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

Why Equality of Women in Christianity Is Critical

I am a conservative, Bible-believing, evangelical Christian.

I believe the New Testament clearly teaches that leadership in Christ's Kingdom revolves around giftings, not gender; humility, not hubris; and personal service, not powerful status.

I've served as pastor of the same large, evangelical Southern Baptist church since March 2, 1992. I live in politically conservative northwest Oklahoma. I believe in liberty. I believe in the Bible. Most importantly, I believe in Jesus and His teachings.

For all these reasons, I believe the Bible and our Lord clearly teach that women should be free to serve based upon their giftings by the Holy Spirit, and never restricted from leadership or service because of their genitalia.

This is the teaching of Jesus.

For nearly two decades I have done all I can to convince the Southern Baptist Convention that if we are to behave in the manner set forth by the Bible we all claim to believe, then we should do everything we can to empower, encourage, and exalt gifted women.

The full-orbed image of God is never comprehended and appreciated until men and women work together in harmony.

In fact, I would go so far as to say, until women are involved in Christian ministry at your local church, you'll never see the transformative power of God in changing lives.

Our focus in the SBC right now is on the abuse of women.

Truth be known, our focus is all wrong.

We should be focusing on why we are not exalting women.

Women are, indeed, the very image of God.

45 comments:

Christiane said...

"I believe the New Testament clearly teaches that leadership in Christ's Kingdom revolves around giftings, not gender; humility, not hubris; and personal service, not powerful status."

Yes, this!

Bob Cleveland said...

I have taught through 1 Corinthians 12 more times than I can remember. And I know that I know that I KNOW it's the Holy Ghost wo distribute gifts to people as HE wills. Not willed by Seminary presidents or even local pastors. Plus there's Psalm 37:4 which plainly states that, if we will delight ourselves in Him, HE will give US the desires of our hearts.

Not seminary president. Not local pastors. He will place in our hearts a desire to do what He has in mind for us .. what He has prepared (in advance) for us to do.

I still have yet to see a differentiation by someone's sex.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I wonder if a woman in leadership did and behaved as Paige Patterson has the last many years, how would the SB Christian community perceive her? The answer to that will tell you what is wrong with not thinking of women as equals and just as gifted as men.

Anonymous said...

I bought “Hardball Religion “ several years ago but just began reading it about ten days ago. All that truth brings back so many sad and frustrating memories. I served on two major boards during the battle years and your experiences are not difficult for me to believe at all.
For many years now CP dollars, millions, have been wasted on a system that is intended to give the impression that there is decision making being done by a representative cross section of Baptists when in reality carefully chosen cohorts are stacked and in complete control.
I have also recently read. “Spending God’s Money” and that is quite an eye opener! May God forgive us.

Scott Shaver said...

At SBC Voices you will read some pretty shocking comments seeking to justify the egocentric rage of Patterson in firing a cafeteria worker/student who reposted Stetzer's article.

Their rationale: Standard company and HR operational protocol. In other words, it's just "good business practice".

We live in a time when both secular workplace and "church" institutions view people as nothing more than disposable "human resources" rather than the apex of God's creation.

Truly sad that this is the mentality being adopted by those who claim to carry the mantle of prophets and pastors. Shows how far from biblical precepts these institutions and their alumni have actually slipped. What good is lip service to "innerancy" when the whole concept becomes a smokescreen for treating people like diseased cattle? The cowboy hat is fitting adornment.

Sick puppies.

Tom Parker said...

Scott:

I agree Scott, it is truly sad what happened to the student who simply made a twitter comment. Is his name known and is there not someway that some of us could help him financially and send him words of encouragement?

Scott Shaver said...

I understand a GoFundMe account has been set up.

Scott Shaver said...

Tom: The rhetoric at Rick Patricks SBC Today blog is even sicker. The young author of the latest article they posted declares that you cannot take issue with Paige without taking issue with Jesus. The cause of God and the cause of Paige are one and the same. The dogmas of hero worship and human idols has obviously replaced sound theology in some of our seminaries.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

To kill an unwanted tree, you don’t trim the branches; you KILL the ROOT.

Trimming branches is: Patterson did this and Patterson did that.

Patterson used 15 of his friends to write the BFM 2000 that makes women 2nd class Christians.

Only two States, Texas and Virginia’s Old Conventions, had the wisdom and guts to reject Patterson’s BFM and stayed with the BFM 1963.

Patterson’s THRONE is his BFM. (Notice his words in your April 1, 2008 post: “Patterson says he believed he was simply fulfilling the wishes of the SBC and the BFM 2000 ‘prohibition’ of women pastors by removing Dr. Klouda.”


That’s the ROOT we need to kill at the next SBC Convention by a vote to replace the BFM 2000 with the BFM 1963 or use the Presidents of ALL the States to write another one. (All the States’ Presidents wrote the BFM 1963.)

Tom Parker said...

