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

Specificity on the Problem of Human Sexuality in the Evangelical Church Is Needed

According to Al Mohler, the two most 'divisive" issues in the evangelical world 10 years ago at the 2000 Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando were division over the exclusivity of Jesus Christ and human sexuality. Al suggested the SBC spoke to both issues and passed the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message at that Convention.

It is unfortunate that Al Mohler is not more specific. The exclusivity of Jesus Christ is something upon which all Southern Baptists agree.

Human sexuality , however, can mean either an opposition to "homosexuality" or an emphasis on ensuring the femine gender is placed in their proper role -- underneath the authority and leadership of the male.

My question for Al Mohler is a specific one: "Are you referring to homosexuality or the role of women in the evangelical world when you speak of human sexuality problems in the church today?"

It seems to me that those two issues are TWO different issues, and to confuse them is not to be intellectually forthright, for conservative, evangelicals differ over the role of women but are in agreement in opposition to homosexual behavior.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems at every good Baptist meeting they always need to do two things:

1. Be sure the women are put in their proper place.
2. Be sure to castigate gay people.

Personally, I'm getting sick and tired of hearing both things. You'd actually be surprised how many gifted and talented women and gay people are actually functioning in SBC churches--and our homophobe leadership doesn't even know it.

They are too busy worrying about sealing records that noone even cares about.

Wade Burleson said...

Unfortunately, anonymous, you are doing the same think Al Mohler is doing.

The two issues of which you speak are different in nature.

Women are women by God's physiological design.

Gays are men and women physiologically who choose their sexual behaviors, much like men and women choose heterosexual sin like adultery and pre-maritial sexual contact.

In His Grace,

Wade

Scott said...

My question remains this:

Why are our two major offerings named for women?

Weren't they married?

I'm not sure if they were or not, but if they're married, why aren't they named for their husbands since obviously the women were conducting their ministries under the close supervision of their husbands.

We celebrate the tenacity and leadership of women with these two offerings because you know that they were pastoring as they were missionaries, yet we can't have women do that role here in the states? Seriously?

And don't get me started on having women do the roles of ministers with a "director" title in a church. That's outright lying.

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

Pretty good questions.

:)

Richard said...

Scott,

Women can do a lot of things in ministry, but women are not allowed by the Scripture to be pastors.

Scott said...

Richard, when a woman is in the mission field, are they not acting as pastors and conducting pastoral duties?

How can we have such a double standard in our churches where a woman cannot be a pastor yet that same woman can conduct the same activities on the mission field and we praise God for her work and sacrifice?

Has no one given this any thought?

And don't give me, "Well, it's different what they're doing there.." because that woman is pastoring new believers in the mission field just the same as that man is pastoring new believers in his church.

Wade Burleson said...

Richard,

The problem is the concept of "ordination."

One of these days Southern Baptists will see that half the New Covenant priesthood is female and we are no longer under an Old Covenant where priests were only male.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Here are the documented words of Steve Gaines (typed by his hands on the internet), one of the drafters of the BF&M 2000:

I was part of a 15 person group that wrote the BF&M 2000, but I would never quote it as being "absolute truth."

So one of the drafters of the BF&M 2000, the same document that seminaries and SBC boards are making people affirm and sign as law and gospel and firing them if they refuse, is now stating that it is not "absolute truth." Well, then why lord it over people's heads as if it's on the same level as Scripture?

New BBC Open Forum said...

I, too, am weary of hearing about the "slippery slope towards homosexuality" if women are doing the things Scott speaks of. I think there are a lot of men and women (but especially men it seems) in the SBC who are absolutely obsessed with homosexual behavior while turning a blind eye to heterosexual sin which is sometimes their own sin. With the stories in the news about Ted Haggard and George Rekers to name but two, it makes me wonder if some of the loudest obsessors in this area might have some skeletons in their own closets.

Anonymous said...

Richard:

I have a question that no one has ever answered, but maybe you can help.

What part of "not so among you" and "the first shall be last" does not apply between Christian men and women?

Please answer with scripture, esp. the "plain reading" verses that expressly state the exceptions to Jesus' rule.

Thanks in advance. ;-)


the upside-down kingdom

Lydia said...

Al did not get the memo. The culture war is over. We lost.

Of course, the Haggards, Rekers and perverts in the SBC did not help. And he cannot understand that the tactics that rallied the troops in the 90's won't work as well enmasse anymore.

Too many eyes see the hypocrisy.

It is about the Gospel and seeking the Kingdom. Not fighting a culture war.

We just want more of Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Sorry to disappoint you but not everyone believes that gay people "chose" their sexual orientation.

chaidrinkingfool said...

While I can appreciate and agree with the need to keep the "issues" and the scriptural studies of the questions about the treatment of women and of homosexuality separate, I must point out something that I view as an uneven comparison.

"Gays are men and women physiologically who choose their sexual behaviors, much like men and women choose heterosexual sin like adultery and pre-maritial sexual contact."

