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

Practicing What God's Inspired Word Teaches

As a writer and a firm believer in the inspiration and infallibility of the sacred text, I am always looking out for men and women who put into practice the teachings of Jesus Christ, who comprehend that the New Covenant makes leadership in the Kingdom about service, not status; humility, not hubris; and gifting, not gender.

According to God's infallible Word, men and women can both lead, teach, and organize Kingdom advancements, and both men and women are called by God to encourage one another by loving, serving, and submitting to one another as into the Lord. Christ is King. We are all servants in His Kingdom.

Roles in the New Covenant are shared by both genders. Nobody has spiritual authority but Jesus Christ, and He has it all. We love one another, we serve one another, we esteem one another better than ourselves, we encourage one another, we submit to one another.

This is what the Bible teaches. This is Kingdom living. It is the opposite of the way the world thinks. It is upside-down living. But it frees people. It liberates.

Meet Sallie Borrink

I have found her writings compelling. For all my conservative, Bible-believing friends who can't understand how encouraging, empowering, and equating Christian women to be equal to Christian men, read you some Sallie Borrink at a Woman's Freedom in Christ.

Recently, Sallie wrote:
I had a surreal moment this morning when I realized that sometimes as a conservative biblical egalitarian I feel like I have more in common with the Christian patriarchlists whose work I’ve been picking apart and publicly refuting for the past fifteen years than the Christian egalitarians I should be able to relate to.
Yes, really. Crazy to think about, isn’t it? 
While I may vehemently disagree with the conclusions the Christian patriarchalists come to, they believe that the arguments regarding how women function in the church begin and end with the Scriptures. 
As do I.

I can’t even follow the discussions of many “Christian” egalitarians any longer. Whenever I stop by Facebook groups or some websites to read, my head nearly explodes with the flat out heresy that is completely given a pass. 
In a misguided attempt to be compassionate and non-judgmental, all kinds of blatantly unbiblical discussion is allowed to go unchallenged. I finally had to stop going to such places because it is so distressing. 
The sad part is that the Bible is not the final authority in matters of faith for many Christian egalitarians. It is about feminist ideology, social constructs, progressive politics, and psychology. 
It’s not about what the Bible says when carefully interpreted according to the author’s original intent and the culture in which the recipients lived. It’s about being relevant in current cultural conversations and movements. It’s the Bible + a lot of other things.
And it makes me profoundly sad. 
For me, this question of women functioning in the body of Christ has always been about understanding the truth from Scriptures. What is going on in the culture can never answer that question. 
It is sobering to see so many people going completely off the rails. Instead of being Bereans and trusting God can adequately answer their questions through the Word, they look for anything and everything that will give them the answers they want to hear. 
The Bible has the answers to the questions about how men and women should love and serve each other. It’s sad to see people think that it’s not enough.
Well said, Sallie.

May men and women of your tribe increase - exponentially.


47 comments:

Anonymous said...

"According to God's infallible Word, men and women can both lead, teach, and organize Kingdom advancements, and both men and until inwomen are called by God to encourage one another by loving, serving, and submitting to one another as into the Lord. Christ is King. We are all servants in His Kingdom."

Wade,

Will you be recommending your comments (above) for the SBC Resolution just drafted by Dr. Jason Allen on Affirming the Dignity of Women...?

http://sbcvoices.com/dr-jason-allens-resolution-on-on-affirming-the-dignity-of-women-and-the-holiness-of-ministers/

I hope so!

Wallace H. Rowland Jr. said...

Dear Wade,

How would I know that I have correctly interpreted my bible on this issue?

Respectfully,

-Wallace

Wade Burleson said...

Wallace,

Be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within you.

You make a good point about “different interpretations.” That’s why in a Convention like the SBC, COOPERATION is the key, not CONFORMITY. I’m great with letting churches disagree - I’m not great with demands that everyone agree with Paige Patterson.

Anonymous said...

