Thursday, September 25, 2008

Growing Semi-Arianism in the SBC and the Consequences for Women If Left Unchallenged

Periodically Istoria Ministries will offer a doctrinal post for debate and discussion. Many Christians have little endurance when it comes to doctrinal reading and even less comprehension of how doctrine affects behavior.

This apathy for doctrine has far-reaching harmful consequences.

For this reason I challenge you to carefully read the following article as it reveals a doctrinal debate within the Southern Baptist Convention that has direct consequences on our Convention’s attitude and behavior towards women.

Let me repeat the last sentence for clarity: There is a current doctrinal debate within the SBC that directly affects our Convention’s attitude and behavior toward women in general.

The Arian Controversy

Arius was a Christian who lived and taught in Alexandria, Egypt (250-336 AD). He became the leading proponent of a heretical teaching that would later be identified with his name. Arianism is the belief that God the Father and the Son did not exist together equally and eternally, but that Jesus was created by God the Father and is eternally subordinate to the Father.

In plain English, Arianism teaches Jesus is inherently inferior to God the Father.

Some Christians wrongly confuse Arianism with Aryanism. The latter is the belief that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive, superior race. Hitler was an Aryan, but not an Arian. Aryanism is a belief in human racial superiority. Arianism is a belief in divine patriarchal hierarchy.

In 325 AD, Christian leaders gathered in the city of Nicaea (modern-day Iznik, Turkey) and debated the doctrine of the Trinity. The Council of Nicaea convened on May 20, 325 AD with around 300 pastors present to discuss the Arian Controversy.

After meeting for a solid month, these pastors issued on June 20, 325 AD what we now call The Nicene Creed.

The Nicene Creed is the clearest and most accepted statement on the divinity of Christ in the history of the church.

The Council declared that the Father and the Son are of the same substance and are co-eternal, believing this to be the biblical and traditional Christian teaching handed down from the Apostles.

The Nicaea Council believed that Arianism destroys the unity of the Godhead, and makes the Son unequal to the Father, in contravention of the Scriptures ("The Father and I are one" John 10:30).

The Council of Nicaea ended with the Christian pastors declaring Arius and his followers heretics.

A Resurging Semi-Arianism in the Southern Baptist Convention

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is composed of many Southern Baptists who are introducing to evangelicalism a novel, if not peculiar, view of Christ which has more in common with Arianism than the historic, orthodox view of Christ’s person.

The theologians and teachers who write for the CBMW are teaching what they call the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father as a basis for their anti-New Testament, patriarchal view that the female is always to be subordinate to the male.

Women’s subordination to men, according to the teachings of CBMW, is established because it reflects the truth of Trinity. Women will always be subordinate to men and wives will always be subordinate to husbands because Jesus is eternally subordinate to the Father.

That is the scary doctrine being promoted by leading Southern Baptists, a doctrine deemed heresy by the church nearly two millennia ago, and a doctrine that has disastrous consequences for women in the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Bible calls man's desire to "rule over a woman" a sin. The notion that God designed leaders to be males, and that He designed women in the role of submissive servants to men, is a direct contradiction of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
"Jesus called His disciples together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord their power over people, and their high officials exercise authority over others. It shall not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must serve." (Matthew 20:25-27

The false doctrine of men's hierarchal authority of women 
Some Southern Baptists, like Paige Patterson, Al Mohler,  and Wayne Grudem, believe and teach that the man is equated to God the Father in hierarchical authority. The woman can be equated to God the Son in humble submission. Just as the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father, so the woman is to be eternally subordinate to the man.

For this reason, the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood proposes that God’s unchanging ideal is the permanent subordination of women.

Their teaching is in error, and it contradicts the teaching of the New Testament.

The New Testament teaches that followers of Jesus Christ - regardless of gender - are to submit "one to another" (Ephesians 5:21). It is as natural in a Christian home for a man to submit to his wife in selfless, humble service as it is for the woman to submit to her husband in selfless, humble service. In fact, the great leaders in the Kingdom - male and female - are those who are servants to all (Matthew 5:27).

While there is no denial that there are differences between men and women, to base the “subordination” of women to men on the alleged eternal subordination of the Son to God the Father borders on an Arian view of the nature of Christ.

The very word “ordination means “to order by virtue of superior authority.”

To say Christ is “subordinate” to the Father means he has lesser (sub) authority, lesser (sub) superiority, lesser (sub) ordination.

There is a great deal that will be said in the Southern Baptist Convention and the evangelical world as a whole in the coming months and years about the role of women in society, the church, and the home.

Sadly, there is a tendency for those who hold to the hierarchical view of a man’s authority over women to label those who disagree with them as liberal. I've come to believe that those Christians who truly believe the teachings of Jesus Christ and who truly hold to the infallibility of the New Covenant Scriptures are at the forefront of empowering and encouraging women.

Those who follow Arian's teachings more than Christ's teachings refuse to let a woman teach Hebrew to men because of her lesser "spiritual authority" They refuse to allow a woman to hold a supervisor’s position in the International Mission Board because of her need to be subordinate to men and receive orders from men, not give them.  They advocate that women staying out of the work force because of their subordination to men in society, and call "liberal" those who oppose their alleged non-sinful "roles" of men and women. To these Southern Baptist modern Arians, women are viewed and treated as the “lesser” in terms of “authority” when compared to men, and anyone who dares disagree with them is considered a "liberal" Christian or a pagan.

It’s time for conservative, evangelical Bible-believing Christians who believe in the equality of men and women to realize that the great error in this debate is not a denial of the sufficiency, the authority, and the infallibility of God's Word by those who hold to gender equality.

Rather, the great error in this modern debate is the promotion of semi-Arianism - and a denial of Christ's clear teaching in the New Covenant - by those who wish to force their hierachical views of male authority upon the church, the home and society.

Peter Schemm, a member of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, argues that there is room within Christian orthodoxy for the belief in "the eternal subordination of Christ." He argues that people like Giles (and me) who oppose "eternal subordination" and view it as semi-Arianism are simply speaking too harshly for "there is room for both views within evangelicalism."

It is ironic that those who have an affinity for calling conservative evangelicals who disagree with them "liberal" are now proposing tolerance and acceptance of their unique views of the Trinity.

I do believe that we should accept our brothers (and a few sisters) in Christ who are arguing for "eternal subordination," and we should always treat them with Christian love and respect, but we should never be shy to challenge their unorthodox views of the Trinity.

Arius lost the debate in 325 AD, and I predict semi-Arianism will eventually be on the losing side of this current debate.


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Tom Parker said...


I so tire of this notion of those calling anyone that doesn't agree with a certain viewpoint a Liberal. I never dreamed in my 34 years of being first a Christian and second a baptist that I would see our denomination in such turmoil. I also never thought I would see the day that women in our denomination would be treated the way they are. It must stop!!

Bob Cleveland said...

How much of an infinite God would have to become Man, for that Man to be Infinite?

If Jesus is in any way God, then He's the Infinite God. The reason He could walk around earth and be tempted was that He chose not to grasp that equality .. that infinity. Had He chosen to grasp it, I don't think He could have died.

He's either All, or none at all. said...


I agree.

Lord willing, it will stop.



"In Him ALL the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelt."

Glory veiled does not mean glory absent.



Anonymous said...

I suggest that in the early church the leadership never did undermine family elders in the cultures that they went into. Timothy was told to exhort an older man as if he were his father. There existed a distinction in the types of authority in the early church. Family had elders that the family listened to and the apostles respected that framework and discipled them in the was of our Lord to teach the family. Broadbent in the early 1940's who wrote The Pilgrim Church warned of the insitutionalizing of the church.

Anonymous said...

Beware of Platonizing this argument Burleson, deal with the factionism that has occurred. You are trying to give women the liberty once had while no addresses the fact that many kids have no parents in the home anymore because both parents HAVE to work. I know a good number of women that don't agree with women pastors either and see as interfering with male develoment for leadership in the church. I will agree that sending them out of the seminary to go back and find a husband is absurd as well when they are called to serve God.

Anonymous said...

It is funny that Jesus did not think that equality with the Father was a thing to be grasped yet we feel that we must place this concept in some rational expression. The Bible is clear that the 3 persons of the trinity are eternal and that they are all 3 equally God. But that does not really settle it for us as the Bible also displays 2 of the persons as "Father" and "Son" and this gives us a picture of one having authority over the other in reference to the roles they perform within the Godhead. The Bible is full of many such dichotomies (election and the will of man; the nature of Christ's humanity and His divinity, etc.) that simply ARE the mystery of the Gospel.

Wade, I think you go a tad far in calling some in the CBMW Arians. Arianism stood for so much more that denigrated the divinity of Christ. Understanding the complexity of the dichotomy does not denigrate Christ's eternal equality and thus should not be used as a buttress to support your view of women in ministry. I reject the connection categorically.


Anonymous said...

And the reason that they can relate men to God and women to Christ and not vice versa is? After all in the Genesis account of the creation of woman, the word God used for "helper" is only used of God elsewhere. Why not equate women to God and men to Christ making men subordinate to women? It seems like a random assigning of values to yield the desired result.

But saying that Christ was not equal to God? How can these people who have studied in our seminaries and spent years in our churches have missed that that is herasy? Perhaps the Christian History professors are the ones who should have been fired and not Dr. Klouda (partially tongue in cheek).

In response to Anonymous: many kids have no parents at home because both parents have to work. Absolutely, and they both have to work so the family isn't living in poverty. Our economy is so bad right now that it is almost impossible for a family to survive off of one income. I won't say it can't be done in all areas of the US, but it is incredibly difficult. Besides, the exhortation in Proverbs is "Parents train up your child..." It does not say one gender of parent or the other but makes the job of child rearing a joint effort. That's not very complimentarian, but it is the Bible. Both parents need to make sacrifices to raise their children, not just mother. said...


Just answer one question for me:

Do you believe that Jesus is eternally subordinate to God the Father?

Remember, the defintion of "subordinate" is:

(1). sub - "lesser"
(2). ordinate - "superior authority"

Just asking.

If you don't, then help me understand how those who do are not advocating at least a portion of the teaching of Arianism.

Until you do, I remain unconvinced despite your categorical rejection of the conclusion of my post.


Anonymous said...

Jesus was born to Mary and protected by his foster father Joseph, devout Jewish people.

For over five-thousand years, Jewish people have prayed this prayer:
"Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is One."

Christians tend to dismiss traditions. In the midst of all the confusion, sometimes it's wise to go back and learn from the times of Jesus and His people.


Anonymous said...

I am so very, very glad to see you address this. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

To deny that each member of the Trinity is equal in essence and divine nature is indeed heresy.

However, eternal subordination, when properly understood, does not deny ontological equality.

It is a good thing for us to think deeply about our Lord, to think carefully on Christology, and also to learn to avoid heresy.

However, I would encourage you to study this issue much more carefully before you slap "semi-Arian" labels on folk's backs.

In what appears to be an obsession with finding material to wage war against SBC complementarianism, you are messing up & missing out on a lot of biblical, beautiful Christological reflection.

Scott Lamb

Anonymous said...


Your question cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. The theologian who made the quote likely has many premises upon which he bases his conclusion and thus should be considered when answering your question phrased in HIS words. I believe the Father and the Son are both equally eternal. I also believe they are both eternally equal. I must also however consider the full scope of their divine attributes. The Father is eternally the "planner,” the Son is eternally the "performer" or the "doer" and the Holy Spirit is eternally the "applier" or (as I like to call Him) the "infuser." I believe from a deeply biblical perspective that the members of the Godhead (from their perspective) are neither subordinate to one or the other and are neither "equal" from a purely human perspective but simply are, and exist in a trinity whose pure understanding cannot be known until our salvation is complete through death and glorification.

And so, I neither endorse nor affirm Arianism or Burlesonianism. ;)


Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

I can see, just from some of the comments, how far some have come from the orthodox concept of the Holy Trinity. It's kind of scary!
Especially knowing that, in departing from the faith of our fathers, this new teaching will be used to harm women.

This is fundamentalism run amok!


Tom Parker said...


If these people who espoused these views actually tried to enforce them in our churches lots of jobs gladly done by women would go undone because men are not willing to do them. Jesus had a very high view of women, but sadly there is a group in the denomination today that love being the Head and wanting the women just to be there and do what they are told to do.

Anonymous said...

To Wade,

The way I had the Holy Trinity explained to me was like this:

God the Father's KNOWLEDGE of Himself is Jesus, His Son, and the LOVE between the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit.

I was raised as an Orthodox Christian and we were taught that the Holy Trinity formed ONE GOD, a triune God, three in One, equal in majesty.

I'm afraid these modern "Arians" have another agenda: once again, women will get the worst of it . Sadly, the authoritarians won't stop there.

Anonymous said...

Chris, both parents my not be able to and if the mother can get a better job then the dad could stay at home. Personally I know this well as my wife has the better job. That is also my point wiht the SBC position, if one if going to make a point to say Klouda could not keep her position then why they did not help out her husband and empower him. Rules that are cumbersome don't bear burdens.

Anonymous said...


Trivial comment: The creed created at Nicaea is not the same as the creed affirmed at Constantinople (381). Read Wikipedia's article on "Nicene Creed" for corrections.

More significant: You are wrong about 4th century, "pro-Nicene" Trinitarianism. There is order, hierarchy, and source because the homoousios is asymmetrical. In other words, Nicaea (and later Athanasius) affirmed that the Son is from the being of the Father [God *of* God], but never the other way around.

Forget the egalitarian AND complementarian sources on this issue - they have too many dogs in the hunt. Instead see the standard patristic works: Behr, Ayers, Hanson, Pelikan and Stead. All will affirm that your understanding of "semi-Arian" is simply fallacious. Such a serious charge demands more careful research on your part.


