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

The Two-Edge Sword of Gender Equality: A Lesson from the Tiger Woods Fiasco

Those readers familiar with me and this blog know that I advocate the full equality of males and females. I believe that Jesus Christ demonstrated His belief in gender equality throughout His ministry and that the New Covenant explicitly declares this equality throughout the sacred Scripture. In creation and in redemption, God makes man, both male and female, in His image. Sin gives both males and females the desire to dominate the opposite sex. God's grace gives both males and females the desire to serve one another. A female can have a position of authority over a man just like a male can have a position of authority over a female. A female can teach a man just like a male can teach a female. A female can be either Prime Minister, or President, or a stay at home mom; just like a male can be Prime Minister, or President, or a home-maker or a stay at home dad. This isn't feminism. It's Christian normality.

Some have lauded the fact that a Southern Baptist pastor is unafraid to speak his belief in the equality of men and women. Others have taken me to task for such talk. I stand comfortably, however, on the Word of God and believe that future generations will vindicate what I am saying the Bible teaches. There is a long way to go, however, for both males and females within evangelical Christianity--and within our culture at large--to understand the full implications of real equality between men and women. Let me illustrate from the recent troubles in the marriage of Elin and Tiger Woods (pictured here).

The Florida Highway Patrol official accident report tells how Tiger Wood's got in his 2009 Cadillac and backed out of his Windemere, Florida driveway in a meandering, reckless manner, eventually hitting a fire hydrant and then a neighbor's tree. Tiger Woods sustained numerous facial injuries and was in and out of consciousness at the scene. The report does not give details as to why Tiger Woods was leaving his house at 2:30 a.m., nor does it explain why Tiger was out of control in his driveway. The explanation for the shattered back windows was that Elin, Tiger's wife, tried to rescue him.

Of course, we now know that Tiger Woods has had numerous "transgressions" (his word) with women. On the day of the accident, Tiger had called one of his girlfriends and asked her to cover for him. Major media outlets have reported that Tiger Woods was confronted about the sexual infidelities by his wife, Elin, and that she possibily went after him with a golf club and physically assaulted him.

There is no proof that Elin attacked Tiger or that she was the direct cause for his weaving recklessly out of the driveway in a possible attempt to escape. Tiger himself denies she attacked him. The issue is not whether she did or didn't; the issue is whether or not the Florida police should launch an official investigation into more than a traffic accident. Should the police launch an investigation into possible assault and battery?

I say there should be an investigation into a possible assault and battery, and to perform such an investigation would be a sign that our culture is beginning to understand gender equality. I say this for three reasons:

(1). If the roles were reversed and it was woman driving the vehicle, I think the police would launch such an investigation. There would be too much pressure from the public not to investigate possible assault and battery charges.

(2). For those who feel Elin's "humiliation" I ask a simple question: If Elin had been unfaithful to her husband in the manner Tiger has been to her, would you feel humiliation for Tiger?" I think not. Feeling humiliation for someone portrays the person as a weak victim, not an equal partner.

(3). If an investigation were to be performed and Elin were cleared of assault and battery, then the endless jokes about Elin assaulting Tiger would end, our esteem for her would increase, and the incredible stupidity of her husband would be magnified. We do not condone domestic abuse by a husband toward his wife, even if the wife has been unfaithful. Likewise, in no form or fashion should we ever condone domestic abuse by a wife toward her husband, even if he was unfaithful to her.

Not everyone will agree with what I am writing on this subject. I've already given the jest of my thoughts in this post to some men and women that I highly respect, and there initial reaction was what I expected - confusion and hesitation. However, to a person, after a few hours of reflection, each of them responded with, "Yeah, I see it. You're right. Real equality cuts both directions." I am thankful to God that He gave to me a spouse who not only recognizes her equality, but treats me with the respect and dignity equals give equals.

My prayers are with the Woods family. Seriously. I am praying that God will give to Tiger and Elin the grace to forgive, the greater grace to trust Christ as the Lord of their marriage, their home, and their family. But more than anything, I am praying that neither Tiger nor Elin will draw their respective identities from the other person, but from their relationship with Jesus Christ.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

78 comments:

Steve said...

I had thought the apparent fairy-tale quality of this megastar's marriage might have been a bit of an illusion. As omnipresent as this man's image has become, he must have minefields of prospective admirers to deal with.

I certainly hope this couple can work things out and seek the Lord's guidance, since not only are they parents but one of the world's most prominent families in our media-soaked environment.

P.S.: I enjoyed the photo of the young lady with her dad. A visit to "the home," perhaps?

Thy Peace said...

If the woods family were poor, would there ever be a possible investigation into assault and battery?

I find it hard to believe Elin would have caused the "drunkenness" state of Tiger. Yes it is possible she would have been upset and possibly lobbed him once or twice. But battery and assault ... No, I find that hard to believe.

I truly did not know of these sordid details of Woods family before this incident.

Wade Burleson said...

Steve,

Of all the cruel comments I have ever received, your's tops the list.

Laughing.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

You may be right. It could be the medication Tiger was taking. This post is not alleging Elin did attack Tiger -- just wondering if the roles were reversed, would there be an investigation?