I hope and pray more women like Sallie Borrink finally have their voices heard. I wholeheartedly support the egalitarian view knowing that many of my brethren and some sisters, disagree. As a denomination, SBC has historically given access to women in our seminaries to pursue whatever degree fit their calling. However, historically, those same women were limited in what role they would be "allowed" to serve in a church, if at all. With the CR (Takeover), particularly at SWBTS, women were increasingly discouraged and barriers thrown up for them to pursue an "equal" education to pursue an "equal" calling to serve "equally" in a church.

Context of Scripture obviously matters when practicing good hermeneutics...and this especially applies to 1 Timothy. Christ's own ministry should serve as an example to how he viewed women and how he broke down barriers that society/culture had observed for a long time. Totality of Scripture should also matter when arriving at a conclusion about egalitarian versus complementary. Paul, the author of Romans at the end of his book commends three women in ministry. Yet that same author, Paul, wrote the 1 Timothy passage. Maybe he was trying to address a particular issue in Timothy that wasn't present in Rome. Hmmm...

Wallace H. Rowland Jr. said...

Dear Wade,

The ONLY hope I have within me, is build on my encounters with Jesus. Jesus hermenuetics the Scripture to me. He has not taught me on this issue? How do I relate to a SBC resolution that states a particular interpretation is what the Bible says?

Respectfully

Wallace

Sallie Borrink said...

Thank you, Wade, for your kind words and sharing my site with your readers. I truly appreciate it and hope many will be encouraged by what they read.

Sallie

Debbie Kaufman said...

Wade: I like and agree with your answer to Wallace. I jumped up and down(on the inside as I am a lady. ha) That is exactly the point. I agree with Sally's post as it has been what I have observed for quite some time, and it has disturbed me. I love the scriptures and couldn't see so much of what egalitarians are writing about and saying in scripture. But would be able to agree to disagree easily.

What disturbed me and surprised me most was the way egalitarians tore into Southern Baptist women who are complementarian in theology and signed the open letter to the trustees. I would have thought they would have either silently stood by or would have expressed solidarity even though both disagree in doctrine. But that did not happen except for a very few. Instead they criticized the letter and the women who signed and wrote this letter. That kind of made me as a Southern Baptist woman, go even further away from egalitarians although I can support a lot that they do to help women where complementarian theology turns into Patriarch marriages.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I am sorry I misspelled your name Sallie, but have been reading your blog and hope you contribute more to the blogosphere. I need more women whom I can talk theology with, who care about theology and the scriptures.

Wade Burleson said...

Debbie,

Completely understand.

Authoritianism and demands for conformity plague both partriarchalism and feminism.

Grace. Humility. Service. Esteeming others. Character.

That’s New Testsament.

It is an honor to have you as a member of Emmanuel Enid, Debbie,

Wade Burleson said...

Wallace,

For twenty years I’ve been writing against the demands for conformity in the SBC on secondary and tertiary doctrinal points. Few people listened in the beginning. They are listening now.

Why?

Because when you demand everybody cross every t and dot every i the way you do, then you wind up with an incestuous doctrinal family that doesn’t reflect the Kingdom or the diversity found in the body of Christ. I knew this day was coming.

Now I’m hoping people realize the “reaction” to the problems is not to do away with the infallible Scriptures - but to actually LIVE them.

Anonymous said...

Wade and Sallie:

Sad but true. But have you considered the tragic irony of it all? I suspect that many formerly orthodox, yet egalitarian, women have been "chased" into liberalism by patriarchalists who elevate women in pastoral ministry to a test of fellowship. I wonder how many, having been called by God to pastoral ministry, were told their calling was unbiblical and subsequently illegitimate. And instead of abandoning their calling, they attended seminaries and migrated to denominations that have abandoned orthodoxy. Is it any wonder, the result?

But what if those same women had been given the opportunity to study at a robust, orthodox school, where at least some of their professors and fellow-students affirmed and encouraged their calling? And what if other professors and students, who held to complementarianism, didn’t regard the issue as a test of fellowship but disagreed respectfully? (Think SWBTS, my alma mater, prior to the Paige Patterson administration.)

I believe many of these women still would hold orthodox positions on Scripture, sexuality, soteriology, etc. This, to me, is a real tragedy that largely has gone unnoticed. And if I'm right, Patterson and his kind are partially responsible.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Well written.

