelve shots.

I think something like that happens when diverse folks get to cooperating in the SBC, too.

That's just a guess, though; we'll have to wait and see if that ever actually HAPPENS.

:)

Jon L. Estes said...

The elephant believes:

1 - scripture is inerrant
2 - the virgin birth is important
3 - the first 11 chapters of Genesis are a true account

While the dog believes:

1 - the bible contains truth but is not error free.
2 - the virgin birth really doesn't matter to the person of Jesus
3 - the first 11 chapters of Genesis are myth

There are a few other differences but who cares as long as we can walk together, happily.

Amos 3:3

Christiane said...

I found this:

"The Lion And The Lamb"
by Julie Bowles

Psalm 4:8 - I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (NKJV)

"We have a Yellow Labrador retriever that weighs 95 pounds. We also have a new kitten.
The kitten weighs at the most 3 pounds. When I am alone in the house and working from our home-based office, the dog will lie near my desk.
On this particular day, the dog was asleep by my desk, when I looked down and, much to my surprise, there -- cuddled into the dog -- was the kitten. They both lay like this for about half an hour, in total harmony.

This scene reminded me of the picture that we are given of the harmony in nature that will characterize God's re-created world:

Isaiah 11:6-9 - The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (NKJV)

As incredible as it is to think of natural enemies living peacefully together, the only way that hostile humans can do this is to live in union with Christ, the Prince of Peace. Someday, "every tongue [will] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." (Philippians 2:11 NIV)

As we reflect this day on God's design for peace, let us look to the wonder of His creatures living in peace as an inspiration.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help us to be more aware of how those in Your kingdom were meant to live."

John Daly said...

I see this more as a church polity issue. For example, I would never join a church that is not elder led just like I would not join a church that has a female elder. So I'm just as much in disagreement with all the single executive pastor type churches as with female pastors.

I think this is a more apple to apple example then the others that have been raised.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Madoff Never Made Supposed Investments
The clients who trusted Bernard L. Madoff still do not know exactly what he did with their money. But they know what he did not do with it: He did not buy any of those blue-chip stocks and Treasury bills listed on their account statements over the last 13 years.

The court-appointed trustee who is winding down Mr. Madoff’s business said on Friday that his team had searched records going back almost to 1993 and found no evidence that any securities were bought for investors during that time.

That pattern probably stretches back even further, according to the trustee, Irving Picard of the law firm of Baker Hostetler. But his team, operating in a crime scene “under the watchful eyes of the F.B.I.,” simply has not yet been able to dig back any further in the Madoff archives, he said.

His report, delivered at an emotional public meeting of creditors on Friday, demolishes the theory that Mr. Madoff was an honest man driven into fraud by the relentless market strain of recent years. And it raises the question of how all those fake statements and trade confirmations were generated in the absence of any genuine trading.


Ethics Daily: God, the Globe and Greed by Joe Phelps

Chris Ryan said...

Phil,

Thank you for that post. I think that you have placed your finger exactly on where the issue is.

For a long time in the SBC, people who God made to operate differently could come together and live in the tension because God and truth were somewhere inbetween everyone's dogmatic opinions.

Then one side decided that they wanted to be the only one who got to have an opinion. They decided that they had a corner on truth. And rather than cooperation, we had disfellowship. We have some who are willing to live in the tensions, still. But mostly we are all trying to carve out our little kingdoms based on our understanding of biblical truths. As we carve out our kingdoms, we make less and less room for God's kingdom.

Now I sound like a moderate, but who cares about what people call me. I never have. I still think I'm a conservative, but I'm just not angry about it.

Christiane said...

Hi CHRIS RYAN,

You wrote this: "Now I sound like a moderate, but who cares about what people call me. I never have. I still think I'm a conservative, but I'm just not angry about it."

I thought about the Lord's words 'the son of man has no place to lay His head'.

The labels of this world can offer no true sanctuary for a follower of Christ. I'm glad you don't need them. You must be very brave. :) L's

WatchingHISstory said...

label me "monergistic"

I believe that regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit alone and that the human will is incapable of cooperating or assisting, preacher nor sinner.