Anonymous said...


In the great mystery that is the Incarnation, was not the temporary submission of Christ a part of the sacrifice? I may be wrong. I'm certainly not a theologian. Help me to understand this.


Anonymous said...

The neo-Arians ignore the fact that we human children of the Father cannot comprehend the great mystery of the Holy Trinity. It is beyond our ability. This mystery must be accepted on faith; our reasoning is not great enough for us to understand it.

Knowing this, I am not surprised to see the fundamentalists getting excited about yet another way to control others. They are quick to accept a RATIONAL explanation that simply doesn't line up with the whole of Christian tradition: the Holy Trinity is one of the great mysteries of faith. It is incomprehensible.

The Irish were taught about the Trinity by St. Patrick. He used a single shamrock: a three-leafed clover.
They got the idea.

Anonymous said...

"The neo-Arians ignore the fact that we human children of the Father cannot comprehend the great mystery of the Holy Trinity. It is beyond our ability. This mystery must be accepted on faith; our reasoning is not great enough for us to understand it.

Knowing this, I am not surprised to see the fundamentalists getting excited about yet another way to control others. They are quick to accept a RATIONAL explanation that simply doesn't line up with the whole of Christian tradition: the Holy Trinity is one of the great mysteries of faith. It is incomprehensible. "


"The Irish were taught about the Trinity by St. Patrick. He used a single shamrock: a three-leafed clover.
They got the idea."

Did they really? He may have taken all the snakes, but he hardly left them the true Gospel. The snakes might have been better than the present paganism.

Anonymous said...

It would seem to deny Christ's superiority would be to deny God's superiority.

Christ was so much man that He slept in a boat yet, He was so much God that the winds ceased when He spoke.

He was so much man that He wept when Lazurus died yet, He was so much man Lazurus came forth when He cried.

He was so much man that He thirsted at the well yet, He was so much God that He saved her soul from hell.

He was so much man that He died upon a tree, yet He was so much God that he rose in victory!

Anonymous said...


You are a little confused, I think, about the wording when you say "God is from the being of the Father".

I believe that the correct context continues as "One in Being with the Father".

If you are going to go into the historical traditions of the early Church, which I highly approve of, please don't take things out of context. You do a dis-service to yourself and others in our search for clarification.


Blackhaw said...


I could say much about this post. However I will only say a few things bout your history of Arianism and the 4th century. It is wrong. Both Orthodox and Arian beleived in the subordination of the Son to the Father. Heck the Bible is very clear that their is some sort of subordination. Remember Jesus' words that he would do the Father's will and not his own. Jesus was also only doing what He saw the Father doing.

But you must distinguish between types of subordination. There is a difference between ontological subordination and that of power or glory.

But my main point is that all through out history, orthodox christians have held to a form of subordination of the Son to the Father. For the Orthodox (and many in the West) the Father is the source from which all things flow out of.

While I do not agree with using the doctrine of the Trinity to support views on women's subordination I feel you have not understood them nor the Arian heresy of the 4th century. More study is needed before you make grand claims that just are factually untrue. I am not arguing for you to agree or disagree with the Council of Biblical manhood and womanhood. I have my own views but I am not espousing them here. What I am doing is advising you to know what you are writing about before you write an inflamatory post like you have done here.

CARl Peterson

Anonymous said...

I have all but given up on anything that comes out of the SBC 'hierarchy'. I used to think that the SBC existed only to allow individual churches to cooperate in things like missions, but now it seems that the 'higher ups' want to create their own hierachical entity in order to have power and force specific secondary beliefs on 'their members'. It's rally sad that it's come to this.

As far as women working, I grew up on a farm and the women worked just as long and hard as the men. The Bible has more references of women that worked than those that didn't. It seems to me that they want to recreate the 1950's Cleaver family model as their ideal, when it seems to me to be a one generation anomaly.

And the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father? Sounds like the Pharisees adding to God's Word to me. But I guess if you don't agree with them you must be a Liberal.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cari,

I AM an Orthodox Christian. Orthodox, as in 'not Protestant.'
We believe that each of the three "persons" of the triune God are equal is majesty and unified in a way that is mysterious beyond our abilities to understand.

I do not recognize your concept of eternal subordination of one part of the Holy Trinity to another as being Orthodox at all.

For our salvation, Christ temporarily humbled himself and became incarnated. His temporary submission, unto death, is part of the sacrifice that opens the door so that we can return to God.

If you wish to understand the concept according to Orthodox beliefs: I recommend that you consult a Greek Orthodox priest or a Roman Catholic priest. This will help you to clarify what Orthodox Christians have believed since the first councils of early Church, concerning the nature of the Holy Trinity, the mystery of the Incarnation, and the great mystery of the Sacrifice for our sake.


Anonymous said...


You are misinformed.

Both the Creed of Nicaea and the creed affirmed at Constantinople affirm the homoousion - that the Son is "one in being with the Father."

But the phrase I referred to, that the Son is "from the ousia [being] of the Father," is a phrase that appears only in the Creed of Nicaea (325).

Again, consult any of the basic patristic resources. Or for ease, even Wikipedia gets this right - read its article for corrections on the comparison between 325 and 381.


Anonymous said...

Is it any wonder that so many of us have said you can have the convention. I am trying to get my folk to have a relationship with Jesus that does away with the their prejudice and lack of compassion fot those whom Jesus was concerned for... (Luke 4) but we seem to be able to look like we have no compassion for forgiveness in our hearts for any one... let me think as I wish say the "reformed?baptist, but do not let me think as I wish If I think women are equal to men... and that submitting to one another n Christ is the driving point of a proof text we have used to keep women in their place... but don't worry you do not have to like my post or me... I will not bother your fight in the convention I am too busy fighting another enemy and getting my folks dressed to do the same. ( Ephesians 6)

John Daly said...

"is part of the sacrifice that opens the door so that we can return to God."

Warning, warning, incoming false gospel, all hands on deck, dive, dive.

Anonymous said...


Examine "begotten, not made" and the concept of "shared substance". The Orthodox concept no way gives superiority of any Person of the Trinity over any other Person of the Trinity. Check the book of Colossians in the Holy Scriptures for some scriptural instruction on the nature of Trinity. Very clearly, non Arian.

Things get strangely interpreted when non-Orthodox Christians attempt to evaluate the meanings of the early doctrines of the Church from the viewpoint of a Protestant faith in the year 2008.

All I am saying is, when one makes claim that they are "orthodox" in their beliefs, that they do not imply that an Arian viewpoint was accepted by the early Church. It was not. It was called the Arian Heresy and it was firmly rejected.


Anonymous said...

Arians believed that Jesus was inferior to God because he was created by God, and as such not eternal.
They believed that Jesus was inferior because he was fundamentally different from God.

The Nicene Creed recognized the eternal equality of the Trinity because Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are fundamentally the same. It also recognized the fact that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, while equal, has differing roles within the Trinity.

Complementarians realize that God has structured the family to reflect the structure of the Trinity, where each member is fundamentally the same, and as such equal. Yet within the family, each family member has a different role.

Wade lets be honest, at some time in our lives we all must subordinate ourselves to others. If we do not it will not make us holy, it will only make us arrogant.

When I worked a secular job, I subordinated myself to my supervisor. We were both equal in person, but I chose subordinate to her because that was the structure of the company.
Now that I am a pastor, I subordinate myself to my church. We are all equal in person, but I choose subordinate myself to my church because that is the structure of congregationalism.
Within my family, my wife chooses to subordinate herself to me. My son subordinates himself to my wife. Again, we are all equal in person, but we all embrace the role afforded to us by God.
In the same way, within the Trinity, all are equal – yet they embrace their role within the Trinity. God the Father doesn’t try to be Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Jesus doesn’t try to be the Father or Spirit. And the Spirit doesn’t try to be the Father or Jesus.

On a side note. I also hate it when people try to apply the label “liberal” to those they disagree with. It’s an easy out that lets us write off those different from us without having to think about their actual positions. It is also very unhelpful for true dialogue and understanding.
In just the same way, I also hate it when people try to apply the label “authoritative”, “legalist,” “fundamentalist,” or “Semi-Arian” to those they disagree with. It’s an easy out that lets us write off those different from us without having to think about their actual positions. It is also very unhelpful for true dialogue and understanding.

Why don’t we just drop the labels and name calling and stick to the issue at hand?

Anonymous said...

To Native Vermonter,

Sorry for my confusing analogy. It's just my way of expressing that Jesus came so that we could be saved. Perhaps you can say it better than I can, I'm sure.

For myself, I know that the original sin of man separated us from God and that Jesus came so that we could go Home again.

I have a very child-like faith.
I do believe that Jesus reconciled us to the Father. What do you believe?


Anonymous said...

I think it is GREAT for Baptists to learn to have doctrinal discussions.

But we must be careful in not getting our lines crossed and making connections that ought not be made, or stretching connections that are tenuous at best.

"Bordering on Ariansim" is the most accurate line in this post.

The council is not an organization that I follow closely. Isn't Dr. Mohler on the council? Isn't he considered a 5 point Calvinist? Surely he is not a proponent of Ariansim.

I believe that this post does a service to the extent it raises the gender issue again, which I know is a major point for Wade based on the large number of times he brings it up. The more debate the better on this point.

I do not believe that this particular post is helpful to the extent it states or implies that Arianism is making a comeback from 325 A.D. If fact, I would say that a reformed tradition is more popular with a growing number of people in the convention, especially young theologians coming out of the seminaries.

I see a move further away from Arianism. The people arguing against a more reformed tradition are people like Bobby Welch, a certain prof at New Orleans (whose name escapes me) and others etc. But I don't see those guys as promoting Arianism either.

So, my take on this would be to again just leave the discussion to the roles of men and woment and the reason people make those. To the extent one of the arguments made by some on the complimentarian side "borders" on Arianism, that surely can be pointed out.

I am just concerned that the way it was pointed out here (all with good intentions, I'm sure) does not accurately reflect the state of things or the theology of the persons involved.

And am totally in favor of reserving the Liberal label for its proper use. They are people who deny the deity of Christ and say that was a creation of the church, not what Christ actually taught. They are not in the SBC any more, thankfully. They are at the seminaries supported by the CBF.


Robert Hutchinson said...

Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Matt 28:18 (HCSB)

nothing subordinate in that statement.

unless you wanna say that the Father is now subordinate to the Son since he gave him all authority.

in other news on this subject; a recent study shows men who hold traditional views of women earn more than men who don't.

"The researchers looked specifically at gender role views as a predictor of a person's earnings. They controlled for job complexity, number of hours worked and education. Their analysis showed that men in the study who said they had more traditional gender role attitudes made an average of about $8,500 more annually than those who had less traditional attitudes."

let's see if this is true. brothers, identify yourself as either egalitarian or complementarian and then report your annual salary plus benefits.

alright, who will go first?

Blackhaw said...


I know the Orthodox beliefs rather well and I have spoken to many Orthodox priests. In fact I have discussion with Fr John Behr (Orthodox and a Patrisitc expert) and Fr. John McGuckin (Orthodox and a Patristic expert.
I have also done much study on teh councils and the early church on my own. I have taken many master level classes on the subject and have sat in on a doctors level seminar on the ARian Controversy. I have also read books about Orthodox for Westerners and have read many books by Orthodox theologians such as Lossky, Florovsky, Pelikan, Behr, McGuckin, Meyendorff, and so on. I know what I am talking about.

The Orthodox believe in the Monarchy of the Father. They do not beleive in the filoque clause because they think it destroys the monarchy of the Father. The Monarchy of the Father states that He is the source of all things. Jesus Christ was begotten on the Father and it is through the Father that he receives all things. Calvin (I believe) and some other westerners disagree. They believe Jesus Christ was God in himself. I do not understand their doctrine here fully so I will not speak about it much. But I do know that these protestants disagree with Nicea and the Orthodox church on how Christ is Divine.

One other interesting thing to note about the Bible. The word God is almost always used (in the BIble) to refer to the Father. in the Bible as in early liturgy the phrases usually sounded something like this:

We believe in the one God the Father almighty maker of all things seen and unseen.
And in the Lord Jesus Christ. His only begotten Son . . .

See the title of God si reserved for the Father while Jesus is the Lord or the Son of God. now this does not make Jesus any less Divine or any less part of the Trinity. They just used the word God differently than we do today.

But I would suggest foryou to do soem research into the Orthodox faith before you state that I do not know what I am talking about.

Bob Cleveland said...

Subordinate: 1: placed in or occupying a lower class, rank, or position; submissive to or controlled by authority.

Jesus was hardly in a lower class or rank than God, but He was certainly submissive to God's authority. And isn't that one of His greatest demonstrations of leadership by example (particularly for us husbands)?

The bible says what it does about God, about Jesus, and about the Holy Spirit. We get into trouble when we say a lot of stuff WE think about them, so why don't we stick to what the Bible says? And the church is full of folks who have a lot to say about Them, that the Bible doesn't say, and if there's a shortage of folks in the church, it's folks who don't know what the Bible does say.

We're tilting at words like they were windmills.

And Wade's assertion might be a stretch were it not for the fact that it's already going on in various SBC entities.

Wade, you used the term "semi-Arianism" and referred to the consequences for women, not for the SBC theological stances. In that respect, right on, brother.

Anonymous said...

Dear Blackhawk,

I do not recognize your theological references as similar to those of Orthodox Christianity as expressed by the Greek Orthodox or the Roman Catholic faiths.

I am not Protestant. I have taught in a religious school, and there I was required to teach about the nature of the Holy Trinity in religion class to a group of seventh graders. We used a religion textbook approved by our Church and our Diocese.

My father's family has been of Christian Orthodox faith for over a thousand years.

