Saturday, January 07, 2012

New Testament Equality Leads to Healthy Relationships and Female Subordination Brings Dysfunction

When I first started blogging in 2005 I was told that the most effective blogs are those that focus on one predominant theme. I focused like a laser beam those first couple of years on the unethical attempt by International Mission Board trustees to subvert the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole and impose a doctrinal standard on IMB missionaries that that not only exceeded the Baptist Faith and Message, but by its very existence, breached the ethical boundaries of trusteeship and violated the constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention. It was during 2005-2008 (the years I served as an IMB trustee) that I began to see the problems we had in the Southern Baptist Convention went far beyond the International Mission Board. Convention leadership (trustee boards) had left their sola Scriptura convictions, and out of the fear of "liberalism,"  became Fundamentalists--demanding conformity and agreement on tertiary doctrines that had nothing to do with evangelical cooperation on the mission field. One of those third-stage doctrines is the role and authority of women. I saw with my own eyes the unethical, unbiblical, and godless treatment of women in the Southern Baptist Convention and I vowed to do something about it. Do I consider the equality of men and women a first-tier evangelical doctrine? No; but because the Fundamentalists among us have elevated "the female subordination of women to men" as a litmus test for evangelical orthodoxy, I now focus on their dysfunctional views of male authority and female subordination to help my fellow Bible-believing, conservative, evangelical friends realize the errors being promulgated. Female subordination to male authority is promoted by organizations such as The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Together for the Gospel, and The Elephant Room. I only recently heard that Mark Driscoll has identified "the subordination of women to men" as one of the four key building blocks of his Resurgence Movement. I have addressed the doctrinal fallacies of the Gender Gospel elsewhere, fallacies that plague both liberal feminism and Fundamentalism. In this post, I want to give a few examples of how Bible-believing Christian families, churches, and groups move into dysfunctional, even cultish behavior, if female subordination is allowed to be taught and practiced as biblical orthodoxy.

Most people are familiar with the removal of Sheri Klouda as Hebrew professor from Southwestern Theological Seminary by men who hold to female subordination and cringe at the thought of a woman teaching men Hebrew. What many men and women in conservative, evangelical churches don't realize is that there are Sheri Kloudas everywhere--gifted women who are removed from responsible Christian leadership positions and/or forbidden from speaking publicly, teaching others the Word of God, or otherwise providing spiritual guidance to men because they are women. This absurd position is totally contrary to the Gospel, anti-Christian in nature, and opposite of the teachings of Christ and His apostles. If not stopped, it will plague Christian people with a disease of the soul that is worse than leprosy of the skin. It leads to power-hungry men seeking positions of authority and control, and an almost cultish like god complex. "I am in the image of God. My word is Law. You submit to what I say, and don't dare try to tell me what I should do."  This anti-Christ doctrine fleshes itself out in conservative Christian homes and churches in various ways. I will give you three examples.

(1). A well-known Southern Baptist pastor recently told his congregation that he decided to move his family to  a new house this year. The price of the pastor's old home ($375,000) and the price of the pastor's new home ($500,000) were appropriately not revealed to the congregation. However, they are relevant to this story because the pastor previously told his congregation that they were not to buy more expensive homes, but rather God desired them to set aside that extra money and give it to kingdom causes (i.e. the church). Please don't misunderstand me. I advocate freedom for all pastors and all congregations to do as the Spirit leads; even the purchase of million-dollar-homes if that is what the Spirit leads them to do. What I find incongruous is the promotion of a so-called "radical Christianity" by those are actually averse to living radically themselves. People should realize one of the prominent New Testament principles is freedom and Spirit-led living. The problem is when pastors place themselves as an authority over the lives of others to tell them how they are to live, while at the same time doing the opposite of that they advocate. It's much better to be silent on issues the Bible is silent about. Anyway, back to the main point. What most people in this pastor's church are not aware of is that the pastor's new home is within ten miles of his old home. Before the move the pastor's wife insisted that the family should not move. She had several very good and valid reasons. However, the pastor informed his wife, that as the man in the home--"the one with authority"--he would make the decision to move and overrule any objections he heard. He said moving was "the right thing" to do, and submission to his authority was "the right thing" for her to do.  So the pastor's family moved. I have withheld names, but I do hope the pastor reads this blog and realizes the dysfunctional nature of the argument he had with his wife. Multiply this by hundreds of times in conservative, evangelical homes and you get a picture of the problems created when Christian men have a warped view of their authority.