WatchingHISstory said...

I believe that I am very brave!

Chris Ryan said...

L's,

Very brave or very stupid. As a young guy, it is probably more the latter.

Christiane said...

Hi Chris,

I think it IS the former.
Very much so.

Good to see this kind of integrity in one who is young. Hold on to that integrity, for His Sake. L's

Steve said...

Leave it to a SBC-er to witness such a wonderful tale of friendship and immediately think of why he doesn't like something!

Stephen Pruett said...

John Daly,
Your comparison is more like apples to apples (I don't know if I agree with you regarding elder led churches because I haven't studied it carefully). However, I would be interested in whether you think churches with a single executive type pastor should be removed from their association?

Joe,
No one is saying anything goes. I would only go as far as to say that women as pastors can be defended as effectively from scripture alone as can prohibiting them. This is not something that should be a criterion for fellowship. If it is then I am sure you would support disfellowship of churches that allow women to have short hair or to wear jewelry or fine clothes. Of course, churches that do not make women keep silent would be out as well, and churches that do not require greeting with a holy kiss must go.

These instructions are all in the same category with the instruction on women as pastors. Do we really want to disfellowship churches over things like this? Is there any scriptural basis for interpreting the passage on women pastors literally and all these others as culturally influenced?

KMC,
I agree, we need to have unity. I assume that you will be changing all of your interpretations of scripture to match mine! :)

Stephen Pruett said...

John Daly,
Your comparison is more like apples to apples (I don't know if I agree with you regarding elder led churches because I haven't studied it carefully). However, I would be interested in whether you think churches with a single executive type pastor should be removed from their association?

Joe,
No one is saying anything goes. I would only go as far as to say that women as pastors can be defended as effectively from scripture alone as can prohibiting them. This is not something that should be a criterion for fellowship. If it is then I am sure you would support disfellowship of churches that allow women to have short hair or to wear jewelry or fine clothes. Of course, churches that do not make women keep silent would be out as well, and churches that do not require greeting with a holy kiss must go.

These instructions are all in the same category with the instruction on women as pastors. Do we really want to disfellowship churches over things like this? Is there any scriptural basis for interpreting the passage on women pastors literally and all these others as culturally influenced?

KMC,
I agree, we need to have unity. I assume that you will be changing all of your interpretations of scripture to match mine! :)

Chuck Andrews said...

Jon L. Estes said...
The elephant believes:

1 - scripture is inerrant
2 - the virgin birth is important
3 - the first 11 chapters of Genesis are a true account

While the dog believes:

1 - the bible contains truth but is not error free.
2 - the virgin birth really doesn't matter to the person of Jesus
3 - the first 11 chapters of Genesis are myth

There are a few other differences but who cares as long as we can walk together, happily.

Amos 3:3


Jon

IMO the SBC problem would be more like:

Both the dog and the elephant believe:
1 - scripture is inerrant
2 - the virgin birth is important
3 - the first 11 chapters of Genesis are a true account

The dog
1 – Is a Calvinist
2 - Dispensationalist
3 – Cessationalist
4 – Complementarian
5 – Teetotaler

The elephant
1 – Is not a Calvinist nor Arminianist
2 – Is not a Dispensationalist
3 – Continuationists
4 – Egalitarian
5 – Bibulous

I believe what Wade has been saying all along is: there is a difference between being conservative and liberal and the Conservative Resurgence corrected that problem. Now the problem is that certain conservatives are demanding conformity of other conservatives that don’t happen to agree with their positional interpretations.

What you described is the difference between conservative and liberal. What I have described is Christ like Southern Baptist cooperating in a Gospel Resurgence.


Chuck

Christiane said...

From the video:

"Tarra and Bella have been close for years — but no one really knew how close they were until recently. A few months ago Bella suffered a spinal cord injury. She couldn’t move her legs, couldn’t even wag her tail.

For three weeks the dog lay motionless up in the sanctuary office. And for three weeks the elephant held vigil: 2,700 acres to roam free, and Tarra just stood in the corner, beside a gate, right outside that sanctuary office.