So, I'm afraid that I cannot accept your concept of the Holy Trinity as being the same as mine.
It is not.


John Daly said...

Dear Non-Arian,

I'm afraid that I cannot accept Rome's concept of Soteriology as being orthodox as it is not. Infused righteousness and sacerdotal justification will leave one severely found wanting in the end. While imputed righteousness (through Christ) and forensic justification (because of Christ) will leave one eternally secure. The one-time, perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is enough.

Blackhaw said...

First of all the concept of the Trinity in Roman CAtholicism and the EO is not the same. I am glad that your family has been Orthodox for 1,00o years. The doctrine of the Monarchy of the Father is older.

and no our concepts of the Trinity are different. I believe mine is more true to the EO faith. Can you tell me where I am wrong about the EO teaching of the Monarchy of the father or in my discussion of the council of Nicea and the other 4th-5th century controversies?


Anonymous said...

Guys and Gals,

You are missing Professor Wade's point.

He is brilliantly showing how a lower view of Christ as a subordinate of God is justification for a lower view of women as subordinate to men.

If anyone wishes to spend five minutes in a little research, this is PRECISELY what the Jehovah's Witnesses have done - and is the basis for their bizarre 'dog-woman' belief.

I'm not Southern Baptist, but a conservative, evangelical who teaches at a Seminary.

You Southern Baptists better hang on to Dr. Burleson, because he writes lucidly and pastorally.

And, there are probably other academics in the SBC who fear him for his influence. The measure of that fear will be their attempts to dismiss him. Keep up the good work, Dr. Burleson. Many of your fellow evangelicals are watching closely.

Dr. Sullivan

Anonymous said...

Poor Wade,

I kinda feel sorry for you that everyone is so down on you in this thread. I give you many kudos for beginning a doctrinal discussion. Regardless of where you hoped it would have gone, I have really enjoyed hearing all of the Christian discussion on this matter. While many disagree, the person who stands out to me is the child-like faith of NON ARIAN. Then we can contrast that to the privilege of hearing from the gentleman who reads books, attends many Master's level classes and once sat in on a doctoral seminar. We are so lucky to have you bring together all types.

Wade for President!

...of something.

Anonymous said...

Nothing says more to me about this blog than the two posts above me from Kevin and Dr. Sullivan.

Thanks, Wade, for your stand for Truth and Grace.

You are making a difference.

Anonymous said...

"For our salvation, Christ temporarily humbled himself and became incarnated. His temporary submission, unto death, is part of the sacrifice that opens the door so that we can return to God."


Hard to believe this paragraph only brought one rebuke (sort of)?!

Either we have a heretic in our midst or a very poor wordsmith.

Let us pray for the latter.

Anonymous said...


Yes, we all agree that Arianism, semi-Arianism, and Sabellianism are all bad - they're heresy. The question that's been raised is the validity of Wade's charge that complementarianism's "eternal submission" amounts to "semi-Arianism."

Unfortunately, this isn't really a point of interpretation. You (and Wade) are simply misinformed about 4th century Trinitarianism and the Orthodox faith. I agree - ignore Protestant/Evangelical scholarship on the 4th century - it will not be hard, we haven't contributed much!

Again, consult the standard patristic resources - Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican.


Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade--thank you for this important post!

So much of the garbage prevalent in not just the SBC but evangelical circles in general seem to flow from lack of theological knowledge AND twisting theology to support pet theories.

The comments are good also. I just have to weigh in on a few:

I believe it is a myth that it takes two paychecks for a family to avoid poverty in the USA today. In fact, I spend my time teaching families the old fashioned out of favor skills (sewing, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, powershopping, gardening, canning, etc) and values that allow a family to do quite well on one paycheck.

I believe there are strong physical, mental, and biblical reasons this is best accomplished by the woman. That said, there are certainly times it makes more sense to have sahh and an employed wife.

But NONE OF THOSE beliefs should be taken to imply women are in any way shape or form inferior to men.

And in fact, my Bible tells me to submit to MY OWN HUSBAND, not that I am subordinate to men in general.

Would that both sides would speak only where the Bible speaks rather than trying to twist the truth.

And thanks again to Pastor Wade. While the denigration of women is horrible (as a woman I think VERY horrible!) the real thing to fear here is the denigration of Jesus Christ!


Anonymous said...

Good Christian people,

Perhaps if we use the generic term "orthodox" and look at the Trinitarian doctrines of the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, main-line Protestant Churches (Anglican, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, et al.);
I believe that there is a shared rejection of the Arian Heresy.

I may be wrong. My brother converted to the Presbyterian faith and eventually to the Methodist faith. He is a medical doctor who teaches an adult Sunday school class for his church. He and I both see the Holy Trinity in the same way: non Arian

A few years ago, I saw a newscast about the Westboro Baptist Church and I was horrified. My grandmother was a Baptist, so I got on the phone to my cousin, and she reassured me that Grandmother had been a Southern Baptist. I'm here on Wade's blog to learn more about her faith.

So, my question is, does the Southern Baptist religion have the same concept of the Holy Trinity as the mainline Christian faiths do? Or is the concept now changing? Does the Southern Baptist faith consider itself a mainline Church? Very confusing, this is for me.


Tom Parker said...


Everytime you comment you make me feel very sad for the people you preach to. You can do better than you do.

Rex Ray said...

Wonder if the thinking of the men below was the same as some in the SBC today?

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

By the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.

Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press. "true"

Anonymous said...

"I am just concerned that the way it was pointed out here (all with good intentions, I'm sure) does not accurately reflect the state of things or the theology of the persons involved."

Louis, You are not paying attention to what is coming out of SBTS and CBMW or, perhaps do not want to. Have you been following Bruce Ware? Grudem? CBMW articles on this? This is exactly what is being taught. The reason most do not catch it is because they make an orthodox statement that Jesus has full deity and THEN make contrary statements explaining how Jesus is really eternally subordinate.

The confusion lies in that we are not distinguishing the Incarnate Jesus with the eternal Jesus. Even the Jesus of the OT. In the beginning was the Word....

What has happened is that they have applied their contradictory and confusing false doctrine of women to the Trinity. Woman are equal but unequal in role. (Which means they are unequal in reality)

Jesus is fully God but subordinate to God always as if Trinity does not have a united will. (Which makes Jesus lesser than God)

The way they teach this always gives them an out because they always say 'that Jesus was fully God' before they start teaching the subordination part which, in effect, lessens Jesus Christ and His deity. No amount of big words will change this. The outcome is a chain of command structure in the Trinity which presupposes the Trinity does not have a united will.

I gave some links to Giles who has refuted Ware and Grudem. I think we all should read both sides. However, many will not be able to see it as they have bought into this because they are so intent on subordinating women which has become primary gospel and a hill to die on in the SBC and some other denominations.


Anonymous said...

"You can do better than you do."

How do you know?

Dave Miller said...

Is it possible that the word "eternal" is a sticking point.

1 Corinthians 11:3 certainly implies some form of submission. Philippians 2 does as well. Jesus submitted himself to the Father and lived a life of obedience.

Jesus "emptied himself" of his eminent position and submitted himself to obedience to the father.

This is one of the misunderstandings many folks (even the proponents) have about complementarianism.

Jesus was not subordinated (by an outside force), but he submitted himself to obedience to the Father.

Men are never permitted to subordinate women, but women are told to "submit themselves." It is an act of choice by a woman out of obedience to Christ.

Christ was not subordinated, and men should not subordinate women. Christ chose to submit himself to the Father. It was an act of his choice.

Now, I'll duck and cover...

Johnny W. Collett said...

Certainly Wade and others have gone to great lengths to define the terms (e.g., subordinate, etc.). And, for the sake of conversation, there is in that a certain value. However, the definition of non-biblical terms that have their origin with man is not nearly as important as the understanding of biblical truth that has its orgin in God. We are in danger of our semantics informing our hermeneutics.

What matters most is what God's Word says concerning this issue, and what Jesus said concerning Himself - not our definition of non-biblical terms (regardless of how needful they might be for the sake of conversation).

Someone earlier made reference to a "lower view of Christ." Dear friends, this is not a lower view of Christ if it is Christ's view of Himself.

Anonymous said...

Lydia, I think their term "A hill to die on" might be more accurately called "A hill to kill from".

If people become single-minded about something, whether putting women "in their place" or something else, they will bend everything else to that goal. When their other excuses for putting women down are criticized they finally turn to a skewed theology and try to settle it by saying "Thus saith the Lord" in hopes people will not question whether such a pronouncement is valid.


Dave Miller said...

More fodder...

There seems to be ample evidence of the Father's authority over the Son.

"God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son."

There is a clear line of authority here, between the co-equal persons of the Trinity. To express his love, the Father "sent" the son.

Inn John 6:38, Jesus came to do not his own will, but the will of the Father who sent him. (Gal 4:4,

Again, authority is implied.

The very phrases Father and Son imply lines of authority.

1 Corinthians 15:28 seems to imply that this submission is eternal. "And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all."

How can that verse be seen to imply anything other than an eternal subjection of the Son?

If God is unchangeable, then wouldn't the subjection of the Son be unchangeable as well?

I am still thinking through all the implications of this.

However, it seems to me Wade that to compare this view, which is well entrenched within the orthodox theology of the Trinity, to an ancient heresy that undermined the Trinity is unfair at best, and slanderous at worst.

Anonymous said...

My dear Lydia,

THANK YOU a thousand times. When you wrote this:

"the confusion lies in that we are confusing the Incarnate Jesus with the Eternal Jesus."

When you wrote this, everything comes into focus for me. I did not realize how people were confused. I was thinking that everyone already understood the difference. I took their understanding for granted, so, of course, I was not effective in explaining my point of view.

ETERNAL JESUS: not subordinate in eternity , never was, never will be

INCARNATE JESUS: subordinate, submitting even unto death, until He said, "It is finished."

Lydia, you are able to make this so clear. In some better world than this, you would have made a great Baptist minister. :)


Anonymous said...

"1 Corinthians 15:28 seems to imply that this submission is eternal. "And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all."

Define 'Him' in the last part.

Dave Miller said...

The flow seems to be logically clear. The Father brings all things into subjection to the Son. Then, the Son subjects Himself to the Father. Father exalts Son, Son glorifies Father.

The "Him" is Jesus, then. The Father brought all things in submission to Christ, who places Himself under submission to the Father.

Anonymous said...

There are the passages such as Isaiah 9:6

“For to us a child is born…and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

It appears as if in some sense the word Father applies to Christ.

Phillipians 2:9-11: Php 2:9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
Php 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
Php 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Php 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

John 5:18 Joh 5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Joh 5:19 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
Joh 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.
Joh 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.
Joh 5:22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
Joh 5:23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father.

Just giving some food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Dear David,

I must agree with some of the others: when God became Man and dwelt among us, He was not a lesser God.

Lesser God equals Lesser Sacrifice. That wouldn't have cut it.

When you start messing with the concept of the Holy Tinity; there's going to be doctrinal impact on the nature of the Incarnation and the nature of the Sacrifice. And for what, just to keep women in their place? Sorry, but someone left the barn door open and we mare's ain't going back into that barn. Not without a fight.

Anonymous said...

Dear Debbie,

Thank you. By the way, the name of my parish church is "Prince of Peace". :)


Anonymous said...

Kevin: I would pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, that you would desire to do better. All Christians have compassion, it's not a gift. It's who we are. Look at how Jesus was, that is to be our model. Our desire. Especially to go into the ministry. If one goes into the ministry in order to be able to shame with authority, one is in the wrong business. Christianity is about helping the oppressed, not being the oppressor.

Anonymous said...

Non-arian: I'm sorry, we must have been posting at the same time. It's a pleasure. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Kevin,

When my students disappointed me with their behavior, I used to tell them that "they were better than that."

The sixth graders understood me very well.

I think you know what Tom meant.


Blackhaw said...


"While many disagree, the person who stands out to me is the child-like faith of NON ARIAN. Then we can contrast that to the privilege of hearing from the gentleman who reads books, attends many Master's level classes and once sat in on a doctoral seminar."

Wow somehow I think you believe learning is not what a Christian should be doing. I pointed all that I have done to demonstrate that I know what I am speaing about when I speak about the EO and the Arian controversy. Non-Arian said that I did not. But a child like faith does not mean that one stays in ignorance and never learns. It is a matter of trust. Academics is not a bad word. It actually helps the church. What does not help the church is remaining in ignorance because one wants to be child-like.

Anonymous said...

"I think you know what Tom meant."

How do you know?

Anonymous said...

You can't fool this old teacher. We ALL know you are smarter than a sixth grader. :)

Anonymous said...

debbie and blackhaw,

You know that I could sit and respond to this stuff all day. Debbie, I am a most compassionate person. Blackhaw, I am a huge proponent of Scholasticism and a systematic and indeed academic approach to studying Scripture--all to know more fully the God we serve. Debbie, I have enjoyed our civil discussions of the last 2 days...let us not taint this new way of communicating with pleas to "do better." Blackhaw, I admit that I laughed when I heard you display your credentials...then I turned around and admired my beautifully framed degrees on the wall wondering where I was going to put my new one this May. :)

But I really have to run.....I need to finish some things so I can go see Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Dave Miller said...

I know I am arguing against the prevailing view on this site. I would only make one point: the view that Christ is eternal submissive the the Father's authority is well within the boundaries of orthodoxy, can be reasonably argued from scripture, does no damage to the eternal glory of Christ, and does not deserve to be labelled as "semi-arian."

I think that label is unwarranted and unfair.

Tom Parker said...


There is no evidence that you are educated in the Ministry? I do hope you will do better.

Anonymous said...