(2). Lamar Wadsworth recently wrote to me and told me about his mother's funeral. He wrote:

 "When my mother died, we were not allowed to have her funeral at the Southern Baptist church where she was an active member for over FIFTY years because I had asked two women to read Scripture at the service.  So the funeral had to be held at my home church, the Heritage Baptist Church  in Cartersville GA. My church honored my Mother like she was one of their own and gave her the homegoing celebration she deserved. The following November, on All Saints Day--without explanation or comment, my Mother's name was included on the list of members of Heritage Baptist Church who had died in the past year. Bill Leonard said we pulled off the first posthumous transfer of church membership in Baptist history."

Can you believe it? A Southern Baptist Church refuses to allow the funeral of one of the members of their church, a member who faithfully attended and gave to the church for over fifty years, because the son of the woman who died wanted two women to read Scripture at his mother's funeral. Again, the church is not being named in this post, but for our purposes we will call it Ichabod Baptist Church for the glory of God is truly gone from it.

(3).  There is now a commentary on the Bible "just for women." Dorothy Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley, professors of "Women's Studies" and  "Women's Ministry" at Southwestern Theological Seminary and New Orleans Theological Seminary respectively, are the two women who wrote the Bible commentary "for women." On the back cover, the purpose of the commentary is revealed: "The Women's Evangelical Commentary is designed to equip women to face cultural issues regarding femininity and gender." This is Christianese lingo for "it will help convince all you women that you should teach only women, work only in the home, and find your identity in the man God has given you." I had dinner with Paige and Dorothy Patterson in their home in Fort Worth a few months ago. I have never written the details about our conversation, nor will I, but what that dinner did for me was reinforce my decision to focus on calling out the bizarre and unbiblical views of women that are being taught by our seminary Presidents, their wives, and other 'leaders' in the SBC. If the Spirit of God leads you women to never work outside the home and to focus on having as many children as possible while creating a safe environment in your home for your husband and kids, then go for it! If you are led to the seminary to learn the skills of sewing clothes and folding knapkins for a proper Southern home, then more power to you! If you live your life submitting to what you perceive as "the authority" of men, particularly the husband God has given you, then fine! Just don't dare call it biblical. Call it your cultural preference. Why? Because one day when you die you will not have a man you will call your husband. One day when you die you will exercise your gifts in God-given creative work. One day when you die your entire identity will be in Christ and no other man. One day when you die you will be given a new name, a new place to live and a new purpose for eternity--all based upon who you are as a person-- equal to any man God created. While you are on earth, I hope you find that the teachings of grace and equality in the Bible prepare you for eternity. But if your cultural preference is to find your identity in a man, then just be honest that you feel safer and more secure in the shadow of man's identity, and if equate your submission to God to that of a visible, physical man, then just be honest about what you are doing. Don't call it biblical Christianity. In fact, it's so unbiblical to the Christianity portrayed in the New Testament that it may be people who are as comfortable as you in your cultural preferences will write a Bible just for you. Oh, wait, that's what this post is about.

 May I suggest that the Bible you have from God is sufficient?

Well, that's my rant for the day. My oatmeal is getting cold (I should quit writing at breakfast on Saturday morning). Blessings to all my friends, and even my Fundamentalist friends. :) Just remember that since you elevated the gender gospel to a primary test of Christian orthodoxy, you have forced me to focus my laser on you to help end the dysfunctional churches and homes you are creating.


Anonymous said...

I am sick of church issues. I prefer to worship and expand my focus on Christ.

Christiane said...

Wade, how is Sheri Klouda doing these days? I think of her sometimes and am always sad remembering what happened to her and to her family.

Anonymous said...


Good rant! Thank you for shinning your light in dark places. said...

Anonymous 11:28,

Not all churches have issues which will make you sick. I encourage you to find some Christians with whom you can fellowship, for Hebrews encourages us "not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some." Your "church" may be a house church, or a small group, or it could be a large gathering--just find one. Why? Because it is through the encouragement of other believers that we are "provoked (stimulated) to love one another and to do good things." I find that when I am around God's people I am challenged. What I don't want--and I gather this is the same with you--is to be involved with Christians who have no understanding of the cross and the level ground at the base of the cross. said...

Christiane, I have not heard from Sheri lately. Our church raised money to help her with Pinkie's heart treatment, and she sent me a very nice thank you letter telling me that our church helped her daughter trust organized Christianity once again. Anyway, sometimes Sheri reads my posts and if she does, maybe she could give us an update.

