The notion that a woman cannot preach the gospel, or teach a man, or perform "pastoral" duties, is not biblical -- not even close. As time passes, more and more Bible-believing, conservative, Christ-honoring evangelicals are beginning to see that any prohibition against a woman ministering in the same manner as a man is a man-made restriction. God, in the New Covenant, signed and sealed by His Son's blood, has set His women free to function in the kingdom in the same manner He has His men.
As far back as the 1980's, conservative, Bible-believing men and women began voicing their beliefs that the inerrant, inspired Word of God declared full equality of men and women in creation and redemption. The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, filled with Southern Baptist leadership, was formed to combat what they called "evangelical feminism." As I pointed out last week, Southern Baptists who wish to suppress women will even alter the sacred text to accomplish this goal. SBC Professor Dr. David Jones' article, posted by CBMW, alleges "scribal error" when Paul named a "female" apostle in Romans 16:7. I wrote that it is sad when inerrantist resort to pointing out error in the text to sustain a theological position. Dr. Bart Barber, an adjunct SBC professor himself and now a trustee at Southwestern Theological Seminary--a seminary at the heart of Southern Baptist attempts to anchor spirtual leadership within the male gender--was not happy with my post critiquing Dr. Jones' article. He commented:
Indeed, is there any published critical edition of the Greek New Testament that sides with Burleson and P46 in adopting "Julia" as the original text?
Suzanne McCarthey answers Dr. Barber's comment quite nicely in a comment of her own..
Let's examine (Dr. Jone's) statement (about Greek texts):
"... Greek minuscule manuscripts, which began having accents in the 9th century, all accent the name as though it were masculine -- without exception. It is interesting that Cervin catalogs so many modern editions of the Greek text, including the modern Greek translation, and shows how most support the feminine reading, and yet fails to mention the accentuation found in the older Greek minuscules dating from the ninth and tenth centuries, which support unanimously the masculine reading.55 The latter are certainly closer to the source and thus constitute more weighty evidence than modern editions. The fact that all of the manuscripts accented it the same no matter what part of the world they were found in suggests that the gender issue had been settled some time before. Thus, Tucker's tongue-in-cheek statement about the gender of Iounian being held unanimously as feminine up until her "sex change" around the 14th century is thus made at the expense of this evidence, which suggests otherwise."
It appears from this statement that David Jones article predates the UBS 1998 text of the Greek New Testament. In this text it is finally made clear that there is NO Greek minuscule which accents the name as masculine. Not even one, ever!
I don't fault Jones for not knowing this, depending on the date of his article. I am severely disgusted at his mockery of Brooten, Tucker, Grenz, Cervin, etc. when it now turns out that they are 100% accurate and he is 100 % wrong, due to the fact that UBS had previously published that there were manuscripts which accented the word as masculine, when there were not.
I think that the CBMW would do David Jones a kindness by removing such an outdated article from the internet.
The issue of women in ministry should NOT divide conservative evangelicals from cooperating in world-wide mission efforts, particularly when one side of the debate is having to alter the sacred text in order to sustain its position. When Dr. Barber, Dr. Patterson, Dr. Mohler, and other Southern Baptists, including messengers from the Georgia Baptist Convention, "disfellowship" and "severe relationship" with autonomous local churches who are following what they believe the Bible to teach, then they have placed others of us who wish to identify with the Southern Baptist Convention in a very, very precarious position.
As I wrote two years ago:
If a Southern Baptist cannot point out where he/she believes the BFM 2000 is in contradiction with Scripture we are in trouble. In fact, if a Southern Baptist voices a disagreement with some of the interpretations of tertiary doctrines found within the BFM 2000, and we then begin to ‘question’ that Southern Baptist’s conservative credentials, we have prostituted our heritage as Baptists. Why? We will have placed ourselves in the very bizarre place of having people in the SBC being called ‘liberal’ when they champion their belief of the authority of the Bible over a man-made confession. Think about it — in 2007 it is possible for Southern Baptists to call ‘a liberal’ someone within the convention whose conscience is bound to the Word of God, and not the BFM 2000!The Georgia Baptist Convention last week sent money back to First Baptist Church, Decatur--money that FBC Decatur had given them through the Cooperative Program mission efforts the preceding year. The GBC said to FBC, Decatur-- "Keep your money. We don't want it, nor do we wish you to be identified with us."
Well, I've got news for the SBC. If we have come to the time when a conservative, Bible-believing Southern Baptist church cannot follow what she believes the Bible teaches, and is forced to either conform to Convention mandates or else be removed from fellowship, then the SBC has stopped being a legitimate, historical Baptist convention of cooperating believers and churches and we have become a cult.
I, and the church to which I belong, want no part of a cult. 100 years from now, if the Lord tarries, and another generation of Southern Baptists are allowed to arise, it is my prayer that they will see there were some Southern Baptists in 2009 who refused to stick their head in the sand when the Bible stopped being the standard of faith for Southern Baptists.
In His Grace,