Thy Peace said...

As omnipresent as this man's image has become, he must have minefields of prospective admirers to deal with.

Yes, he must have lot of admirers.

But the truth is it is Tiger Woods himself who has been courting the women. He is looking for love in all the wrong places.

Thy Peace said...

On reflection, I agree with the post that, Yes there should be an investigation. I see what Pastor Wade was getting at about gender equality.

greg.w.h said...

I look forward to the day when all tenses and genders are equal, not to mention persons and pluralities. ;)

Greg Harvey

Benji Ramsaur said...

I love you Wade. I think you are off on genderism.

* m/f stands for "males and females":

I don't think either gender is "above" the law.

I think it is humiliating/hurtful for either gender to have their spouse commit adultery against them. M/F aren't "strong robots". They have hearts that can be deeply wounded. Therefore, I think it is "Christian" to feel sympathy for either gender. Something about weeping with those who...

"a weak victim"? Absolutely absurd Wade. I think you are better than this.

"I stand comfortably, however, on the Word of God and believe that future generations will vindicate what I am saying the Bible teaches."

This smacks of the modernist [i.e., what is newer is better] mindset.

The only thing that will vindicate you is the transcendent word of God that is above both the past and the future. Not future generations.

Love you as my brother in Christ and respect you as a man of God even though we disagree.

Benji [an NCTer]

Joe Blackmon said...

I hear Phil Mikelson called Tiger's wife today. He wanted to get some tips on how to beat Tiger. I keed, I keed!!!!

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Benji,

I agree that discovering a spouse has committed adultery is hurtful. I also agree we can feel sympathy for the faithful spouse's wounds and pain.

My point is that we do not condone physical abuse toward the unfaithful spouse, no matter the person (male or female) who perpetrates it.

You also write: "a weak victim"? Absolutely absurd Wade. I think you are better than this."

Thanks, Benji, for your thoughtful affirmation that I am "better than this," but I think you meant to say, "You can argue your point better than this." I am not in the habit of drawing my self worth from affirmations of others' regarding my person or character, but I will often reconsider my arguments and work to articulate them in a better manner when challenged.

In His Grace,

Wade

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Wade,

I am in agreement with everything you have written. But I am confused about what you have left out...


Do YOU believe that full equality means that a woman should be a pastor?

I know you believe that you can fellowship/cooperate with a church that has a woman pastor.

I know that you think a difference of conviction in this matter can occur between Godly Bible Believing people and that is ok.

But what is your personal conviction and has it changed over the last few years?

Christiane said...

Hi JOE BLACKMON,

It's me, L's

I just 'yelled' at you over on the big daddy weave site (The Al Mohler/Manhattan Document post).
It was good therapy.
There, I feel MUCH better. :)

Love, L's

Wade Burleson said...

Rodney Sprayberry,

You ask, Do YOU believe that full equality means that a woman should be a pastor?

I have stated before, and will state again, that I believe "pastor" to be a verb, not a noun. We have women on our staff who "pastor," "shepherd," and "lead" others spiritually. They do an excellent job and are called pastors.

If you mean by your question "Do you PERSONALLY believe that a woman CAN serve as a Senior Pastor?" I respond: Of course. It's happening.

If you ask me, "But is it MORALLY or BIBLICALLY right for them to serve?" I respond: I see BOTH sides of the argument FROM SCRIPTURE and am personally indifferent. I am indifferent to this question for two reasons:

(1). I will most likely be the Senior Pastor of every church body with which I assoicate until Jesus comes or I die.
(2). What other churches do is their business, not mine.

If you mean, "But will you SUPPORT women who are called as Senior Pastors?" If you mean support as I would any other brother or sister in Christ by loving them, being kind to them, encouraging them, and helping them, I say a resounding "YES." My Lord would have me do nothing less.

Blessings,

Wade

Benji Ramsaur said...

This is a test

Joe Blackmon said...

L's

Get 'r done!!

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

Thank you for your gracious response. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you meant to say this:

"(2). For those who feel sympathy for Elin's "humiliation" I ask a simple question: If Elin had been unfaithful to her husband in the manner Tiger has been to her, would you feel sympathy for Tiger?" I think not. Feeling sympathy for someone portrays the person as a weak victim, not an equal partner."

If so, then I don't buy this argument. I would say that feeling sympathy for any gender experiencing this kind of humiliation is a Christian response.

When my best friend growing up attended North Carolina university he would open doors for girls and they would get "offended" at him for doing so. "Oh, so you think I am too 'weak' to open a door for myself" is how I interpret why they were offended.

It comes across to me [if I understand you correctly in the above paragraph] that what you are saying is akin to females getting offended like I described above. The idea being that to feel sorry for only females as the ones cheated on implies that one believes they are "weaker" and not "equal" in strength.

Well, based on this logic, feeling sorry for either gender would imply that we think of them as weak in some derogatory way I think.

However, let me get unequal here for a moment:

I probably do feel more sorry for a woman getting physically abused by a man than a man abused by a woman because I think, generally speaking, that a man is physically stronger that a woman. The New Testament "weaker vessel" idea.