Hi Blackhawk,

I think I can reassure you of both my simple faith and my respect for academics. My university degrees include a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters Degree in Science. Most of my family are doctors, nurse practitioners, cousin Kim is a child psychiatrist, cousin Kurt is a Boston lawyer, brother in law Richard is a retired Navy captain with degrees from MIT and Georgetown University, the list of my family's academic and professional accomplishments are impressive, even to me.

My simple faith was a merciful gift of God at a time of great trouble in my life. I would not trade my simple faith for all my academic and professional accomplishments. THAT's how smart I am. God is truly merciful in times of trouble.

As for religion in the family, well, my great-aunt, Sister St. Gabrielle, was a cloistered nun in Canada and two of my mother's cousins were respectively a Protestant minister and a missionary.

I was given a simple faith. I am one of the lucky ones, I think.


greg.w.h said...

Going to pull out my very sharp pencil and re-make Wade's point: if you argue that the CBMW is not semi-Arian, then you are arguing that the man and the wife are, essentially, equal, and that there is no subordination but, instead--as Dave Miller pointed out--willing submission.

There are some preachers and some scholars that will argue that those men who love their wives the way that Christ love the church do not need biblical arguments of hierarchical authority to create the proper environment for a woman to feel secure enough to submit to his Christ-like leadership.

And to discuss that submission in any way outside of the context of that Christ-like love is to turn uncoerced faith into religious abuse. Exactly the kind of religious abuse that it would have been if God the Father demanded that Jesus Christ the son die on the cross for your sin and for my sin. The kind of death that is not sufficient to produce the kind of atonement that we so desparately need.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

Dear Blackhawk,

I forgot to tell you how God gave me my gift of faith. Our first-born, Patrick, was born with Down Syndrome and many medical problems.

I think that without the gift of this child, I might not have ever come to fully understand the mercy and love of God. If my faith is child-like, I must have learned of God's love from this gentle child. I could not have had a better teacher.


Anonymous said...

"I know I am arguing against the prevailing view on this site. I would only make one point: the view that Christ is eternal submissive the the Father's authority is well within the boundaries of orthodoxy, can be reasonably argued from scripture, does no damage to the eternal glory of Christ, and does not deserve to be labelled as "semi-arian." "

There is a real danger in trying to 'humanize' this concept. A human son is not subordinated to his father for his entire 'natural' lifetime. He should be respectful and honoring but he grows and matures into a man who is independent of his father's will. As a matter of fact, a father can grow old and lean on his son for care. The roles reverse many times.

So humanizing this concept does not work for real sons and does not work for the relationship of men and women in the Body. (It has a Mormomistic componet to it that is chilling)

The Trinity has a united will for all eternity past and future.

This is where I become very concerned about humanizing these concepts that do not carry over such as men representing God and women representing the church. (Maybe some men just don't want to be referred to as a 'Bride' as it sounds too effiminate :o)

I realize that the Word uses these metaphors to help us understand relationships. How would we understand that God became a Man yet God still Reigns from on high and God works in the hearts of man... all at the same time?

God said this:

8 But to the Son He says:
“ Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” Hebrews 1

(The Lord said to my Lord: Mt.22:43-45, Mk.12:35-37, Lk.20:41-44)

This concept of the eternal subordination of Jesus Christ has what end in mind? What is the point of it? It certainly cannot be for the edification of our Lord, The Name above all Names.


Blackhaw said...


Wow! What A non-answer. That is nice you have some degrees. That is what makes your post all the more puzzling.

Blackhaw said...


I do not know exactly how this was turned around to you having simple faith and me being the mean old academian but that is not how it all started. I only inserted my credentials after I was told I did not know EO theology. But I will stand by my assesment that Ignorance is not a component of child-like faith.

Blackhaw said...

"I forgot to tell you how God gave me my gift of faith. Our first-born, Patrick, was born with Down Syndrome and many medical problems.

I think that without the gift of this child, I might not have ever come to fully understand the mercy and love of God. If my faith is child-like, I must have learned of God's love from this gentle child. I could not have had a better teacher."

What can I say to this? How can I argue against a man whose son is sick? This is an end to the argument because even if I have great reasons to disaree with you, you make me a monster if I disagree. If I disagree I turn into the guy who is hateful to the guy with a sick child. Sorry will not play that game! End of communication until things change.

Cheryl Schatz said...


This post is coming at a very special time for us. For the last 9 months we have been working on a 2 DVD set called "The Trinity: Eternity Past to Eternity Future, Explaining Truth & Exposing Error"

The DVD is as far as we can see a one-of-a-kind visual & audio expose of the subordination of Jesus in the Trinity. It takes the claims by Bruce Ware (CBMW) and Denny Burk and refutes their position from the scriptures.

The DVD is out for stamping right now and will be available by mid October 2008. I have posted a quick look at the DVD here and it will be available through on the product pages, DVD section by mid October.

Wade, I think you really need to see this DVD because it may shock even you at what is being preached by these men. I would be willing to burn you a free preview copy while we are waiting for the finished product. Email me if you are interested.

This is a very serious issue in the Church today and I am confident that if any God-fearing born again Christian were to hear the quotes on this DVD set and listen to the refutations from both the OT and the NT that Ware and Burk completely miss, they would give Ware's teaching a miss and call him to account for what he is doing.

Lin said...

"Blackhaw, I admit that I laughed when I heard you display your credentials...then I turned around and admired my beautifully framed degrees on the wall wondering where I was going to put my new one this May. :)"

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

All the degrees in the world will not produce the Holy Spirit within us, Who gives us Wisdom and illuminates the Truth of the Word even to dumb blonds like me. :o)

Without the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures can become a club to beat others with or a history book. :o(

Let us all be like iron sharpening iron with one another no matter what earthly credentials we possess. There are some very spiritually mature folks out there that never went to seminary who model the love of Christ and show they possess Wisdom that can only come from the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Let's try this:
We can't understand God with our finite minds. But it is a form of worship to try.

Jesus in earthly existence helped guide our understanding, but the total picture is beyond human comprehension.

How can one God be three persons/beings/what? And what is the relationship between them? We are told some things, but it is hard, at least for me (and I suspect others who are honest about it) to understand the intricacies.

What can we do? Go with the knowledge we have and trust God for the rest. And accept that curious as we are, we don't need to completely understand, just trust God and try to follow.


Alan Paul said...

You are right on compassion Debbie... it is key when discussing issues. KMC may say he has compassion, but I have found that one who already demonstrates compassion by his words and actions doesn't need to claim he has it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Blackhawk,

I did not mean to offend you. I am Patrick's MOTHER, not his father. You are not a monster. We just see things differently and that's okay.

I would never use my son's story to cause pain or offense to anyone. I am deeply sorry for any harm I may have done and I ask your forgiveness.

Please don't stop communicating. How will I ever learn, if I only listen to my own voice and its echoes? Please share more of who you are and what you think.


Anonymous said...

Hi Susie,

You said, "We just can't understand God with our finite minds."

I so agree with you. Picture a small child at the beach digging a hole in the sand. Then the child begins to pour pail after pail of sea water into the hole. The parent asks, "what are you doing?" Comes the answer: "I',m going to pour the ocean into this hole."

Finite is right. How can WE understand the infinite mysteries of faith? If we did, then it wouldn't be faith anymore, would it?

It wasn't for nothing that Jesus taught us in parables.


Wayne Smith said...

Pray this Helps You'al.

Title: The Moody Handbook of Theology
Author: Enns, Paul P.

Deity of Christ
Meaning of Christ’s Deity
During the early centuries of the church there were groups that denied the true humanity of Christ. But the reverse is the emphasis today. In the past two hundred years liberal theology has vigorously expressed a denial of Christ’s deity. Yet C. S. Lewis was correct when he said that the only options available concerning the Person of Christ were: He was a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. Considering the enormous claims that Christ made, it would be impossible simply to designate Him a “good teacher.” He claimed to be much more than a teacher.
To affirm that Christ is God is not simply to suggest He is “God-like.” Christ is absolutely equal with the Father in His Person and His work. Christ is undiminished deity. In commenting on the phrase “(Christ) existed in the form of God” in Philippians 2:6, B. B. Warfield says, “He is declared, in the most express manner possible, to be all that God is, to possess the whole fulness of attributes which make God God.”20-21

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Brother Wade, you continue to amaze me with your forthright honest and refusal to take the easy road. I am no longer Southern Baptist, but I grew up in the SBC and have watched what has happened to my beloved former denomination with ever increasing dismay. Thank you for calling out the CBMW fellows in such clear terms. There are many of us who pray for you, and not all of us are Baptist. I know the enemy would love to discredit you, so I will continue to "lift you to the throne of grace" -- even if you aren't so sure about women pastors. :-) May your tribe increase.

Cynthia Kunsman said...

I'm so encouraged to read so many sound comments rejecting the contemporary teachings that separate out Christ's authority as different than the Father's "supreme" authority (negating Christ's equal authority within the Trinity). The first thing I thought of when I heard this teaching was how I could never witness to a Jehovah's Witness and win them over with this doctrine. Their version of Jesus, in terms of authority only which is where this teaching goes wrong, is so similar to this eternally subordinate Christ.

Thank you for introducing the topic for discussion.

o1mnikent said...


I came across your blog awhile back. I thought you might be interested in a collection of Baptist history books by Broadman & Holman, available from Logos Bible Software. Many of the posts and comments seem to be an extension of the topics covered in these books.

Broadman & Holman Baptist History Collection (11 Vols.)

Anonymous said...

I recently read an article about changes in hymns included between the previous Baptist Hymnal and the new one. I wonder if the differences should be checked for hymns reflecting viewpoints on this issue as well. If this is done, I wonder what the conclusion would be.


Tom Parker said...


I want to know when the leaders of the SBC will quit using Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong once a year to raise vast sums of money. It just does not seem to be consistent with their view of women. I'm not sure these women would be allowed to do today what they did in days gone by.

Joe Blackmon said...

The more I look around SBC blogs, it is easy to see that there are some people that want to not only stop the rightward drift of the denomination but swing it back toward the left.

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

Tom Parker said...


Do you think we should quit using Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong?

Joe Blackmon said...


Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't they dead?

Further, I don't see what honoring those women's memory has to do with my comment.

Tom Parker said...


Do you not think that Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon both were not only missionaries but that both also did preaching? If they both did any preaching, given the view of some in the SBC about women, I'm confused why the SBC uses them other than it sure raises a lot of money.

Ramesh said...

"I was given a simple faith. I am one of the lucky ones, I think.


You are truly blessed, Sister.

Anonymous said...

Joe: Escapism isn't the answer. Even Biblically. Talking about it is. I personally do not want Christ to come back yet. Too many souls would go to hell. I don't want that.

Anonymous said...

Any ideas on how doctrinal changes concerning the Holy Trinity might affect the stated role of the Holy Spirit?

I address those that are in support of a "semi-Arian" agenda.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing out what I have felt for several years. The SBC is loosing sight of the mission of the church and creating and impirial hiearchy. The notion that only man is capable to teaching the Gospel is archaic at best. It is time for the SBC to get off it ultra conservative foundations and have a true reality check.

I fear that the path of the SBC is going to make many believers jump off the train, or at least jump off the SBC train.

I have been a Southern Baptist all of my life. If the convention stays the Armenian course, I will be a train jumper. As a female, I feel I have as much to contribute to teaching the Gospel as men do.

"Go ye therfore into the world making disciples of all nations..." I don't see the passage as gender specific.

Anonymous said...

This thread has run it's course. I'll not be checking back but will be free to discuss my uncompassionateness and mid-missouri humor via email:

"Here is the heresy, that one will [debate Semi-Arianism on a blog with other beleivers around the country] but will not walk across the street to share the Gospel"
-R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Alan Paul said...

Since I know you'll be checking KMC - read Ken Follett's "World Without End". You'll recognize yourself in one of the characters, a Priest named Godwyn.

Anonymous said...

Kevin: That's a good way to try and shut people up. It didn't work when Al Mohler said it and it's not going to work now. It's been shown just how much people who care about issues such as this are just as passionate about sharing the gospel. So shaming with a license isn't going to work anymore.

ezekiel said...

Dave Miller,

"I know I am arguing against the prevailing view on this site. I would only make one point: the view that Christ is eternal submissive the the Father's authority is well within the boundaries of orthodoxy, can be reasonably argued from scripture, does no damage to the eternal glory of Christ, and does not deserve to be labelled as "semi-arian."

I think that label is unwarranted and unfair."

I don't really see anything "eternal submissive" about Christ in any of these scriptures. Can you point it out for me?

Isa 44:6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God. [Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13.]
Isa 44:7 Who is like Me? Let him [stand and] proclaim it, declare it, and set [his proofs] in order before Me, since I made and established the people of antiquity. [Who has announced from of old] the things that are coming? Then let them declare yet future things.
Isa 44:8 Fear not, nor be afraid [in the coming violent upheavals]; have I not told it to you from of old and declared it? And you are My witnesses! Is there a God besides Me? There is no [other] Rock; I know not any.

Hos 13:4 Yet I am the Lord your God from [the time you became a nation in] the land of Egypt, and you shall know or recognize no God but Me, for there is no Savior besides Me.

Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior.
Isa 43:12 I have declared [the future] and have saved [the nation in times of danger], and I have shown [that I am God]--when there was no strange and alien god among you; therefore you are My witnesses, says the Lord, that I am God.
Isa 43:13 Yes, from the time of the first existence of day and from this day forth I am He; and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand. I will work, and who can hinder or reverse it?
Isa 43:14 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I have sent [one] to Babylon, and I will bring down all of them as fugitives, [with] all their nobles, even the Chaldeans, into the ships over which they rejoiced.
Isa 43:15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.

Jud 1:25 To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).