Anonymous said...

Until the church becomes less religious, no one can be Christ centered.

Johnny D. said...

Great post, Wade. Let me encourage you to keep hammering away. Thank you.

Margaret said...

Wade -

I find enormous encouragement in your posts on women and the church, or more to the point, women and Christ. I love what you had to say about women and eternity - "one day when you die you will not have a man you will call your husband. One day when you die you will exercise your gifts in God-given creative work. One day when you die your entire identity will be in Christ and no other man. One day when you die you will be given a new name, a new place to live and a new purpose for eternity--all based upon who you are as a person-- equal to any man God created." Thank you.


Anonymous said...

I am currently reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book, Nomad.

In it, she goes into detail on what life is like on a daily basis for a Muslim girl growing up in that culture and for a while in a non Muslim culture where they keep separate on purpose. She goes into the deep philisophical reasons why it is so easy to brainwash an educated Muslim living in the West to go for Jihad. It started young and is one basic premise: Submission. No questions asked. Just obey.

They take a beautiful thing...putting others before ourselves in submission to their needs and make it a violent selfish act that is a one way street.

But I was startled at how similar the day to day understanding of living this out sounded so familiar to what I read and hear in many evangelical circles. What is being propagated in most evangelical circles concerning women is simply one step away from Isalm where men are elevated and people are encouraged to follow man's rules and dictates whether husband or pastor. It is one reason their countries cannot move forward with Ayaan's conclusion.

She spends a lot of time writing about how hard it is change your thinking when this was drilled into all your life.

It is the old "rules and roles" formula to make one more righteous. Islam does it, too.


ml said...

Wade two references for you to check out. You may be aware of both:

the recent movie -- Agora -- excellent movie demonstrating the convenient move by Cyril to dispatch a female opponent. Not sure of how historically accurate of course but history does link Cyril with the death of this woman.

an old book -- we belong together by Bruce Milne. Does a great job at discussing koinonia and agape in the church as bridging female and age gaps in the church. said...


Thanks for the recommendation. Ordering the book now.

Shelly said...

Genesis 2:20-24 identifies the need for a helper for man (Adam). indicates a helper is where an unskilled worker assists a skilled worker. 1 Corinthians 1:7 states we have spiritual gifts from God. As we all have various gifts (abilities) we can all help others in their weakness. So with this information the premise that man is in authority over women is a fallacy. (Premise: 1. Man is ruler over all. 2. Women is not man. Therefore man is the ultimate authority.)
Genesis 1:26 states, "Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image...". God is creator and ruler of all, not man or worman. Since God gave each person a different talent (to work together and help each other) God is the ultimate authority over all, not one gender over the other. I agree we all have our place and purpose in live which is not to promote one gender over another. If men and women would realized that we are to assist each other where one is weak by using our strengths, then we would all have less conflict.

Bob Cleveland said...

Dr. Klouda is doing well at Taylor University, in Upland, IN. Her husband Pinky lost a leg to diabetes, but is seemingly adapting well.

She is well respected, admired and appreciated on campus, and has been in on several extra projects both at Taylor and elsewhere .. including contributing to the new HCSB Study Bible.

Anonymous said...

1 Tim 2:12
I searched for this on your blog and found Trifling With Subtleties post, in which you completely disagree with the "simple meaning", however fail to provide your own exposition. Would you be able to shed some light on your view of this text? said...

Anonymous: You haven't searched long or hard, because if you had typed "I Timothy 2:12" in the search engine on my blog over three dozen articles that I have written would have appeared where you could find my exposition of the text. To save you time, however, I will place one of the better comments on I Timothy 2:12 from my friend John Zens, for whom I wrote the forward to his book "What's Up With Paul and Women?" The following relates SPECIFICALLY to I Timothy 2:12:

"It is significant that "woman" is singular in the verse under question. Why? Because two plurals precede it -- "I will that men [plural] pray..."; "I will that women [plural] pray, not with..."; "I am not allowing a woman [singular] to teach..." At a minimum this shift from plural to singular might point us to the fact that Paul did not have all believing women in all cultures in all future times in mind when he said that.

It is very possible that Paul pointed out that Adam was created first -- not because he had "authority over" Eve -- but because in the Artemis-saturated Ephesian culture it was taught that women first came into existence, then men.

