Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Absurd Notion that a Church Must Affirm the 2000 BFM to Be Considered Southern Baptist

There are some Southern Baptists who are now saying that the BFM 2000 should be a tool of "doctrinal accountability." These idealogues believe that any Southern Baptist who expresses any disagreement with any portion of the BFM 2000 shouldn't be considered a true Southern Baptist. Likewise, they posit that if a church doesn't "affirm" the 2000 BFM, then that church shouldn't be considered a "Southern Baptist Church." I will show in this post the bizarre and inconsistent nature of this un-baptistic kind of thinking.

Those who wish to use the BFM 2000 as a "tool" of accountablity to keep others "in line," use it as a "club" (their favorite kind of tool) to create conformity. Rather than autonomous churches cooperating in missions and evangelism, and rather than competent, Bible-believing Southern Baptists being granted the freedom to voice dissent on tertiary matters of the faith, these faux Baptists who advocate uniformity and conformity have no qualms of publicly humiliating Southern Baptists who disagree with them. They have now chosen to use their club against First Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia, accusing that church of not being a true "Southern Baptist" church. They are moving to "disfellowship" from FBC Decatur for the church's refusal to abide by the BFM 2000 in just one single tenet. FBC Decatur is not being accused of denying the gospel. FBC Decatur is not being accused of denying the deity of Christ. FBC Decatur is not being accused of refusing denying believers baptism by immersion. FBC Decatur is being hammered for calling a pastor who is female.

This kind of "clubbing" (disfellowship) is absolutely absurd. It violates every major Baptist principle, not to mention the Word of Christ Himself who said, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another." Where is our love for FBC Decatur? Where is our love for Julie Penninton-Russell. What, in heaven's name, is being done to our brothers and sisters in Christ at FBC Decatur?

I propose that if this act of "disfellowship" is allowed to occur, it will be very dangerous to the health of the Southern Baptist Convention. Why? If a Southern Baptist church is not granted the freedom to point out that she believes the BFM 2000 is in contradiction with Scripture, then all of us who claim to be Southern Baptists will have prostituted our heritage as Baptists. If our churches are not free to express their biblical dissent to the BFM 2000, we have ceased being a legitimate Baptist Convention. As Baptists, we have historically confessed our affirmation of Scripture alone. But think about what is happening in the Southern Baptist Convention in 2009 - The "clubbers" are calling other Southern Baptists "liberal" because their consciences are bound to the Word of God and not to the BFM 2000! Let me repeat the preceding incredulous fact using different words. Those who are using the BFM 2000 as a "club" have elevated a creed above the Bible! Who would ever thought this is where we Southern Baptists would end up as a Convention? I sure didn't.

The FORCED acceptance of the BFM 2000, by threatening to "disfellowship" from those churches who don't agree with every single one of its tenets, is patently absurd. Those who push "disfellowship" from churches that disagree with a portion of the BFM 2000 will destroy our convention if they are allowed to succeed. The SBC will have to eventually disfellowship from over 25,000 Southern Baptist churches. That is the number of SBC churches, at least according to one seminary professor, that have expressed disagreement with the BFM 2000 in either church practice or church doctrine in areas other than women pastors. Let me give three examples of such church disagreements with the BFM 2000, all of which have nothing to do with women pastors.

(Example 1). Dr. Nathan Finn, a professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes on his blog that most Southern Baptist churches and pastors disagree with the BFM 2000 and the doctrine of "closed communion." He writes:

"Over the course of the last generation a closed membership coupled with an open communion has become increasingly popular in the SBC. I suspect it is even the majority practice in many areas. It seems at least possible that communion is one doctrine where the Baptist Faith and Message takes a position that is not affirmed by many—maybe even most—of our churches. What this means for the Convention’s future remains to be seen" (Baptist, The Lord's Supper and Southern Baptists, p.5,6).

Well, Dr. Finn, if some would have their way, it means that those churches who do not affirm closed communion ought to be "disfellowshipped." Let them try. My church, the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Enid, Oklahoma has given over one million dollars to the Cooperative Program since 2000, and we practice open communion. We strongly DO NOT affirm the BFM 2000 in this area of closed communion, and I have made my objections to closed communion known verbally and in writing - but I remain a fully cooperating Southern Baptist. Let the closed communionist try to disfellowship us.

(Example 2) I have previously pointed out that the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message takes the semi-Pelagian view of original sin in Article III by teaching humans come under God's judgment "as soon as they are capable of moral action . . ." and asserts that only when there is personal and actual sin do sinners "become transgressors and are (placed) under condemnation." This peculiar doctrinal error, though not fatal to the Christian faith, is absolutely contrary to clear teaching of Scripture that "all" are condemned for the sin of Adam. In fact, the 2000 BFM's position on original sin is an altered version of what Southern Baptists have historically confessed we believe about this doctrine. I cannot, and will not, affirm the 2000 BFM in this doctrinal tenet, and have made my opposition known to it at every possible turn, verbally and in writing - but I remain a fully cooperating Southern Baptist.

(Example 3) Theologian Sam Storms has pointed out that the writers of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message have made a theological error, based upon their interpretation of a poor English translation of the Greek text, when in Article II C, on God the Holy Spirit, the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 states, "At the moment of regeneration He [i.e., the Holy Spirit] baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ.

Southern Baptist Dr. Storms writes about this error quite forcefully:

This BFM statement asserts that the Holy Spirit baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. The problem is that there isn't a single, solitary biblical text which says that the Spirit baptizes anyone into anything. It is always and in every text Jesus Christ who baptizes believers in the Holy Spirit, the result of which is that we are incorporated into the Body of Christ . . . (Again), in no text is the Holy Spirit ever said to be the agent by which one is baptized. Jesus is the baptizer. The Holy Spirit is he in whom we are engulfed or the "element" with which we are saturated and deluged, resulting in our participation in the spiritual organism of the church, the body of Christ. I can only conclude that those responsible for writing the BFM 2000 were misled by a mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13. I encourage all to read again the prophecy of John the Baptist that Jesus "will baptize you with [lit., "in", the Gk. Preposition en] the Holy Spirit and with fire" (Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:8; Lk. 3:16; Jn. 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:16).

I could go on with other contradictions with Scripture in the BFM 2000, including the Landmark emphasis of the local church to the neglect of the biblical empahsis on the universal church (the bride of Christ), but the three above examples should suffice. You can't go disfellowshipping churches who disagree with the BFM 2000 or we will no longer be a true Baptist Convention.

The Point That We Southern Baptists Must Never Forget

Why is it that First Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia, is now being "disfellowshipped" from the Georgia Baptist Convention? Why is it that the same people in Georgia who are pushing this ungodly action may very well try something similar at the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, Kentucky? What is it that is being said by such actions? Are they really exalting the BFM 2000 above the Bible and the soul's conscience to adhere to the Scriptures?

It is evident that some wish First Baptist Church, Decatur to be disfellowshipped because the church has called a pastor who is female, in violation of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. So what. There are thousands of churches that violate the BFM 2000, including mine, in other areas. Why are you singling out FBC, Decatur?

Why don't these alleged SBC leaders disfellowship from someone who is not afraid to call them out?

There are thousands of SBC churches that don't practice closed communion. Is the Southern Baptist Convention going to disfellowship each church? There are dozens and dozens of professors, hundreds of pastors and churches, who do not believe in the semi-pelagian view of original sin. Is the SBC going to disfellowship all of them? There are several who understand that the 2000 BFM is outright contradicts the Bible itself when it says that the "Holy Spirit" baptizes us. Is the SBC going to disfellowship those of us who believe the Bible over the BFM?

No, those leaders will not even begin to attempt to disfellowship us. They can't because the people would be in an uproar.

But the Georgia Baptist Convention, and possibly people in the SBC, may very well be planning to disfellowship from First Baptist Church, Decatur. I wonder if they are proceeding because they think Southern Baptsits won't object. Those pushing "disfellowship" from FBC Decatur claim "doctrinal accountability," but Southern Baptists better wisen up. There are thousands upon thousands of Bible believing, Christ-loving, evangelical men and women who believe the Bible teaches women are gifted in all areas of ministry, including pastoring and teaching. Some may not like that interpretation of the Bible, but the SBC is a cooperating Convention, not a creedalistic club of conforming churches that club dissenters. Just because the BFM 2000 prohibits "women" Senior Pastors, does not mean that a church who disagrees with the BFM 2000 and calls a woman pastor cannot be considered a cooperating Southern Baptist Church. Again, thousands and thousands of SBC churches disagree with the BFM 2000. Why pick on FBC Decatur?

I learned a long time ago that bullies on the playground must be confronted, or they will keep bullying. This move toward creedalism in the SBC must stop. It ain't Baptist. Not even close. It's time we Southern Baptists realized the absolute absurdity of "disfellowshipping" a church for not "affirming" the 2000 BFM. By God's grace the Georgia Baptist Convention will come to her senses and see the stupidity of her actions before the Southern Baptist Convention pulls a similar ungodly, unbaptistic and ridiculous action.

In His Grace,


P.S. If some object to this post by saying, "But if we have no doctrinal basis of agreement, then we can have no fellowship!" I respond, "You are absolutely correct! That is why nearly two and one half years ago I offered A Southern Baptist Statement of Cooperation that focuses solely on the essentials of the gospel of Jesus Christ and leaves out all those tertiary issues that evangelical, Bible-believing Christians disagree over.


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Bob Cleveland said...

"There are some Southern Baptists who are now saying that the BFM 2000 should be a tool of "doctrinal accountability."

Yeah ... like the guys who wrote the Preamble. They say it IN the Preamble.

I haven't found many folks at all who are familiar with what the BF&M says, and nobody who knew about THAT little 2000 addition.

Anonymous said...


Wade has made, once again, an excellent logical point.

What are those so called "doctrinal watchdogs" going to do about all those churches violating the BFM by NOT practicing closed communion.

What accountability will they bring to bear?

I personally think Wade is on to something here.

Patterson and his cronies have been caught with their pants down on this one - and Wade is spanking them.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Phil,

That is not an image I wish to dwell upon.

Lin said...

"Article III by teaching humans come under God's judgment "as soon as they are capable of moral action . . ." and asserts that only when there is personal and actual sin do sinners "become transgressors and are (placed) under condemnation."

I am stunned.

I admit, I have never read the BF&M but I could never affirm this. I cannot understand why this was not challenged more stridently or how it even made it into the document? Do a lot of baptists really believe this?

(I am wondering if they get to define sin, too?)

Tony Gulbrandsen said...

At the risk of being flamed again, just as FBC-Decatur has the autonomous right to associate/fellowship with the GBC, the GBC has the same right.

Wade, the other day I brought this up and got hammered pretty hard, but my point was twisted somewhat, or I didn't state it clearly.

What I was trying to say is that you can't demand that the BF&M be used as a club to keep entities in line and then say that member churches can disagree at will. Let me be specific. You want the IMB to recind policies that go beyond the BF&M. I agree. But shouldn't the churches who are paying the bills be held to the same document? If not, then why hold the entities responsible.

Maybe I am just missing the point.

Bart Barber said...


Perhaps you've missed it because it isn't in there in those words. Wade has had to add the word "placed" to make the article say something other than what it says. Having been shown multiple times by multiple people that the BF&M does not contradict the Abstract of Principles and does not say what he alleges it to so, he has chosen to change the wording of the BF&M rather than to concede that he was and is wrong.

Look up the wording of Article III for yourself.

Anonymous said...


Preach it. And I pray that they hear it.

Pastor Tony,

Entity orders come from those who pay the bills. The headquarters for any SBC entity is every SBC local church. We have this idea that the IMB or the NAMB or Lifeway or SWBTS exist in their own rights, but they do not. They exist because churches have come together to say that they can work together towards common goals (theological education, missions, etc.). These entities are not their own, they are the product of cooperating churches and are thus accountable to those churches.

It is up to a local church to determine whether or not they can and will continue fellowshipping and cooperating with other SBC churches towards these ends. No local church is accountable to any larger entity or other local church in such a way that they can be prevented from cooperation but for agregious breach of orthodoxy or orthopraxy (such as Paul suggests to the church in Corinth). Where accountability comes in, it comes through prayerful concern and meaningful dialogue: not clubs or creeds.

Lin said...

Thanks Bart for the link. I read Article III. Here it is:

Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

"Inclined toward sin"?? Are they serious?

"AS soon as they are capable of moral action they become transgressors????

Wade's interpretation was right.

See, I was under condemnation the minute I was born. If I had died as an infant, it would only have been by His GREAT Grace that I would be in Paradise.

Sorry Bart,but it is right there and I hope more will go to the source and read it.

That is not what scripture teaches.

Tony Gulbrandsen said...


Thanks for your graceful tone.

I understand the automonity of the local church. I really do. But the position you (and Wade) are advocating is a bit like a parent saying, "Do as I say, but not as I do." It is not a healthy thing in parenting and I am not sure it is a healthy thing in denominational work either.

When I first came to this church, I changed a few things. Then I had one of my deacons say, "We either need to change our bylaws to fit our practice, or change our practice to fit our bylaws." We changed the bylaws to fit our practice. That is all I am saying in regard to the BF&M. Not that it is at the level of a bylaw, don't take this out of context. But if the majority of the SBC is in agreement that Article VI is overreaching, then let's change it. If it remains, then let's practice it. I just think our confession should look like who we really are.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Landmarkism is that it too is a historic distortion. There records of other valid small congregations liek the Waldnesians but in studying the research it is not certain to say they were precursors to the baptist denomination. A lot of Catholic corruption and their ritualism was resisted and thus was the development of Anabaptists. Messianic nazarene congregants were the ones that went underground because of Constantine's decrees.

Tony Gulbrandsen said...