Isa 9:6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace. [Isa. 25:1; 40:9-11; Matt. 28:18; Luke 2:11.]

Joh 1:1 IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. [Isa. 9:6.]

Cheryl Schatz said...


The majesty of those scriptures fills me with awe at our Almighty God.

Tom Parker said...


It amazes me that Joe could even say such a thing. He wants the Lord to come back now and he wants him to come back now because of women in the ministry--I sure do not see very many in the SBC.

It's this type of mindset that is turning so many people away from the Lord.

Tom Parker said...


It amazes me that Joe could even say such a thing. He wants the Lord to come back now and he wants him to come back now because of women in the ministry--I sure do not see very many in the SBC.

It's this type of mindset that is turning so many people away from the Lord.

Joe Blackmon said...


I am aware of no instances wher Annie Aromstrong or Lottie Moon preached sermons. If you have such information beyond mere wishful-thinking speculation, I would sincerely be interested in reading it.

I have not doubt that the moderates will regain control of the SBC and exact their revenge on the conservatives for the "takeover". This, of course, will start the leftward swing of the convention. By the time they're done, the only difference between us and the PC-USA will be baptisim and eschatology.

Anonymous said...

"Here is the heresy, that one will [debate Semi-Arianism on a blog with other beleivers around the country] but will not walk across the street to share the Gospel"
-R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Sat Sep 27, 01:18:00 AM 2008

Seriously? Mohler spends most of his time at war with the culture...not evangelizing them.


Joe Blackmon said...


Don't quit your day job to try making your living reading minds---you stink at it.

My desire to see the Lord come back is NOT due to woemn pastorettes but rather because it is heartbreaking to see Christians ON BOTH SIDES argue and debate. In heaven, we'll be perfect, ainless, and able to praise our God perfectly. There won't be any fighting or meanness and there won't be any "sides". Thanks for your unreasonable assumption, though.

Joe Blackmon said...

Typo in my last comment:

"ainless" should have been "sinless". Darn nerve damaged left hand.

Joe Blackmon said...


I am one of those dirty ol' 5 point Calvinists so my desire to see the Lord come back is not a wish to see people go to hell. Every person God has elected will be saved regardless of when the Lord returns.

Anonymous said...

"I am aware of no instances wher Annie Aromstrong or Lottie Moon preached sermons. If you have such information beyond mere wishful-thinking speculation, I would sincerely be interested in reading it."

Are you serious? What do you think she was doing in the remote villages? Teaching Hygiene? You think she did not teach/preach any men the Gospel? She claims she did. REad her bios where they quote her letters. She did not care if it was men or women. She was sharing the Word. She even set up room barriers with woven fabric to separate the men and women and she would teach the women and the men would listen so they could 'save face' from being taught by a woman with women in the room. Sounds like some I know here.

Is the standard that there must be a designated building with a steeple and a pulpit? Then it is sin? Or, is it just a sin when it is white Western men? Seems our SBC leaders are more like the ignorant Chinese peasant men.


Anonymous said...

I suppose I should go back and check for sure, but as I remember one story about Lottie Moon:
She had been teaching the women. The men asked to learn also. Since there were no Christian men available to teach them, she set up an arrangement where the women were in front of her, so she was technically teaching them, but it was arranged that the men would sit behind her where they could also hear. Thus she was not teaching them/preaching to them, they were just listening in to what she taught the women.

All the convolutions people go through because of such silly interpretations. Instead of caring that people hear the gospel, some are more concerned that they not hear it from women. Thus those people who would have heard do not hear because there are not enough men spreading the word. Of course, if you are a strict Calvinist, you believe they will be saved or lost regardless of whether they hear the gospel, I guess. It makes no sense to me, but then I'm a woman and not expected to think, only listen to the men who are supposed to be the authorities over me and know it all. I sometimes wonder if some are stuck in that stage of adolescent males when they think they know everything and no one can tell them anything. Fortunately most outgrow it.


Unknown said...

Wow. I didn't know all this stuff about Christ being eternally subordinate to the Father is being taught. I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to the CBMW because I thought the only thing they were about was patriarchy, and I don't agree with that at all, so I've sort of ignored them.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful to hear about Lottie Moon. This woman sounds like a saint. In my religion, she would have been canonized by now. She humbly did what she could, in the way that she was allowed, and Christ was brought into the lives of these Chinese. So obvious that it was the Holy Spirit that showed her a way to reach the men. What great love of God she must have had! She shines for me as a Christian heroine.

Sometimes I think SOME of the men in Christian churches don't understand yet: God uses us as we are. Lottie Moon, Blessed Lottie Moon, has proven this.


Cheryl Schatz said...


"So obvious that it was the Holy Spirit that showed her a way to reach the men"

This is where we all struggle, I think. We would like to reach people from where we are. Sometimes we need to do what we do, but taking into consideration how others need to hear our message.

My ministry partner, Lorri MacGregor has taught in many Baptist Churches and many colleges, but she was always quick to respect any limitations that they had. In one church she was asked to teach on doctrinal issues, but the board said that she could not teach from the pulpit as it was against scripture. So she asked if she could teach from a music stand on the main floor. That was acceptable to them. Some may have just turned aside and given up on people like this, but Lorri really only wanted to get the message out. She was willing to do what it took so that she could teach. She did such a good job that, if I remember her story right, that same church had her speaking on a Sunday morning from the pulpit, the first time a woman had ever spoken from the pulpit. Did it matter to her? No. She was just as comfortable teaching behind a music stand as she was behind a pulpit. Her willingness to humbly accept any place, and her excellent teaching skills, gave her great acceptance in many areas that no other woman was allowed in. Apparently many felt that she was one of those "exceptions" that God allowed every now and again.

Anonymous said...

If the Chinese men had to "save face" by sitting behind a barrier to listen to Lottie Moon,

Let all churches who believe that women should never teach from the pulpit do the following:

Set up barriers: the men can sit behind these barriers and "save face". No one will feel like they are violating the precepts of the Scriptures. As long as Christ's message is being given, everyone will be served and no one's cultural or religious sensibilities will interfere. The men can listen in as women teach women.

If it worked in China, it will work here. Men, put your pride away, go out and buy some bamboo screens.

Anonymous said...

I don't think women care if they are teaching from a pulpit or from a music stand, or from a dais or from the main floor.

The important thing is the MESSAGE, not the messenger.

Cheryl Schatz said...


"I don't think women care if they are teaching from a pulpit or from a music stand, or from a dais or from the main floor.

The important thing is the MESSAGE, not the messenger."


Tom Parker said...


I think you need to do more research on Lottie Moon. She most certainly did preach to men and anyone under the sound of her voice. You do the research and you will find I am not using wishful thinking. Imagine that God using a woman to preach to men!!
Are all of the Sunday school classes where you attend set up in such a way that a woman never teaches a man? Do you have a woman that leads the congregation and choir in the singing of hymns?

Anonymous said...

Help me understand the reasoning here. She couldn't speak from the pulpit but could speak from a music stand (or such) on the main floor. I guess it's a good thing they had a nice sanctuary to meet in rather than being either too new a church to have a fancy building or being in a remodeling situation when even the pastor would preach without a formal pulpit and on the same level as the congregation. Then she would have nothing lower to speak from.
She would still be doing the same thing either way, just a matter of where. But I guess if you're going to draw some sort of line about what women can do you have to draw it somewhere.


Lin said...

"Help me understand the reasoning here. She couldn't speak from the pulpit but could speak from a music stand (or such) on the main floor."

Here is another one for you: I saw a situation where the elders decided it was ok for a woman to speak (shhh...she was sorta preaching) to the church from a video but not in person!

A big problem is how we define 'pastor'. We have made it (and elder) offices when they are merely functions.

Cheryl Schatz said...


"Help me understand the reasoning here. She couldn't speak from the pulpit but could speak from a music stand (or such) on the main floor."

I think it is ridiculous, but her offer to speak from a music stand worked. The way I understand it, a piece of furniture (pulpit) signaled some kind of authority to them that was illegal. If she had no "sign" of authority, her teaching was okay. It helped that she was an ex-JW who knew how to teach Christians how to witness to the cults. Her expertise was hard to come by and so they needed her. Apparently God makes exceptions when there is no man capable of doing what the woman is gifted to do. :)

Lorri never felt called to go against the grain. She just believed that when God called her that he would open the doors that he wanted her to go through.

It is also interesting that God also spoke to Lorri that he was calling me to speak out on the women's issue. When she told me it was a confirmation of what God had already been telling my husband and myself. So while she had never fought the issue for decades while she taught wherever God opened the door, she very much supports me in my effort to make a change in the way people see this issue in the scriptures. Perhaps that means that there is no one "right" way to deal with these difficult issues. God calls one person to quietly submit while teaching at every opportunity God gives them. God calls another to stand up and openly present the difficult passages of scripture in their proper context. As long as the job gets done, I think both ways are right.

Dave Miller said...

I am amazed at the constant declarations of shock at the doctrine of the submission of christ to the Father.

Not only does it have solid biblical support which I mentioned above, it is taught in the major systematic theologies of the evangelical church.

I checked Berkhof and Hodge, both of them teach a form of the doctrine.

I think it is safe to say that what Wade is advocating here is a departure from the standard view of Christian theology about the Trinity.

I am not calling it heresy, but if you are shocked that such a thing is taught, you haven't been reading your systematic theology.

Is it possible that CBMW is applying the doctrine too stridently? I don't know. I haven't researched it. But look at the standard works of theology among evangelicals, and you will pretty much uniformly find that the Son submits to the authority of the Father, and that this submission is part of the eternal nature of God.

This isn't something new.

Tom Parker said...


It may not be new, but some are using this view to support a treatment of women that I do not believe the Bible supports. And I am not including women pastors or deacons in what I am intending to say. Look what happened to Sheri Klouda.

Anonymous said...

Joe: Lottie Moon wrote this in a letter dated and published in 1883 entitled "The Woman's Question Again", you can find it on the IMB site on Lottie's letters.

Can we wonder at the mortal weariness and disgust, the sense of wasted powers and the conviction that her life is a failure, that comes over a woman when, instead of the ever broadening activities that she had planned, she finds herself tied down to the petty work of teaching a few girls?

You will also find this information. She began a campaign and succeeded in giving women the freedom to minister and a equal voice in mission proceedings.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dave Miller,

You said: "I am amazed at the constant declarations of shock at the doctrine of the submission of christ to the Father.

Not only does it have solid biblical support which I mentioned above, it is taught in the major systematic theologies of the evangelical church."

The eternal subordination of the Son is not taught in the systematic theologies of the evangelical church before the 1970's. Since that time it has been introduced through people such as Wayne Grudem a CBMW member.

This is not the teaching of the Christian Church for two thousand years. The temporary submission of the Son during his incarnation was understood that it was not his eternal place in the Trinity.

The shock comes as so many have already been indoctrinated in this teaching so much so that many like yourself believe that this is the historic doctrine that the church always taught. It is time that the Church is taught the truth. This is not the historic doctrine of the Church. The incarnation is not the eternal position of Jesus in the Trinity.

Anonymous said...

"Joe Blackmon said...
The more I look around SBC blogs, it is easy to see that there are some people that want to not only stop the rightward drift of the denomination but swing it back toward the left."

Joe, with all the pulling and tugging going on, the Church can only go sideways.

I really think Wade wants the church to move forward. At least Wade is not using the strategies and tactics of the "hostile takeover" to attempt change.

Joe, don't worry so much about "left" or "right", keep your sights on what is just and good, AND keep you sights on the leaders whose leadership is free from injustice and the unethical treatment of others.

Paul Burleson said...

Cheryl Schatz,

I know Dave Miller and he is a great guy and a wonderful pastor as well as a student of the Word.

But, on this point of theology, I could not agree with you more.

Anonymous said...

Was Jesus' submission temporal (during His Incarnation) or eternal, as suggested by the neo-Arians?

What did Jesus say?

From the cross we hear Him say,


If His submission was a part of His Incarnation and His Redemption of mankind, and I believe that it was, then He has answered my question for me.


Anonymous said...

The Baptist Faith and Message no longer bases doctine solely on the words and actions of Christ in the Bible.

Jesse said...

Wade, you said,

. . . .

Remember, the defintion of "subordinate" is:

(1). sub - "lesser"
(2). ordinate - "superior authority"

. . .

I think you should have also included the definition of "under," "below," or "beneath."

The Son did subordinate Himself to the Father for a brief period. I'm not sure I would agree with your term as defined above that Christ was less than the Father. He never was, is not now, nor ever will be "eternally subordinate to the Father."

Just nit-picking.


Anonymous said...

"Not only does it have solid biblical support which I mentioned above, it is taught in the major systematic theologies of the evangelical church"

This is a huge problem. Systematic Theology, such as written by Grudem, have become sacred texts in some of our seminaries.

I would encourage Dave to read both of Giles' books to see what we are talking about.

Funny about Giles' books. I knew instinctively something was seriously wrong with what is being taught about the Trinity in many circles these days (Based upon sound Baptist church teaching as a kid on the Trinity...thank you SBC of yesterday) so I started researching it and found Giles' books. He actually sounds more Baptist than SBTS does on this issue and the Priesthood of believer! I started reading him with a very critical eye because he is Anglican. I was expecting a flaming liberal among other things. But, it was not so.

Again, I ask. What is the point of teaching this doctrine that in the end lessens Jesus Christ and His deity? What end result are they expecting by teaching that Jesus Christ is subordinate to the Father for eternity? (which includes Jesus and the Holy Spirit being subordinate in the past, too, even at creation)

Non Arian asked about the Holy Spirit and this chain of command structure of the Trinity. And we have to admit that it is a hard question that is not consistent among those perpetuating this doctrine.