The SBC Phoenix may be rising.

Sallie Borrink said...

Anonymous,

It is tragic. I'm heading to bed so I won't get into the long story, but my husband and I have struggled a LOT with finding a denomination primarily due to the issue of women functioning in the church. I am a born and raised Baptist at heart (not SBC), but I have spent most of my marriage in and out of several denominations trying to find somewhere to fit in. I know I am biased, but I think being a conservative biblical egalitarian has to be the hardest theological view to have right now. There are zillions of options if you are complementarian or a mainline egalitarian. A conservative biblical egalitarian has very few places to land. I pray that will change in the years ahead.

To your point, I was not specifically called to pastoral ministry in the ordained sense. I do have spiritual gifts that I have used in the past, but have not used in many years in a church because there was no place to use them. I have opted to keep my orthodoxy and not use my spiritual gifts in a church setting. Abandoning the orthodox Christian faith was not an option for me. Finding a way to use my gifts in places other than a local church was eventually the only option.

Sallie

Wallace H. Rowland Jr. said...

Dear Wade

I am sorry, but I apparently misunderstood your inference. I thought your article was saying that I should be able to interpret the Scripture, if I studied hard enough. And that that interpretation would agree with what you said the Bible said about gender.

I certainly don't believe that people SHOULD believe like I do. I often, don't agree with what I thought last week!

I apologize.

The only things I know for sure are the things that Jesus has taught me by his Spirit. And those are not many. I don't know Jesus very well. I often mistake His voice for other voices.

I have studied the Scripture for 50 years. I have a 4.10 grade point from Southwestern and I am utterly convinced I cannot understand the Scriptures without teaching from the Holy Spirit.

I do know that He is alive because He speaks, and I know this not because I studied it in the Bible. I know that because I encountered Jesus.

I am not saying people SHOULD believe that. How can they, if they have not encountered Jesus. I am just, as you say, sharing the hope that is within me. And this hope is to live by HIS LIFE in me!

Obviously, I did not do that well. I have misunderstood something again; and did not express myself well again. I probably even did it again! I am not looking for a quarrel. I apologize.

-Wallace

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade or Sallie -

I am posting this for contextual clarification. There is one sentence (the first one below) that I am trying to make sure I understand what Sallie wants to communicate.

Sallie states... "It’s not about what the Bible says when carefully interpreted according to the author’s original intent and the culture in which the recipients lived. It’s about being relevant in current cultural conversations and movements. It’s the Bible + a lot of other things."

In the first sentence, is Sallie referring to the Egalitarians or to how currently we should approach the scripture when interpreting it??

Wade Burleson said...

I will not speak for Sallie - only myself.

I believe what she is saying is that sometimes people who advocate for egalitarianism make the same mistake as patriachals - they both refuse to use proper exegetical methods in interpreting the Scripture and only advocate what the feel and what “current cultural conversations and movements” demand.

If I am incorrect, Sallie can correct me as to what she is saying.

But if I understand her right, I am in full agreement.

By the way, John. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like the words Calvinism or Arminianism, Complementarianism or Egalitarianism, and other “man-made” or “coined” words. I understand why they are needed, but I much prefer biblical language - and according to Scripture, the Kingdom is led by gifted, humble, service-oriennted people who put others first - and GENDER is NEVER an issue.

Before anyone objects, “But what about...” and then quotes a verse out of its context, I would encourage that person to FIRST type your question in the search bar of my blog. I’ve been writing on these things (as has Sallie) for years.

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

Thank you for your reply.

I am hoping (from what I was reading and struggling to make sure I understood) that the comment was not saying proper interpretation was understanding the authors intent and the cultural surroundings in which they live, in referring that our interpretation must use understand the historical cultural meaning but that our interpretation of such can change as the current culture changes.

Again, I was looking for clarification. It's Jon...not John. I know it's late where you are geographically. As for my typos, it has nothing to do with the 10 hour time difference to OK, I just don't type well. So, I will give you a pass. ;-)

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks for your understanding Jon.