And one more thought from a different direction. If the member churches of GBC choose not to cooperate with FBC-Decatur for any reason, isn't that their right as autonomous churches? Or are they compelled to cooperate because FBC-Decatur is cooperating? I submit that autonomous churches have the choice to cooperate or not with whomever they please. And the member churches of GBC can make that determination freely.

Anonymous said...


"The general theological perspective of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention is represented in the Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M).[32] The BF&M was first drafted in 1925. It was revised significantly in 1963 and again in 2000, with the latter revision being the subject of much controversy. The BF&M is not considered to be a creed, such as the Nicene Creed. Members are not required to adhere to it.

CHURCHES BELONGING TO THE SBC ARE NOT REQUIRED TO USE IT (THE BF&M2000) AS THEIR "STATEMENT OF FAITH" OR " STATEMENT OF DOCTRINE" (though many do in lieu of creating their own Statement). Despite the fact that the BF&M is not a "creed," faculty in SBC-owned seminaries and missionaries who apply to serve through the various SBC missionary agencies must "affirm" that their practices, doctrine, and preaching are consistent with the BF&M. "


Anonymous said...

Pastor Tony,

Thank you for a gracious response.

If I may borrow your analogy, while fully realizing that the BFM is not at the level of a church by-law: is not the Baptist stance that the only "by-law" of importance is the Bible? If this is the case, then the BFM should not need to be ammended. It should state what some believe, but others should be free to associate within the paramaters of scripture. Biblical scholarship is far from definitive on an issue such as female pastors. Therefore, the BFM should be able to say one thing while cooperating churches can affirm something else that they CAN ALSO BASE in scripture (caps are for emphasis, not flaming, I promise).

Perhaps there is some "Do as I say but not as I do" in there. But as there is no perfect parenting nor is there perfect way to organize a denomination, either.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Tony,

As a follow up to your further thought. To be consistent I would have to say that each individual church should be free to withdraw its support from FBC-Decatur. But that should be the decisions of individual churches to withdraw their support, not the decision of church representatives to withdraw support of all the conventions churches. That is a decision that must be made at the local church level, not at a convention meeting. For so long as there are other churches in Georgia who are willing to cooperate with FBC-Decatur, this shameful business of disfellowhip should stop.

Anonymous said...

FROM 1925 BF&M

This is what your grandparents believed as Southern Baptists:

"Baptists approve and circulate confessions of faith with the following understanding, namely:

1. That they constitute a consensus of opinion of some Baptist body, large or small, for the general instruction and guidance of our own people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament, viz., repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

2. That we do not regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility. As in the past so in the future Baptist should hold themselves free to revise their statements of faith as may seem to them wise and expedient at any time.

3. That any group of Baptists, large or small, have the inherent right to draw up for themselves and publish to the world a confession of their faith whenever they may think it advisable to do so.

4. That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.

5. That they are statements of religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life. "

Anonymous said...

From 1925 BF&M :

XVIII. Religious Liberty

"God alone is Lord of the conscience, and he has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to his Word or not contained in it."

Anonymous said...

In common understanding, fundamentalism is simply the far right wing of the evangelical world, its theology similar to but more rigid than evangelicalism.

In recent years, some fundamentalists have sought to broaden the tent by claiming any person who believes in the fundamentals of the faith are fundamentalists. Many naive conservatives accept this definition and join with a movement they know little about.

Fundamentalists look for reasons to disfellowship people; moderates look for reasons to have fellowship with other believers.

Tony Gulbrandsen said...

1) I understand your position on the BF&M, but why would a church agree to hold church plants accountable to a standard they do not hold? It would seem that the DNA of a church-plant should be from the mother church. And, for me, the greatest cooperative work we do is church planting. So that is where my focus lies.

2) Chris said, "But that should be the decisions of individual churches to withdraw their support, not the decision of church representatives to withdraw support of all the conventions churches."

Yet is not the "existence" of the convention only present when the member churches' messengers are meeting? Thus, what happens at the convention meeting is the churches speaking. That is the way our system is set up. But the way you are stating it is that each autonomous church should withdraw their cooperative support until only those in agreement remain. If the majority of the churches feel that women-pastors are a problem, then the convention falls to the minority position in the name of cooperation.

Now, if you want to argue for the abolishment of associations and state conventions in favor of other cooperative efforts, you'll have no argument from me. :)

Rex Ray said...

Good thinking. I'd like to add a thought.

“The 2000 statement of The Baptist Faith and Message is our doctrinal guideline.”

Have we read/heard this so many times we’re ‘brainwashed’?

If I buy something that needs to be assembled, there are ‘instructions’ that come with it.

Those ‘instructions’ have priority over my ability to put it together. You know the saying: “When all else fails, read the instructions.”

With that said, the powers that be are saying the 2000 BFM is our ‘instructions’.

But the Bible is our instructions, and Christ said the Holy Spirit is to teach us—not some man-made paper.

In short, the 2000 BFM is touted higher than the Bible.

I’d like for a motion at the next SBC to remove that statement from Southern Baptist literature.

Claude W. Rankin said...

Ken Coffee makes closely related points. as Comes the Inquisition points out.
Coffee suggests that the entire Baptist General Convention of Texas is vulnerable to disfellowship but will not be a target because the Southern Baptist Convention cannot afford, financially, the cost of its convictions.

Anonymous said...

I say as Southern Baptists we adopt the only biblical confession.

That is the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, of course. :)


Man of the West said...

Sadly, that was an education.

I love the Southern Baptist Convention. But there are times when some of the people driving the train remind me of Sam Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings:

...just a lot of rules and orc-talk.

That is, some people just seem to be so excited over keeping the rules that they ignore the fact that keeping the ones they can actually prove from Holy Writ is difficult enough without trying to make others join them in obeying extra rules that all too often appear to have come straight out of their own heads.

Bob Cleveland said...

Several people have quoted from the 1925 BF&M, but have not mentioned that the 1925 version also states we were born condemned by original sin. That was another ... and exceedingly significant .. change that's been worked in to our common confession of faith, apparently unnoticed by us guys in the pews. And maybe in the pulpits, too.

WatchingHISstory said...


"Inclined toward sin"?? Are they serious?

"AS soon as they are capable of moral action they become transgressors????

This statement is Pelagian.

Funny, when I was pointing this out to you "sheep" I was ridiculed
for it! I personalized it by attaching Adrian Rogers' name to it.

Wade is being led by the Holy Spirit to say what he is saying and Adrian Rogers is weeping in heaven.

Paul Williams was a test put before AR and he failed the exam and now is receiving correction in heaven. Paul said, If a man is stupid let him remain stupid. (my paraphrase) Adrian Rogers was caught with his pants down. It is better to be caught with your pants down here on earth than in heaven!

Watch Patterson through all this. If he also fails how awful will be his correction in heaven!

WatchingHISstory said...


Did your Sam Storms author, "Chosen For Life"?

When I went to a very good conservative Presbyterian Church in Memphis to enquire about their beliefs they handed me this book.


Tom Parker said...


The 2000 BF&M needs to be rewritten to not be a creed. IMO the 2000 BF&M was another way by those in the CR to get rid of non like-minded people.

The SBC is only a shadow of the great organization it used to be.

Steve said...

Wow! What is it about the Southern Baptists that draws all the control freaks like moths to a candle?

Tom Parker said...

Excellent comment!!

I think what happens to many of the "control freaks" is they work in a job where someone is always telling them what to do without a say, that they flock to any place that will let be the uncontrolled BOSS.

It is destroying the SBC.

Anonymous said...

When, as a Christian entity, you formally 'disfellowship' yourself from your Christian brothers and sisters;

can you expect God to allow you to 'fellowship' with them in Heaven?

Does this 'disfellowship' thing STOP at the Pearly Gates; or does God honor it in Heaven throughout all Eternity ?

How 'binding' is the condemnation of 'disfellowship'?
Is it calling down God's judgment on the ones being shunned?
Or is it a 'formality' designed to publicly shame and attempt to control them?

In short, WHO is in charge of deciding WHO gets 'disfellowshiped'
according to WHAT rules and
WHAT is the consequences throughout all eternity for the ones who are 'shunned' and 'barred' from the company of the righteous?
On WHOSE ultimate authority is this 'disfellowship' thing done to others?

Brandon said...

You know we have seen this sorta thing before in old news clips from the 1940's in which people are beatin in to to conformity but the narration is hard to understand because it was in German!!!Hail the the BF&M 2000 or ELSE!

Anonymous said...


quotation is from 'The Fleecing of the SBC'

WARNING: do not read if you have a weak stomach

"the average SBC church spends 70-75% of their annual budget on staffing and buildings.

It appears that the state conventions are doing likewise, with 76.1% of the budget not going towards missions.
Bear in mind, 65.5% of CP money is kept within the state.

Now here’s another kicker:

SCBI sent out $920,616 to Nashville from their CP piggy bank.
Yet, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) is putting $1,098,776 directly BACK into the SCBI piggy bank.
Doing a little math will tell you that the SCBI is receiving MORE money from NAMB than they are giving out,
resulting in
a net income of $178,160.
Put simply, the SCBI is making money off the Cooperative Program (if NAMB is financially bankrolling the SCBI - does that mean that the SCBI is basically being run by NAMB?).
And this after the state convention is keeping 65% of all Cooperative Program monies from Indiana churches and 76.1% of the budget NOT GOING FORWARD TO THE MISSIONS.

After having looked at these statistics, one must believe that there must be explosive growth in churches and numerous churches being planted.

Let’s take a look.

In 1996, the SCBI was comprised of 447 churches.
After ten years of considerable state funding, the SCBI church count was 425,
a net loss of 22 churches.


Furthermore, membership in 1996 was 95,571; in 2006 it dropped to 91,583–a net loss of 3,988 members.

On a yearly basis some $3 million is kept within the state, and over a ten year period of time, this amounts to over $30 million.

Likewise, if the stats were analogous to the 2008 proposed budget, NAMB gave roughly around $10 million.
In total, that’s $40 million in a state that has resulted in a loss of some 4,000 church members and 22 churches. Ugh."


Looks like 'disfellowship' is just a rigged, fast-track way of loosing more churches and church membership.
But, OMG, the money rolling in, but who is getting it ???????????


Anonymous said...

Instead of the BF&M being a tool of 'doctrinal' accountability;
change it to be a tool of 'stewardship' accountability.

Can you imagine?

The rats would leave the ship SO FAST, when the money dried up.

Anonymous said...

First, my heart goes out to you, over this, and all similar events. I am in prayer with you. I remember how my heart broke when I first heard about foreign missionaries and signing of the BFM.

I do have a question (and apologize to Wade if it takes the thread off topic.)

What is meant by open vs closed communion? We Catholics have closed communion, meaning that only Catholics may partake and that we are not allowed to take communion in a non-Catholic church. BUT, I may partake in any Catholic Church in the world, whether or not I am a member of the local body.

How does open and closed communion work where each Baptist Church is automonous?

Thank you, for your answers.

Anonymous said...

Fundamentalism is much more broad-spectrum a coping mechanism than is religious behavior, affecting, as noted, most secular philosophies and opinions.

It is recognized by the APA (American Psychological Association) as a behavioral phenomenon, and in its more extreme forms, as a pathological behavior.

It is considered a psychological disqualification for police jobs in western societies, where cops aren’t expected to be judge, jury and executioner, and the perils of having a cop who believes speeders are profaning the will of God are self-evident.

Fundamentalists tend not to be seeking "Truth." Instead, they can be described as being people who have FOUND "truth" and are devoted to bringing that truth to the rest of the world. Compare with other types of religionists, who, very roughly speaking, break down into seekers – those who are searching for answers and will comparison shop at some or many different churches, mosques, synagogues and circles; and the "laid-back" religionists, who use religious affiliation more along the lines of social interactions, and who tend not to be particularly devout.

The problem with finding "truth" is that having done so, further consideration of the matter becomes impossible.
To wonder about the truth is to experience doubt,
and doubt is not a pleasant feeling for those inclined toward fundamentalism.

Anonymous said...

When a group is 'disfellowship':

WHO is the judge ?
WHO is the jury ?
WHO is the executioner ?

Anonymous said...

"In common understanding, fundamentalism is simply the far right wing of the evangelical world, its theology similar to but more rigid than evangelicalism."

Let's be careful throwing out this charge of fundamentalist. I believe in the fundamentals of the Faith, don't you? Wouldn't that make me a fundamentalist?

Strange that the BF&M gets some fundamentals wrong like original how can they be fundamentalists?

I would certainly want a doctor who was well versed in the fundamentals of medicine or a lawyer versed in the fundamentals of law.

Let's call it what it is: Legalism.

Besides, I don't even know what an evangelical is anymore. Wasn't Ted Haggard once the leader of the National Evangelical Assoc?


Anonymous said...

The Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, 122-136 indicates the circumstances in which SOME SHARING in sacramental life, especially the Eucharist, IS PERMITTED with other Christians.

The norms there indicated for the giving of the Eucharist (communion) to other Christians are summarized in canon 844 of the Code of Canon Law as follows:

§3. Catholic ministers administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick licitly to members of Eastern Churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church IF THEY SEEK SUCH ON THEIR OWN ACCORD and are properly disposed.

This is also valid for members of other Churches which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition in regard to the sacraments as these Eastern Churches.
§4. If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgement of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who CANNOT approach a minister of their own community and who seek such ON THEIR OWN accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.

Anonymous said...

The above comment is to clarify concerning Anna's information, as there are some cases where communion is open in RC faith.

Anonymous said...

JESUS CHRIST: SBC declares Him the 'loophole' in the 1963 BF&M

The idea of "substituting the Bible for Christ" illustrates one of the troubling factors in the 2000 revision of the SBC Baptist Faith and Message statement.

The 1963 BFM statement says, "The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ." These words were deleted in the 2000 BFM statement.
The latter substitutes, "All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is himself the focus of divine revelation."