Here are a few reasons why:

John 14-Jesus says the Father is sending the Holy Spirit

25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

John 15- Jesus says He is sending the Holy Spirit from the Father

26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

John 16-Jesus says He is sending the Holy Spirit

6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"

And that is just for starters in ONE book! However, since Jesus Christ is God, it is not contradictory.


Anonymous said...

Lydia said:

"Again, I ask. What is the point of teaching this doctrine that in the end lessens Jesus Christ and His deity? What end result are they expecting by teaching that Jesus Christ is subordinate to the Father for eternity? (which includes Jesus and the Holy Spirit being subordinate in the past, too, even at creation)"

What is the point? Authority. Women subordinate to men. That's just for starters.

Imagine our country if overtaken by a theocracy who form their version of a 'Christian Nation'.
Wouldn't this new neo-Arianism be useful? Think about it. Why go messing with the traditional concept among all mainline churches of the nature of the Holy Trinity? Just for the sake of keeping women in line?

This new world will make the statement "I was just following orders." acceptable again. And, you can imagine what will be done in God's name.

Hope I'm wrong here.


Don said...

I think the CBMW folks should take off their "hierarchy" glasses as they seem to be seeing it in places it ain't.

Dave Miller said...


I did brief research today and found the teaching in Hodge and Berhof, both of whom predate your timeframe. They are, to my knowledge, completely in line with traditional reformed theology.

As I said before, I have not studied CBMW teachings in depth. I don't know what they are doing with the doctrine.

My point here simply that the implication that this is a new teaching that is a departure from standard orthodox interpretation does not seem to be accurate.

Anonymous said...

To Dave Miller,

In your reference to the people at CBMW, you stated that "I do not know what they are doing with the doctrine."

WOW. So, they are taking a good look at a time-honored very orthodox doctrine of the Church and they are going to 'do something with it'.

Do you honestly believe that the Holy Spirit would wait all these centuries to reveal to this small 'elect' group that part of the Arian Heresy is right after-all?

Has the Holy Spirit been on vacation for almost two thousand years? Please! Give me a break.

What does CBMW really stand for, anyway: 'Chosen' Baptists Manipulating the Word ????

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dave Miller,

Give me the quote and where I can research it online. I want to see it for myself.

Only By His Grace said...

A couple things worry me concerning some of the comments about your article. If the Son comes from the Father, then there must have been a point in time where the Father existed without the Son. If we are not careful we fall into the heresy of Gnosticism and the modern heresy of the Jehovah Witness movement where God (the Father created the Son who created everything else). I think this takes away the belief that the Father, Son and Holy Sprit co-existed eternally. The second thing that worries me is that the lesser comes out of or from the greater. If the Son comes from the Father and Holy Spirit comes from Son, it would seem that that this migration of the God-head is not co-eternal and that the Son and the Spirit are dependent on the Father for existence. Scripture speaks nothing of this; therefore all of this is human conjecture. I think this is the one point that splits the Western Orthodoxy from the Eastern Orthodoxy (Rome and Constantinople).

I love the Apostle Paul's outline of Ephesians 1:3-14.
A. 3-5 deal with Will of the Father.—"according to His good pleasure which He has proposed in Himself before the world began."

B. 6-12 deal with the Work of the Son as He carries out the Will of the Father, "in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin according to the riches of His grace.

C. 13-14 deal with the Will of the Father and the Work of the Son being Witnessed or affirmed by Spirit who gives us a "down payment" and "seals us until the day of Redemption—"Who is the earnest of our inheritance until redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of His glory.

If God is the Eternal I AM, then the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit had to simultaneously exist before there was time or anything else. At the very point One creates any one single thing, then time begins from that point. If that is not true, then you run into the danger of the Father creating the Son and the Son creating the Holy Spirit making the Son and the Spirit creatures rather than the Creator.

Phil in Norman

Anonymous said...

Dear David,

The great Doctrine of the Holy Trinity is also a great mystery of faith. What ARE the qualifications of those people who are solving the meaning of this mystery?

Is this new way of thinking sanctioned by the leadership of the SBC: the top authorities?

I know it's not coming from a Higher Authority.

Anonymous said...

The Trinty is very complex to understand that lends towards tritheism if not careful. Much like with Peter's insight of the Messiahship of Jesus even what we understand is revealed in part by Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who states that the BF&M no longer bases doctrine on the words of Christ in the Bible. This dropping of the sentence "The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ." (from the 1963 BF&M) was one reason for many to reject the BF&M 2000.

Cheryl, I have no problem with however a woman chooses to cope with sexism, whether to meet it head on or find a way around it or work within the system to get God's work done, though I am bothered by some manipulative ways of coping (I hasten to say that not anything mentioned here is in that latter category). I just think it's too bad that we have to jump through weird hoops at times. It seems to me that the line is drawn wherever those drawing the line find it convenient, and then they seek justification for it. Example: Women shouldn't teach males, but we'll let them teach small boys because we don't want to be bothered with children.

One can find all sorts of doctrines from Christian history. Since they disagree, they can't all be right. If one tries one can argue many things, some contradictory, from the Bible: slavery, the place of women, church government. We have to look at the whole picture, and maybe even, despite BF&M2000, what Jesus taught.


New BBC Open Forum said...

Excerpt from Perspectives on Women in Baptist Life by Leon McBeth...

As a very young man, I served as pastor of a strong, rural church in west Texas. We had a one-room building, and divided the Sunday School classes by drawing burlap curtains strung on clothesline wire. We had no pastor’s study, so I sat in the men’s Sunday School class. Our teacher was a wonderful man, a farmer named J.E., a man unspoiled by the schools. I had no car, so I rode the Greyhound bus to the nearest town; and many a Saturday afternoon, J.E. and Joyce picked me up and I spent the weekend with them. On Sunday morning on the way to church, Joyce would drive while J.E. prepared his lesson. His preparation went as follows: "Joyce, where is the lesson for today?" She would tell him the Scripture passage, he would open his Bible, find the passage, insert his quarterly at that place, and close his Bible. That was his total preparation. In class we would each read a verse and tell what it meant to us.

The women’s class met just across the curtain from us. Not five feet away, their teacher, Duchess, taught an excellent lesson. She had a strong voice; I should have such a voice. We could not help but hear her teaching; and most Sundays after a few moments, our class would lapse into silence, and we would just sit there listening to Duchess across the curtain.

That was my first pastorate, and I did not know anything. One day I said, "Why don’t we just draw back this curtain, and all of us make one class, and let Duchess be our teacher." There was a stunned silence. I wish you could have seen the look on the faces of those men: consternation, shock, dismay, and disbelief that the pastor would suggest such a thing. "Oh no," they said, "we can’t do that. That would make it a mixed class."

peter lumpkins said...


Let's see if I get this straight: The SBC is not a cult but like a cult. We got that one this past week.

Now though the SBC is not heretic---Yet!--there is a "growing semi-Arianism" in the SBC. May we predict a *growing* pattern here?

I really can't help it: this post made me laugh out loud, Wade. I can't wait for the next chicken-little crisis.

With that, I am...


P.S. Kudos for not making the BI Boyz responsible for this one...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lumpkins,

Oh, Peter, it is not God that has revealed this to you, but man. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Susie,

WHY did they do it? Change the Baptist Faith and Message? Now I can see the reason for so many of the troubles. If the Church is no longer Christ-centered; it will run off course badly and flounder.

From my religion, I offer this prayer:

Christ be in my mind.
Christ be on my lips.
Christ be in my heart.

It's simple enough, don't you think? Baptist people need to fix the problem: set the compass back on a direction straight for Christ: His words, His actions.

What could be more healing and reconciling than that?


Alan Paul said...


My mom had an interesting question on this whole deal of election... If the idea is that we evangelize because we aren't sure who the elect are (otherwise, what's the point of evangelizing?) If that's true, then how do you know you are one of the elect?

Anonymous said...

Phil in Norman,

Regarding the schism between Catholic and Greek Orthodox faiths: the 'filioque' clause does NOT refer to a hierarchy but a question of roles performed by each Person in the Holy Trinity. And yes, there is disagreement over who sends out the Holy Spirit. But both Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do have the Nicene Creed. (Lutherans have it,too, I think.)

I think a layman can understand best by asking questions of Catholic and Greek Orthodox clergy. This will help to clarify the confusion.

One thing I don't understand is how any Protestant could ever think that God in Three Persons ever had a 'beginning', OR that the Father 'created' the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

It is such a basic Christian teaching that God is eternal: from everlasting to everlasting.
The Christmas wreath is one way that this doctrine has always been taught and celebrated: a circle, no beginning; no ending.


Anonymous said...

If there were three sites that have challenged my thinking on theology in the last 18 months, one of them would be yours. The other two are Russell Kelly's and Dee Ann Miller's

Dave Miller said...


I didn't do the research online.
I just read the Trinity sections of the theologies I mentioned. I

Charles Hodge has a three volume set. Berkhof is one volume.

I don't know if these theologies are online somewhere.

Dave Miller said...

I appreciate this post, because it has caused me to do some study and research I otherwise wouldn't have done, and to clarify my thinking.

What I have been able to research has made one thing clear to me:

It is absolutely unfair to link the teaching of Christ's "Sonship" and submission to the Father as "semi-Arianism."

No matter how stridently the comparison is made, it is still inaccurate.

ezekiel said...

Dave Miller,

"I checked Berkhof and Hodge, both of them teach a form of the doctrine."

Ok, I get that, but what does the
Word say?

Joh 1:1

(AMP) IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. [Isa. 9:6.]

(ESV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

(KJV+) InG1722 the beginningG746 wasG2258 theG3588 Word,G3056 andG2532 theG3588 WordG3056 wasG2258 withG4314 God,G2316 andG2532 theG3588 WordG3056 wasG2258 God.G2316

I am sure that I am not the only one here that does it, but as I read through the comments, scripture comes to mind.

The particular scripture that comes to mind when reading your comment above is:

"Mat 15:8 "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
Mat 15:9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"

Now I am certainly not, I repeat not judging your intent, devotion, service or anything else here. Just trying to get you to think. In the days of Jesus' walk here on earth, the primary problem He had (in my opinion) was with the religious folks. The pharisees and scribes, all well indoctrinated with the teachings of men. And they were flat wrong. I am certain the same thing can happen today, is happening today and is going to get worse. The only safety is in the WORD.

Sure, the pastoral letters as some call them teach adherance to doctrine (Paul's doctrine) but other doctrine and heresy was being actively taught at that time as well. How do we tell the difference today? What does the Word say? (1John 4:1)Where did the folks in (Acts 17:11) get their answers?

The way I read the text is that God is ONE. The Father, The Son and The HOLY Spirit. We don't get One without the other and they don't operate seperately but as ONE.

I am very uncomfortable with the idea of eternal subordination. Do we not commit the same type of error the Jews did?

"Joh 10:33 The Jews replied, We are not going to stone You for a good act, but for blasphemy, because You, a mere Man, make Yourself [out to be] God."

To not consider Jesus, God is to deny the testimony of:

John 10:30 I and the Father are One.

Joh 8:58 Jesus replied, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I AM. [Exod. 3:14.]

Joh 14:9 Jesus replied, Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say then, Show us the Father?


1Ti 3:16 And great and important and weighty, we confess, is the hidden truth (the mystic secret) of godliness. He [God] was made visible in human flesh, justified and vindicated in the [Holy] Spirit, was seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, [and] taken up in glory.

Tit 2:13 Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One),

1Jn 5:7 So there are three witnesses in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One;

If none of the above persuades you, maybe this will. We are created in their image.

Gen 1:26 God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. [Ps. 104:30; Heb. 1:2; 11:3.]
Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Col. 3:9, 10; James 3:8, 9.]

When we look at you or me, how many images do we see? One, I think. At least that was all there was the last time I looked in the mirror.

For those that think that Jesus was created later, that He didn't "happen" until the NT, take a look at John 1 again. If that doesn't convince you, look at Rev 1:8,11,22:13, 1Cor10:4

ezekiel said...

Dave Miller,

"It is absolutely unfair to link the teaching of Christ's "Sonship" and submission to the Father as "semi-Arianism."

No matter how stridently the comparison is made, it is still inaccurate."

Just what is in a name after all? We can both come up with all sorts of names for different errors and wast a whole bunch of time labeling them so others can recognize them. I don't think we have to name it to see that it is wrong.

All we have to do is look at the WORD.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dave Miller,

I have read where people "claim" that the teaching about Jesus' eternal subordination was taught by the early church fathers. It isn't there when a person looks at the actual quotes. I am a researcher. I do not take people's claims at face value without being able to research the material. Please provide the quotes from pre-1970's that speak about the eternal subordination of the Son so I can review them. Along with the quote, please provide the page number and the date of the publication. Thank you.

Also, to make it very clear, I am not talking about any reference to an eternal Sonship. I am talking about an eternal subordination where the Son eternally submits to the Father's will, eternally has less authority, etc.

Anonymous said...


Since you are not Southern Baptist I don’t expect you paid any attention to the controversy over the revision of the Baptist Faith and Message statement. Too many Baptists didn’t, and probably should have.

Southern Baptists did not feel the need of a denominational statement of faith until the 1920s. The first Baptist Faith and message statement was published in 1925, a second in 1963, and the most recent in 2000. While the 1963 edition was written by a committee consisting of the presidents of the state conventions (thus reflecting a diverse and representative viewpoint), the 2000 edition was written by a committee chosen by the SBC president.
A side-by-side view of all three statements is available at
A comparison of the 1963 and 2000 statements with commentary is available at

Opinions as to why the change was made are as varied as the opinions expressed in the comments on this blog. Without rereading the comments on the BGCT version I would say that as I remember them I tend to agree with those comment, for what my opinion is worth.