I don't reduce all homosexual activity down to being about intercourse or sex, just as I don't reduce all heterosexual activity down to being about sex. A relatively sheltered friend of mine said when he first saw a male couple, "Their body language is the same as a 'straight' couple!" He observed--and seemed a little surprised--that they appeared to care for one another. I think we're missing something that's important to include in the conversation if we compare homosexuality solely to sinful heterosexual behaviors.

I will add that I cannot recall choosing to be heterosexual. Is there really a choice involved? If so, is there always a choice involved?

Tom Kelley said...

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Sorry to disappoint you but not everyone believes that gay people "chose" their sexual orientation.

Tue Jun 15, 09:57:00 PM 2010


Wade didn't say anything about "orientation"; he very specifically addressed behaviors, that is actions, which are by definition chosen. It is always a choice to engage in consensual sex.

Tom Kelley said...

chaidrinkingfool said...
I don't reduce all homosexual activity down to being about intercourse or sex, just as I don't reduce all heterosexual activity down to being about sex.


Take out the prefixes of homo- and hetero- from your sentence and you will see that it doesn't make sense. "I don't reduce all sexual activity down to being about sex." Of course sexual activity is about sex. There may be more to relationships than sex, but the sexual component can't be separated from sex.

I will add that I cannot recall choosing to be heterosexual. Is there really a choice involved? If so, is there always a choice involved?

As I said to Anon above, Wade specifically did not refer to what a person "is" (orientation) but what they "do" (behavior). Behavior is always chosen.

-----
Tom

Lydia said...

"A relatively sheltered friend of mine said when he first saw a male couple, "Their body language is the same as a 'straight' couple!" He observed--and seemed a little surprised--that they appeared to care for one another."

You should read about Joshua Speed and Abe Lincoln sometime. They kissed upon meeting, slept in the same small bed and shared a room for years. They were very affectionate with each other. Today, their body language would be construed as homosexual.

But that was normal back then. No one thought anything of it and both men went on to marry and have children maintaining their relationship even though at a distance. Their letters read like love letters.

As a matter of fact, reading letters between close male friends from that time sound a lot like love letters to us today.

Anonymous said...

Al is not going to answer that question (those questions)---at least, not at this blogsite, if he even knows it exists.

chaidrinkingfool said...

Behavior may indeed often be chosen, but I believe that with Christ came higher standards than were recognized by following the law (Mosaic and otherwise): These standards take into account the orientation of the heart, and not merely the actions of the people. I cannot cite verses here, but it's one of the messages I see in the New Testament.

It's why I find it difficult to understand the separation of the orientation (heart) from the actions (body).

Lydia said...

"Al is not going to answer that question (those questions)---at least, not at this blogsite, if he even knows it exists."

You make an excellent point. Which is why Al made the vague comment. He knows he does not have to specify or explain himself. Because he is Al and he knows many will agree without knowing exactly what they are agreeing with.

Elisabeth said...

"Because he is Al and he knows many will agree without knowing exactly what they are agreeing with."

That is very true, and it's very scary. Al himself seems to me to be a true Christian man. I disagree with him on a lot of points, but also agree with him on a lot of points. But it's that kind of thinking - agreeing with a man because of his stature and following the man rather than following Christ - that leads to cults.

Steven Stark said...

Wade - "Women are women by God's physiological design."

Then I suppose gay people are gay by God's physiological design - since the mechanisms for attraction are physiological.

Anonymous said...

While a gay person may choose their behavior, I don't think they chose their orientation. Psychiatrists tell us that our sexual orientation is decided by the time we are two years old--how many people do you know make a conscious decision at that age? (Unless it is to become a Southern Baptist of course.)

Anonymous said...

To answer Scott's question:

Lottie Moon wasn't married. She apparently nearly got married, but her intended husband and she disagreed over theology. The official version is that it was over inerrancy.

Annie Armstrong was, I believe, married.

There was a time in the SBC that we trusted this group called the WMU to do a great deal of missions promotion, education, and financial work to support the mission work. That we no longer do so seems to have gone hand in hand with our now coming up short on funding the soon to be single missions board of the SBC. (Why will we keep 2 boards when both will be working in the US?)

The question that I think desperately needs answered is this:
How credibly can we share the Gospel with the workers at the Convention Centers that host the SBC? With all of our rhetoric, I don't think we'd do well with doing so credibly. We must address sin. MUST. But is our goal to have no homosexuals or to have people become followers of Christ? Won't they, like any other redeemed sinner, then be responsible to the Word and the Holy Spirit to grow in obedience, which will include striving to leave behind sin as best possible?

I'm with your comment elsewhere: I'm less and less interested. This wasn't worth the trip.

John

Lydia said...

"I'm with your comment elsewhere: I'm less and less interested. This wasn't worth the trip.
"

That was my impression after last year. I came away thinking it was 3 days of the Adoration of Man.