Scott:

I am glad to hear that a Gofundme account has been set up for him. I truly wonder about the mind set that says PP can do no wrong.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex Ray,

I am in agreement that the language of any creed - if unclear or unbiblical - needs to be changed. On the issue of women, the BFM 2000 made a huge error. I tried to tell them 18 years ago, and they wouldn't listen. At some point, the BFM will change to reflect a more Christ-centric, egalitarian view of Scripture. I'm not sure this year is the year.

Tom Parker said...

I have watched what has happened to the SBC over soon to be 40 years. I honestly see no way to "fix" the SBC. I will add-I very much so hope that I am wrong.

Scott Shaver said...

Dittos Tom. But there are some things one feels compelled to discuss, win, lose, or draw.

Tom Parker said...

Scott: I am in total agreement with you. All of this needs to be discussed.

Scott Shaver said...

An author pegged as Captain Cassidy at Patheos makes some salient points if you filter out some of the bias.

Scott Shaver said...

Perhaps if that moment comes they will return to "Christ as tbe ultimate criterion of biblical interpretation".

Anonymous said...

Wade,

It seems to me that the time has come to nail your thesis on the door of the SBC and take the same course of action of leaving that which is not healthy in your humble opinion. You have been trying to change from within, but that has not worked. Perhaps it is time to quietly exit the building and let the flames of God's wrath, it there be any, take hold of the structure and on those who chose to stay for whatever reason.

There is a time to let your rubber leave marks on the bitumen as you quickly depart the scene.

In the country where I reside, a Single church within a particular denomination objected to the course of action of the Nation wide governing body of their denomination on what they believed was a scripturally sound understanding of the God's requirements with regards to a particular acceptance of a lifestyle choice within the community.

They knew that by this decision to leave, that they would forfeit their very healthy bank account and the building in which they were at that time worshipping in. They also knew that they would be shunned by the churches around them for a time as well, but they held to their beliefs and broke free of the denominational baggage that was being forced onto them by a few.

Since they left, their church community has expanded, their bank account has outgrown previous expectations, their outreach to the community around them has become more effective along with their standing within that community.

Now I have no standing within your community or your congregation, as I live on the other side of the world, but all I can encourage you to do is to trust God and to walk with Him in moving on with Him in a new direction which is reflective of what God desires in His representative community within the surrounds of where you live.

May God's prodding help you to make a decision that will have far reaching implications for you personally and the Church that you shepherd.

May God's blessing for you and your fellowship community know no bounds as you continue ministering within your community.

Shalom

Tom.

Christiane said...

I always hoped Wade might 'stay' and be a force for good, as so much of the hateful misogyny IS destructive and needs to be opposed in ways that ARE honorable and constructive. There is no doubt in my mind that Wade wanted only good for the SBC and was willing to stand up against the 'hard-ball' players who were out of control in how they were treating fellow Christian people. Wade paid a price for standing up. And he didn't quit.

I am very troubled when I read comments such as the following where the negativity and destructiveness seems irresponsibly unrestrained in the intensity of its venom:

http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/dr-paige-patterson-will-go-too-far-this-time/#comment-73741
“Lydia
Btw, “Ask the public” is just silly. Your public? Is TWW “your” public as blog pastor? I ask because you specifically mention them. That factor sure helped you save JD Hall after bullying a teen on twitter. One who committed suicide shortly after. So a pastor did not spare a teen but targeted them because he did not like his dad. But you were also more interested in helping save the bullying pastors “ministry” position because he said, “sorry”. Oh sure, you wrote a condolence post, too.

Yes, the SBC is a cesspool.

May 6, 2018 | Reply”

My own opinion has always been that the SBC is an organization 'for missions' and that it is known for that even though now it suffers internal problems. I thought that even if you have a dozen 'witnesses' to Christ in the SBC strong enough to speak up for what is right and honorable, there is a chance for the SBC to recover its first love and return to the PURPOSE of supporting the missions as it historically has done, which is recognized by the whole Church as a service to Our Lord Himself.

So when the 'negativity' and the ill-will comes to attack and destroy that purpose, as long as people like Wade are in the SBC, there can still be hope for better to come. There are those in the larger Church who are on the side of those who want the SBC to return to its first love: the missions.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

At one time our SS material had: “Our guideline is the BFM 2000.” I argued with Jerry Rankin our guideline is the Bible. He said, We can’t say that because the Church of Christ say that.”

Scott,

I think the BFM 1963 had, “The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.”
I like to paraphrase that with ‘Scripture is to be interpreted through the eyes of Christ.’

BFM 2000 replaced it with: “All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.”

How does how does Cain killing his brother testify of Christ?

Christiane said...

Hey, REX RAY

"How does how does Cain killing his brother testify of Christ?"

It certainly illustrates the NEED for Christ, doesn't it?

Scott Shaver said...

Thanks for specific wording Rex.

Rex Ray said...

Old friend, which side are you on? :)

Tonight, our pastor said he would find out everything that’s going to be voted on at the SBC in Dallas, June 5. The church would vote on the issues and our messengers would vote likewise at the Convention.