I apologise for mispelling your name, and your are absolutely correct about the hour of where i am (Bali, Indonesia). Sadly, I typed this post with my THUMB on my cell phone - uggh. And only after several hours did I see all my typos.

Appreciate your understanding.

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

You are a bit closer to me than I realized. Only 4 hours ahead instead of 10 hours behind. I see the jet lag coming for you.

Fly Emirates - You won't be disappointed.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks for the tip Jon.

We flew Korean Air and loved it! One observation I have about airports. The world is BYPASSING good ole USA. We used to be the leader in airports, airplanes, and first class travel.

Not any more.

Other countries have far surpassed us.

Christiane said...

Jon,
I also am struggling to understand the post fully. But I did pick up on one thing that was very meaningful to me, this:
" That’s one of the reasons I don’t like the words Calvinism or Arminianism, Complementarianism or Egalitarianism, and other “man-made” or “coined” words. I understand why they are needed, but I much prefer biblical language - and according to Scripture, the Kingdom is led by gifted, humble, service-oriennted people who put others first - and GENDER is NEVER an issue."

IF this comment by Wade is a repudiation of 'labeling', I am all for it. I see labels used to marginalize and exclude people way too much in ways that are not Our Lord's Ways.
There is a feeling in Judaism that 'unkindness' is the greatest sin: that in allowing ourselves to be unkind and inhumane towards other persons, we have turned away from God.

'Labeling' has reached its negative pinnacle in the 'stereotyping' of human persons in extremely unkind ways. So, yes, I also see value in this part of the post, that labeling using 'man-made' terms can't mix well with biblical terms. Example: 'liberal' used to denigrate many decent Christian people who were attacked after the Pressler-Patterson take-over.

I hope to learn more from this post and the comments, but I figure that is a good beginning. I see the wisdom of it, yes.

Bob Cleveland said...

In the Old Testament, we have Queens, Prophetesses, Deaconesses, Teachers, and Judges. Would the ESS folks have us believe God made a mistake? Or perhaps the indwelling Holy Spirit makes ladies less able to lead?

I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post!

I still don't believe in women as senior pastors BUT THEN AGAIN I don't believe in men as senior pastors either! Not in the sense of the clergy laity divide, ordination, and pastoral authority as it is taught today.

Which frees all, men and women, to be servants of Christ and servants of each other. In my current denom (no longer SBC) I have in the past taken the Wednesday night service. I never felt I was out of step with the Bible since I was not speaking with my own authority, just "here is what the Bible says" and letting the Holy Spirit lead folks to either agree with my understanding of it or disagree. In fact I urged them to study and tell me if I was out in left field.

I've witnessed with horror the debacle of a church where the pastor is "the" authority and women take on the role. It flat out does not work. But then again I tend to feel the same way when the role is filled by a man.

I know the verses that are used to support male authority. And female equality. And frankly, since Jesus is the Head of the church and its only authority, they both leave me cold.

I truly wonder what would happen if we gave up the whole concept of one person speaking every week as some sort of spiritual leader? What would happen if every Christian contributed a song, a verse of Scripture, a teaching on it, etc. Oh but wait--isn't that Biblical?

My personal view? MEN have usurped (look it up) authority over the church. It won't help at all to encourage and fight for women to do the same thing.

What we need is to end the idea of usurping authority for BOTH genders.

Linda

Bob Cleveland said...

Linda: Scripture is plain that believers are gifted differently, so not everyone would be Scripturally qualified to preach, teach, etc.

1 Corinthians 12:37 & ff seems to state that explicitly.

I don't agree with men in the SBC who express what they prefer to see, over that which Scripture plainly condones.

Leigh Powers said...

Yes, this resonates with me. When Dr. Klouda was fired, it felt very much as if the SBC had hung out a giant "Not Welcome" sign as far as I was concerned. And yet I am biblically conservative and hold a high view of the Scripture. I'm not comfortable with the approach and hermeneutic many egalitarians use. It's a frustrating position to be in--I don't feel I belong fully in one camp or the other.

Anonymous said...