I also probably would feel more sorry for a woman getting verbally attacked by a man than vice versa because of the weaker vessel idea as well.

Please notice I did not say "lesser vessel" or "less intelligent vessel".

In Christ,

Benji

happy gram said...

An announcer on one of the cable channels suggested that Tiger Wood's fan base, which is mostly men interested in sports, would not be affected by Tiger's behavior. He commented "Tiger's fan base is comprised of men who are interested in sports and who expect and are used to professional athletes who have extramarital affairs and play around while on the road. this fan base will not be affected at all."

sad.

Jeff said...

Why are the requirements for pastoral office for males only?

Jeff said...

Wade, Last time I check they were still called directors on your website while others were called pastors.

Jeff

Wade Burleson said...

Benji,

You are using the word "sympathy" and I used the word "humiliation." I believe they are defined differently.

Sympathy - an inclination to support or be loyal to.

Humiliation - to be disgraced or shamed.

I feel sympathy for BOTH Tiger and Elin. I do not feel humiliation for "Elin." She is not disgraced or shamed.

But IF, - and remember, this is a big IF - Elin took a club after Tiger and assaulted him she was feeling humiliated. It's the same reason a husband takes a club after his wife. He feels humiliated and disgraced.

Christians should always feel sympathy; never humiliation.

Blessings,

Wade

Jeff said...

Wade, I checked and you changed the title which is consistent with what you state. I might not agree with female pastors, but I do commend you for what you have done.

Jeff

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

I'm not sure when you checked, but their job descriptions, titles and work is pastoral in nature.

You asked: Why are the requirements for pastoral office for males only?

I'm not sure what you mean by your question, but let me give a shot to answer your question by asking a similar one.

Why are the 10 commandments ("thou shalt" and "thou shalt not" in the masculine Hebrew form only?

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

It's always been that way - not changed. The web master who created the new staff page simply erred in not putting the proper ministry titles on the page. The website is undergoing major renovation and a new site will be launched in January

Kevin M. Crowder said...

If you ask me, "But is it MORALLY or BIBLICALLY right for them to serve?" I respond: I see BOTH sides of the argument FROM SCRIPTURE and am personally indifferent. I am indifferent to this question for two reasons:

(1). I will most likely be the Senior Pastor of every church body with which I assoicate until Jesus comes or I die.
(2). What other churches do is their business, not mine.


Wade,

I respect you on many different levels though I do not know you personally. That is the beauty of being "in Christ." But I do not respect the answer above.

I respect you right be ambivalent. I have no quandary there. I would even respect your right to unequivocally affirm the morality and scriptural-ness of females occupying the same position you hold at Emmanuel in other churches, though of course I would disagree. Finally, I would very much respect your choosing NOT to answer the question. But to answer it in such a manner as you did is to me less than honest--if I may respectfully be so blunt.

To apply this same logic to other of your positions (views) would be unacceptable to many around you. Either the Bible speaks to this issue, or it does not. If your position (view) is that it does not, then the gender of the position (sr. pastor/sr. elder) you hold is open in the eyes of our God to both males and females, period. But if the Bible DOES in fact speak to this issue, then you have one of 3 responses:

1. yes
2. no
3. I do not know. (a most respectable answer)

But, to remove yourself from the obligation of answering the question in light of the fact that you are a male Sr. Pastor who will (almost in your words) never have to personally deal with this, is to tell the rest of us--fend for yourself on this one.

I do not respect the answer of a man whom I very much respect.

K

PS: I am including 1 cup of love on the side for you to add to taste, as my cooking may not be to your liking. :)

PSS: What other churches do (as to #2) is supply Presidents to our seminaries and funds to our IMB and Confessions and, and, and...which is of course not your business???

Thy Peace said...

Emmanuel Enid > Pastors & Staff.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

I am open to the idea that I might be missing something in #2. Why did you first talk about feeling sympathy initially and then switch to saying "feel humiliation" and then "feeling humiliation"?

"(2). For those who feel sympathy for Elin's 'humiliation' I ask a simple question: If Elin had been unfaithful to her husband in the manner Tiger has been to her, would you feel humiliation for Tiger?" I think not. Feeling humiliation for someone portrays the person as a weak victim, not an equal partner."

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

When I taught the people of Emmanuel what the Bible teaches about the end times (the series was called "Cosmic Eschatology") I taught Historic Premillenialism as if I believed it myself. I taught Amillenialism as if I believed it myself. I taught Dispensationalism as if I believed it myself. I taught Partial-Preterism as if I believed it myself. Then at the very end of the 16 week series, I told them to search it out for themselves and come to their own conclusion. I reminded them that good, solid, Bible-believing evangelicals believe ALL FOUR POSITIONS, and I was ambivalent as to WHAT THEY BELIEVED. Then, at the very, very end, I told them what I PERSONALLY believed. After it was all over I assured them that if they were Sunday School teachers they were free to teach whichever view to which they held and did not have to teach what "the pastor believed."

I have studied enough of the writings of conservative/evangelicals who have written scholarly defenses of women in ministry and those conservative/evangelicals who have written scholarly defenses opposing women in ministry. I COULD TEACH BOTH POSITIONS AS IF I BELIEVED THEM. But I am ambivalent as to what people believe on this issue, because good, solid, Bible-believing Christians disagree over what the Bible teaches on this subject.