The change is subtle but serious.

Certainly all Scripture is a testimony to Christ, but, according to the 2000 BFM statement, Jesus Christ MUST NOT be considered the "criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted."

Those who defend this deletion say it is necessary because some misguided interpreters have abused it.

To be more specific, Ken Hemphill calls the Christocentric language
"a loophole . . . used by some unprincipled Baptist scholars (moderates) to ignore difficult texts which they do not believe to reflect the character of Jesus"
(Baptist Standard, Feb. 26, 2001, p. 3).

This is another way of saying there are Baptist scholars out there whose interpretation of scripture we cannot control.

These misguided interpreters, claiming Jesus Christ to be the criterion by which they interpret Scripture, are not coming to the same conclusions proposed by those currently in leadership of the SBC.

What is the solution to this dilemma?

It is twofold.

First, you remove Jesus Christ as the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted.

Second, you encourage a translation (the SBC Holman Study Bible) that can be controlled by the SBC leadership.

One question remains for us.

What has happened to the principle of "soul competency" that Baptists treasured over the years?

I remember how thrilled I was to learn that Baptists believed in the "priesthood of the believer" and the right of each believer, under the Lordship of Christ (the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted), to read and interpret Scripture for himself or herself.

Is it still possible to believe that the Holy Spirit continues to guide the believer "into all truth?"

Perhaps that helps us understand one other deletion.

The 1963 BFM statement contains these words:
"Baptists are a people who profess a living faith.
This faith is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
Therefore, the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is Jesus Christ whose will is revealed in Holy Scriptures."

These words were deleted in the 2000 BFM statement.

So, as Baptists, we may now relax. We have a Bible we can control. The only problem remaining is how to control Christ."

HEY, how about using 'disfellowship" if churches don't kow-tow to our bfm2k ?


Let's start with getting rid of churches with pastors who happen to be women. THAT'S AN EASY ONE.

proudpappa said...

What would be your position if the issue in question was not the calling of a female pastor but a homosexual one?


Bob Cleveland said...


I don't need to answer for Wade, but last I read, homosexuality is an abomination to God .. well .. He said it was, anyway, and various other things. But, He never said that about being a woman, that Ive ever read.

Anonymous said...

No end to who we can 'disfellowship' . . .
until it's down to you and that's left;
and I'm not sure about YOU.

Anonymous said...

"What would be your position if the issue in question was not the calling of a female pastor but a homosexual one?"

I am starting to think there is some aberrant teaching out there that makes some folks want to equate being a women with the sin of homosexuality. There is certainly some very wrong beliefs about women out there to keep lumping them in with an abomination before God. It is downright scary and they keep saying it over and over!

It seems to be coming from our seminaries. Anyone else notice that trend?

Quit parroting your professors and mentors and do some thinking, praying and studying for yourself.

As I mentioned on a previous thread, homosexuality is not exclusive to our secular egal culture. It has been prevelant in patriarchal cultures for centuries (remember Sodom?).

Explain that one because those women were wearing burkas..some still are and if you know anything about current ME culture, homosexuality is alive and well...just hidden better.


Anonymous said...

I am of the opinion that it will be mostly talk and never a reality. The seminaries are already cutting back due to less funds and any move in this direction, reduces the needed funds further.

That is my assessment, bu I could be wrong.

proudpappa said...

The question about homosexuality is not at all intended to equate "being a woman" and practicing homosexuality. However, many of the hermeneutical assumptions involved in saying elders can be women are also used to say "homosexuality is not a sin." Both issues, when discussed in the New Testament, are grounded in Genesis 1 - 3. It seems those who want to allow women elders while frowning on homosexuality want to have their hermeneutical cake and eat it too.

Tom Parker said...


How old are you?

Anonymous said...

proudpapa: That is very way to translate scripture. That is the method used by those who wish to control more than what the original authors of the Bible meant.

I am not against women being elders, and I believe scripture allows it, but scripture is crystal clear that homosexuality is sin. No question. But to use the example that you have, it is both saying that a woman minister or woman elder is sinning, is not only wrong, but in my opinion it is abuse in the name of religion.

If we are going to obey scripture, then all of it must be interpreted properly, and no one who holds to your view as been able to address passages of scripture where women were deeply involved in both Christ's ministry and Paul's to name two, and not just in a submissive capacity. They also told the disciples messages with authority from Christ himself who appeared to these women.

Anonymous said...

That should read, that is a very poor way to interpret scripture. I might add that I have no problem with those who would not listen to or hire a woman minister. Our church is in that category as far as I know, I have gone there for a long time. The difference is there are so many other windows open to women in ministry in the church, and the respect we receive is phenomenal.

Anonymous said...

proudpappa said...
"What would be your position if the issue in question was not the calling of a female pastor but a homosexual one?"

I just learned something new!!!

Those of you who support the recent decision made in Georgia equate female pastors with homosexuals.


proudpappa said...


I am saying that both issues involve a similar reading of the Scripture and a similar dismissal of certain passages as "culturally irrelevant" for our day. The example is drawing attention to the issue of selective interpretation not saying that being a woman is the equivalent of being homosexual. Please read carefully. Thanks.

John Daly said...

I'm wondering how the caveman has a farmer's tan :)

proudpappa said...

I am 30. If we read the passages on elders as "culturally conditioned," why can't a homosexual do the same and then say they agree with us on everything else? Or, is calling a homosexual pastor also on the list of tertiary matters?

Also, saying that women are not to be elders is not the equivalent of saying they do not have key roles in the Body of Christ. That is just a poor representation of my argument and a poor representation of the Trinity. That would be like saying Jesus is less than the Father because he subordinates himself to the Father.

Of course women play key roles in the Scriptures, but they do not serve as elders and are not to hold pastor-teacher authority over men. That is clear from Paul's writings. You can argue this is just Paul speaking to his day and not to us, but if you do , why not everything else? Where do you draw the line in order to interpret passages so differently in these two cases?

proudpappa said...

Quit parroting your professors and mentors and do some thinking, praying and studying for yourself.

Quit hiding behind "Anonymous" and I'll dialogue with you about the fruits of my personal study of these issues.

Anonymous said...

I say the source of all this triangulation goes back to Bill Clinton and the SBC and he still does not understand that restitution and repentence to this day. The SBC leadership did not know how to deal with him as a poltician. It has kind of swung the leadership into defensive posturing in tryihg to deal with postmodernism in politics. It needs to get back into the culture instead of building walls of fundamentalism constructionalism within the church.

Anonymous said...

"they" will demand conformity until they conform themselves out of business...The only folks who need to complain (and others on our behalf) are the IMB missionaries and others who really DO have to "conform"

Tim G said...

I will say this, you sure can turn a story. The history of FBC Decatur is well known. Your revisionism is also becoming known. This is a Georgia Baptist issue. Please explain how you can relate this to the SBC on the national level?

I would also be interested in your progression from the BFM being a MAXIMUM document to now being full of error. Did you previously leave this revelation out and are just now going to walk down that path or is this some new revelation that you have recieved. Why the 9 year silence? Were men like Adrian Rogers led blindly down a path of false doctrine?


Anonymous said...

Both issues, when discussed in the New Testament, are grounded in Genesis 1 - 3. It seems those who want to allow women elders while frowning on homosexuality want to have their hermeneutical cake and eat it too.

Sun Feb 01, 02:57:00 PM 2009

Only because you have been taught to READ INTO Gen 1 and 2 what is not there. And you have been taught that Gen 3:16 means the woman 'usurped' her 'role' or wanted to 'dominate' her husband.

Bad translation... but one that serves YOU well.

Have you ever read the SEPTUAGINT on Gen 3:16?

Why do you keep teaching women to sin by turning toward their husbands instead of God?

And now you are using it to suggest that interpretations about women are the same used to condone homosexual sin. said...

Tim G.

When I was forced to "sign" the BFM 2000 to serve as a trustee, I listed all the errors I believed to be in the document, including "closed communion," the semi-Pelagian error regarding original sin, and others. That happened years ago.

When the BFM 2000 was "up" for adoption, I wrote an editorial in our state newspaper opposing the a couple of the significant changes.

This ain't new my friend. What is new is the extraordinary steps being taken to "disfellowship" people who disagree.

That is what is remarkable.

Anonymous said...

I just want to point out that the GBC voting to disfellowship a member church over anything other than heresy or unrepentant, blatant sin is NOT baptistic and not biblical. This decision to use the B F & M 2000 as a "tool of accountability" is not consistent with Baptist tradition. In fact, until the wording was changed in 2000, it would not have been consistent with the B F & M itself. I don't think those who favor this disfellowship realize what a huge change this is and what its long term implications could be. Wade is exactly right that a large portion of SBC churches would be prime candidates for disfellowship based on practices of communion different than described in the B F & M. If GBC disfellowships over a woman pastor but not about these other issues, they lack integrity. They will not act on these other issues, because they would lose at least half of their income. Is that really the way Christians should make decisions. Oust them if they disagree with the B F & M on a position shared by only a few churches but leave them alone if they disagree about a position shared by many? Where is the integrity in such a practice?

The argument that the hermeneutic that leads to the interpretation allowing women pastors will lead to accommodation to our culture with regard to all manner of sins is not correct. One aspect of interpretation of scripture as allowing women pastors is that the passage that seems to prohibit this (2 Tim 2) seems directed to women at a specific place and at a specific time. Otherwise, How can we reconcile the passages that prohibit women from speaking at all in church and those encouraging women to pray and prophesy in church? Granted, some people also regard the passages in question as culturally influenced. However, the vast majority of Baptists have regarded many passages in this way for many years. Otherwise we would greet with a holy kiss, raise our hands in worship, not have long hair as a man or short hair as a woman, not dress nicely or wear jewelry as a woman, etc. To my knowledge, these have not resulted in massive accommodation to cultural norms with regard to acts clearly labeled as sin.

Anonymous said...

Amen! But I fear it may be too late for the SBC. The fundamentalists seem deeply entrenched and emboldened.

Anonymous said...

"I am 30. If we read the passages on elders as "culturally conditioned," why can't a homosexual do the same and then say they agree with us on everything else? Or, is calling a homosexual pastor also on the list of tertiary matters?"

The entire complimentarian issue is 'culturally conditioned'. Up until about 30 years ago the church basically taught that women were inferior. It was a given. When that was challenged, some decided to change the doctrine to 'reflect the times' as equal but different roles. They even came up with a new term for it: "complimentarian'. Which does not mean what they say it means.

They even came up with new words for doctrines that do not exist in scripture: 'Roles', Biblical manhood and womanhood, etc. based on a few proof texts and completely reading into the Gen account.

"Also, saying that women are not to be elders is not the equivalent of saying they do not have key roles in the Body of Christ. That is just a poor representation of my argument and a poor representation of the Trinity. That would be like saying Jesus is less than the Father because he subordinates himself to the Father."

But that is EXACTLY what is being taught at SBTS by Bruce Ware. I have hard him say it! Jesus Christ, Lord of Hosts in the OT, is eternally subordinate to God. Equal but always subordinate. No matter how you spin it, and I am sure you will try, it lessens Jesus Christ and His Diety.

"Of course women play key roles in the Scriptures, but they do not serve as elders and are not to hold pastor-teacher authority over men."

The ONLY authority in the Body is the Word rightly divided. YOU, or any elder, are a simple messenger, friend. Quit putting yourself and others on a pedestal of human authority that does not exist in the body according to scripture.

To be the greatest you have to be a servant...not the authority over other adult believers in the body.

Why do you guys keep cutting Eph 5:21 out of your bibles?

" That is clear from Paul's writings. You can argue this is just Paul speaking to his day and not to us, but if you do , why not everything else? Where do you draw the line in order to interpret passages so differently in these two cases?"

No, it is NOT clear. That is why we are having these discussions.

But, homosexuality as a sin? THAT is quite clear in scripture.

Lydia, you non anon friend

Anonymous said...

Not much focus on the glorious Good News anymore in the SBC.

Plenty on who and what is wrong.

Whatever happened to 'dialogue' as opposed to shutting down all lines of fellowship?

If Julie's church was doing the wrong thing by having a woman pastor, why would it be so very blessed by such an outpouring of the Spirit?

Maybe if the churches that want to 'disfellowship' Julie's church came over and asked Julie more about the Good News of what was happening there, maybe THEY would learn something.

Is it jealousy?

Did she shame them?

Something wonderful is happening in Julie's church. And, that is to be ignored? If I cared about the work of the Lord, I would want to know more, not to turn my back on Julie. What are people thinking?

Something evil happens in the SBC.
Nobody does anything.

Something good happens.
The pastor's church gets 'difellowshipped'.

That sends a mighty message to the world.

Tom Parker said...

To those that say that the Bible does not allow women to preach, please reconcile the treatment of women by Jesus and their treatment by Paul. I really would like to hear your explanations.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Folks if I remember my Baptist History right, if it had not been for the BFM 1925, there would be no Cooperative Program.

The issue was that the BFM was binding upon the convention officers, representatives, entities and seminiaries. The doctrinal accountablility enabled churches and individuals to know clearly who/what they were supporting and promoting with their dollars through the SBC. Even then folks were not forced to sign. They were asked if they were in agreement and if express it clearly.

It was never a tool for doctrinal accountablility for churches or individuals on the local level.


Tom Parker said...

Said:"It was never a tool for doctrinal accountablility for churches or individuals on the local level."

They want to remove churches and people so they needed this statement. They always have a strategy.

WatchingHISstory said...

Is this about women preaching or women pastors? ..or both?

Anonymous said...

Dave Miller:

As usual, spot on.

Folks are getting way too emotional about this.

Respectful dialogue is a fragile thing.

Thank you for your leadership in pointing this out.


WatchingHISstory said...