For the most part, non-Jewish women in Ephesus especially looked to Artemis for help during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Once you realize the cultural backdrop, then Paul's mysterious, enigmatic words about "childbirth" begin to make sense.

Such Ephesian women brought their prayers to Artemis, not with the blood of animals, etc., but by coming before her with locks of flowing hair, decorated with various arrangements of jewelry. This helps immensely in understanding why Paul would call attention to women’s hair as he did in verse 9.

The Temple of Artemis dominated the landscape and ethos of Ephesus. It would be similar to the presence of Mormonism in Salt Lake City. One can easily see how females coming to Christ out of a goddess-based religion might need the kind of life-style adjustments that Paul points to in 1 Tim. 2:9-15."

Anonymous said...

In addition, the qualifications of overseers? 1 Tim 3? said...

All the gifts of the Spirit are gender neutral. Teaching, prophecy (i.e. "your sons and daughters shall prophecy") and the rest are given as the Spirit pleases. Paul's list of qualifications for overseers are character qualities. I no more believe the Bible speaks of an "office" of pastor than I do the Bible speaks of an "office" of Pope. Pastoring, bishoping, shepherding, are VERBS. Those men and women who lead should have the kind of character listed in the qualifications. My point is both liberal feminism and Fundamentalism put the emphasis on the "authority of the office." In biblical Christianity the emphasis is on gifted service. True leaders serve, and they serve as they are gifted, and they only lead because people want to follow, not because they have to follow.

Anonymous said...

So you view it as a "type" of woman he had in mind, alright. I think it odd the context deals with all men and women (on both sides of the verse), and would jump out of context for one verse to address a specific woman. Regardless, I understand your argument: cultural, but disagree with it as Paul jumps to a doctrinal truth about creation regarding Adam and Eve. Paul seems to say,
"Your belief can't be true, look back at how God designed creation!"

Secondly, if this woman is preaching destructional doctrine in the church, and Paul forbids it to be spoken to MEN, does it mean he was ok with it being taught to women?

Third, I don't see support for this specific woman teaching heresy... The previous chapter calls out individuals for it though, why would she not be included there?

v11 says women are to learn in submissiveness. If this was dealing only with women who teach heresy, does it mean only heretical women should learn in submissiveness?

I agree 100% in equality, however it is also true God created different ROLES for men and women. This is but one of many differing roles. God did not give men the ability to give birth, as one example. 3:15 says this authoritative role deals with the church. Thus I think it folly to use this as support of dictatorship over women in all areas if life, such as so many do... But I also think it folly to wholly discount the existence of said roles. said...

Folly to discount roles?

Answer these questions:

Can a woman be President of the United States? Can a woman be Prime Minister of England? Can a woman fly a fighter jet? Can a woman teach men? Can a woman lead men? Can a woman own a business? Can a woman run a company?

Now, answer these questions:

Can a woman teach men the Bible? Can a woman lead men spiritually? Can a woman be a trustee of a church? Can a woman chair a committee in a church? Can a woman preach to men? Can a woman be in a position of authority over a man in a church context?

If the answers are yes in the first category, then why have they changed in the second category?

If the answers are no in the first category and no in the second category, I ask you "Why?"

If you answer, "That's the way God designed men and women--different roles."

Okie dokie, now answer me these questions:

"Will those roles remain the same in heaven? Will women work like men, or will women be married to men and stay in their heavenly homes? Will women participate with men in worshipping, learning, exploring, and relating in heaven, or will women have 'differing roles'?

I submit that the way women are viewed in heaven is exactly the way they should be viewed on earth---equals with men in every respect. said...

Out for the evening! I will comment later tonight!

Kristen said...

Wade, I just want to say thank you. Thank you so much for your strong, passionate, unequivocal words. It encourages my heart so much to have a strong man selflessly standing up to empower his sisters, even if it means loss of traditional privilege and power for himself.

You are so right: when a teaching (such as the subordination of women) goes against what the Bible clearly teaches is the nature of the Gospel and the New Covenant kingdom, then those verses have to be being misinterpreted. Relying on the "plain" meaning of a verse when it contradicts the greater message of the kingdom-- when the "plain" meaning makes the good news only good for one group and bad news for another-- then the traditional reading of these verses must be questioned.

Annonymous, with regards to 1 Tim 3, look at what it says about deacons, and then look at the verses of Phoebe in Romans 16. The Greek text there says Phoebe was a deacon. If the term "husband of one wife" meant a deacon had to be male-- then Phoebe was actually male.