“She just stood outside the balcony - just stood there and waited,” says Buckley. “She was concerned about her friend.”

G. Casey said...

There is so much to be learned from the animal kingdom that is so often missed...Solomon often speaks of observing animals...I absolutely loved the video posting.

Jon L. Estes said...

chuck,

Interesting you left women pastors off your list. Something that is at the forefront of much discussion, even on this blog and from wade.

I would be one that thinks women pastors are a discussion of liberal vs. conservative.

In a sense you are correct, but not completely.

WatchingHISstory said...

How can a guy like Christiane who is afraid to use his name and give a real profile call anyone brave?
She does noit understand bravery.

Wade Burleson said...

Jon Estes,

You err if you believe my blog promotes women pastors. My blog promotes women the way the Bible promotes women.

I am ambivolent about them being pastors, believing that is the decision of the local congregration - and since I am a member of only one local congregation, I can only speak for mine. We hire a male Senior Pastor and will as long as I am pastor.

:)

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

I did not say your blog promoted women pastors but that it is a topic of discussion here and that some would say it is a topic concerning conservative vs. liberal.

I was making the point that not all discussed here is as Chuck would make it out to be...

that certain conservatives are demanding conformity of other conservatives

If my entry brings people to think I said you support women pastors, I apologize... that was not the intent. I actually tried real hard not to even have anyone be on one side or the other in my entry. I thought I would leave that up to the individual.

John Daly said...

I would be interested in whether you think churches with a single executive type pastor should be removed from their association?

Stephen,

Since I made the case that I consider women pastors a church polity issue much in the same as having elder led churches then reason dictates that if I answer yes or no to your question then that answer fits for both categories.

So my answer is no, I would not recommend the removal of either from their local association but I would not worship or join either as a member.

I'm thinking there are many folks who have no problem with a single, senior pastor in regards to leadership but do have a problem with women pastors. In my mind that is a disconnect.

Just a quick aside: I love seeing every post associated with a name.

WatchingHISstory said...

My blog promotes women the way the Bible promotes women.

That is the way Adrian Rogers refered to the Bible and it always irritated me to hear it. This is exclusive use of God's Word.

Wade, then you turn around and use 'ambivolent', which you use often. views of the gospel are ambivolent... now the view of Women is ambivolent. You are the senior pastor a woman cannot serve as senior pastor as long as you are the senior. What does it matter what the Bible says? You are ambivolent.

gotta go to church

Charles

Christiane said...

Dear CHARLES,

Good Sabbath to you !
It's me, L's.
I'm no guy. It's just me. Just L's

Sorry about no full name. If I did know how to do a 'profile', I would not put my complete name, as my husband prefers our family's privacy.

Sorry about the 'non-profile'.
The truth is, I also don't know how to do a 'profile' anyway. Maybe 'THY PEACE' can give me some directions. :)

I DID call Chris 'brave'. Here's why:
He said he wasn't worried about being 'labeled' by others. That means to me, that he is not allowing others to manipulate him and he is free to be a Christian as the Holy Spirit directs him. That is how I saw it.

That Bible verse: 'the son of man has no place to lay His head' is when Christ is sharing something personal with a 'would-be' disciple. And that 'something' speaks of a journey without the comforts and security that this world has to offer us.

What Christ offered was not the peace and acceptance of THIS world, Charles. But, certainly, you know this, too.

If Chris understands, at his age, that the 'acceptance of others' is sometimes a price too high to pay and still remain true to the teachings of the Lord, then Chris has been given a gift of wisdom by the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God.


So Charles, how is your new grandson doing? Is he home from the hospital yet? Have you been able to hold him yet? He is a big baby! I remember trying to hold my 'Coastie' son, just after he was born at 10 pounds one ounce, and, I was so weak, they had to help me hold him. :)
What a joy when we welcome little ones into our lives. :)

Enjoy the peace of this holy Sabbath Day, Charles. Love, L's

Christiane said...

ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL


"Hear our humble prayer, O God,
for our friends, the animals,
especially for those who are suffering;
for animals that are overworked,
underfed, and cruelly treated;
for all the wistful creatures in captivity,
that beat their wings against bars;
for any that are hunted or lost or deserted,
or frightened or hungry;
for all that must be put to death.

We entreat for them all
Thy mercy and pity,
and for those who deal with them,
we ask a heart of compassion
and gentle hands and kindly words.
Make us, ourselves,
to be true friends to animals
and so to share
the blessings of the Merciful."

Poem by Albert Schweitzer

Chuck Andrews said...

Jon
I included Complementarian and Egalitarian in my list. Though I didn’t list women as Sr. Pastor specifically the concept is in the ideology of the two.

No doubt, there are Fundamentalists who would separate over any of those I’ve listed. Independent Baptist Churches have separated from Southern Baptist Churches for ages over these.

I could have listed a host of other interpretations, for there are many, that conservatives differ on. The issue is not what understandings we differ on but at what point do our interpretations separate us from cooperating in a Gospel Resurgence.

Chuck

Lydia said...

"I would be one that thinks women pastors are a discussion of liberal vs. conservative."

This is a logical fallacy. If you are defining liberal to mean women pastors. How would you define a woman pastor who proclaims only the truth of the Word.

There are many 'liberal' MALE pastors who do not proclaim the basic truths but believe that women should not be pastors. In what category do you put them? They promote seeker type methodology (felt needs) and spend much time talking about sex and being 'culturally' relevant.

The old 'liberal' and 'conservative' categories of the CR are not working anymore. Especially since we have so many 'seeker' style mega ministers in the SBC who do not preach the REAL gospel.

Jon L. Estes said...

Chuck,

The issue is not what understandings we differ on but at what point do our interpretations separate us from cooperating in a Gospel Resurgence.

Who gets to make the list?

Jon L. Estes said...

Lydia,

If you are defining liberal to mean women pastors. How would you define a woman pastor who proclaims only the truth of the Word.

I would put the holding to women pastors as OK as a liberal position, therefore I would have to say a woman pastor could not do what you ask, completely because a woman pastoring would not be proclaiming the truth by the choice to pastor.

Thy Peace said...

Thank you Pastor Wade for mentioning the SoulForce incident in your today's sermon. This also answers my questions.

Lydia said...

I would put the holding to women pastors as OK as a liberal position, therefore I would have to say a woman pastor could not do what you ask, completely because a woman pastoring would not be proclaiming the truth by the choice to pastor.

Sun Feb 22, 05:02:00 PM 2009

Your categories are becoming confusing. What about the male seeker sensitive mega church purpose driven pastors who preach about sex, felt needs, etc., all the time and are culturally relevant but who are also comps?

Are they in the liberal category?

Lydia said...

therefore I would have to say a woman pastor could not do what you ask, completely because a woman pastoring would not be proclaiming the truth by the choice to pastor.

Sun Feb 22, 05:02:00 PM 2009

So, she COULD NOT possibly proclaim the truth BECAUSE she is a woman? So, the 'truth' is only the truth when proclaimed by the correct gender in the correct situation?

Jon L. Estes said...

Lydia,

To respond to your last post...

Not as a pastor. Women can proclaim truth, but not as a pastor...

Jon L. Estes said...

Lydia,

A man who is not preaching truth can be corrected and repent and start doing right.

I don't know of any men who fit the category you speak of. But I am in the pulpit every Sunday so I don't travel to listen to others.

Thy Peace said...

Emily Hunter McGowin: On Times of Crisis and Speaking the Truth
In crisis time, when all seems unsteady, when hope is a tenuous string holding the fractured pieces of our lives together, speaking the truth is what will truly "build up," edify, and strengthen. Neither cynicism nor sugary idealism will do. Because of the power of the tongue, for good and for evil (Jam 3:1-12), it must be the first place we seek God's grace as we labor together through difficult times. And so, to paraphrase a well-known Bible reference, for Ronnie and me, for us and for our house, we will speak the truth. I invite you to join us.

WatchingHISstory said...

Christiane

He is home and mother/son are doing well!!

picture if anyone wants to see what a good looking guy he is!