There is a awful connection to the SBC, CR movement, 2000BF&M, the committee chairman and homosexuality. It is Paul Williams!

Was Paul Williams some kind of test from God?

Anonymous said...

Was reading earlier about the deaths of the early Christian martyrs:

they were allowed to 'recant' their Christian faith and 'offer sacrifice' to the gods;

and then they would not be martyred.

So, looking at 'disfellowship' as a kind of 'martyrdom', there are certain similarities:

1. A powerful group is in place to
render the martyrdom.
2. There is a faith issue that, if
recanted, will spare the victim
3. The punishment for
non-conformity is dire.
4. IF the victims are very brave,
and suffer their punishment
without recanting, then the
powerful lose face.

Anonymous said...

So you have to pay money to sit a messenger at the SBC.

What about churches that don't have that money ?

Do they lose their representative ?

Why not vote at the state level and vote electronically.

That would quickly get rid of all the corruption and would quickly re-establish the SBC as an entity with credibility as a representative of ALL SBC churches and thought, not just the fundamentalists of the CR 'takeover' persuasion.

Paying money for a seat as a messenger? Who's running the SBC these days, Gov. Blagoyavich ?

And WHO gets the money ?

Man of the West said...

Heh. I'm sorry to say that I read

...Southern Baptists, by and large, view Women in the ministry is a second order issue...

with some amusement. Not because of my opinion on women in ministry, but because of that "by and large" bit. Every time I read something like that, or anything smacking of "most Baptists believe," I just groan.

I groan because, after seventeen years in three Baptist churches here in town, teaching Sunday School for several years, etc., I have to say that in my (admittedly not exhaustive but not miniscule, either) experience, most Baptists cannot so much as tell you the difference between Baptists and Methodists, and frighteningly few of them, even after decades of sitting in Sunday School and morning worship, can clearly explain the Gospel.

I know it sounds cynical, and I'm sorry, but it seems to me that most Baptists, by and large, believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life--and that's about the only thing that I'm willing to vouch for Baptists, by and large, believing. You can say that I'm wrong (and many probably will), or lay the blame at the feet of complacent laity, or at the feet of some of the most dumbed-down teaching materials imaginable (my personal favorite), or on pastors and teachers who never preach or teach on anything but the necessity of sharing your faith, prayer, showing up at church, giving regularly, reading your Bible every day, and staying sober and chaste (all vital things!), but it still seems to me that Baptists, by and large, don't have enough of a clue about this issue to feel any way about it other than what their pastors tell them to feel--and more than half of them will forget that three days after the sermon is over.

I can't begin to tell you the number of long-time Southern Baptists I've run into who didn't even know there was such a document as the BFM. I haven't kept count, but it's a bunch.

I know; that's a side issue. Sorry. Sorry about the run-on sentences, too.

Anonymous said...

MONEY: a way to buy more messengers from your church: up to a total of 10 messengers from a church is allowed.

2. One (1) additional messenger from each such church for every two hundred and fifty (250) members; or for each $250.00 paid to the work of the Convention during the fiscal year preceding the annual meeting.

Anonymous said...

So it is all about the money.

Anonymous said...

Your link talks about closed communion. This is an oft debated issue, one where the NT clearly gives some freedom so I think it's silly for the BFM to talk in terms of "accountability" on something that honest, well meaning, and true Christians have disagreed over the centuries.

Anonymous said...

proudpappa said...
"I am saying that both issues involve a similar reading of the Scripture and a similar dismissal of certain passages as "culturally irrelevant" for our day. The example is drawing attention to the issue of selective interpretation not saying that being a woman is the equivalent of being homosexual. Please read carefully. Thanks"

I did read your comment carefully,and I will repeat it here:

"What would be your position if the issue in question was not the calling of a female pastor but a homosexual one?"

Here's how I previously responded:

"I just learned something new!!!Those of you who support the recent decision made in Georgia equate female pastors with homosexuals."

You must not have read my comment very carefully! I did not say "women"; I said "female pastors".

You asked an interesting question, and it certainly sounds like you are comparing women pastors with homosexuals. It seems that you and others who are like-minded believe these two groups of people are equally sinful.

Am I wrong?

Anonymous said...

Ron Phillips,

Please see my comment above regarding exegesis with regard to culturally influenced practices. The hermeneutic used to reach the conclusion that women pastors are permitted does not lead to accommodation of culture with regard to sin--any sin. The cases are not even remotely similar in scripture. The case of women pastors is IMHO purposefully difficult in scripture. Single passages can be used to interpret this issue one way or another, and reconciling all the relevant passages is not easy. On the contrary no reconciliation is needed with regard to scriptures which identify sin. As far as I know, all of them are identified as such with considerable certainty and with consistency throughout the Bible. The only ones about which there may be room for discussion are some Old Testament prohibitions. Some of these have been superseded by Christ, and there may be legitimate debate about others.

In reality, it is the prohibition of women pastors that begins with a preferred interpretation and views scripture through that lens, even though there are a number of objections that cannot be addressed. Paige Patterson told me in a letter that the statements about the roles of women were placed in the B F & M in response to radical feminism. I can understand opposing many of the tenets of radical feminism, but molding scripture to support a pre-determined position is not the best model for exegesis.

Anonymous said...

Only The Word of God is to be the sole guide in matters of faith and practice.

Since I believe it prohibits a women usurping authority over a man, there is to be no women preachers. But to censor a church who has a woman preacher is rediculous, assinine and intolerable.
Dr. Paul Foltz

Kathy said...

I'm always willing to hear an argument from any comp who can prove that Paul stopped women from teaching and pastoring. So far it's never been done, ever. Because this is so, I don't understand why anyone would be intent on talking as if they spoke the facts. Opinions are worthy of lighter tones. Thanks.

Peace out

Anonymous said...


I understand why you want to look at this issue in light of this particular church. But the truth of the matter is that this "disfellowship" *could* occur to any church. Loosly or closely affiliated with the SBC. Large or small CP givers (though some would be less likely to run off the big givers).

It is not so much about FBC Decatur as it is the prescedent of dismissing churches from Christian fellowship and Gospel cooperation over issues that are neither obviously treated by scripture nor obviously sinful. If this prescedent is set and not spoken against, how much more possible is it for someone to propose a SBC ammendment that would prevent churches with women pastors from seating messengers? We aren't there yet, but it's a slippery slope and all that.

Anonymous said...

Controlling the messengers has been a tactic used to gain power before in the SBC.

It will be used to KEEP power, of course.

Anonymous said...

Misplaced focus on priorities other than the Gospel. The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 is our statement of belief, and its beauty is that it is specific enough to define us as a Gospel-faithful people, and broad enough to tolerate acceptable diversity among us.

quote is from J.D. Greear

Anonymous said...


Pittsburgh Annie :) :) :) :)

proudpappa said...


Yes, I believe there is sin involved in both cases. Do I believe equally so, no. Why? Because Romans indicates that homosexuality is in some way the result of persisting in rebellion against God. Conversely, a woman becoming an elder is something which would also be confirmed by a body of believers, so there is a shared responsibility for allowing for such a re-interpretation of Scripture.

To say women are not to be elders does not mean they are not to teach. They have the very important role of teaching assigned in Titus 2:3-5.

I believe part of the reason some women feel called to be an elder is because some male elders have failed to recognize that women can still be gifted at teaching and they have failed to encourage them in equipping other women and training them to live Gospel-centered lives.

Tom Parker said...


You said:"What would be your position if the issue in question was not the calling of a female pastor but a homosexual one?"

You are a very young man and I really do hope one day you will see how ridiculous your position is and not become like some of the other hard core people in the SBC on the issue of women.

It is not just about women pastors, it is about any women in authority over a man--whatever that means.

Anonymous said...

wtreat here:


The answer is so plain, yet you use the term "hermeneutical assumptions"

That is one of the most common errors in Bible study. Any assumption is just that, an assumption, yet many think their assumptions are accurate and correct interpretation and application of scripture.

Hence the answer without any assumption is :

THE BIBLE SAYS (I REPEAT, THE BIBLE SAYS) homosexuality is a sin but DOES NOT SAY that women pastor are a sin.

There is no assumption in that.

Another problem is inconsistant hermeneutic. Or what might be called interptetation of convenience or application of convenience. That is, the twisting and turning of scripture or history to make the inconsistant fit a certain way or train of thought to prove a point. Or the restricted argument or teaching of ALL SIDES OF A STUDY OR SUBJECT. (like condemning the use of Leon McBeths book of Baptist History in SBC seminaries because it mentioned the CBF. Or all the historical things of women in ministry etc. that are never taught or disclosed to students although they are historical documents of Baptist history and church history.


proudpappa said...


I am making a case for consistent interpretation of the Scripture. My age has nothing to do with that. Athanasius wrote Against the Heathen at the age of 21, and he would write circles around either of us. So, please leave my age out of it. If you want to bring a textual argument, bring it. I will listen carefully and respectfully, but I will never compromise the inerrant, infallible Word of God (at least knowingly). And, I will not be duplicitous in my interpretation of it.


CB Scott said...

Tom Parker,

You are painting with a very broad brush.

The following statement is not true in very many cases. At least it is not true with me.

"It is not just about women pastors, it is about any women in authority over a man--whatever that means."

It is unfair of you to say such as you have in the statement above. Blogtown history will verify my statement. Wade would have to verify my statement. He knows your comment does not present my position in any way.


Anonymous said...

Regarding the notion that a church must affirm the bfm2k to be considered S. Baptist:

It is becoming apparent that MANY in the SBC are oblivious to the pain and suffering they have inflicted on others.

To say otherwise would be to state that the pain WAS INFLICTED INTENTIONALLY.


result is the same:

suffering of others caused by
self-described 'christians' (what a joke)

How much longer must we wait, Lord?
How much longer ?

Anonymous said...

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

I Corinthians 13:13

Where is your doctrine now ?

CB Scott said...


I realize I am somewhat a hard man. I do not apologize for that. I also seek to be a truthful man. The times that I fail to be such grieves my soul.

Therefore, let me say this:

Ben Cole considers Wade Burleson, and the whole Burleson to be his friends. And I believe that to be true.

Wade can speak for himself, but Ben Cole is my friend and I just want to say that before any other person takes up your comment and speaks of a division that is none existent as far as Ben's friendship to Wade Burleson is concerned.

I trust you to understand my comment is in the best of intentions that I have capability of making.


Anonymous said...


You wrote, "The Bible also says that women should not teach (in an ongoing sense, Present Infinitive) men."

Actually the Bible records that Paul said that HE did not allow a woman to teach in authority over a man. Why was it stated that way if it was intended to be a rule for all churches throughout time. Whether this was intended for all time and all places or a specific time and place is not specified. The context could support either interpretation, but in both cases these are OPINIONS, nothing more.

You consider yourself consistent in your interpretation of scripture. If so, I assume your church prohibits men to have long hair and women to have short hair and it prohibits women from talking in church, and it prohibits fine clothing and jewelry. If not, where is the consistency? said...

Cleaning up mean spirited comments.

Blessings to all.

Wade said...

I confess that I do not understand, at all, the comparison between "homosexuals" and "women preachers," and I also confess to experiencing a great deal of disdain for comments that do such.

However, I deleted my comment to Proudpappa, believing it to be too personal and not addressing the issue.

Likewise, any comment that has taken Julie Russell-Pennington and her church to task has also been deleted.

And, any comment that alleges Proudpappa knows the Scripture and those who disagree with him do not, has also been deleted.

The comparison between women preaching the gospel and homosexual activity seems to me, to border on blaspheming the Holy Spirit. However, I will take those at their word, including Proudpappa, that such a comparison is not intended.

I would suggest we debate the issue of women preaching the gospel or teaching men or pastoring churches without bringing homosexuality into the discussion.

After reading Stephen Pruett's comments above, I would urge everyone to go back and reread what he has written.

He is dead on in everything he is writing.

Thanks to all,


Anonymous said...

Tonight I was ordained to the Gospel Ministry by the church which I am privileged to serve as Pastor. A very respected reformed pastor from a church in the area asked "the question." Do you affirm the BFM2000? This was the first time I "officially" have gone on record (other than here) as affirming the document--"with reservations." I of course have never had to sign the BFM nor ever had to affirm it as a condition of anything--not even during the questioning tonight. But I responded first by giving my opinion as to the sloppiness of the document. My reservations are more issues of wording than theological ones yet I do have a couple minor theological issues that are related to the nature of the 2 church observances. I do not believe that church membership nor baptism are prerequisites to observing the Lord's Supper. I would also scrap the "mixture of error" phrase and replace it with something to the effect of "no error period."

I find the argument of the "criterion by which we interpret Scripture" argument to absolutely idiotic.

First of all, one does not need a member of the Godhead to be a hermeneutical criterion. That is not an attribute of God.

The Holy Spirit is the interpreter of the Word to our hearts.

The Bible is the unfolding story (the revelation) of the redemptive plan of the Father through the sacrificial atonement of the Son.

I read old creeds and confessions and get a sense that the writers had such a reverence for biblical doctrine that they sought to fully encapsulate the essence of Scripture without purposefully alienating the adherent through distractive wording and needlessly narrow, manmade restrictions.

The hardest part for me in expressing my view of this document is the potential negative light in which I could place Dr. Mohler. I respect him and his theology immensely. I even admit that I could possibly be swayed by his very scholarly explanation of the reasons for the changes, or lack of enough change.

But for now I am comfortable in saying that I find our Confession to be lacking. This is sad considering the SBC has some of the finest theologians in the world. We should be able to do better.

Anonymous said...

Wade - Dave Miller does make one good point, albeit indirectly. Therefore, I would sincerely ask that you to reconsider your position and disallow anonymous comments. No one is allowed to comment without a verified email address that you can use to make contact personally if needed.