If you find that nonsensical, as I do, then consider the idea that "husband of one wife," like many other semantically "masculine" terms in koine Greek, could have actually been gender-inclusive, meaning "faithful to one spouse." Keep in mind that in koine Greek, if a group of people had even one male in it, and the rest female, a masculine word would be used to describe that group. So "husband of one wife" could refer to any member of a group in which at least one person was expected to be male. It would not have to mean "males only"; in fact, it probably did not.

If "husband of one wife" has to be gender-inclusive to fit logically with the femaleness of Phoebe the deacon, then "husband of one wife" earlier in 1 Tim 3 about overseers, would also be gender-inclusive.

As far as the reference to the Creation story in 1 Tim 2, look at 2 Cor 11:3, where Paul uses a reference to the Creation story to speak about a clearly specific, time-bound situation in the church at Corinth. And in 1 Cor 10:11, Paul says that he views Old Testament stories as "examples," not as ways to make a teaching timeless and universal. Paul should interpret Paul, and the New Testament as a whole should interpret each particular passage. Wade has given you some very good reasons why Paul's 1st letter to Timothy was largely written to address specific situations in that church. 1 Tim 1:3 actually tells us why Paul wrote the letter: "Remain in Ephesus that you may charge some people not to teach false doctrine." The whole context of the letter shows itself to be about how to address specific situations in one church. There's no reason to interpret it otherwise except for tradition: tradition made by men, for other men, to keep themselves in control over women.

Pege' said...

The fact I am a woman does not mean I am a different kind of christian, The fact I am a christian makes me a different kind of woman.(E. Elliot) I am 50% of the church. Same holy spirit indwells me as my brothers, I have the same savior. I have the same father again as my brothers in the Lord. In Christ, I am equal for the ground is level at the cross. When a person truly understands the freedom and grace, the abundant life, you don't have to add unnecessary cultural expectations of others. You love one another as Christ has loved you. Christ's yoke is easy and his burden is light. Why.. oh why do we add such weights to others in the name of God and his word? I am considered rebellious and contentious to some believers because I speak up about this. God knows my heart.I will not be ever bound again by the chains of legalism and search of control... male or female. I follow Christ.

Anonymous said...

I see where you are headed, all equal under Christ, right? Yes and amen, but there are still different roles in Heaven.
In the New Earth, we still see "kings" enter into the New Jerusalem: even in heaven, God has given leadership roles to people. No doubt this will be, in some way, done without jealousy or strife.
The kings in heaven will be equal with their subjects in the kingdom, we are all under Christ. It is just that: their role is to lead. Yours might be to write. Another's might be to sing.

Technically speaking, Obama is an equal US Citizen like you... His role just happens to be leading and making decisions that (theoretically) are for your good, yet at the end of the day you are both citizens (just as the king and those under him are all kingdom citizens).
The difference is obviously, God's model in Heaven actually works and is not tainted by sin.

Equality, yes. Same roles? No.

You as a pastor have a different role than your congregation. Equality, yes. Same roles? No. This is clear in Hebrews: you will be held to a higher account than your congregation... This would not be true if there were not different roles.
Your role is to lead. Another may sing. Another may comfort. See how amazingly similar to Heaven it already looks like? You can have equality while still leading others. Again, in Heaven this shadow will be perfected.
God has chosen certain people to lead the church (men), certain people to bear kids (women), certain people to sing, write, comfort, council, etc. These people are all equal, yet have different roles.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wade,

I appreciated your post. Could you please explain how you define "fundamentalists" and do you believe fundamentalists are different than "evangelicals"? I think I'm having trouble defining the terms. Thanks! Carmen

Paul Burleson said...


You referenced this article before in an earlier post. It is still a challenge to ANYONE who holds to a patriarchal system in the home OR church.

Kristen said...

Annonymous, no one is questioning that you can have equality while leading others. We question whether there can be equality when one group of persons is born to be subordinate to another group of persons. President Obama is not President because his daddy was President and his grandaddy was President. He does not have "President's blood." If he did, he would not be equal to the rest of us. But those of you born with "male blood" believe your maleness gives you automatic authority in marriage, and the sole right to apply as leaders of churches. That's not "roles." That's "castes."