Dave Miller said...


There seems to be an intentional unwillingness to listen to what someone else is saying here.

I have never said that Systematic Theologies have priority over scripture in determining truth.

My point was that there was a continual expression of shock and awe at this new doctrine. It is not a new doctrine but a very old and orthodox doctrine.

Cheryl, as a pastor I don't know when I can get you the research you request. If you are a researcher, could you not read these theologies yourself? Hodge volume 1. Berkhof.

Just checked James P. Boyce (1887) and he clearly teaches that Christ has an "inferior" rank of authority while maintaining a equality of essense. So, in 1887 this was taught.

It is not called the "Eternal Subordination" of christ, because that seems to be a pejorative applied by the doctrine's foes.

But the fact that the Father and Son are equal in essence, but that the Son exists in an eternally submissive role - that is in every standard orthodox theology I have checked so far.

Anonymous said...

Dear Susie,

Thank you for all this information. So now Christ , once the primary guide to understanding Scripture, has been demoted to a lesser role. Wow.

Who was this president? Did'nt anyone at the time see the conflict: his committee was chosen by him and answered to him.

So much harm has been done to the church. People leaving. Those poor missionaries. Dr. Klouda. Wade.

So much harm. And for what?

How quickly things fell apart when Christ was dishonored so.

Some people made a mistake. And the church needs to make it right again.

To do this, they need to welcome Jesus Christ back in to His rightful place in the Baptist Faith and Message. And when they have done this, the harm to the church will stop. (My opinion, because I see no other Way out of this mess than Him.)

Anonymous said...

To Dave,

May I quote you:

"that the Son exists in an eternally submissive role - that is in every standard orthodox theology I have checked so far"

Dave, please contact a Catholic priest and a Greek Orthodox priest and consult them on the matter. Here is why. You are reading your sources from your own perspective. I know you are trying to understand: but you need to hear the orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity as explained by the othodox clergy. They can show you where you are confused.

I study Judaica: I read about the Jewish history, faith, Torah, Talmud, the mishnas, and I try to understand. Of course, I get confused. So, I go to a rabbi and I ask 'what does this mean'. And then, I see what I could not understand before. How could I without the rabbi's help.

Just try this. I think it will help you. The clergy won't proselytize you, don't worry, but they will answer your theological questions from the perspective of their church history and their tradition.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dave Miller,

I asked you for the information since you are the one making the claim. I would like you to provide the quote, the name of the book, the page number and the date of the book so that I can see the worth of pursuing such a trail. There is no doubt that Jesus laid aside the use of his attributes as God while he walked the earth. The proof that I am asking of you is for the eternal subordination of Christ. In other words it is not in his humanity but in his eternal Deity before he became man that he is subordinate and eternally without equal authority. Perhaps you can provide the evidence so that we all can see it. My resources are limited and I do not intend on buying a book that may not be useful for me. Provide the quote. We can all evaluate it and then I can consider buying the book. There is much that can be twisted to make it seem that one is talking about Deity when it is talking about a specific time on earth.

Anonymous said...

Don,t use Hodge as an authoritative spokesperson for either Catholic or Greek Orthodox doctrine on the nature of the Holy Trinity. Hodge does not speak for them.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dave Miller,

This bothered me - you said: "Cheryl, as a pastor I don't know when I can get you the research you request."

If you are the one who has seen the evidence then I don't see why you cannot provide what I have requested. That is unless you are going by what someone else says and you don't have the book or the quote yourself.

Anonymous said...


I cannot speak for Wade, and he doesn't seem to wish to speak in defense of himself to you, but please allow me an observation.

The man who thinks people are bothered by his laugh of derision has either a faulty high view of himself or a deficient low view of others. Either way, your need to let others know of your laughter reveals far more about you than you probably realize.


Anonymous said...


Cheryl has called you to prove your allegation that eternal subordination is orthodox. Those of us following the dialogue are unconvinced you can prove it. Simply alleging it does not make it so.

The humanity of Christ is not in question. The eternal subordination of Christ is.


Cheryl Schatz said...

Dave Miller,

You also said: "It is not called the "Eternal Subordination" of christ, because that seems to be a pejorative applied by the doctrine's foes. "

This is also my point. The eternal subordination of Christ is something new. It is not considered a pejorative term by those who teach it. We consider it to be defaming the Son of God in the eternal Trinity to teach his eternal lesser authority.

As I said, since you are the one making the claim saying that I am wrong in my statement, then it would be a good thing in this forum to prove me wrong by supplying the information that I have requested.

I will be eagerly waiting.

Anonymous said...

To Cheryl,

When you said, "We consider it to be defaming the Son of God in the eternal Trinity to teach his eternal lesser authority."

May I also be included in that "we" because I could not agree with you more.

I am quite upset that any Christians would ever state that my orthodox religion has believed in "eternal submission". I do feel obliged to defend my faith, in this regard, when it is attacked in this way. It is slanderous.

I suppose some people have learned from the extreme far right in our country who believe that, if they repeat a lie enough times, people will begin to believe it.

My orthodox Christian faith has never supported "the ETERNAL submission of Christ to the Father." To us, it's heresy.


Cheryl Schatz said...


"May I also be included in that "we" because I could not agree with you more."

Absolutely! Consider yourself added in the "we" for the sake of the record.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who read the Peter Schemm link of his article at CBMW of Kevin Giles' chapter in Discovering Bible Eqaulity, I beg you to read Giles for yourself. Read him before you believe what CBMW says what Giles said! I have never seen an author's words so twisted (albeit subtly) in my life. It is a shame.

This is just another reason I do not trust CBMW as a resource for anything anymore. They have an agenda and that agenda does not include inconvenient truths to their positions.


Anonymous said...

haha - Bill, you said to Peter,

"The man who thinks people are bothered by his laugh of derision has either a faulty high view of himself or a deficient low view of others. Either way, your need to let others know of your laughter reveals far more about you than you probably realize."

Peter - methinks you have met your match with Bill.

I suspect we will see less and less of you here Peter...assuming we see more and more of Bill.

Impressive observation indeed. Ouch!

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful for your clear and concise explanation of Arianism. I am disturbed by some of the information I have been reading on the CBMW website, and I am alarmed by the hard right turn the SBC is taking with regard to the role of women in the church. I believe women are truly second-class citizens in the SBC. My husband I are beginning to contemplate leaving the denomination. Please continue to keep us informed!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

Peter: what can we say.

I welcome Peter's input because I need to know about how he is thinking and to try to comprehend what sort of agenda he is serving. So, I'm all for Peter staying with the group as he is. I wouldn't mind seeing him change, though.) The Good Lord has brought him here for a purpose.

Dear Wanda,

I'm not Southern Baptist, but I think that it would be a great shame if you left the church. I cannot imagine what it must be like for someone to leave the church of their family and friends (or to be driven out).

Give this some time, Wanda, like Wade said, "Help is on the way."

If everyone who has discerned a problem leaves the SBC, then what will happen to the others who don't understand what is going on? They need the strength and protection of the Christian community. Stay, if you can, for the sake of these members. And work and pray for the church to return Jesus Christ to His rightful position as the Church's true Authority in the Baptist Faith and Message.

A Friend

Anonymous said...

In one sense many who left the SBC didn't leave it, it left them. What else can you call it when it changed so much?


peter lumpkins said...

Dear Bill,

As so often but sadly the case with internet blogging exchanges, your attempt to interpret words/actions of others not explicitly evident in the words written but instead gleaned from a sort of cyber-crystal ball represents nicely what is both deficient and discouraging with the system.

Instead of focusing on the point actually made and judging it sufficient or insufficient for thus and thus reasons, you'd rather take a poke at what you cannot possibly know--something substantial about the interior of one's soul.

The latter, of course, is much easier. Crystal-ball calls demand no real skill. Just say what you wish to say about the person's inner life. You cannot be proved wrong. Sweet deal!

However, the former means you actually assessed a particular comment, weighed it in the balance of sober judgment, and found it wanting.

It is just such an assessment that is so lacking--and lacking, most unfortunately, among Baptist blogging communities.

I trust your evening well. With that, I am....


P.S. By the way, I still have a slight grin on my face :^)

ezekiel said...

Dave Miller,

"There seems to be an intentional unwillingness to listen to what someone else is saying here."

Yes and if you decide to repent, let us know....

"My point was that there was a continual expression of shock and awe at this new doctrine. It is not a new doctrine but a very old and orthodox doctrine."

You quote(wait a minute, you claim he says but won't show us) Boyce and others. I sort of like Dr Kevin Giles as represented here by Ben. According to them, the doctrine is new. I am with Cheryl Schatz on this one. Show us.

Ben has a whole post on this "at it's worst, heresy" here. You may find something you can use in it. I have shown you the Word and now, refuted your theologians. Not sure I can do anymore if you insist on corrupting the original doctrine of the Trinity to support your desire to eternally subordinate women.

I guess it all depends on which theologian you want to believe

For whatever it is worth, I had a discussion this morning with a man, I call him an elder, that seems to have spent a lot of time studying and learning under Adrian Rogers. I told him I had a question that didn't need an immediate answer, to take his time and get back to me if he needed to. I then asked him what he thought of "eternal subbordination of Christ" and his almost immediate response was "how can He be subordinated when He is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit?" I have been asking you the same question and still no answer, just a bunch of claims of what some theologian says, not even the source documentation just a "look it up yourself" statement.

Some day, we will give an account...

Rom 14:12 And so each of us shall give an account of himself [give an answer in reference to judgment] to God.
Rom 14:13 Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.

And on that day, using the reasoning I use seems to be a safer position than the one you use. How are you going to explain those stumbling blocks that you have laid in the path of about 50% of your brothers?

Gal 3:26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.
Gal 3:27 For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham's Seed], then you are Abraham's offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise.

Either repent or quit baptizing women into Christ. Ban them to the fellowship hall kitchen and issue gags at the door. That is where all this seems to be headed.

Better you to attempt to justify that to Him than me. See also Romans 8 and ask yourself if you see flesh when you look at that woman in your midst or if you see a spiritual brother in Christ.

Gender only matters when one is walking in the flesh. Flesh kills...

Col 2:1 FOR I want you to know how great is my solicitude for you [how severe an inward struggle I am engaged in for you] and for those [believers] at Laodicea, and for all who [like yourselves] have never seen my face and known me personally.
Col 2:2 [For my concern is] that their hearts may be braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that they may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, and that they may become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, [which is] Christ (the Anointed One).
Col 2:3 In Him all the treasures of [divine] wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God) and [all the riches of spiritual] knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden.
Col 2:4 I say this in order that no one may mislead and delude you by plausible and persuasive and attractive arguments and beguiling speech.
Col 2:5 For though I am away from you in body, yet I am with you in spirit, delighted at the sight of your [standing shoulder to shoulder in such] orderly array and the firmness and the solid front and steadfastness of your faith in Christ [that leaning of the entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].
Col 2:6 As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him.
Col 2:7 Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.
Col 2:8 See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men's ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).
Col 2:9 For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature].
Col 2:10 And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].
Col 2:11 In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a [spiritual] circumcision [performed by] Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh (the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lusts).
Col 2:12 [Thus you were circumcised when] you were buried with Him in [your] baptism, in which you were also raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God [as displayed] when He raised Him up from the dead.
Col 2:13 And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions,
Col 2:14 Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross.
Col 2:15 [God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].
Col 2:16 Therefore let no one sit in judgment on you in matters of food and drink, or with regard to a feast day or a New Moon or a Sabbath.
Col 2:17 Such [things] are only the shadow of things that are to come, and they have only a symbolic value. But the reality (the substance, the solid fact of what is foreshadowed, the body of it) belongs to Christ.
Col 2:18 Let no one defraud you by acting as an umpire and declaring you unworthy and disqualifying you for the prize, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions [he claims] he has seen, vainly puffed up by his sensuous notions and inflated by his unspiritual thoughts and fleshly conceit,
Col 2:19 And not holding fast to the Head, from Whom the entire body, supplied and knit together by means of its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
Col 2:20 If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world's crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations?--such as]
Col 2:21 Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them],
Col 2:22 Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines. [Isa. 29:13.]
Col 2:23 Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). [Instead, they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh.]

Anonymous said...

Dear Peter,

I am not Bill. I am the 'other one' who made the remark about:

"Oh Peter, it's not God that has revealed this to you, but man. ;)

After reading what you just wrote; I am sorry about my remark. It was mean-spirited and judgmental on my part. I am not really into trying to get a laugh at someone else's expense, least of all while mentioning God. I'm sorry. It was wrong.

Your are right in this regard: we cannot see into the heart or soul of another; nor should we ever attempt to judge him.

I would prefer the old saying: 'it is better to seek to understand; than to try to be understood.'

Where do we get a feeling that on a religious blog we can see into any man's heart? Perhaps it is because, here, of all places, on a religious blog, we don't expect for there to be a great disconnect between a Christian's head and his heart. Don't worry, Peter, we all have a lot to learn. :)


Anonymous said...

The greatest sermons ever preached by the early Christian were the martyrdom of those who willingly died for their faith. Thousands of witnesses were converted to Christ by these martyrs.

Among the martyrs were many women and their sermons written in their own blood still speak to men today of Jesus.

Here is a description given by a witness at the martyrdom of little Agnes:

'She stood still, praying, and offered her neck. You could see the executioner trembling as though he were himself condemned. His right hand began to shake, and his face drained of colour aware of her danger, though the child herself showed no fear.'

So, it's too late, Christian gentlemen, someone forgot to tell these female martyrs that they were not allowed to teach men about the faith. Too late. They already did.

Anonymous said...

"Gender only matters when one is walking in the flesh. Flesh kills..."