Understand that this would rule me out but I would be happy to not be able to comment any longer if it would mean that these silly anonymous comments would stop.

I miss the days of reading your blog and taking in all the different points of view. Agreeing and disagreeing respectfully. Now I have to clog through cow dung to find the good stuff.

These anonymous comments are almost always (writing "almost" was really tough there) filled with anger and emotion, mean spirited and just a bunch of cut and pasting of inaccurate stats.

I just went back and read every no name anonymous comment and nothing has been added to the dialogue from them. Nothing.

All of their comments are either stupid or have nothing to do with the post itself.

Please understand I already know this is your blog and you make the rules, etc etc etc. This is simply my opinion. I also know you probably won't do this. But I feel better expressing my opinion.

I offer to throw myself on the alter of exclusion at the price of denying these anonymous numbskulls the ability to comment either.

Thanks for considering.

CB Scott said...

OK Wade,

Let's see if this works?


it is not biblical for some to question your age as they have here in this situation.

Therefore, heed the following ancient admonition:

""Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young,

but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."


proudpappa said...


I posted a response that began with my soul is kept in Christ Jesus and then explained the parallels b/t the exegesis in both areas as well as the fact that history is on my side for making such a claim.

Then, you deleted my post. There was nothing mean-spirited in it. But, after deleting my post, you tell me I am about to blaspheme the Holy Spirit!

Please, help me see the Spirit of Christ in this behavior.


Anonymous said...


If you want to be the champion of open debate and dissent, you can't go disfellowshipping (deleting)every comment you don't like. Oh the irony. :)

Anonymous said...

"Folks are getting way too emotional about this."

Louis, One of the biggest misunderstandings we have in communications are based on interpreting emotions.

The most stoic, cold blooded person is acting on 'emotion'.

Some are just more clever in hiding it behind well crafted debate and a cool outward demeanor.

Your responses are grounded in 'emotion' just as Peter's are. And mine, too. It all starts with our thoughts.

We are all 'emotional', we just communicate it in different ways.


Joe Blackmon said...

1) I appreciate the fact that the GBC is doing the right thing for the right reasons. I hope other state baptist conventions take note of this action and follow suit.

2) Not that I expect an answer to this but I really would like someone to help me understand why a church with a woman pastor would want to associate with the SBC given what the BFM 2000 says about women pastors. If the BFM were amended to reflect a change in doctrine that I thought was wrong I would be out of the SBC quicker than Pacman Jones after a nightclub shooting. Like I said, I don't expect an answer but I am honestly curious. Is it loyalty? Is it the idea that "If we hang on long enough, we can take by the convention, by gum"?

Anonymous said...

"They have the very important role of teaching assigned in Titus 2:3-5"

Is this the passage you are referring to when you say there are assigned 'roles' for women for all time? (Roles as in a 'part' to play in marriage or the Body)

This passage which is Paul teaching Titus to deal with specific problems in the church in Crete? Problems that are outlined in chp 1?

This makes little sense in the light of many other passages about women NOT being home and in a specific role like Phoebe, Lydia, Mary M, Proverbs 31 woman and all the women in Romans 16. We would also have to tell the women in 1 Corin 3 they were in sin for prophesying in the Body. (The same prophesying as the Puritans wrote about, btw), or the women at Pentecost and others...

So, this would be a NEW law or command in the NC that was not even in the OC? (There was an oral law in the Talmud about women not teaching men. That can't be what you are referring to, is it? Like what Paul is referring to in 1 Corin 14? Paul says NO, was the Word only given to YOU?)

Would you also say that women will be saved if they stay in their role of 'childbearing' as some interpret 1 Tim 2?

Thanks, Lydia

Rex Ray said...

Rodney Sprayberry,
It appears you agree with the BFM 1925 as far as it went. The BFM 1963 states:

“In no case has it [1963] sought to delete from or add to the basic contents of the 1925 Statement.”

Was this a true statement?

The BFM 2000 does not have the above statement.

Do you prefer the 1963 or the 2000; why, or why not?

Stephen Pruett,
You said, “Paige Patterson told me in a letter that the statements about the roles of women were placed in the BF&M in response to radical feminism.”

I wish people would back up their opinions with examples. Did this “radical feminism” occur with a woman teaching Hebrew to men, or maybe his wife told him to cook his own breakfast?

Man of the West said…
“I groan because…most Baptists cannot so much as tell you the difference between Baptist and Methodists…don’t have enough of a clue about this issue to feel any way about it other than what their pastors tell them to feel…don’t even know there was such a document as the BFM.”

Since I was born, I’ve hardly missed Sunday school and preaching a day of my life, but you’re talking about me until I was sixty-five. I didn’t wake up until my missionary son sent me a copy of a 1997 email by the IMB President asking missionaries to have:

“a confidence and willingness to follow the wisdom and guidance of God-appointed leadership, whether we necessarily understand or agree.” (The BFM 2000 changed the ‘asking’ to an ‘order’.)

Keith Parks, former Foreign Mission Board President, said:

“A confession becomes a creed when others determine the beliefs one is forced to sign.”

The 2000 is NOT a creed, but it was made into one by ‘control freaks’.

These ‘controllers’ have made cobwebs that snare trusting people. It’s time to vote the spiders out of office.

BTW, is everyone happy with our literature saying, “The 2000 statement of the Baptist Faith and Message is our doctrinal guideline”? Are we being brainwashed?

Lin said...

"2) Not that I expect an answer to this but I really would like someone to help me understand why a church with a woman pastor would want to associate with the SBC given what the BFM 2000 says about women pastors."

Joe, Just speaking for myself here when I tell you I come from a long line of SBC'ers and was weaned on the basics of what was in the original statement back in the 20's. Not that we read that as a creed (no way) but it was communicated in every action that WE alone are responsible for what we believe and the Holy Spirit teaches each believer through the Word. The goal was to get new believers prayerfully studying the Word. Not telling them what to believe but to be Bereans. Test everything! No matter who teaches it!

We rallied around the very basics of the Truth of the Gospel: Repent and believe. Being Born Again. Go and make disciples.

I do not have any women pastors in my past but I have a ton of women missionaries (some single who taught men on the field) and church workers who taught men all the time in bible studies, witnessing, etc. No one thought a thing about it until about 25 years ago. It was all about proclaiming the gospel. There was not this focus on gender, human authority and roles like there is today.

Even my grandmother's pastor taught that 1 Tim 2 was a specific situation in that church.

My own grandmother was a student of Moody and quite a scholar on Romans. Pastors sought her out all the time for counsel on that book. Was that also a sin?

Personally, I think women had more freedom to exercise their spiritual gifts when the church taught that they were inferior. Perhaps the men did not feel so threatened? Pastors were not as worshipped as they are now as the final authority and arbiter of truth. They were simple messengers...instruments of the Lord.

To some of us, this is not the SBC we were raised in. Some say that is a good thing. But I see that it is not. We are keeping folks on milk and keeping them focused on the politics of authority, roles and rules in the Body: Who has what power over others?

Folks were more concerned about service to others and evangelizing back then from my perspective and not so worried about their 'position' or authority. Being a servant seemed to be more of a focus than it is now.

I think there is a direct link between the politics of 'marketing' Christianity as a business and this focus of roles and 'position' in the Body. this is something that has developed in the last 30 or so years making us more Catholic in nature and structure. Christianity has become a business with CEO's as pastors with an 'organization' to run instead serving others in the living Body of Christ.

It has become about programs, events, marketing sermons, conferences, literature, positions and power, etc. This is a huge trap for many in who are in 'that business'.

Do you really think the REAL church in China is so worried about this topic? If all the men are in prison, will a woman believer steeped in the Word not teach them in their underground living room church? The last time I checked there were women being imprisoned for preaching the Word and witnessing there.

Do you all think really think that is sin because they taught men?

I believe that some serious persecution is needed for the church in the West. We are so complacent that we can argue on whether it is a sin for women to teach men the Word without a human male authority ordaining it.

We have met the enemy and it is us.

Roger D. Lee said...


I appreciate your willingness to address such hypocrisy in our Convention.

My question to you or anyone else is what is the definition of a Southern Baptist Church?

Another way to ask is what defines a Southern Baptist Church?

Roger D. Lee

Joe Blackmon said...


Would I be correct in understanding that your answer is something along the lines of "The idea that women should not be pastors does not reflect what Southern Baptists have historically believed"?

Anyway, thanks for answering.

Anonymous said...

" . . . 3. for cooperative Baptists, ANY year's version of the BF&M is sufficient to represent those Christians' biblical perspective--and only the Bible itself exhausts their theological beliefs; let each Baptist choose the version of the BF&M which he will, and everyone move forward with the gospel into the world; . . ."


Anonymous said...

Creedal Evolution:

Once a 'statement' is written down by men as to 'what THE GROUP believes'; there will have to be a progression towards MORE AND MORE in the way of focusing and defining that belief statement.

You can see tje attempts at evolution towards this in the three BF&M patterns from 1925,
1963, to 2K.

Some of the reasons are obvious: time changes, modernism is feared, new believers come into the church who do not share the traditional Baptist beliefs of their forefathers, and so forth.

As the creedal system is refined, is there a way that it can be USED or MANIPULATED in order to provide more control for a specific sub-group within 'the group'?

If there is no way to protect the integrity of the 'creedal statement' from hijacking; then the 'creedal statement' is no longer a statement of belief for 'the group' as such.

The 'subgroup' then becomes 'the group' and those outside of the 'subgroup' can be 'disfellowshipped' easily.

This will do three things:
1. It will add numbers to the
powerful 'subgroup' as
others are intimidated into
joining it or being
2. It will eliminate from the
new powerful organization
any who oppose its authority.
3. It will clarify the thinking
of those who, in conscience,
cannot accept the authority
of those who have taken over,
to re-define their faith.

Creedal systems are useful.
Study the progression of the simple 'Apostle's Creed' to the more complex 'Nicene Creed' to understand the evolution as Christianity attempted to 'control' certain 'heresies'.

Dangers in 'creedal systems'?

The SBC has become an entity to study and explore, as its 'creedal system' changes the Southern Baptist Church into a faith that its forefathers would hardly recognize as 'Baptist'.

Does a creed help protect a church from attacks on its beliefs from within and without?

Or can a creedal system be hijacked and misused?

Ask the Southern Baptists who now have much anecdotal evidence to share to support their observations.

Anonymous said...

We have all heard the story about how if you put a frog in a pot of hot water, it will jump out (now why anyone wants to do this is another question--a budding serial killer, who typically begins with torturing animals, perhaps?); but if you put the same frog in a pot of cold water and gradually raise the temperature, it will sit there until it boils to death. Well. . . the very same thing has been going on in the SBC since at least 2000, if not since 1979. The leaders of the CR claimed that "liberal" churches were abusing the line in the 1963 BF&M about Jesus being the criteria for Biblical interpretation to ignore the Bible. Whether that was the case or not, they used it to justify a rewrite of that document which far exceeded that parameter. Had they dropped the language from the document of a conscience, the collective SBC frog would have jumped out of the pot quickly, but they didn't, so we sat there.

Had they dropped the language about the document being a confession of faith and said it would become a creed, the collective SBC frog would have jumped out of the pot. But they didn't, so we sat there.

The did introduce the language about the confession being "a tool of doctrinal accountability," but they assured us that no one would ever have to sign off on it like a creed. Had they done so, the collective SBC frog would have jumped out of the pot. But they didn't, so we sat there as first the professors at SBC seminaries had to sign off on it, then missionaries, and (at least I am told) employees at what used to be the Baptist Bookstores, now Lifeway, even part-time hourly employees, all had to sign off on it or loose their employment.

Now a church is being threatened with disfellowship (and I fully expect it to happen) because they are not in compliance with this one article in the Convention's tool of doctrinal accountability. And we are being told that an autonomous convention has the right to disfellowship whom it pleases, but that is no threat to the rest of us.

Hey brother frogs: has anyone checked the temperature of the water lately?

John Fariss

Anonymous said...


Since the BF&M is NOT an instrument of 'loyalty' but instead, 'a faith statement':

and since one's conscience is to be honored under the guidance of the Spirit above all man-made documents;

then, what prohibits a person or a church from submitting a corollary
'statement of conscience' which does not negate the entire BF&M; just registers a conscientious objection to a certain portion?

This quickly eliminates the
ability of some to misuse the BF&M
as a 'club', as people of faith are, of course, also people of conscience.

This also discourages manipulation of any future BF&M statements for political purposes by 'sub-groups' within the faith.

Anonymous said...

Joe Blackmon:

If you read my comment and the info on the web about FBC Decatur, they do NOT want to associate with the GBC or apparenly the SBC.

This will not cause them any problem.

I suspect that they actually will take some pride in being kicked out.

They have a different set of partnerships that they work through.


Anonymous said...


I said "too" emotional.

When we start calling people "stupid", that's when respectful dialogue ends. We have become "too" emotional about the issue.

But you are right that all of us have emotions and they are part of our make up and reason for doing things.


Anonymous said...

Dear John Fariss,

Some of the frogs got out of the cold pot quickly: they were given the gift of discernment by the Holy Spirit.

You don't want to lose frogs like that: they are a strong part of the church. They stood up for their faith.

By all means, check that temperature: getting out of the 'warm water' might be a little uncomfortable but it might mean saving the integrity of your faith.

This lack of standing up when others were tormented is worrisome.
Might be a good time for many Baptists to reconsider the core beliefs of their faith and reconsider what is being demanded by a few 'in control' of the many.

Stand up for yourselves, stand for the others.

From tradition comes this:

'If I am not for myself;
who will be?

If I am not for others:
what am I?

IF NOT NOW, WHEN ? said...


When you express concern for the emotional welfare of the people and pastor of FBC Decatur, it will be possible for me to believe you actually care about people's emotional welfare.