Our bylaws state we agree with the old Convention; Baptist General Convention of Texas that supports the BFM 1963.

Rex Ray said...

Oops, my friend is Christiane.

Scott Shaver said...

I just read a letter signed by hundreds of women (and some guys) calling for trustees to remove Patterson. I was somewhat surprised to see the name of Rick Patrick (FBC Sylacauga on the list of signers. Perhaps its a mistake or misprint because he has been among Patterson's staunchest supporters in print the last several days. This one puzzles me. Patrick holds "The Father of The CR" somewhere around the status of demiurge in print.

Tom Parker said...

Scott: Rick and others have always seemed to follow the adage--the end justifies the means. My goodness how many people's lives were destroyed by the CR.

Scott Shaver said...

If the signature is Rick's, its about time to decide which side of his mouth he wants to speak out of.

Scott Shaver said...

Tom: Seems like it wasn't a half-hour ago Patrick was slinging names,labels and attempting to call down fire on us ungodly critics of PP.

Tom Parker said...

Scott:
If Rick signed the petition, he and others will try and have it both ways. As you correctly said-choose a side. BTW I believe I have been legitimately criticizing PP for years so I guess I been an ungodly critic of PP for a long time. Also I am sure of these guys would call me the L word.

These guys need to understand their positions are being revealed.

Scott Shaver said...

Contrary to popular opinion, The SBC has NO "governing body". Our participation or nonparticipation is VOLUNTARY which includes every institution and agency of the SBC. Consequently, there is no need for Wade Burleson or any other current Southern Baptist to go ANYWHERE. Its good to live in Christ beyond the reach of popes,creeds and ecclesial councils.

Scott Shaver said...

Likewise Tom, I have watched and waited for 25 years to see the wheels come flying off a hijacked wagon. I could never get comfortable with the idea that the CR was a divinely inspired movement.

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,

old friend here :)

given a preference, I think the '63 BF&M is the best, of course

BF&M 2K fails on many levels

I'm not on any ONE's side, but I like to hope that the folks who make the decisions and the changes in the Church are people who live according to their consciences and try to do what is right and honorable . . . the mistreatment of women doesn't belong in the Church, no ..... Church must and should always be 'sanctuary' for those who are being persecuted

Tom Parker said...

Scott:
I remember back in the latter part of the 70's the huge emphasis on Bold Mission Thrust. But as soon as the TAKEOVER began this program died. I was once told by someone at SBC voices that Bold Mission Thrust was just a slogan. I was old enough to know what was going on and Bold Mission Thrust was to be a several years preparation and a several years practical emphasis.

Scott Shaver said...

I remember Bold Mission Thrust as well. It was building some momentum and excitement and producing some good preaching...but the CR killed it dead in the water. Few decades later we're calling home and decommissioning a sifnificant portion of our career missionaries. Did you catch the reference to PP by Rev. Schmidt at "Voices" as a "Father of the Faith". That's on par with Abraham, Issac and Jacob right?

Tom Parker said...

Scott:
You said:"Did you catch the reference to PP by Rev. Schmidt at "Voices" as a "Father of the Faith". That's on par with Abraham, Issac and Jacob right?"

I did not see it as sadly I know what kind of comments get posted at this site. I am thankful the Editor has banned me from "his" blog.

Scott Shaver said...

Wade and Lydia both know and understand the SBC experientially Christianne. With all due respect your adversarial posture with Lydia is one thing. Lydia'a disagreement with Wade over methodology and SBC leadership is quite another. I agree with some of your comments but remain tongue-in-cheek with regard to some others. Lydia and Wade both have a lot of wisdom and insights to offer.

Scott Shaver said...

My mistake Tom. The article I referenced is poated at SBC Today. I will see your banning at "Voices" and raise you a banning at "SBC Today". I'm a double offender. Patrick and Miller are really more alike than either would care to admit.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Shaver said...

Based on your running feud with Lydia. And no, don't need to read the comment again. Read it completely and correctly the first time.

Scott Shaver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Shaver said...

Excellent point Bob.

Christiane said...

Hello Scott Shaver,

I'm concerned about the insinuations targeting Dr. McKissic and Wade, yes. Both these individuals have tried to respond with grace to put light the issues under discussion over on SBCtoday. But the commenting attacking Wade continued.

I do think that more than one individual on SBCtoday has made insinuations about these good men. At least it appears that way.

I have no problem speaking up when decent people are under attack and I can put in a good word for them.

My comments are FOR Dr. McKissic and Wade. I don't consider that 'feuding' with anyone.
You and I must agree to disagree.


Scott Shaver said...

Lydia is very much a decent person Christianne. I spoke with her in mind. Last I will say to you on this subject as we are both getting off subject.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Shaver said...

Sounds like you have a personal issue with Lydia, Christianne. Practice what you preach would be my advice since you don't know her personally.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.