Amen. Some will never get this. They will claim you are promoting androgyny or homosexuality. When, in fact, you are focusing on the Holy priesthood and seeking first the Kingdom of God.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,

Did you know that you bear the name of an early Christian martyr? I must say you do credit to her name and to her faith. :)


Dave Miller said...

There seems to be a greater desire to attack and demean those who would dare to disagree than to engage in discussion on the issue.

Cheryl, I have referenced the books and sections and yet you insinuated I was being dishonest in my statements.

I am through with this one on this site. I hope to post on this subject on my site within a couple of days, but I don't feel the need to be the subject of too many more smug, self-congratulatory and condescending comments.

Fat Boy out!

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

As an educator of children, I am worried about the graphic nature of one of your bloggers entries. For the sake of any young people who may read this man's remark, could you delete those portions of his remarks which would not be good for young people to read.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Cheryl and Dave Miller are talking about 2 different things.

Could it be that Dave is thinking of Sonship and Cheryl is focused on eternal subordination of Jesus Christ... that is the topic of this post?

Dave: You are not fat according to your picture. :o)

Non Arian: You are too kind. (Blush)


Cheryl Schatz said...

Dave Miller,

You said: "I have referenced the books and sections and yet you insinuated I was being dishonest in my statements."

I asked for the quotes and the page numbers. This shouldn't be hard for you if you have the books. It is a reasonable thing to ask for, for any Berean.

You said: "There seems to be a greater desire to attack and demean those who would dare to disagree than to engage in discussion on the issue."

I don't see anyone demeaning you or calling you names. I think it is clear that we are all very interested in seeing what you have so confidently told us you have. That's all.

If I may respectfully say that it is far more worth our while to defend the name of the Lord Jesus against those who would demean his authority, then we should worry about our own ego. The issue of the equal position of Jesus in the Trinity as an equal authority alongside the Father is an eternal issue. I would rather defend his honor than my own. How about you?

Dave Miller said...

You are welcome to read what I write on my site.

If you have a desire to seek the truth, you can read those books just as easily as I did.

I will reference them when I write on my site.

Anonymous said...

To Cheryl,

I, myself, see no offense towards Dave intended. I think he may not be comfortable giving details, which might explain his vagueness. It's a comfort zone thing, I think. (?)

To Dave,

Don't run out on Cheryl. A lot of us are interested in your argument and your sources.
Be encouraged. Please communicate. :)


Cheryl Schatz said...


I agree! No need for Dave to run away. This is the forum that he gave the information that he believes is very important. Giving page numbers and the actual quotes would be helpful for all of us. I am not afraid of this information and I would hope that no one here is either. Having all the information that we can check on both sides is empowering.

I would not take offense if someone asked me for such a thing. In fact on my blog at someone yesterday asked me for the page number of the item that I quoted from a Greek lexicon. I didn't feel threatened at all. There are so few Bereans out there. I commended the person who asked me for this information and I willingly gave it out. I commended them because I wished we were all such careful Bereans.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cheryl,

I hate to admit it but I have no idea what a 'Berean' is. Please share definition with me.

I sort of 'got it' that Bereans are on the Endangered Species List. :) :) Sorry for pun. :(


Anonymous said...

the biblical subordination within the trinity is one of function, not of essence. The Son if functionally subordinate to the Father, but not ontologically. The Father tells the Son what to do, not vice versa. Just as the Father and the Son send the Spirit, not vice versa. Therefore, it's biblical to use the subordinate if it's defined as such.

Anonymous said...

Hi George,

What denomination are you? What translation of the Holy Scriptures do you use? Thanks if you can share.

Cheryl Schatz said...


No problem, let's keep you in the loop:

Act 17:10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Act 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so

The Bereans (ones living in Berea) tested even Paul's writings to see if they lined up with scripture. Paul was not offended that he was being tested to see if what he was saying was true. In fact he said that testing everything is a noble deed.

Sometimes it seems to me that the Bereans are a rare breed these days. People prefer to just accept what someone says rather then receiving it and checking it out. The issue of the Trinity is a very serious matter and so this one especially should be checked out and not just accepted when someone says that Jesus in the eternal Trinity has less authority than the Father.

It also seems to me that people who are like Paul are also a rare breed, because not everyone cares to compliment those who ask for enough information in order to test the truth. I have been called a confounded skeptic in the past. It isn't that I am unwilling to accept someone's word. I just want to test everything and hold fast to what is good. I choose to live my life as a Berean.

Anonymous said...

the biblical subordination within the trinity is one of function, not of essence. The Son if functionally subordinate to the Father, but not ontologically. The Father tells the Son what to do, not vice versa. Just as the Father and the Son send the Spirit, not vice versa. Therefore, it's biblical to use the subordinate if it's defined as such.

Mon Sep 29, 12:04:00 AM 2008

Anyone see the parallels to what CBMW teaches about women? The women is equal to the man in essence but not in function. (they use the word 'role' as in acting a part)

ezekiel said...



This new teaching on the Trinity came to full fruition in 1994 with the publication of W. Grudem’s, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Zondervan, 1994). Two chapters in this book outline his doctrine of the eternal subordination of the Son in function and authority. The impact of this book on evangelicals cannot be underestimated. Over 130,000 copies have been sold and the abridged version, Bible Doctrine (ed. J. Purswell; Zondervan, 1999), with exactly the same teaching on the Trinity and women, has sold over 35,000 copies. For Grudem the Son’s role subordination, like that of women, is not a matter of who does certain things as we might expect on seeing the word “role,” but rather a matter of who commands and who obeys. He writes, “the Father has the role of commanding, directing, and sending” and the Son has “the role of obeying, going as the Father sends, and revealing God to us” (Systematic Theology [Zondervan, 1995] 250) These words disclose the key issue; that is, the Son is eternally set under the authority of the Father. Grudem insists that this understanding of the Trinity is historic orthodoxy (cf. his latest book, Evangelicals, Feminism, and Biblical Truth [Multnomah, 2004] 405-43). It is, for him, what the creeds and the best of theologians have maintained throughout church history.

This hierarchical understanding of the Trinity has now almost won over the conservative evangelical community. Most evangelicals seem to believe this is what the Bible and “the tradition”—that is, the interpretive tradition—teach. However, I am also an evangelical, but I am convinced the opposite is the truth. The Bible (Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:13; etc.) and the interpretative tradition summed up in the creeds and Reformation confessions speaks of a co-equal Trinity where there is no hierarchical ordering.

Grudem and the many evangelicals who follow him say they are only advocating the eternal functional or role subordination of the Son, not the ontological subordination of the Son. Indeed, all Christians believe that the Son voluntarily and temporally choose to be subordinated for our salvation in the incarnation (Phil 2:4-11). The problem arises with the word “eternal.” If the Son is eternally subordinated to the Father, and cannot be otherwise, then he does not just function subordinately, he is the subordinated Son. His subordination defines his person or being. Eternal functional subordination implies by necessity ontological subordination. Blustering denials cannot avoid this fact.

ezekiel said...

By the way, my last post was a quote from the earlier referenced article. Lest I be accused of plagerism.

Cheryl Schatz said...


You said: "The Father tells the Son what to do, not vice versa."

Even while Jesus was on earth, he could tell his Father what to do.

Joh 17:5 "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

"Father glorify Me" is in the imperative.

There are more examples. I am wondering who told you that Jesus never told the Father what to do?

Anonymous said...

southern baptist and I typically use the nasb or esv.

I see the trinity this way because the scriptures speak of the Father telling the Son what to do. This in now way means the Son is not fully God. The Son does not tell the Father what to do, and the Spirit does not tell the Father what to do. The Father commissions both the Son and the Spirit. This is biblically sound. The Spirit testifies to the Son, not because the Son is greater, but that is the Spirit's role, to point us to the glorious Son who bought our redemption at Calvary.

Not that it matters, but I am a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and was taught this very doctrine there.

ezekiel said...

Dave Miller,

"There seems to be a greater desire to attack and demean those who would dare to disagree than to engage in discussion on the issue."

Let's not confuse a rebuke with "attack and demean". Sort of confuses the issue, brother.

rebuke: Lev_19:17; Gal_2:11-14; 2Ti_4:2; Tit_1:13

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Cheryl

I think you can call that a 'trust but verify' kind of philosophy. I imagine you have a academic background. I have more trouble understanding writers on this blog because my religious background is so different. I keep asking lots of questions and slowly, slowly I come to understand more. Like you, I am not afraid of people with different ideas, I just want to try to understand them better.
My own religion has its problems with women serving in the Church fully. It is sad to know that so much of what women have to offer the Church is dismissed so easily by so many.

They can't stop me from having hope for the future. Like I said once: 'someone left the barn door open, and we mares ain't goin back into that barn again. Not without a fight.'

Here's to the future. :)


Lin said...

Ezekial, I wanted to add this paragraph from your link because Knight has been very influential in CBMW circles:

This novel teaching was first enunciated by G. Knight III in his highly influential 1977 book, New Testament Teaching on the Role Relationship of Men and Women (Baker, 1977). He argued that the God-given permanent subordination of women in role and authority in the church and the home was supported and illustrated by the Trinity. For him, the Son is eternally subordinated in role and authority to the Father, despite the fact that the Father and the Son are both fully divine. He thus spoke of a “chain of subordination” (33) in the Father-Son and the man-woman relationship, and of an eternal subordination of the Son that has “certain ontological aspects” (56).

Cheryl Schatz said...


"I imagine you have a academic background."

Nope. Just Grade 12. God's gifts plus a willingness to test all things plus boldness is all that is needed.

I am also willing to be checked and tested myself. When I did my DVD on women in ministry I sent it out to five different apologetic organizations. These are ones whose job it is to test all things and find the errors. They were all complementarians who believe that women are not allowed to teach the bible to men in the church. I did not get a refutation from any of them. The last complementarian who was sent the DVD set just recently gave it back to me this past August more than two years from the time that he received it. Two years ago he wrote me commenting on things that he thought I should have covered that were really not part of women in ministry and he asked me some questions about the content that he viewed. He now says that he never watched it. It appears that for him it is easier to say that the DVDs were never watched than to say that one has no refutation.

All I can say is that it is far easier to show the holes in a person's argument than it is to give out a well-thought out argument of the hard passages of scripture. I don't have problems finding the holes in an argument. That is quite easy for me since that is the gift God has given me. The fact that it is over two years later and still no word of a refutation on my DVDs from any of the organizations I sent it to fulfills my original mandate to subject myself to the test. I did get several comments back, but all they said was that I did a good job and we would have to agree to disagree.

Anonymous said...


Is 1977 the first time that this type of thinking was expressed: that 'eternal submission' is a pattern justifying submission of women to men in the Church?

Are there any earlier known writings that make this connection?

Curious that the SBC hostile takeover began in 1979. Looks like the 1970s were very active among those with 'certain' agendas. :(

Anonymous said...

Hi Cheryl,

You sure got a lot of mileage out of 12 years of education. Your writing is clear and lucid. Impressive story about your DVD work. Any hope of you studying for any type of ministerial work in the Church? If you could, what would you like to do most with your gifts from the Good Lord?
I am a member of the Tidewater Writing Project out of Old Dominion Univ. I can tell you that you can write as effectively as anyone I have worked with, and that includes teachers with master's degrees. Don't let anyone keep you from using your gifts. Not anyone. :)

Lin said...

"Are there any earlier known writings that make this connection? "

I do not know. I came across Knight in my research a few years ago and then noticed he was quoted by some of the masculinists. I had never heard of his book until then.

"Curious that the SBC hostile takeover began in 1979. Looks like the 1970s were very active among those with 'certain' agendas. :("

Part of it (not all) was a reaction to the excesses in the culture, too. If you can know what the 70's were like you will know what I mean. (sigh) I can look back and see that very clearly.

But, the SBC today is not the SBC I grew up in. The one that actually believed in the Holy Priesthood.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Thank you for that wonderful compliment! It is especially wonderful since I have gone through a very tough period where I have been called a heretic and every other sort of mean-spirited name merely because I believe that women may use their God-given gifts for the benefit of men.

Yet even through all the persecution, God has given me the desire of my heart in using my gifts for the benefit of the entire body of Christ. I am in full time apologetics for about four years now. I started part time in 1988 by ministering to Jehovah's Witnesses helping them to come out of their indoctrination and to relearn biblical doctrine. For 16 years I taught JW's in a support group setting. It takes a great deal of patience to be able to work with those who are blinded by false doctrine.

For the past four years I have been full time as a researcher, script writer and video editor/producer. I spent two years on the DVD "Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?" and the past 9 months on the DVD project "The Trinity: Eternity Past to Eternity Future". I have one more DVD that is shot but not yet been edited (a refutation of Word Faith doctrine) and then I would like to write a few booklets and, Lord willing, I would love to have the time to write a book on women in ministry. Thanks for asking!

Cheryl Schatz said...

I should add that I do my full-time ministry work as a volunteer as it is a privilege for me to serve the Lord Jesus, not a necessity of needing an income. I retired from a part time job four years ago.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Several years ago I sat in a lecture by Bruce Ware and sitting beside me were a couple of former Jehovah's Witnesses who had come to faith in Christ more than 30 years ago. These ex-JW's are well grounded in their faith having come out of the JW indoctrination many years before. They were both extremely shocked by what they heard Bruce Ware teach. They kept whispering to me that this is exactly what they were taught as JW's. The JW's teach in the subordination of Jesus in much the same way. They just call their Jesus "Michael the Archangel". He is not equal in authority with the Father either.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Not Bill,

I suspect we all have, from time to time, dashed for the easy sprint. Lord Himself can only calculate the urge for me to do so, the times I won against such depraved urges and, unfortunately, the times I ran last place.

Lord bless.

With that, I am...


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