WatchingHISstory said...

I said the statement was stupid not the author! Geez

U are too emotional!!!

Anonymous said...


You are right that the issue here is a slippery slope issue. I appreciate your thoughtful comment.

From my perspective, understanding this action in context is critical because it shows us how close we may or may not be to a slipper slope.

I believe in light of the information that I found on the internet regarding Ms. Russell and FBC Decature, which was not perjorative, but actually descriptive (the most interesting being Ms. Russell's comment that FBC Decatur's relationship to the GBC and SBC was there historically and but have moved away for years and was holding on by the "slenderist of threads" is significant contextualization that helps people guage the GBC's action and whehther they would apply it to other churches.

I think we can spend way too much time getting worked up about stuff that is never going to happen, but that we fear might happen.

Louis said...


The definition of a Southern Baptist Church is as follows:

(1). Orthodox - they affirm the deity of Jesus Christ

(2). Evangelical - they tell sinners they are right with God through faith in Christ alone.

(3). Separatism - they hold to a believers' church, where members have identified with through baptism.

(4). They give to the Cooperative Program.

This definition, by the way, comes straight for Dr. Tom Nettles, By His Grace and for His Glory.



P.S. FBC Decatur does all the above. said...


Quit denigrating FBC Decatur and Julie Pennington-Russell. Have you spoken with her? Do you know her?

The answer to both is "no." I will not allow you to continue. Please refrain.

Anonymous said...

LOUIS wrote,

"I suspect that they actually will take some pride in being kicked out."

That phrase 'being kicked out' says it all.

I don't think it's Julie's church that has a problem with pride, Louis.

And what is this call to refrain from emotion, to remain calm, and rational ?

If the American colonists had done that, we would all be loyal subjects of the Queen, still.

Passion in
the cause of what is just and right is a kind of fire in the belly that brings strength for a difficult confrontation with somethng unwholesome.

There are some who interpret the Scriptures one way, based on certain verses.
There are others who see it differently based on other verses.

This happens all the time within the Baptist faith. Why now, is 'being kicked out' a punishment for believing in the Bible ?

Anonymous said...

"I said "too" emotional."

Hate is an emotion. It can be manifested in a cool outward demeanor of arrogant disdain or the opposite.

What do you do with John 11:35? Does it embarrass you?


Mark Hollingsworth said...


Your defintion of a Southern Baptist church should not be attributed to Tom Nettles. In the work you cited, he sets out in the introduction to define the Baptist movement, not Southern Baptists. So his first three tenets are exactly as you have described, but your #4 (giving to the CP) Nettles does not mention. Elsewhere, he has offered "confessional" as his #4 (see The Baptists, vol.1).


WatchingHISstory said...

on the subject of suicide, the uncle of the preacher who preached a terrible sermon: "Sinners in the hands of an angry God" slit his throat in a sad state of dispair.

No one should commit suicide after hearing a gospel sermon even if the person is a teenager caught up in egregous, deviant sexual moral failure.

He was not uniquely born with the condition he was born as us all with a sin nature inherited from Adam. But for the grace of God there go us all.

Any comment that hints a differece to that is "stupid". No one needs special compassion just the gospel. Simple.

I have a co-worker friend who can testify to that fact.

Anonymous said...


I am too emotional to talk about that right now.


Joe Blackmon said...


Could you clarify something for me? Are you saying that FBC-Decatur wants to remain in the GBC? I know, probably a stupid question.


Anonymous said...


I am too emotional to talk about that right now.


Mon Feb 02, 12:17:00 PM 2009

Too funny!@

Let it all out Louis, but not in court. :o)


(Humor is also an emotion, btw)

Anonymous said...


In your call to regard 'sense' over 'sensibility', remember that it is the quiet promptings of the Holy Spirit deep within your consciousness that must be honored above our human rationality.

That 'gut feeling' is more in the realm of 'emotion' than conscious 'thought' because
the promptings of the Holy Spirit cannot be dismissed rationally and banished: the promptings will not go away at our rational bidding.

Thank God for that, or would any of us have a conscious to guide our steps in this dark world ?

Roger D. Lee said...


Thank you for your response. If that is the definition then who are we to add to the definition.

Maybe we as autonomous churches should focus our efforts on on the elements of that definition as far as practice and cooperation is applied.

Thanks again.

Roger said...


The first three are Baptist, you are correct.

The fourth one is mine.

It comes from the Constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention.



Anonymous said...

To all:

Apparently Wade deemed the comment where I provided contextualization for this story (which it seriously needed from the beginning) mean spirited and deleted it.

For the most part, my comment simply provided info on Ms. Russell and FBC Decatur. I organized it, and put it into numbered points so it could be followed. I added my commentary, which is consistent with others on this blog.

I have sometimes agreed with Wade and sometimes disagreed with him. I am sure that we would agree on 99% of the things in this world.

As a lawyer, however, I am a firm believer in free speech.

And I do disagree with the censorship of opinions and speech, especially under the guise of providing a forum for the expression of opinion.

I go toe to toe with Rex, Tom, Lydia and others on here. But I am always glad that they feel free to say what they want to say.

I am disappointed that for some reason Wade decided to delete many comments on this post - turning it from a free discussion into a post that is scrubbed free of a significant amount of contrary thought.

If this site is going to remain a site where people can disagree, great. If it is only going to become a site for agreement and cheerleading, that is regretable. But the host can make that decision.

On this post, what's done is done, and it is a sad day for free speech.

Louis said...


Why don't you call Julie Pennington-Russell and ask her yourself? I did.

I will also fellowship and cooperate with her, her members and her messengers, even though I may not agree with everything they do or believe.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for pointing out Wade's twisting of Dr. Nettles words. said...


Denigration of people is not allowed. What you call contextualization, and what others call disfellowship, is in essence saying, "We have NOTHING in common with you - get out."

I am saying to you all - "If you can't find common love, common faith, a common Christ with our brothers and sisters in Christ at FBC Decatur, then you have lost sight of the gospel."

And, Louis, it's not a sad day.

It's a happy one!

Wade said...


Amen, my friend.


Thanks for a sober, short, succinct comment that capsulizes all I am attempting to get people to see.


Anonymous said...

Well, someone kicked the Authority of Christ out of the bfm2k and rationalized saying His Words and Actions in the Scriptures could be used as a 'loophole'.

If these people could 'disfellowship' Christ;
then Julie's Church, if disfellowship' will be in good company. :)

Anonymous said...


I did not denigrate Ms. Russell or FBC Decatur.

But you have censored people on this site for no good reason.

That is sad - even though the day is a good one!


Lin said...

"Would I be correct in understanding that your answer is something along the lines of "The idea that women should not be pastors does not reflect what Southern Baptists have historically believed"?"

Joe, Human history and interpretation of scripture is never an indicator of what I believe. Too much bad stuff to slog through. Gets us off track as in following Paul or Apollos. The 'church' universal has gotten many things wrong throughout history. Even the SBC! (shh...slavery, for one.)

Let's go the Source and if we disagree on an interpretation of a non salvic matter, then let's do it in love and not disfellowship over it.

I will disfellowship over salvic matters, though. And over matters of behavior like sexual perversion. Even though the SBC does not see the need for this. That puzzles me.

The problem as I see it is that too many are making the question of women and their supposed 'roles' primary salvic doctrine. It isn't.

Anonymous said...


I apologize.. I didn't realize you had already made clear your 4 points regarding Dr. Nettles. said...


Your comment can't stand. Unlike I, you have had no direct conversation with Julie Pennington-Russell. You have not asked about her desires to be a participant in the SBC or GBC. You have not asked her about her faith in Christ. You have not asked her about how you can help her church. You seem to be only wanting to convince people that she doesn't belong.

In other words, you are acting as if the church DOESN'T want to be in the SBC.

That, my friend, simply is not true. And that is the reason why your comment will not be allowed to stand. Call her directly. Speak to her directly.

Then, you can write whatever you wish about her desires and the church's desires.

Anonymous said...


You have had some good ones, too.


WatchingHISstory said...


(2). Evangelical - they tell sinners they are right with God through faith in Christ alone.

Why would we tell the sinner something he can't possibly understand? Isn't it the Bible telling us that the sinner is right with God then we tell him that after regeneration.

Then he as, "what must I do?"

Joe Blackmon said...


I really hope you didn't take the question to be snarky. In all sincerity, that's not what was intended.

I suspect I would contact her by email rather than phone. Answering an email is a little less intrusive than a phone call. I suspect she's probably pretty busy.

Anonymous said...

Louis, I cannot believe you are defending 'free speech' on this blog!

As a lawyer, you should know that you are FREE to start your own blog and render forth 'contextualized' information and personal opinions all day long!

And you are free to censor whomever you want on your own blog.

Lydia said...


I understand. I didn't take you question as snarky. Thanks for being conscientious and following through with personal comment.

I personally believe all of us are helped by communicating with one another. said...


I am deleting comments from people who act as if they can speak about the "desires" of Julie and her church, as do you, without having ANY coversation with them.

In a court of law, if anybody ever stood up and tried to speak on behalf of others who are not present you would stand and shout - OBJECT!

And you know you would.

Anonymous said...

“This church really is historically tied to the Southern Baptist Convention, but lately it’s only been tied by the slenderest of threads,” Pennington-Russell said.

It isn't Julie who will sever those ties. The SBC is not what it used to be. It is something much, much different. 'Those slender threads' may be ties of hope that the SBC will return to Christ as the center of the Baptist Faith.

It's not Julie and her church that have left the SBC.
It's the SBC that is leaving Julie.
And so many others.

The Southern Baptist faith needs a lot more of what Julie and her church are doing. I think not only should Julie continue pastoring her church, but the SBC should swallow their miserable pride and let her 'pastor them' by reminding them of the ways that actually work to lead the lost to Christ.
That is what's REALLY important,
isn't it ?

Wayne Smith said...


In the beginning there was the Word. The Word of God was summed up, by Hundreds of Men of God, by using God’s Word (Bible Verses Only) to Support their Confession of Faith. This Confession was called the Westminster Confession of Faith. The Westminster Confession
Now by Authority of Parliament sitting at Westminster, Concerning A Confession of Faith: With the QUOTATIONS and TEXTS of SCRIPTURE annexed Presented by them lately to both Houses of Parliament.
The Baptist knowing the was the real Thing using Bible Verses to support each Article Adopted this Confession of Faith with a Few changes and called it The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689). Hundreds of Men using only Bible Verses formed and excepted these Articles of Faith and they have stood the test of time ever since with very few changes. Mankind and Womankind just can’t stand the Truth of God’s Holy Word, so they try to cover it up their Man Made Confessions. Why not use what has stood the test of Time???


Anonymous said...

When Christ first appeared to someone after His Resurrection, He chose a person of very great faith.

This person was again honored to be the first to tell the Apostles the Good News: 'He is Risen'.

It was the faith of this person that Christ honored so.

THE FAITH was what was important about this chosen messenger.

Tim G said...

Will you answer the question of how you can go from Maximum to your current position?

I also think that your selective deleting while leaving evil comments towards Mrs. Patterson is more troubling than your post!

Anonymous said...

I think the outfit is cute.

Anonymous said...

Wayne Smith,

You said "(1689)...Why not use what has stood the test of Time???"

I do not think it is standing the test of time right now.

I think more and more are coming to see there is no covenant of grace in the Bible for example.

There is "prophecy" in Gen. 3:15, but there is no covenant of grace.

It's just one more example of an error in a confession.

God Bless


P.S. Key word--exegesis.

Anonymous said...

Did you contact the Arkansas pastor and talk with him directly before you posted the derogatory information about him and his church?

Anonymous said...

Karen, all of the info that Wade posted is public knowledge. It is posted on his personal website. What "permission" is needed?? Whether it is "derogatory" or not...well that depends on the reader doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

A Texas Southern Baptist Theologian on Spirit Baptism following the BF&M 2000 statement:

BF&M 2000 “The Holy Spirit…He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ”

B.H. Carroll–”Suppose we take the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians. If you want to get muddled you should read what the commentators say on the subject. What is it? It reads in the King James Version this way: ‘By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body.’ It reads in the new version, ‘In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.’ Notice the difference in the two renderings. The King James Version makes the Holy Spirit the administrator, ‘By one Spirit.’ THE HOLY SPIRIT NEVER ADMINISTERS BAPTISM. He is the element, not the administrator.” (Emphasis mine–”The Holy Spirit”; Pg. 29 from AGES software)

Anonymous said...

Resolution On The Place Of Women In Christian Service

WHEREAS, The Scriptures bear record to the distinctive roles of men and women in the church and in the home, and

WHEREAS, Christian women have made and are making a significant contribution to the cause of Christ, and

WHEREAS, Christian women have been made exhorted to redig the old wells of mission promotion and education in our churches by Kenneth Chafin, and

WHEREAS, There is a great attack by the members of most women's liberation movements upon scriptural precepts of woman's place in society, and

WHEREAS, The theme of the Convention is "Share the Word Now" and this Word we share is explicitly clear on this subject.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we "redig" or reaffirm God's order of authority for his church and the Christian home: (1) Christ the head of every man; (2) man the head of the woman; (3) children in subjection to their parents--in the Lord.

Therefore, be it further RESOLVED, That we "redig" or reaffirm God's explicit Word that (1) man was not made for the woman, but the woman for the man; (2) that the woman is the glory of man; (3) that as woman would not have existed without man, henceforth, neither would man have existed without the woman, they are dependent one upon the other--to the glory of God.

Portland, Oregon
June 1973

Anonymous said...