So, Kevin, it may be hard for you to understand how I could be ambivalent on this issue, but since I believe it to be a tertiary issue, one with which Bible-believing Christians disagree, I simply wish to encourage all of us not to separate in fellowship over disagreements over women in ministry.

Now, if you ask me what I PERSONALLY believe I will respond in this manner:

It makes no difference.

In His Grace,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Benji,

Probably poor wording on my part. Let me see if I can clear it up with an edit.

Thanks for pointing it out.

Wade

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

I very much appreciate the depth of your response. It does make a lot more sense to me than the response to Rodney Sprayberry, except for the fact that "It makes no difference" is a bit more ambivalent of an answer. Are you saying that it makes no difference whether a man or a woman occupies the same position (of sr pastor) you do at Emmanuel at another church, which is to say you indeed affirm the biblicity of female elders/sr. pastors? Or are you again repeating #2 that quite frankly, outside of your pulpit today, you do not care at all what the rest of Christendom is up to?

Finally, you DID give Emmanuel a taste of your personal and precise position regarding eschatological events (I respect that btw and would do the same, as does my pastor and church staff). But you have seemed to make a parallel here when the parallel does not fit, for you never have given a precise personal position on this matter. I find your theological prowess to be more than sufficient to answer the question.


K

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

I gotcha brother.

But there is something I do and do not understand concerning feeling humiliation.

I understand what is meant when you talk about someone feeling humiliation from their spouse cheating on them.

However, I do not understand what is meant when you talk about feeling humiliation for someone else who feels humiliated by their spouse cheating on them.

I understand the idea of feeling sympathy for the wife of Tiger Woods. I don't understand the idea of feeling humiliation for the wife of Tiger Woods if she feels humiliation.

Could you explain what you mean by the latter?

Wade Burleson said...

Benji,

If a person feels that Elin has been "humiliated" by Tiger, then that person can look past her taking a golf club and assaulting Tiger. But you never hear anyone saying they feel sorry for a husband being "humiliated" by his wife (who was unfaithful) and then justifying beating her with a golf club. Only weak and insecure people are "humiliated." When a person who is strong and feels equal to the infidel, there is no feeling of "humiliation" but a genuine sympathy for the infidel -- knowing that his/her life is empty. For a spouse to NOT hit an adulterer or adulteress with a golf club is a sign of STRENGTH. For anyone to justify assault and battery on the basis of humiliation is wrong. That's my point.

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

Could it be possible that I don't yet KNOW what I believe, but the mistreatment of women who are ministering according to the gifts they have causes me to DEFEND them and SUPPORT them as if I believed in women in ministry? Just asking.

I believe that the command of my Lord to love my brothers and sisters in Christ supercedes ANY cherished principle or doctrine. Period.

Blessings Kevin and Benji!

I am on my way to bed!!

:)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Could it be possible that I don't yet KNOW what I believe"

Closer

I believe that you do not NOW know what you beleive. Your statement above assumes you never had a position. I beleive if I had asked you the same question 5 years ago, your answer would have been definatively "men only."


Either way, I CAN at the very least now respect your new answer and can now rest easy tonight as I hope you will do the same.


Merry Xmas,

K

Becky said...

Great post. I recently finished reading an interesting book titled, "Love Tag" by Peter Shianna. The book is about an unfaithful spouse (one partner cheated on the other). I have never been cheated on, however I felt the reality of how horrible it must feel by reading this book. I feel terrible for Tiger's wife and hope that they get get some good guidance and that they can move forward toward a brighter future.

RRR said...

Wade,

Men and women might be equal in God's eyes, but, PRAISE GOD!, He made them "different".

As to Tiger's wife being prosecuted, maybe Tiger doesn't want her to be prosecuted. Maybe they prefer this to be between the two of them to be worked out for the best in their relationship.

It wouldn't surprise me if my wife ran after me with a club for being bad and I wouldn't want her to be put in jail for doing it! I would hope I would suggest we seek counseling instead.

Maybe some people like the idea of women senior pastors and other people don't. That's okay. It has always been that way.

If one organization or country club traditionally doesn't accept women in certain positions then the women insisting on filling those types of positions probably would want to be a member some where else.

Do we have to force everyone to change so that they see things the same way as "we" see it?

RRR said...

I didn't get to respond to the previous and very interesting post about missionaries, etc., so at the risk of being guilty of inappropriate blogging etiquette can I make one more short comment? Thanks.

I figure all of the changes going on have the most to do with positioning all of the international (IMB) and domestic missionaries (NAMB) on level playing field in anticipation of the coming Board combination, probably next year.

So the way trustees are having meetings, etc., will soon be irrelevant because we'll eliminate one group of Board members anyway!

I’m in no position of authority or to know if this is true but some of us are expecting more changes for everyone! Hooray! More changes! Hopefully, it is all God-ordained. Yea, God!

Rex Ray said...

Well, Wade, old friend,
How does a ‘Two-Edge Sword” feel?