Of course not everyone is gifted the same--but all gifts are of equal value. I seriously doubt a congregation of much size has only one person gifted to teach or preach. And I would expect those with testimonies, songs, etc are equally needed in the service. We have taken what the scripture says, I believe, of having every member present contribute what the Lord has gifted them with to the service, and made it one authority figure up front telling everyone else what to believe. To me and my reading of the Bible, it clearly and plainly forbids the way the SBC and most other denoms function.

Another challenge: we have made preaching mostly a teaching ministry aimed at believers. It appears to me that is one gift, and is for both genders. Preaching appears Biblically to be an entirely different gift and used evangelically. And then we muddy the waters more by ignoring the scriptural requirements for church leaders and redefine it into "whoever has passed these courses in these specific schools and been ordained" which is most definitely not Biblical.

I'm saying rather than try to open a faulty office to women but continue in the faults we need to ditch the whole shebang we humans invented and try doing things Biblically.

Or to be blunt, if a man is not supposed to be the head of the local church in Christ's stead, why would we fight about can women have the same office? If the way we do things is wrong for him it will also be wrong for her.

Your mileage may vary.

Linda

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous 9:55: Yes all gifts are of equal in value, as they are all designed to build up the Body for the work of service. But ask most SBCers what their particular gifting is, and how they're using it to build up the body, and they cannot answer you. Which goes to show how bad a job we have collectively, done at making disciples, rather than just converts.

Sallie Borrink said...

Replying to Jon L. Estes...

Yes, what Wade said. I was referencing the trend among egalitarians to incorporate too much of culture into their understanding of men and women functioning in the ekklesia rather than relying on carefully interpreting the Scriptures based on the author intent, setting, etc.

And I also agree with what Wade said about labels. I'm not a big fan either. For example, I do believe men and women complement each other but I'm not a complementarian. I'm not a fan of labeling myself an egalitarian and resisted it for a long time, but it's what works best for current discussions. However, that's why I now clarify that I'm a conservative biblical egalitarian because Christian egalitarian can now mean a whole lot of things, many of which I would not agree with.

I hope that helps!
Sallie

Anonymous said...

I couldn’t agree more with the comments about labels. I do understand how they became necessary through time but we may never know how much true damage extrabiblical words and categories have done to Christianity. There is such a difference between saying “My understanding of this passage is...” and saying “I’m a neo (insert 6 syllable word) and you’re a trad (insert 7 syllable word)”. The former leaves room for growth and learning from each other, even disagreeing while maintaining unity. The latter is fertile ground for egos to grow and take over. It’s easy to ignore the command to love each other when a person is just a label.

Pastors who think this doesn’t affect their congregations are fooling themselves. These labels and divisions provide a disproportionate amount of clanging cymbals to the orchestra and some of us are leaving institutions like the SBC because we can’t hear God through all the noise anymore.

Sallie Borrink said...

Replying to Debbie Kaufman...

Hi Debbie! I have to admit that I didn't follow what happened with the letter so I didn't see the responses. I left Facebook just before the Beth Moore thing blew up several weeks ago and so I find bits and pieces of info from Twitter and blogs I follow. Other than that I decided I needed to walk away from so much of the toxic fighting for my own well-being.

Like pretty much every part of our culture right now, divisions are strong and toxic. It's sad. I finally made the decision to distance myself from as much of it as I could. I have a husband, daughter, business, and home that need me. I'd love to write more regularly on my theology blog, but time doesn't permit it very often. And as I said when I wrote a post reflecting on my experience with leaving Facebook, there is no place for nuance in discussions any longer on most social media so there's little point in my going there to discuss. I'd rather compose a thoughtful post and trust God to lead the right person to it at the right time (which He has time and again).

Sallie

Sallie Borrink said...

Replying to Linda...

Yes, regarding the entire idea of how we structure our churches and denominations. I think we probably have very similar thoughts regarding the way the Body of Christ should function. I couldn't resolve this part of the comp/egal debate in my mind until I thought long and hard about how we "do" church.

It's really like peeling layers off an onion. I realized one thing didn't make sense and peeled back that layer. That meant I had to deal with another layer. And peeling back that one led to yet another. It's a long process or at least it was for me. But God is patient.