Resolution On Ordination And The Role Of Women In Ministry

WHEREAS, We, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Kansas City, June 12-14, 1984, recognize the authority of Scripture in all matters of faith and practice including the autonomy of the local church; and

WHEREAS, The New Testament enjoins all Christians to proclaim the gospel; and

WHEREAS, The New Testament churches as a community of faith recognized God's ordination and anointing of some believers for special ministries (e.g., 1 Timothy 2:7; Titus 1:15) and in consequence of their demonstrated loyalty to the gospel, conferred public blessing and engaged in public dedicatory prayer setting them apart for service; and

WHEREAS, The New Testament does not mandate that all who are divinely called to ministry be ordained; and

WHEREAS, In the New Testament, ordination symbolizes spiritual succession to the world task of proclaiming and extending the gospel of Christ, and not a sacramental transfer of unique divine grace that perpetuates apostolic authority; and

WHEREAS, The New Testament emphasizes the equal dignity of men and women (Gal. 3:28) and that the Holy Spirit was at Pentecost divinely outpoured on men and women alike (Acts 2:17); and

WHEREAS, Women as well as men prayed and prophesied in public worship services (1 Cor. 11:2-16), and Priscilla joined her husband in teaching Apollos (Acts 18:26), and women fulfilled special church service-ministries as exemplified by Phoebe whose work Paul tributes as that of a servant of the church (Rom. 16:1); and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures attest to God's delegated order of authority (God the head of Christ, Christ the head of man, man the head of woman, man and woman dependent one upon the other to the glory of God) distinguishing the roles of men and women in public prayer and prophecy (1 Cor. 11:2-5); and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures teach that women are not in public worship to assume a role of authority over men lest confusion reign in the local church (1 Cor. 14:33-36); and

WHEREAS, While Paul commends women and men alike in other roles of ministry and service (Titus 2:1-10), he excludes women from pastoral leadership (1 Tim. 2:12) to preserve a submission God requires because the man was first in creation and the woman was first in the Edenic fall (1 Tim. 2:13ff); and

WHEREAS, These Scriptures are not intended to stifle the creative contribution of men and women as co-workers in many roles of church service, both on distant mission fields and in domestic ministries, but imply that women and men are nonetheless divinely gifted for distinctive areas of evangelical engagement; and

WHEREAS, Women are held in high honor for their unique and significant contribution to the advancement of Christ's kingdom, and the building of godly homes should be esteemed for its vital contribution to developing personal Christian character and Christlike concern for others.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we not decide concerns of Christians doctrine and practice by modern cultural, sociological, and ecclesiastical trends or by emotional factors; that we remind ourselves of the dearly bought Baptist principle of the final authority of Scripture in matters of faith and conduct; and that we encourage the service of women in all aspects of church life and work other than pastoral functions and leadership roles entailing ordination.

Kansas City, Missouri
June 1984

Anonymous said...

Position Statement of the SBC on Women in Ministry

Women participate equally with men in the priesthood of all believers. Their role is crucial, their wisdom, grace and commitment exemplary. Women are an integral part of our Southern Baptist boards, faculties, mission teams, writer pools, and professional staffs. We affirm and celebrate their Great Commission impact.

While Scripture teaches that a woman's role is not identical to that of men in every respect, and that pastoral leadership is assigned to men, it also teaches that women are equal in value to men.

Anonymous said...


The Church

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Wayne Smith said...


That he ( HE ) be chosen thereunto by the common suffrage of the church itself; and solemnly set apart by fasting and prayer, with imposition of hands of the eldership of the church!!!

The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689).
Chapter 26: Of the Church
9. The way appointed by Christ for the calling of any person, fitted and gifted by the Holy Spirit, unto the office of bishop or elder in a church, is,
that he be chosen thereunto by the common suffrage of the church itself; and solemnly set apart by fasting and prayer, with imposition of hands of the eldership of the church,
if there be any before constituted therein; and of a deacon that he be chosen by the like suffrage, and set apart by prayer, and the like imposition of hands.
( Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 4:14; Acts 6:3, 5, 6 )


greg.w.h said...


I actually think the word absurd is an excellent description of the look on some Baptists' faces when they see who got let in heaven with them.

And ironic describes the moment when each of them realizes how absolutely sinful their disunity has been, especially when they've argued on your blog how right they are and how they MUST exclude other believers in the name of doctrinal purity. All in the name of "voluntary association" of course. It's even more ironic that the argument is that no church that disagrees with them would POSSIBLY want to stay in association with them.

Of course this interpretation turns unity on its head. Those churches aren't unified with the majority position and therefore have committed the sin of disunity, not the majority. And the majority, of course, sees absolutely no biblical direction from Christ Jesus to work through disagreement and stay unified. In order to hold that position, they continue to look for ever finer gradations of theology in order to split off Christians as being essentially in gross immorality. They seem to be doing this in order to justify the same treatment of disfellowship that is prescribed (and alluded to) by Paul for sexual sin in the two letters to the Corinthians that we still have of the four that were probably written.

Then when shenanigans are called, the same group of people immediately start comparing women in ministry with the kind of gross immorality and sexual sin that MIGHT cause disfellowshipping by comparing to homosexuality. That's to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt among the believers that listen to them.

Of course, as Lin pointed out, traditional Southern Baptists never have been led by the nose to positions that support political shenanigans. They traditionally have been among the most like the Bereans among the evangelicals. They traditionally read the Bible as a whole book and try to ascertain the biblical basis for any church policy positions that they vote yes to.

Only during the Conservative Resurgence did we see a real change in that. And unfortunately, it seems that we have succeeded in creating a clergy-led, anti-Baptist movement that insists on wearing the sheep's clothing of the previously anti-elitist, lay-led Convention. And all of this is done in the name of "protecting" God's reputation and "upholding" the Bible.

Luckily, we're promised that there will be no more sin, and we hope that it means they will accept gracefully both the Savior's analysis of sin and the Savior's final forgiveness for the sins that we committed that we didn't realize were sin. Admittedly, they could be right and this behavior is exactly what Jesus intended when he prayed for unity in the high priestly prayer. In that case, when Jesus said to leave those alone who were casting out demons in his name "because those who are not against us are with us", that was a special, secret code for "unless I wink just right which means let them have it anyway after I'm gone."

Oh that we each had a Job continually offering sacrifices for us when we unknowingly sin. Oh wait!! We DO!! Praise Jesus Christ who intercedes regularly, if not continually, before the Throne of Heaven on our behalf. Oh that we would each pray that God would teach us how to solve these kinds of doctrinal disputes in a way that brings no violence to the Bride of Jesus Christ. Because unless we pray that prayer, it's just a matter of time before folks will be burned at the stake again for their "apostasy". Of course, "apostasy" will really be a secret code word for "don't you know that they aren't on our side? Don't you know what they've done to us?"

Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it
-- George Santayana

And Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. Guess we need to start learning from the past.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

WHEREAS it was through a woman that Christ chose to come into the world;

WHEREAS it was through a woman that Christ chose to announce His Resurrection;

Therefore, it seems fitting to believe that women were especially honored ABOVE MEN to represent mankind in bringing Christ and the Good News into the world.

And to witness the growth of the Church through the ministry of women is not to become alarmed; but to recognize that this growth is a sign of favor from God that His chosen servants are ministering to His children, and with His Blessing. :)

Anonymous said...

So. 'disfellowship' will maintain the 'purity' of the Body of Christ.
So men's works are important in the survival of the Church?
And the Church can't survive without men 'disfellowshipping' others?

Not a very strong group, is it, this Body of Christ, that it must be protected in such a way?

WatchingHISstory said...

Then when shenanigans are called, the same group of people immediately start comparing women in ministry with the kind of gross immorality and sexual sin that MIGHT cause disfellowshipping by comparing to homosexuality. That's to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt among the believers that listen to them.

I don't recall this comparison ever being made by anyone. It is unfair to claim it was said when it wasn't. I believe that it was proudpapa who illustrated consistent texual interpretations and did not compare the two.

This post has shifted to biased comments of a subjective nature.

Anonymous said...

Women are allowed to teach women?

The Church IS the Bride of Christ?

Women are allowed to teach the Bride of Christ.


P.S. Can anyone help resolve the notion of the doctrine of the 'sanctity of life' and the doctrine of 'total depravity' ?

Thank you. :)

Jesse said...

Did the Georgia Convention say that they would not allow debate on "tertiary matters of the faith?"

Who gets to decide what falls under the umbrella of "tertiary matters of the faith?"

Can any Biblical doctrine really be "tertiary?"

WatchingHISstory said...

Did anyone have trouble with yesterday's Lifeway lesson on Thessalonians?

I was somewhat distrubed by it.
It seem to encourage dispeling dissent in deference to the common good, the unity of the Church.

Most of our lesson was about respecting church leaders. It was similar to the Jehovah Witness practice of shunning the dissenters. They teach the common good over the individual progress. said...


Absolutely I contacted Mr. Hatley prior to the post. I also am doing my part to help his church, including raising some funds to help them make their bank payments. What are you doing to help Julie and Tom?

wade said...

Greg W.H.

Excellent points.

Well done.

Tom Parker said...


You are certainly living in a fantasy world. You may think the CR was not over power, but it most certainly was!! But you keep telling yourself that it was not.

The two PP's I'm sure are very proud of your view.

Only By His Grace said...

You asked,
"Why would he tell sinners something he can't possibly understand?"

The sinner can understand a lot of things. He can understand there is a God of righteous judgment out there. He can understand he is a sinner and stands condemned in His sin. He can understand that Christ paid to redeem him from his sin. He can understand if he comes to Christ he can have new life and does not have it until he comes. The sinner is dead in his relationship to God. He is not dead in his understanding the basic good news of Christ. I am sure you know this.

C.H. Spurgeon was a Calvinist who preached a sermon titled, "In Defense of Calvinism." Yet he never believed as Calvin did in the hellish doctrine of double predestination which is an evangelism/mission killer.

Here are few quotes from Spurgeon I copied over just last week

"The door of his house of mercy is wide open. Over the lintel of his palace gate is written, "For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened"
from Advice for Seekers

"He was the true saviour; and, O sinner, Jesus Christ will come just where you are, and your wounds of sin, even though they are putrid, will not drive him away from you. His love shall overcome the nauseating offensiveness of your iniquity, for he is able and willing to save those who are like you.
from Despised Ones Seeking Jesus.

"He ever lives to make intercession for sinners. He is therefore able to save those who come to him; and it is still true that he who comes will not be cast out. There has never been an instance of a man who trusted Christ and perished, and there never shall be an instance.
from Seekers Touching Christ (page 30)

"And tell the world, I ask you, whether he accepts you or not. If he casts you away, you will be the very first—then let us know about it; but if he receives
you, you will be only one among ten thousand who have been accepted—then publish it so that our faith may be confirmed.
from Seekers Touching Christ

"It is written, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev 22:17). Does that exclude you? It is written, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom 10:13). Does that shut you out? No, it includes you; it invites you; it encourages you. Nowhere in the Word of God is it written that you will be cast out if you come, or that Jesus Christ will not remove your burden of sin if you come and lay it at his feet.
from May I Believe (page 72-73)

Love in Christ,
Phil said...


Comments must have substance and address the issue, not denigrate people.

Comment deleted.


Dave Miller said...

Tom, how do you know the motives of those who were in the Conservative Resurgence?

I travelled to conventions and voted for conservative presidents because of theology, not power. There may have been people motivated by power, but most of us had a true desire to see the SBC correct its liberal drift into theological compromise and impotence.

I went to a Baptist college. I graduated from SWBTS. What I saw and heard made me realize that we needed to do something.

I will admit that some of the ideals of the CR have been compromised in later years by some of its leaders.

Like Jack Bauer, I think some fights have to be fought. This one did.

Dave Miller said...

Wade says to Jim P,

"Comments must have substance and address the issue, not denigrate people."

Yet, two anonymous comments ridiculing Dorothy Patterson remain up.

Interesting sense of equity.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. That is really good to hear. said...

Dave Miller,

Check your facts, my friend, the anonymous comments have been taken down. They, too, were inappropriate.

I don't know why you continue to question motives.

Kathy said...

I must have missed this:

Proudpappa said,"The Bible also says that women should not teach (in an ongoing sense, Present Infinitive) men."

Proudpappa, I request if I may, that you or anyone who makes statements that say 'the bible says...' that you prove them. You can tell me that you hold to your opinion or your belief but if you are going to say 'the bible says' and you cannot prove it, then I request you refrain from such worded statements.

Here's the deal. It cannot be proven that Paul stopped more than 1 woman from teaching in 1 Tim 2. This is THE fact. I'm not inclined at this time to let others contintue to throw around a hard passage and with it keep 'women' (PLURAL) back from something that they themselves think is true yet cannot by any means prove it. So I just request that our language if opinion, then is keep in that boundary, and if fact, then by all means, upheld.

'The bible says' just doesn't fly.

Anonymous said...


All I did was post information from 2 or 3 sources that were about Ms. Russell and FBC Decatur.

One source was from an ecumenical group called Day 1, which is complimentary of Ms. Russell. It does not denigrate her.

The other source is an article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution where Ms. Russell is quoted.

I am not speaking for her. She has spoken for herself in the bulletin where she lists the strategic partnerships that FBC Decatur has, and the SBC and the IMB are not mentioned.

The article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution quotes her after the GBC action. I am not speaking for her. Again, she is speaking.

What is wrong with people reading this information?

I am sure that she is a nice person. Maybe one day I will meet her. But your insistance that I call her personally before I reference quotes from her and public information which is in no way derogatory of her is really strange.

I could see your point if I went to some hate website and downloaded information that was defamatory and untrue.

So, she speaks a Day 1 conferences, the New Covenant Baptist group, an American Baptist Seminary etc.

Those aren't evil things.

I cannot why you are trying to shut down information relating to this woman and church.

It's obvious that you feel very strongly about this situation, but I cannot figure out why.

I hope we move on to another topic soon.


Anonymous said...