I mean you started with a Sword to “advocate the full equality of males and females” but went to bed with the other ‘edge’ forcing you to change some of your answers to Rodney Sprayberry’s questions that Kevin kept chewing you on.

Rodney’s question: “Do you believe that full equality means that a woman should be a pastor?”

You arranged his question to 3 possibilities.

On the FIRST possibility, you corrected Rodney’s English of “woman should” to “woman CAN”, and answered: “Of course. It’s happening.”

I believe you’d been money ahead if you’d stopped there. :)

On the THIRD possibility, you said, “a resounding YES. My Lord would have me do nothing less.”

Ut Oh! Is “My Lord” an example of your post not long ago of taking the Lord’s name in vain? - Using the Lord’s name as a conversation stopper.

On the SECOND possibility, you said, “If you ask me, ‘But is it MORALLY or BIBICALLY right for them to serve?’
I respond: I see BOTH sides of the argument FROM SCRIPTURE and am personally indifferent…for two reasons:
(1) I will most likely be the Senior Pastor…(2) What other churches do is their business, not mine.”


Kevin disagreed saying: “But if the Bible DOES in fact speak to this issue, then you have one of 3 responses:
1. yes
2. no
3. I do not know. (a most respectable answer)”

You replied with about 300 words and changed your two reasons to: “It makes no difference.”

Again Kevin takes you to task, and you replied: “Could it be possible that I don't yet KNOW what I believe.”

BINGO! That’s the third response Kevin suggested to start.

Kevin,
You said to Wade, “I believe if I had asked you (Rodney’s question?) 5 years ago, your answer would have been definitively ‘men only’.”

Wade could possible answer your question by saying, “Only fools never change their minds.”

He has shown he is not one by announcing he has done a 180 on signing the BFM 2000 or any man made paper other than the Bible.

When Wade signed the BFM , he disagreed with some of it. Was he against ‘men only for pastors’?

Rodney,
Don’t go away, I’ve got some questions if you have a dog in this fight. :)
But like Wade said, I’m going to bed..

Jeff said...

Wade, Your reasoning is that the requirements in I Timothy 3 are cultural. Is this correct?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Rex,

Thanks for the Cliff Notes. :)

Wade,

Consider my question answered. I still respect you and finally respect your answer. :)

k

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

It depends on what you mean by "cultural." My reasoning on the Bible's declaration of the full equality of women is the overwhelming evidence, in all books of the Bible, of women functioning in ministry in the same manner as men. From the seven prophetesses in Acts, to the deaconess Phoebe, to Lydia as the only person mentioned in terms of leadership of the church meeting in her home, and on and on and on.

Also, most ancient writings possessed male stems for the verbs (i.e. "the Ten Commandments"), but everyone rightfully assumes women are included.

Finally, the Timothy passage does not forbid women from serving, but only addresses men in the same manner the Hebrew writer Moses addressed men when recording God's Ten Commandments.

When Paul prohibits a "woman" from teaching men or having authority, his language is IN THE SINGULAR IN GREEK (i.e. "that woman"). So I see Paul writing a personal letter to a young pastor giving specific instructions about a specific woman who needed to be corrected (possibly a woman converted out of the cult of Diana where women dominated men). Regardless, Paul's prohibition, according to many conservative scholars, is not a prohibition for all women at all time, but for a specific woman at a specific time.

So, my point is I can argue BOTH positions.

Smile,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Rex and Kevin,

I never said I didn't have a personal position on the subject. I simply asked, "COULD IT BE...?"

In other words, I am attempting to get both you to see that the issue is NOT obedience to the Word of God -- because good, solid conservative evangelicals disagree on this subject -- but the issue is cooperating with those who do disagree for the sake of the kingdom.

Blessings,

Wade

Debbie Kaufman said...

Benji: Your statement to Wade on accepting things new caught my eye. I surmise that this is not new. It is an old teaching that over time has gotten skewed.

Christ brought "new" teachings when he had his ministry on earth. No Jew male or female had ever before heard what he was telling them.

Paul brought "new" teachings to the Jews.

Yet, they were truth. The truth of scripture. Are you actually saying that women who have the same Holy Spirit in them, who study and know the Bible are not allowed to bring teaching to the men's table? I believe the examples in scripture that Wade gave show that just isn't so. It may be new to you, but it isn't new.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

Thank you for your response in comment "Thu Dec 03, 12:48:00 AM 2009". You have given me something to think about. Thanks.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Debbie,

I think when we read folks comments it is good to notice the way they are thinking.

Broadly speaking, let me give some different categories:

1. The traditionalist [i.e., what is past is right].
2. The modernist [i.e., what is new is right].
3. The biblicist [i.e., what is biblical is right].

If someone says "I can't believe we are in the 21st century and people still believe..." then he is speaking like a modernist.

If someone says "we need to get back to the 'old paths'" then he is speaking like a traditionalist.

If someone says "the scriptures are the highest authority for faith and practice", then he is speaking like a biblicist.

Now, when it comes to things "within the Scriptures", there are things that are "new". And the new is "better".

The "New Covenant" is explicitly declared to be better than the "Old Covenant" for example.