I have a post rattling around in my head that is basically based on the premise that just like the Gospel, egalitarianism seems too good to be true. Egaliatarianism seems too freeing, too wonderful to actually be true. But isn't the Gospel the same way?

Sallie

Christiane said...

Dear Anonymous Who Commented about Labels

I remember being on SBCtoday and trying to explain how it was that though I did not believe in the TULIP Calvinism, I knew of a group of Dutch Reformed people in New Jersey who were very Christ-like in how they over-saw Eastern Christian Children's Retreat, a facility for severely disabled and challenged individuals.

I remember at the time how the labeling on that particular blog wasn't working to tell the whole story, so I thought what I shared about the Retreat, where my eldest son is a resident, might help fill out the truth about 'reformed' people . . . at least that was my hope.

But it was too much there, I couldn't fall in with the core group's homophobia and outright contempt for people with gender issues. And I was appalled by the comments directed against Dr. McKissic and Wade which seemed so baseless on that blog. The blog commenters focused a great deal on being anti any kind of social justice and there were some other terms they used to denigrate people also.

I wonder if Rick was influenced more by that mean-spirited core group of commentators than he realized? It was NOT OKAY how they broke the rules of Christian civility towards others. It was NOT OKAY. It was not 'acceptable' the level of contempt on that blog for others who were 'different', no. It got out of hand. And I'm afraid it may have affected Rick's judgment about what WAS 'okay'. I'm not convinced that he was allowing those people the freedom to be that way without thinking their treatment of others was 'acceptable. They influenced him. That is my thought. I didn't 'challenge' them directly. I wish I had. I ignored them. The only way I 'challenged' them that I thought might help was to bring something positive to the blog, some comments that were well-thought-out, some music, some photographs, some poems, some videos . . . what I thought my lessen some of the darkness that fed that 'core' group that grew increasingly malevolent in their comments.

I got banned eventually. But for a while, I think I did try in my way to help. I was told I broke a lot of rules and that people complained and I told Rick I accepted the decision of the board in good grace and wished him the peace of Christ. I thanked him for letting me know the decision in a private email. He was in his way gracious to me. I hope he repents and heals from all that 'negativity' and someday, I hope those negative people understand that words have consequences that they cannot always control. So may God have mercy on all of us when we sometimes do and say that which is far from the mind and heart of Our Lord. God help us to use our words in His service and not to injure others.

Sallie Borrink said...

Replying to Leigh...

I hear you! I think there are many of us out there, but we haven't been able to find each other. As I said above, online discussions are so toxic and polarizing around these topics that if you don't completely toe the line one way or the other (comp or egal) you are a horrible, horrible person. It's nearly impossible to have a thoughtful conversation, especially on social media.

This next part is conjecture on my part based on a lot of observation but with no hard data to back it up. I would guess many conservative biblical egalitarians are thinkers who lean introverted and are highly relational. Not shy, but introverted. We're not the type to storm the gates and demand that people listen to us. We simply walk away from the toxic conflict for our own well-being. When we see there is little thinking and no relationship there, we walk away. It makes it much more difficult to find each other.

Sallie

Christiane said...

"This next part is conjecture on my part based on a lot of observation but with no hard data to back it up. I would guess many conservative biblical egalitarians are thinkers who lean introverted and are highly relational. Not shy, but introverted. We're not the type to storm the gates and demand that people listen to us. We simply walk away from the toxic conflict for our own well-being. When we see there is little thinking and no relationship there, we walk away. It makes it much more difficult to find each other.

Sallie"

Sallie, this may be conjecture, but I can identify with much of what you are saying here. The only times I have ever been any 'good' at confronting toxic people is when I knew that they were attacking someone who was innocent of their poisonous aspersions. I always thought it was easier defending someone innocent because I always thought that was confronting negativity with some positive response. (?) I'm not sure I've been very successful, but it seemed the right thing to do at the time.

Avoiding toxicity? YES! Walk away from it. Their words reflect on who THEY are, not on you.

But if the toxic people come to after the innocent, I think we must say something on behalf of those who are being attacked, yes. That's important.

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Kaufman said...