Let's look at your statement on there being "kings" in Heaven. I note you have not actually cited to any verses. Here are the ones I am familiar with: 1 Pet 2:9, spoken to the whole church, "Ye are a. . . royal priesthood." And Revelation 4:10, "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests," spoken by the four beasts and 24 elders. You might think maybe that they were referring only to themselves as "kings and priests" -- but look at the context of the passage, and who the "us" is that they are referring to from verse 9 preceding: "[A]nd hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." (Emphasis added.) The "us" there is used by the 24 elders representatively for all believers: all of us who have been redeemed by God out of every people, we are all kings and priests. Not "kings and priests and their wives," either. ALL are "kings and priests" who have been redeemed by Him, male and female alike. That is why Peter refers to the entire body of believers as "a royal priesthood."

Then again, look at that gift of "leading" as it is described in Romans 12:4-8. Verses 4 and 5 use gender-inclusive words to include "every one" as "members of one body," it then says that some have gifts of teaching, administering, or leading-- but the words Paul uses in the original Greek are gender-neutral. He does not say, "some of you men have gifts of teaching and leading, and some of you women have gifts of showing mercy-- but let's not mix up which gifts are 'men only'!" No, he says All those gifts are for every one as members of one body, to receive as the Spirit gives grace.

Who are we to decide who the Spirit will give grace? In mainland China He is gifting many young women to lead churches-- because the church lets Him. But here in America we won't let Him gift women to lead churches, whether they feel the call or not. I say that's a shame. And how can we have equality even while leading others, if some of us are told we can never lead others because of our femaleness?

tell it slant said...

I have watched with great concern at the unfolding of the "new" direction of NAMB concerning the roles of women in that organization. The upper level leadership does not include any women and it looks like women in leadership are being "defunded". Any thoughts?
bruce mcgowan
Director of Texas BSM

Wade Burleson said...

Tell It,

You tell it like it is. It's one of the reasons the light needs to continue to shine on the ridiculous views regarding women that is being passed off as "biblical." On a secondary note, I admire your courage. I don't see that often among denominational employees. Let me know after you receive the customary phone call and I will pounce on that like flies on candy. :) Ask Les P.

Laura Zielke said...

Now you know why I left the Southern Baptist Convention in 1996. I had received my MDiv from Midwestern Baptist Theologial Seminary, but was not allowed to do anything with my degree. The fundamentalists were in the process of taking over all the seminaries back then, and I witnessed it firsthand. SCARY. I think the final straw for me was when I was told by a SBC California employee who attended our church that he would ordain me, but he'd probably lose his job. So, with that, I left the denomination. It's been heartbreaking to see the downward spiral of the "theology." My father is still a SBC pastor, but remains oblivious to the errant teachings permeating the denomination. So sad. I wonder how this will affect my female friends who are (and have been for YEARS) career missionaries in foreign countries. So sad.

Anonymous said...

Many secular non-Christian men have latched onto that idea about "men authority" and "submissive womwn" many to the point of abuse of the wife. It is sounding like us Christians are becoming no better; that the Christian and the secular ways becoming blurred and meshed together.
I admit im a fan of some of those court shows. I have seen quite a few epis of this type of "I am man and thus I make all the decisions,and the rules my wife is to follow" in the divorce court show. And yes a few had said that "this is what God ordained".

Isnt your quote up there about "I am the image of God" kind of like what Jim Jones did? Oooo.. That would probably freak out the SB trusties to be compared to Jim Jones. And I think if I remember correctly watching a documentary on David K. in Waco, TX he got into the same mindset that his word was law cause he was like he said.

the whole "men complete authority" thing is one reason I intend to never get married.

Hey speaking on women in the this the reason why many refuses to have a sermon about mothers afound mothers day?? I have noticed that the current SBC church I attend in Edmond makes a hugd deal about Fathers Day and has a
"Special Fathers Day" message. But when Mothers Day comes around they make no big deal of it, no special message is prepared for Mothers Day almost as if they could careless if Mothers Day is celebrated or not. It always struck me as odd. Just wondering.


Anonymous said...

Oh and reading on this and what another person said about drilled in at an early age is a reason I am glad I grew up (for the most part) under your teaching. (-;

Btw,you should write a book on this subject. Just saying. Its one thing for lots of wonen to write on the subject, itx something entirely different when a man agrees on this subject. Course I think you could write a lot of books on the various topics you post about.


John Wylie said...

Anon 11:43,

I can't speak for anyone else but it's been my experience that a bigger deal is made over Mother's Day. It actually is the second highest attended service behind Easter statistics show. As a pastor I've always made a bigger deal out of mothers day, because I agree that we don't honor women enough in the church. The truth is that I have neglected to preach Father's Day messages several times but I have only once that I can remember at my current church failed to preach a Mother's Day message. And I have been here over 12 years.