However, there is a big difference between the newness within Scripture and the newness outside of Scripture.

Biblicists like the newness in Scripture and justify its rightness based on Scripture.

Modernists like the newness outside of Scripture and attempt to justify its rightness based on supposed "progression".

The reason I responded to Wade [and I am not interested in going on and on about his particular comment] the way I did was because he spoke about being vindicated by future generations instead of mere Scripture itself.

So I addressed the ground of Wade's appeal for vindication and not whether "gender equality" was wrong or right from Scripture in that particular sentence of mine.

Wade Burleson said...

Benji,

Future generations will vindicate BECAUSE of the way they interpret the sacred Scriptures.

In other words, gender equality will one day be seen as ...

THE TEACHING OF SCRIPTURE.

:)

Wade

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

"Future generations will vindicate BECAUSE of the way they interpret the sacred Scriptures.

In other words, gender equality will one day be seen as ...

THE TEACHING OF SCRIPTURE."

You are still "assuming" that the way future generations interpret the Scriptures will be better than the past. Therefore, you are still stuck in the mud of modernism :).

Joe Blackmon said...

So when other people state their opinions, they need to be reprimanded or held accountable. When The Wade speaks, whatever comes out of his mouth is truth??

Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

What comes out of my mouth is opinion, and people are free to disagree! Hope you have a great day. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Benji,

Explain to me, if you don't mind, how Southern Baptists interpreted the Bible to condonce slavery in the mid 1800's, but we now say the Bible does not condone slavery.

Are we modernists?

Wade

Joe Blackmon said...

So, I'm confused. How is it that people can disagree with your opinions but dead people should be held accountable for what they falsely teach about the second coming?? Scratching my head over that one.

The fact is, you do the same thing you accuse others of doing. You state your opinion as being biblical which would therefore mean any opinion other than that is unbiblical. So, again, pot/kettle.

happy gram said...

wade, this middle-ager has learned a lot from reading your blog; you have displayed an amazing ability to withstand insults and sarcastic comments with grace and humility. grateful.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

Everything I believe is based upon Scripture. I have a very high view of the sacred text. My conscience is bound to the Word of God alone.

However, I realize my own capability to err in my interpretation of what the text means. In short, I know I could be wrong -- particularly if other conservative/evangelical believers disagree with my interpretation.

Notice what I am saying, "I COULD be wrong." I am not saying I think I AM wrong, but my believe that I could be wrong causes me never to separate in fellowship, cooperation and Christian love from those who disagree with me.

By the way, were Dr. Falwell alive, I would be honored for him to speak at Emmanuel -- even though I disagree with his eschatalogy.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Happy Gram,

Thanks so much for your comment. I really do appreciate every person who comments on my blog, no matter their disagreement with me. Thanks for noticing.

Wade

Debbie Kaufman said...

Southern Baptists used to exclude women from voting at the annual meetings, due to the scripture that many are now using to forbid women to teach. They held to many of the Victorian ways that society held to. So were they following scripture, society? Misinterpreting scripture?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

Then we will simply need to agree to disagree. I hold ecclesiastical structure to be a second tier doctrine. i am unanimous in my decision to place it at that level. That being said, I have every desire to cooperate on many levels with churches that have female Sr. Pastors. I simply want it to be noted that I prefer a line to be drawn denominationally. I love many folks in the CBF, Lutheran Church MS, PCA, OPC, EPC, other Baptist Bodies, Pentecostals, Ass. of God's, etc. But we cooperate on some things and draw lines on others. I think this is healthy.

While you still have not REALLY answered my question, I revert to my last comment to say that I concede to simply respecting your comment and moving on.

I also am glad that as long as you are Sr. Pastor at Emmanuel, She will not have a female Sr. Pastor and see no reason to break fellowship. :)


K

linda said...

Pastor Wade, you sure got it right on this post!

Lydia said...

"Rodney’s question: “Do you believe that full equality means that a woman should be a pastor?”

Shouldn't we first define what is meant by 'pastor'. It could very well be a man made tradition some are referring to instead of the Biblical definition.

"1. The traditionalist [i.e., what is past is right].
2. The modernist [i.e., what is new is right].
3. The biblicist [i.e., what is biblical is right]."

Benji, Which one of these categories would the proslavery theologian, Dabney, fit into?

Lydia said...

Oh, I agree with your post. When the 'weaker vessel' gets violent, they typically use dangerous implements.

If she decides to stay, she might want to take a page from the Kennedy women on dealing with husbands who are serial adulterers..

Christiane said...

Hi DEBBIE,

I think that you are right to be concerned about the possible mis-interpretation of Scripture in favor of a 'social' interpretation.

For example, the word 'Pastor' is not found in Scripture.

The word 'pastor' IS however related to the word "shepherd": a person who nourishes, protects, and watches over the sheep. Even Our Lord was called: 'the Good Shepherd' by early Christians, not 'the Good Pastor'.

So. If the word 'pastor' is the problem, discard it. Use the Biblical wording instead: 'shepherd' and, of course, 'shepherdess'.