Thank you Wade for that comment to me. I sometimes think I am too opinionated, but at the same time so glad I am at a church where women's teaching, gifts, and even opinions are welcome.


Sallie: I just finished reading your article "The Importance of Women Studying Theology" and was so glad you wrote this, wishing that more men and women would write this. I agree with it and have taught this in classes with the same reasoning you articulated. It is very well written. Kudos.

Oona said...

Christiane, thank you so much for your post. I’ve related to so many of your comments while I’ve been following this blog. I saw a lot of what you’re describing that went on at SBC Today and I’ve seen it on other pastoral blogs and forums and it’s easy to see why the denomination is in turmoil.

I’ve lived in the culture of SBC politics since I was born and it’s time for me to go. I don’t view the convention as a completely negative force, but at this point I’m not sure the SBC can define itself enough to know what it wants to be. Is a large association with a broad definition even practical anymore? Can or should people who differ on doctrines as consequential as Calvinism belong to the same denomination? Is corruption just part of the package when power, influence, and money are mainstays of an organization, even if that organization is Christian? Scariest of all, has this institution always been riddled with greed, power-hunger, cover-ups, and victimization but we didn’t have broad access to information like we do now?

I don’t know the answers but I do know that instead of “please save the SBC” prayers, it’s time for “Thy will be done”.

Oona (formerly “Anonymous”)

Christiane said...

Hello Oona,

I hope the SBC survives this most-recent crisis, but in a good way, making changes that are needed, especially for the sake of those who have suffered needlessly because of abuse.
I am not SBC, but my Grandmother, of blessed memory, was. I do admire the missions work of the whole Church, and many Southern Baptists may not know it, but their missionaries have been honored by other denominations. Lottie Moon is celebrated by the Anglican (Episcopal) Church in their liturgical calendar on Dec. 22, with these words:

"O God, in Christ Jesus you have brought Good News to those who are far off and to those who are near: We praise you for awakening in your servant Lottie Moon a zeal for your mission and for her faithful witness among the peoples of China. Stir up in us the same desire for your work throughout the world, and give us the grace and means to accomplish it; through the same Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

So, Oona, the whole Church has benefitted from the work of people in the SBC. There is much good that has been done, but probably humbly and quietly, as Lottie herself lived out her final days serving her Chinese people, feeding them her own food, and passing away weighing only about sixty pounds. So that story has likely been replicated thousands of times by good people whose names are known only to God, but who have given much and who were members of SBC-related Churches.

But we hear of the horror stories now, and they come from the highest levels of 'power' in a denomination which ought to teach that leaders are servant-leaders, not abusers of women.
It's hard to see this happen and I think the only hope is that the WOMEN of the Church rise to speak . . . to shame the men into doing what is right. (In my own Church, in the year 2012, the 'Nuns On The Bus' shamed the United States Bishops into speaking against a political policy that would put a heavy burden on the afflicted, the poor, and the disabled, so I know that women CAN and DO make a difference (yeah, Nuns-On-The-Bus)!

It's very possible women in the Church WILL realize that they don't want the 'status qo' for their little daughters, and these women may rise. I hope so. I think, for nothing more than the memory of all those good people who served Our Lord in the SBC quietly and humbly, that the SBC is worth saving.

I hope the women of the Church rise to speak. They have a story to tell the men that needs to be heard. And acted on.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Been in the hospital with a recurring ankle problem. I see there’s been a lot of water under the bridge; or a lot that needed flushing down the commode.

My dad believed to teach honesty you had to catch dishonesty. He would give an ‘honest test’ to his school kids. The test was simple: ten circles the size of a penny were on an 8 x11 sheet of paper. The person was to study the circles, hold the paper down with one hand and try to put a dot in the circles with a pencil with their eyes closed.

Another test given after the first one had a prize. This increased the number of cheaters.

Authorities of the test said it was impossible to get more than four dots in the circles.

Many of the cheaters would lie by claiming they had not cheated and accepted taking the test again. One by one, in a separate room, a sheet of paper was put in front of their ‘closed eyes’ made them admit the truth.