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2016533&id=1438576629&l=81626

Chuck Andrews said...

Who gets to make the list?

According to the By-Laws of the Southern Baptist Convention the list is made by the collective voice of the churches as represented by the messengers from those churches at the Southern Baptist Convention as it convenes on an annual basis in June. Right now the list would be the 2000 BF&M.

The Conservative Resurgence leaders were not exactly pleased with the 1963 BF&M. According to Dr. Paige Patterson the CR was preambled in 1967 when he and Paul Pressler met in New Orleans. By 1979 the conservatives were able to get their man elected. Paige Patterson was elected as President of the SBC in 1998. The 2000 BF&M followed.

There are those of us who think it is fortunate that the theological direction of the Convention was changed with the CR. Unfortunately, the spirit of the political system didn’t change. It was hardball religion then and it still is. This is the importance of what Wade is saying as quoted from the Forward of “Hardball Religion.” “The Southern Baptist Convention has gone far enough. Those who believe it is time for a “gospel resurgence” need to speak up, speak out, and be prepared.”

If enough people are ready, their voice loud enough, and their endurance long enough then a course correction will come.

Christiane said...

Dear Charles,

That baby is beautiful!

Thanks for sharing with all of us.
Love, L's

WatchingHISstory said...

Christiane

Are you and Chris brave enough to read my recent blog post and comment?
http://watchinghidtory.blogspot.com/2009/02/call-to-apathy.html

glad you liked the picture. You know I am proud.

Christiane said...

Hi Charles,
I did read your blog but I am unable to understand completely, because I am not a Baptist. My faith in the Triune God is strong, so I understand devotion to the Holy Spirit's leading. On that, I can understand. When it comes to the other complexities in theology that you refer to, I will readily step aside and allow others to comment, although I do read to try to understand what I can.
Just know that my background is very, very different, and in that light, I try to focus on what is shared. L's

WatchingHISstory said...

"My faith in the Triune God is strong, so I understand devotion to the Holy Spirit's leading."

Hey, if you believe that the Father is sovereign in salvation and the Son is effectual in salvation and the Holy Spirit applies all that is necessary for salvation you may not need to know about the perplexities of Baptist theology!

...as long as you are not ambivolent as to what is important.

You could be the envy of most of us on this blog!

Charles

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

L's,

I am continually amazed at your spirit of grace and humility. I hereby make you an honorary Baptist by the authority vested in me by the state of kindness and in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. May the Lord Bless you and keep and you and make His face to shine upon you...

While full membership does come with a few more amenities, you will be pleased to know that your honorary membership will give you full eternal access to the deep water pools of the River of Life as well as 12 passes per year to our covered dish dinners (fried chicken provided). This is a deal considering the Methodists charge 8 bucks a plate. :-o


© 2009 RevKev

Christiane said...

Dear KEVIN,

What a wonderful thing to say !

God Bless You, Kevin, forever and ever. Love, L's

P.S. My dear Baptist grandmother, of blessed memory, would be so proud. :)

Ron said...

It is hard to keep discussions like this on target. We tend to have never ending discussions on women pastors or Calvinism vs. Arminianism. In my 55 years as a Southern Baptist I have never seen a SB church with a woman pastor even though I know some exist. You would think by listening to the CR supporters there were thousands of churches wanting to hire women pastors. As for Calvinism vs. Arminianism, we have so few extremist on either side that the one or two points of TULIP that separate most SBs are not crucial to our mission. If it were, Paige Patterson and Al Mohler would not be able to work together to control our convention. If all else fails, then some start claiming any who question the CR are somehow supporting homosexual behavior. CR supporters never want to discuss unity or reasons for cooperation.

I would like to get back to Tom Ascol’s statement, “"I really do believe that, despite our differences, Southern Baptists can work together if we can agree on the centrality and power of the gospel for all of life. I am convinced that a growing number of Southern Baptists believe this, too. Because of this, I anticipate better days ahead.”