Yes, 'shepherdess'. It's in there:

Genesis 29:9
" While he was still speaking to them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess . . . "

Some things are so easily sorted out, we often simply over-look them as solutions. :)

Pax Christi,
L's

Christiane said...

Now, if we compare Tiger with John Wayne Bobbitt, Tiger definitely comes off looking more wholesome.
Look at it this way:
Maybe Tiger's not so bad, after all. So what if Elin might have taken a golf club to Tiger? At least she didn't go for a 'Lorena Knife', God forbid. (Although I must say, at the time, Lorena Bobbitt did enjoy folk-heroine status among many betrayed women.)
So, what did Lorena's husband do? He had his wife arrested! And divorced her! What a jerk.
Whereas Tiger, on the otherhand, is reported to be meeting 'twice a day' in his home with Elin and a marriage counselor, trying valiently to save his marriage.
I think this is commendable.
As for Elin: they say Swedish women are passionate about keeping their houses in order. Elin, obviously, is no exception. :)

Darby Livingston said...

Wade wrote: "Explain to me, if you don't mind, how Southern Baptists interpreted the Bible to condonce slavery in the mid 1800's, but we now say the Bible does not condone slavery."

Lydia wrote: "Benji, Which one of these categories would the proslavery theologian, Dabney, fit into?"

I think we make the whole "slavery interpretation" carry a lot of water. The argument could be used to justify any interpretation of any section of Scripture.

For example, this is a similar argument being used to push the new perspective on Paul - that theologians of the past (reformation) got it all wrong and we can eventually get it right: How can you say that your interpretation of justification by faith alone is correct over the new perspective on Paul? Just look at how the slavery theologians were so convinced of their interpretation, and how we see it totally differently today.

It's important to note that both sides in the Civil War were certain that God was on their side. Read "Upon the Altar of the Nation" by Harry S. Stout if you want to be heartbroke

Wade Burleson said...

Darby,

How can you say that your interpretation of justification by faith alone is correct over the new perspective on Paul?

Good question.

It would seem to me, however, the same situation applies. You love those who disagree with you, you treat them with civility, but you remain convinced of your views.

Shaking "justification by grace through faith" out of my belief system would necessitate a quake of over 10 points on the richter scale. It ain't gonna happen.

But that doesn't mean I should be nasty, mean and un-Christian to those who disagree with me.

I know you agree.

Wade

Lydia said...

Benji, the point is that the proslavery theologians (the traditionalists) thought the abolitionist theologians were modernists, too, as in what is new is right.

Another important point is that we are NOT talking about Justification. We are talking about secondary non salvic issues with both slavery and women in ministry.

Unless you believe the women in ministry and gender roles are a salvic doctrine? Many do and teach it as such.

Lydia said...

Oops, I meant to say, Darby...

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

I thought "that one" might come up.

I have already made my views known concerning slavery here:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=19615457&postID=7172953289067684769

Let us assume, for argument's sake, that the New Testament reveals that Jesus died for the sin of slavery and condemned [via an apostle] slavery.

Now, with this understanding, then is it not true that slavery is "evil" because of what the Bible actually says about it and not because of how modern day SB's interpret the Bible? Or is it not?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Lydia,

"Benji, the point is that the proslavery theologians (the traditionalists) thought the abolitionist theologians were modernists, too, as in what is new is right."

I never advocated being a "traditionalist" or a "modernist".

If someone wants to justify something from scripture, then let's hear it.

However, attempting to ultimately justify something based on "the old paths" or "future generations" is another matter.

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Wade,

Would it be accurate to say that your opinion of the words (noun) used by Timothy, episkopē, and Titus , episkopos, is gender neutral; therefore resulting in the potential for a female to aspire to oversee the church?

I understand your use of the verb for pastor, …but what is your opinion and conviction concerning what was received by Timothy and Titus concerning overseer?

Blessings,
Chris

p.s. the same thought entered my mind about Elin...if she was pursuing an assault things could have been quite different, and may still be in the future.....it depends on how much money can be negotiated between the couple to advance their relationship at this point.

Lydia said...

However, attempting to ultimately justify something based on "the old paths" or "future generations" is another matter.

Thu Dec 03, 07:59:00 PM 2009

I can defintely see the parallels between what the majority believed scripturally about slavery and what the majority believe about the issue of women in ministry. And the same progression in Biblical understanding, too. They ignored the real message of Philemon for too long.

Benji, The Egals I know are coming to that position by the deep study of the Word. (Start with the earliest translations of Gen 3 to get a hint of why this must be studied deeply)

Culture has nothing to do with it. Excercising spiritual gifts to anyone regardless of genitalia has everything to do with it.

Like me, they were non egals who kept seeing uncomfortable contradictions no one wanted to address. Instead we were called rebellious and liberal. I am anything but liberal doctrinally.

Have you ever considered that you have not studied this issue outside of your 'cultural perception' bubble? And that this issue has direct links to the teaching on human authority in the Body of Christ? Mere depraved sinners saved by grace wanting authority over others in the Body.

The issue of teaching preeminance of a few is as old as the hills since it started around 200 AD. :o)

Darby Livingston said...

Lydia,

Genitalia, seriously? That's almost as comical as my earthworm comment a while back. :)

Benji Ramsaur said...