Anonymous said...

"Third, I don't see support for this specific woman teaching heresy... The previous chapter calls out individuals for it though, why would she not be included there?

Heresy? This is why we must take the entire letter into consideration. Why does Paul not name her name? He explains it in chapter 1.

Paul mentioned those who are "deceived out of ignorance"...and mentions himself in that category.

However, there are those who ""deceive on purpose, like Hy and Al and he names names. Paul sees a difference. That is why he says, "Let her learn".

Never forget it is a "letter". Take out the chapter breaks and verse numbers. It helps.

btw: The grammar is singular as in "A" woman.

Otherwise you will have me "saved" in childbearing. That is a lie against God to have such an interpretation.

Anonymous said...

"God created different ROLES for men and women"

I agree! Here are the specific roles for women in the Bible:

1. Driving a tent peg into a man's head

2. Hiding Spies

3. Cleaning out the pantry to feed the king and his men because your husband is a jerk who insulted him and is going to get the entire family killed

4. Sitting under a palm tree and making judgments for an entire nation

5. Demanding your personal maid sleep with your husband when you cannot bear a child

Pege' said...

7. being a engaged teenager when you find out your are pregnant with the Messiah.
8.Working beside your husband and teaching an Apostle the teachings of Christ.
9. Wiping the feet of Christ with your hair and expensive oil because the man of the house did not offer water to wash his feet.
10.Testifying of how Christ saved you and knew all you had hidden when you gave him some water at the well.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't Paige have Dorothy in the kitchen at Pecan Manor? Afterall, she should be doing housework, not actively involved in ministry!

I guess Paige is a liberal afterall-huh?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't Paige have Dorothy in the kitchen at Pecan Manor? Afterall, she should be doing housework, not actively involved in ministry!

I guess Paige is a liberal afterall-huh?

BTW, when these women find out how $$$ is being managed by at least one of "The 6", these subordinationists would wish that they were men! said...


Funny stories about the kitchen at the Pecan Manor! One day ...

Rex Ray said...

What you said, “I submit that the way women are viewed in heaven is exactly the way they should be viewed on earth---equals with men in every respect”

is revealed by the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

The ‘role of women comment’ that made me smile the most was:

“Driving a tent peg into a man's head.”

That’s right up there with changing a man’s head with a millstone.

Anonymous said...

I've tried, geography allowing, to be a life long Southern Baptist.

I've left the fold a few times--especially when we lived where there were no SBC churches.

But I am done.

The final straw that sent me seeking a new faith family to embrace (a return to my parents UMC)was what I thought was an enjoyable discussion of theology in a mixed group.

The discussion turned to Baptist history.

One gentleman referenced some specific writers of the past and stated that the SBC had "always believed xyz."

I used the same writers and quoted other passages, showing that they had taught otherwise. This type give and take had been going on for some time between two gentlemen in the group.

But when I quoted their own books, one turned on me quite venomously and sarcastically remarking he was impressed that I could read--but basically women could read but never understand.

My response was a stunned "really, dude?"

The discussion quickly became a diatribe about women getting out of line--think of the old book something about Bossy Wives, Bobbed Hair, and Women Preachers. Very much that vein, and from far more than the one man. Even the women were ready to be told they were too easily deceived to try and understand theology. I am to just obey the men and let God hold them, not me, responsible for my actions. Totally unbiblical in my mind.

I realized that I am a full grown adult, serious student of the Bible, in possession of a functioning mind and spirit, and with a competent soul before God.

But the kicker is that soul competency is generally dead in some parts of the SBC, and pretty much toast for women.

But I've found a congenial group, many of whom are also ex SBC, and life goes on.

I really believe some of these men chafe at no longer being able to be racist demagogues, and so now we women are the ones receiving all the attitude they used to direct at our darker skinned brothers and sisters.

Sorry dude, but slavery and Jim Crow are ended, and you cannot put women in the that box to make you feel powerful and important.


Wade Burleson said...


That is too discouraging for me to hear.

If you are open, I would love for you to start a home church in your area. We would love for you to be a member of our fellowship and lead the work in your area if you were willing.

Just food for thought.

We need Southern Baptists like you to stick around.

Wade Burleson said...