One of my main disagreements with the CR is that I believe it has taken us away from the centrality and power of the gospel. It has also taken our focus off the fundamental truths of scripture. It has also taken us away from evangelism and missions to the point that we are hearing calls for a Great Commission Resurgence and wonder why we are baptizing fewer and losing churches.

Let’s look at the leaders of the CR and consider their actions.

Was Wade Burleson censured by the IMB trustees because of an issue with the centrality of the gospel or a fundamental theological belief? No. It was because he dared to question Tom Hatley and John Floyd over the reason for and the method of enforcing adherence to their concerns over private prayer language and the administration of baptism. It was also because he wanted discussion of termination of IMB staff members discussed in the open instead of in private unofficial meetings.

An IMB trustee chairman told our missionaries in Taiwan that Keith Parks would not be able to remain as IMB president until the age he wished to retire. Was that because of the centrality of the gospel or because Keith could not be controlled by the CR leaders?

Were Russell Dilday and Al Shackleford fired and Lloyd Elder forced to resign because of the centrality of the gospel or because they were not supporters of the CR?

Did Adrian Rogers demand the WMU get hard wired into the convention structure because of the centrality of the gospel or because he knew the women of the WMU could not be controlled or manipulated as easily as pastors?

More theological conservatives have been forced out of leadership or participation in the SBC than liberals by the CR political organization. The reason I always say the CR was never about theology but always about power and control is that 95% of the actions of the CR have nothing to do with theology and everything to do with political control.

If Tom Ascol’s desire for us to work together and his belief that we have better days ahead are to become reality, it is going to require many others beside Tom and Wade and to demand accountability, integrity and truth from our leaders. It will also mean admitting the truth about our past and require repentance from our leaders and forgiveness from those who have been who have been wronged.

I am thankful that Wade and Tom have remembered their commitment in the Memphis declaration to a, “commitment to denominational accountability, institutional openness, moral and ethical integrity, and properly prioritized Kingdom efforts.” Where are the other signers?

I have been away from blogs for a few days and have added a comment at the end of the Ben Cole blog. I asked some questions I would appreciate help with if any has more knowledge of Ben’s activities than I.
Ron West

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon L. Estes said...

Chuck,

I know the history and agree that the CR did not change the hard ball stuff. I hope I am wrong but there does not seem to be enough people to take a stand and sound their voices.

I have attended all but 6 of the conventions since 1979, when I was a student at Criswell College. I was a messenger at most of those. I have PP's signature on my MDiv. I have appreciated all he has done historically but the BI movement, if it continues, will bring the SBC way down. The reason is (IMO) the list will be made by those currently in place and as a result many will do Kingdom work without the SBC. Something happening now with many of our younger pastors.

It will not be a thing to happen in the coming year or two because of the Calvinist at the head of SBTS. If Mohler ever steps down, the speed to remove this element, and others, will pick up.

Chuck Andrews said...

Jon

I remember you from Criswell days. I stared there in 1980 and graduated 1984. I agree with your assessment and the condition of the present SBC. I, too, pray that we’re wrong.

May God raise up and multiply the voices of people who get their identity more from the King than they do from being Baptist but who see and understand the value of compounding cooperation to impact missions.

Chuck

Jon L. Estes said...

That's scary to be remembered from that long ago. I was there the same time my older brother, Andy, was. He graduated, I left in 83 and finished at DBU.

I'm sorry I don't remember you, wish I did.

Of course, that was one forever wife, two sons and now two grandchildren, 7 churches, mission service in Africa, seven years - part-time - travel teaching for LifeWay... ago.

Christiane said...

Dear KEVIN,

I clicked on the Aaronic Blessing and found your website with the lovely video 'Blessing For L's'.

I am still smiling. It's so beautiful, and so peaceful. :)

Thank you so much.


P.S. I saw the wonderful pictures of your ordination. You received the 'laying on of hands'.

I see that you like the Celtic Woman videos. My daughter bought tickets for us to see them on stage when they came to our city and I encourage you to try to see them in person. Very moving experience, it was. You would enjoy it muchly. :)

Now it is my turn to bless:

May the Peace of the Lord be always with you. L's