Lydia,

First let me say that I do not believe you or Wade are liberals. I believe both of you strive to be biblical. In fact, I still treasure my Jon Zens stuff even though I disagree with him on this point.

However, I do believe taking the approach of trying to read the New Testament through the lens of rigid Old Testament interpretations is an erroneous approach. And I think egal is an example of this. I don't think egals let the New Testament speak.

When it comes to something hovering around the sphere of "authority", I think there are two extremes.

There is the extreme of heavy handedness and the opposite extreme of no leadership at all IMO. I think egals can fall into the latter.

Anyway, we are all flawed, but grace is still grace. I'm glad that it is. I'm sure you are to.

In Christ,

Benji

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
I believe you’re saying if someone is drowning, we shouldn’t spend time arguing whether to throw a rope or a life buoy.

If Tiger’s wife hit him, it shows Tiger is a great man in that she knew he wouldn’t hurt her.

I mean, you may kick your dog, but you wouldn’t kick a rattle-snake.

A Baptist Standard calendar has a quote from Tiger, “You should live your own life and live up to your own expectations.”

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

Let's keep the comments related to the post.

Thanks. :)

The one unrelated has been deleted.

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Wade,

“I am thankful to God that He gave to me a spouse who not only recognizes her equality, but treats me with the respect and dignity equals give equals.”

That is a very good statement and one that is biblically solid in my opinion. Would you say that her (your wife’s) recognition of equality and her treatment of respect towards you makes it possible for you to lead / be overseer of the family? And, does how you treat your wife, make is possible for her to lead / be overseer of the family?

It appears to me from your statements that you teach that gender equality is the foundation for order (whether male or female) not only in the family (speaking of a husband and wife relationship), but in the church. Therefore, in your system of teaching, the order of male/female in the family relationship as well as how the Apostle has described the church falls into an either/or category. Would that be an accurate assessment of how you view the Tiger episode and how you have related it to your family and the church?

Blessings,
Chris

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
I really mean it when I say “thanks” for deleting my comment as it probably says more in being deleted and will sure keep me out of a heap of trouble. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Chris,

I'm not sure I fully understand your question, but "yes" I do believe equality in the male/female relationship is the basis for good relationships in the family as well as in the church.

Tim Marsh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin_Luther said...

Well here's a story to ponder:

http://theologyonfire.com/

Status Update

As many of you reading this already know, last night Pastor Thomas was
"called to go home" to be with his heavenly father. Erin and the children are physically ok and we ask that you fervently lift them up in prayer and surround them with love from our church family. We are grieved in this whole process. Many leaders from the Sanctuary Fellowship have been working hard since late Friday to minister to Erin and the children. Pastors and churches from across the country are calling, sending people to minister, and offering every kind of help possible.
We are eternally grateful and count our Father faithful for all of it.
We’re asking you to be patient with your desire for information as
we respect the family’s need for time to grieve. Please do not contact Erin or the children at this time, per their request.
Details will be shared on Sunday AM in the 10:15 service. Know that
we feel it is best to do this in person with our church with as many
people as possible. We will post those details on the website Sunday
after worship, and as additional information is made public it will be posted there as well.
Our service on Sunday AM will be dedicated to prayer and healing through biblical grieving as we rest in the hope of Jesus.
Serving an amazing God with you-
Pastors Joe and Jimmy



http://acts29network.org/acts-29-blog/thomas-young/

It is with very heavy and sorrowful hearts that we share with you the passing of Acts 29 church planter, Thomas Young.

Thomas Young planted The Sanctuary Fellowship near Houston, Texas.
He was a friend, encourager, and partner in the gospel with many of our
men. In a moment of weakness and darkness, Thomas chose to end his own life.

The Sanctuary has posted updates at their website:
* A marital dispute arose between Thomas and his wife.
* Thomas "made a bad choice" in how he sought to settle it, and during the dispute, took his own life.
* He was life-flighted to the hospital, but did not survive.
* His wife and three children are with friends, family and church leadership, loving and supporting each other.
* the funeral will be Thursday, December 3.

Please pray for his wife and their three children. We ask also that
you pray for the people of The Sanctuary as they deal with their grief and determine their next steps.

Acts 29 Director, Scott Thomas says, “I grieve with the Youngs and
The Sanctuary about this. I am sickened by the sudden and abrupt death of Pastor Thomas. "I believe the father of lies deceived him". Nothing can reverse the results of the lies in this case, but we are called to confess, repent and be reconciled to God through the finished work of Jesus on the cross through His resurrection. He is our only hope and without him, we have nothing to cling to. Our only recourse is to fall into the arms of a Father who loves us deeply and completely.”

This is a time for sober reflection and prayer for our pastors and ourselves.

Shelby said...

No. Sir.

The issue is - Tiger behaving reprehensibly with his body and soul and made a complete mockery of fidelity.

It is not - 'what if' Elin had behaved as he did.

There are no such accusations out there that she had dozens of hustlers on the side.

This is about a (one) (singular) cheater.

Your 'post theme' almost makes it seem 'ok' for husbands to act this way and that wives victim-fy themselves if they act with some anger.