When we were kids, my twin brother and I took the test and didn’t get over two dots correct. :)

Going to Germany, he gave the test to adults on a boat going to teach American army kids in 1947. Afterwards, he told them it was an honest test but didn’t ask for their papers. The superintendent of schools threw his overboard.

These authorities spent many years of keeping tabs on ‘liars’, and found many would steal, and some in avoiding being caught would kill.

I believe PP has been in an ‘honest test of life’ and has come up short.

Nancy2 said...

SWBTS has yanked PP's golden parachute:
https://swbts.edu/news/releases/statement-southwestern-theological-seminary/

Christiane said...

It's really true! Thanks for the info, Nancy 2



"During the May 30, 2018, Executive Committee meeting of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) Board of Trustees, new information confirmed this morning was presented regarding the handling of an allegation of sexual abuse against a student during Dr. Paige Patterson’s presidency at another institution and resulting issues connected with statements to the Board of Trustees that are inconsistent with SWBTS’s biblically informed core values.

Deeming the information demanded immediate action and could not be deferred to a regular meeting of the Board, based on the details presented, the Executive Committee unanimously resolved to terminate Dr. Paige Patterson, effective immediately, removing all the benefits, rights and privileges provided by the May 22-23 board meeting, including the title of President Emeritus, the invitation to reside at the Baptist Heritage Center as theologian-in-residence and ongoing compensation."

(from the link provided by Nancy 2 in the above comment)

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,

hope your ankle is better soon

EMSoliDeoGloria said...

Sallie. I have had a similar experience. Well stated.

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,

Thanks.

I got up to take a pain pill. The GOOD news about Patterson having to lie in the bed he made caused me to forget about my ankle. :)

“…God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7 NKJ)

Jon L. Estes said...

Wishing this (this = meant to be read as I wish Patterson would have made the right choices along the way. That any person abused would never have been abused) would have never had to happen... but it did. I am in full support of the Trustees decision, as I hope all followers of Christ would be due to the actions at SEBTS.

My prayer now is that we can understand that our mandate is to pray for the Pattersons and not verbally kick them while they are down.

I have many good memories of Dr. P. I was never an insider… never wanted to be. He was my President twice and professor (while he was my president in several classes) at both institutions. He was used by God to do many great things for the kingdom. The SBC owes him much but we owe God more.

I have forgiven him, regardless if he wants it or not. I hope the best for him, whatever that may look like. I pray we see God restore him through whatever means, to be further used to expand the kingdom.

I want to show more love to Dr. P, than I do the SBC (the institution).

Wishing this would have never had to happen.

Tom Parker said...

Jon: It is so much more than what happened at SBTS. Our mandate is to to pray for the Pattersons-really? Not to pray for all those whose lives PP mangled while he was one of the leaders of the CR?

You have forgiven him for what?

You said:"Wishing this would have never had to happen." This you and I can agree upon. I wish PP had been stopped years ago.

BTW--there will be many PP supporters like you that will say the same things you said in your comment in the days to come.

Christiane said...

Hello Jon,
today belongs to PP's victims, as a day of justice for them, and so people celebrate that justice as 'right was done';

but Dr. Patterson is deserving of prayer in the hope that he repents of wounding so many innocent people for whom he showed no compassion or empathy . . . . so it is also a day to pray that God sends down a spirit of conviction on him so that he is awakened to the pain he caused, for example, Dr. Klouda whom he cast out when her husband was so ill, and there were so many more innocent lives injured at his doing. . . .

He deserves that Christian people pray that he will be able to repent for hurting others and that his soul can be healed. In that way, we hope for him to acknowledge the wrong he did to others and to do this before the Lord humbly, in contrition. He needs healing and then, peace will come. This would be better for him than any earthly 'benefits' or 'titles', and we who are Christian people know the truth of this.

Even among the 'saved', there is recognition of a verse in sacred Scripture that speaks of 'making shipwreck' of our faith. Maybe the experience of real justice on Paige Patterson will awaken him to the truth of the sickness of his soul and he will come to Christ as we all must come . . . daily . . . and kneel before Him at the cross and mourn for what our sins have done. So, may Patterson come to kneel before Christ and join the rest of us sinners upon whom God has looked.