Of course there is not "state action" here, so you are right. It is not a technical free speech case.

But one of the things that I have admired about Wade is his willingness to let people of different persuasions speak on this blog.

If I had said something that denigrated Ms. Russell, I would feel badly. I have apologized on this blog before for not reading carefully, jumping the gun etc. Things we all do.

But if you or others read the information that I posted, I would be interested in your helping me with which part you thought denigrated Ms. Russell.

So, you are right. This is not a case of government censorship.

But there is something about this particular issue that has our normally benevolent host on edge.

I have enjoyed speaking with you, and look forward to hearing your thoughts, which are often quite strong for and against.

I just hope I will continue to get to read yours.

And that they don't get taken down.


proudpappa said...


You apparently knew the text to which I was referring. The Bible says was sufficient in this case. And, Paul is referring to women by not permitting "a woman" to teach . . . . This is the use of a class/category. This interpretation is the most logical in light of his appeal to the creation order in Genesis. You can do hermeneutical gymnastics if you wish, but I am not going to play along.

Thanks. said...


I will tell you precisely why this issue upsets me.

Southern Baptists, including you, seem casual, if not flippant, about "disfellowshipping" from fellow Christians.

That's a serious breach of Christ's commands to love one another. said...


"A" woman, "that" women, Paul's personal instruction to Timothy or a universal prohibition, etc . . .

You inform Kathy she is doing "mental gymnastics."

It seems to me that you need to be a tad bit more humble. Your dogmatism on being able to know the mind of God in this matter may one day come back to haunt you.


Wade said...

By the way, Al Mohler himself has changed his mind on this issue - hermeneutically - at least twice.

It's fine to be clear in what you believe and let others know. It's arrogant to accuse others of "mental gymnastics."

Lin said...

"This interpretation is the most logical in light of his appeal to the creation order in Genesis."

If creation order is so very important in our chain of being, then I have to wonder why the birds of the air and the beasts of the ground were created first. :o) said...




Lin said...

"This interpretation is the most logical in light of his appeal to the creation order in Genesis."

How do you know Paul was not referring to the cult belief in the Pagan Temple in Ephesus that Eve was created first?

And why would The Holy Spirit Inspire the ONE TIME use of authenteo when a clear Greek word for authority is used in other places in scripture?

Authenteo is a hint that this is a very special case..she is murdering him (her husband) with false teaching. Yet, she is Eve was...and Paul, too, for that matter. Paul says, LET her learn. An imperative.

Also, if we interpret it your way, what do we do with 'childbearing'? Are you sure that a woman must be in her role of 'childbearing' to be saved? Not only is this works salvation but Paul would be contradicting himself in other scripture (better not to marry) if that is how it is interpreted.

Much to ponder for one 'clear' passage, eh?

Joe Blackmon said...

"If creation order is so very important in our chain of being, then I have to wonder why the birds of the air and the beasts of the ground were created first. :o)"

Umm, probably because mankind was the crowing achievment of God's creation.

4 What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God ,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
Psalms 8:4-8 (NASB)

Wade---zinger?? I'm thinking not so much.

Joe Blackmon said...

Typo---in my last comment "crowing" should have read "crowning".

Bob Cleveland said...


I think you had it right the first time, too.

Kathy said...

Proudpappa said:
'You apparently knew the text to which I was referring. The Bible says was sufficient in this case. And, Paul is referring to women by not permitting "a woman" to teach . . . . This is the use of a class/category. This interpretation is the most logical in light of his appeal to the creation order in Genesis. You can do hermeneutical gymnastics if you wish, but I am not going to play along.


Got it. You meant, that you interpret the bible to be saying...

You left out the rest of Paul's reasons for his prohibition while putting focus on his reference to creation order, 'for Adam was created first then Eve'. Claims, can be better supported when the full context is considered.

Let me ask you a question. Do you think there is at least just 1 place in the whole of the passage, vv 11-15 where Paul used 'woman' to refer to a specific woman?

I bet we can both agree that Paul did in fact use 'woman' within the passage to refer to 1 specific woman. What do you think?

Wayne Smith said...

Kathy said...
I must have missed this:

Proudpappa said,"The Bible also says that women should not teach (in an ongoing sense, Present Infinitive) men."

Proudpappa, I request if I may, that you or anyone who makes statements that say 'the bible says...' that you prove them. You can tell me that you hold to your opinion or your belief but if you are going to say 'the bible says' and you cannot prove it, then I request you refrain from such worded statements.

'The bible says' just doesn't fly.
Mon Feb 02, 07:38:00 PM 2009


Title: New American Standard Bible
1 Timothy 3
Overseers and Deacons
1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is
a fine work he desires to do. 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the
husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of
money. 4He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his
children under control with all dignity 5(but if a man does not know how to
manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6and
not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the
condemnation incurred by the devil. 7And he must have a good reputation with
those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the
8Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to
much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9but holding to the mystery of the faith with a
clear conscience. 10These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as
deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11Women must likewise be dignified, not
malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12Deacons must be
husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.


Joe Blackmon said...


In truth, you may be right. Mankind is a proud and obstinant lot, aren't we?

proudpappa said...


I responded, but it was apparently blocked. Anyhow, the point was that you knew the texts to which I was referring. And, I believe the most obvious intpretation of that text 1 Tim 2 is the one I have forwarded . . . particularly b/c Paul grounds his statment not in his opinion but in the order of creation.



Kathy said...

Wayne, 'RGE bible says'...

You are funny!


1 Tim 2 is my favorite and yeah I knew which text you were refering to. Your chosen words gave you away.

Did you see my last comment to you?

WatchingHISstory said...


You assume I am smarter than I really am! I did not know this: "The sinner can understand a lot of things." This is news to me. I only believe what the Bible says: Rom 3:11

I am not as informed as you about Spurgeon. I apparently am not as informed as you about Calvin. You said: "Yet he never believed as Calvin did in the hellish doctrine of double predestination which is an evangelism/mission killer." I did not know this about Calvin. I did not know he was an evangelism killer. You know so much, where have you been when I needed you.

I have read that Spurgeon was involved for a period of time in the down-grade controversery. I am careful not to let Spurgeon or Calvin influence me only the Bible.

Now you tell me why would you try to reason with a person who does nor trys to understand? Why would you reason with a person who will, absolutely NOT seek after God?

If God himself tells you this about the sinner then why would you go ahead and talk with the sinner. It don't make sense. Now we are commanded to give everyone indiscriminately a witness unto Christ. Then the Holy Spirit does the soul winning and consequently regeneration.

Christ tell US not the sinner that "he who believeth on him is not condemned." Paul tells US not the sinner, "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." John tells US not the sinner, "whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely." We are not told to tell the sinner these things but we are told to believe that is what happens when the regenerate are coming to us. The regenerate believe, call and drink when they are born again. They need us to provide the promises to believe, give their savior a name, and hold out the cup to drink freely.

Lin said...

Umm, probably because mankind was the crowing achievment of God's creation.

4 What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God ,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
Psalms 8:4-8 (NASB)

Wade---zinger?? I'm thinking not so much.

Mon Feb 02, 08:33:00 PM 2009

Joe, The interlinear is interesting on this verse, it reads:

What? Mortal that you are being mindful of him and son of human you are visiting him,

Mortal is enowsh

From the root of 'anash'

a primitive root;

to be frail, feeble, or (figuratively) melancholy:--desperate(-ly wicked),
incurable, sick, woeful.

I think you were right the first time with crowing.

But since you think we are the crowning achievment of creation, I guess that would mean that in creation order, Eve is the real crowning achievement. After all, Adam needed help and we all know that God is an 'ezer', too. :o)

Just having a bit of fun. I am a firm believer in One Flesh Union and I see no hierarchy of Eve in there as his ezer.

Wayne Smith said...



Title: New American Standard Bible

Titus 1

Qualifications of Elders
5For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6namely, if any man is above
reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8but hospitable, loving what is good,
sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound
doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
10For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially
those of the circumcision, 11who must be silenced because they are upsetting
whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.
12One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14not paying attention to Jewish
myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure,
but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.


Anonymous said...

BFM2000 introduces a more restrictive view of the role of women in the church. In section VI on The Church, after weakening the statement on local church autonomy, the revision adds, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” This is the first time a Southern Baptist statement of faith has expressed such a restrictive interpretation of the Scriptures—an interpretation on which Baptists have always felt free to differ. Defending the new statement, the committee claims, “The Bible is clear in presenting the office of pastor as restricted to men. There is no biblical precedent for a woman in the pastorate, and the Bible teaches that women should not teach in authority over men.”(Baptist Standard Internet Report, November 11, 2000, 2).

Paige Patterson dismissed those who disagree by saying, “The problem is they have to argue with God, not with us.” Such language gives the impression that his is the only orthodox interpretation of the biblical passages. It arrogantly dismisses the viewpoints of other equally conservative, pious, informed interpreters who have an equally high view of biblical authority.

For example, other conservatives believe 1 Tim.2:21 (usually translated “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent”) is not prohibiting all women from teaching men, but is merely forbidding a wife from publicly rebuking her husband in the worship service of the church. They believe the passage is intended to protect the marriage relationship, not to limit a woman’s leadership role in the church.

Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 14:34 (“The women should keep silence in the churches”), the word “keep silence” in this verse means “keep silent in this one instance.” In verse 30, the same word is used for men who are to keep silent when another is speaking. Some conservatives believe the passage means wives are not to interrupt or correct their husbands publicly in church. Paul is preserving the marriage relationship, not restricting women from participating in worship leadership. After all, Paul acknowledges that women are to “pray and prophesy” in church (1 Cor. 11:2-9). When they do, they should wear proper apparel and appropriate hairstyles. Surely these interpretations by conservatives should not be condemned, but rather acknowledged as possibilities.

A recent article in Christianity Today (September 4, 2000, 105) reminds the revisers of BFM1963 that many denominations (Church of the Nazarene, Assembly of God, Church of God, Evangelical Free Church, The Salvation Army, and The Wesleyan Church) who are considered theological conservatives, share a long heritage of women pastors and preachers. These Christians base their view on what they consider to be a careful exegesis of the Scriptures. The article also notes that conservative television teacher, James Dobson, is happy to claim that his grandmother was the “primary pastor” of a local church. Dobson’s Focus on the Family allows women ministers.

Lin said...

Just some thoughts about 1 Timothy 3:

There are some interesting points that most people miss in 1 Tim. 3.

It starts off with pistos ho logos - faithful is the Word. Paul continues with tis episkopE oregO kabos ergon epithumeO - ANYone craving on-noting/supervision/bishop is desiring an ideal work. And then typical to Hebrew thinking his very first requirement is that the person must be a “of-one woman man”. This is a Hebrew colloquialism that means faithful. This information is detailed out in Bruce Flemings book “Familiar Leadership Heresies”. Paul is hammering in that the Word is faithful and there must be faithful people who serve it. And then he continues on to bring up more character qualities of a faithful type person: sober, sane, hospitable, of good behavior, apt to teach, no wine bibbler, etc. These are not qualities that only males can achieve.

Also, the way I read verse 4 is that one is to manage their own household, not themselves. That very generally says to keep your own household orderly. Just like a woman is to manage her household, organize and order it to make daily life easier. Proistemai tinos. Can also be translated “care for, give aid”. See also in Rom. 12:8, 1 Tim. 3:5, 1 Tim. 5:17; 1 Thess. 5:12; Titus 3:8,14. Has been used as one who is a leader, patron, supervisor and director. Some have translated it as “rule” after the bad King James who wanted his authority and rule validated. But really that is stretching it and perverting the true spiritual intent of caring management.

Lin said...

And this is interesting, too, for consideration as a Berean:

The second qualification: “Faithful spouse” (3:2)

The second qualification in the list deals with the
overseer’s married life. Careful research has shown that
this qualification means that whether one is a husband or
a wife it is important to be a “faithful spouse.” It requires
that an overseer, if married, be faithful and be “a one-spouse
kind of person.”

According to Lucien Deiss (notes to the French
Bible, the TOB, Edition Intégrale, p. 646, note a), this
Greek phrase was used in Asia Minor, on both Jewish
and pagan gravestone inscriptions, to designate a woman
or a man, who was faithful to his or her spouse in a way
characterized by “a particularly fervent conjugal love.”

When I read Deiss’ comment about how this phrase
was used on ancient grave inscriptions in Turkey, where
Paul and Timothy ministered, I confirmed it with him
myself, reaching him by telephone in Vaucresson, France.
Some might find this insight into 1 Timothy 3:2
surprising because modern versions of the Bible
translate this Greek phrase as – “husband of one wife” –
making this qualification appear to be restricted to men
only! Instead, rightly understood, this qualification is
about faithfulness in marriage by a Christian spouse. It is
not saying that oversight is “for men only.”

Pages 87-88
Think Again about Church Leaders by Bruce C. E. Fleming

This is also in his book “Familiar “Leadership” Heresies Uncovered”

Anonymous said...


"I am God’s creature, and my fellows are God’s creatures.
My work is in the town.
their work is in the field.
I rise early for my work
and they rise early for their work.
As they do not feel superior to my work
so I do not feel superior to their work.
Will you say—
I do more and they do less?
We have learned:
‘One may do much or little, so long as one's heart is turned to heaven"

Ramesh said...

Pastor Wade, thank you for this post. It answers some of the questions I had in the earlier posts.

I always felt that the current action against FBC Decatur is a harbinger of bad tidings.

I sincerely pray for Our Lord Jesus Christ to open ALL of our minds and hearts to the gospel and allow us to love our brothers and sisters. I struggle with this understanding. But that is my hope and prayers.

Anonymous said...

שאלו לשלום אנדרוניקוס ויוניס שהם קרובי ואסורים אתי ולהם שם בשליחים ולפני היו במשיח׃

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