Your connection with our church would be via satellite link and you could have your home group meet any day of the week and worship any way you please with music (or not worship) and watch the Sunday morning teaching time (currently in Hebrews) with small group ministry, prayer and fellowship afterwards that you lead.

We discussed for the first time starting a network like this in last Tuesday's staff meeting and we have interested in places like Wisconsin, New York, portions of Oklahoma, and possibly even North Carolina, and you. It might not be a fit, but let me know if there is a spark of interest.

Joyce Lighari said...

All I have to say is AMEN! and thank you!

Anonymous said...

Re: Kristen
Obama was born to be President of the US.
Wade was born to pastor.
You were born woman.
Each role, is as God ordained you to fill.

If I, man, were to be upset I am not able to bring life into the world as a woman can... Shall I question the clear ordinance of God in giving this role only to women? No.
Why did God only give this role to women? I don't know. He could have created us to reproduce via parthenogenesis like he did elsewhere in nature, or even created us asexual: but he didn't.
What we do know, is that God created mankind with two different sexes and roles. Why he did this, I don't know. We need to live with it, much like we need to live with him creating those sexes for different roles.

Yet this is what I see the other side doing in regards to church leadership. God has given that role to men. Why did he do it like this? Much like "Why did he create two sexes?": I don't know, but we need to live with it.

Re: Teaching
Yet, those gifts were not spoken to be specifically toward teaching MEN, which 1 Tim 2 clearly does, but teaching in general. There is no qualm for teaching children and other women.

Re: Kings in Heaven.
Rev 21:24, "By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it".
There will be roles of leadership, other than Christ, in Heaven. There are leadership roles in the church now, and apparently there will be leadership roles in Heaven. So for Wade to say today is a shadow of Heaven, I would agree. There are leadership roles in heaven, men in leadership (The Bible does not say “Queens”). Just as it is today.

Overall, I see two errors.
The first error is using the Bible to justify lordship over women in all things. The second error is to go to the other extreme and say there is no role.

I doubt anyone would disagree in the existence of rolls, at the very basic: childbirth. We establish that, as you say, you are "born" into it. Born into a role.
I was born into a role, in which childbirth is not an option for me.
You were born into a role, in which church leadership is not an option for you.
God tied childbirth to sex. Why do you have a problem with him tying leadership to it, too? It seems if your beef is that you are “born” into a role you cannot control, then should you not have a problem with God tying childbirth to sex? Why? If God did not intend for there to be differing roles, why did he not create mankind to reproduce via parthenogenesis? Yet, he created two DIFFERENT roles, two DIFFERENT sexes: is it too far reaching to think he might have applied that same structure to his own Church? Different roles, but equal.

Anonymous said...

I am going to let all the know it all's from every denomination continue to speak and spit words out as if they were gravel to others and as for me.......

I am going to be reading the Bible, Praying in silence, and asking GOD for discernment concerning his word.

Stop complicating the existence of Christ people.

I need nothing more, and neither do you - unless you desire human approval.

Sallie @ A Quiet Simple Life said...

And so the woman who doesn't give birth has no role in God's Kingdom?

If being born a woman means being born into the role of giving birth, what does that do for infertile women? Women who are never blessed to marry? Women who choose not to marry (which is a positive thing in Scripture)?

And what does the fact that I gave birth to a child have to do with my spiritual gifts, bestowed at will by the Holy Spirit before I ever conceived a child?

I have shocking news for you. The highest calling for a woman is not being a mother. The highest calling in a woman's life is following Jesus faithfully. It may mean being a mother and it may not. But being a mother is not the pinnacle of my existance. The pinnacle will be hearing, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."

God loved me and used me before I was a mother and He continues to do so after becoming a mother. Giving birth to a child was just one event of many in my life in which God has chosen to work. It does not define me.

Sarah said...

I've always found it confusing when folks somehow draw the conclusion that bearing children (or having the anatomy to do so)somehow implies that a person is not qualified to lead or teach a congregation. The complementary action to "bearing" is "begetting," not "leading."

As I said, I'm confused by the conclusion that the anatomical distinctives and reproductive activity of women have anything to do with disqualification from leadership and teaching roles. But I'm more disturbed by the logic that states that the act of begetting or the parts used in the act somehow qualify one to lead in and of themselves.

Sarah said...

Wade -- Wisconsin? Listening ...

Kristen said...

Anonymous said,

"Obama was born to be President.
Wade was born to pastor.
You were born to be a woman."

You have got to be kidding. The opposite of a woman is not a "President" or a "pastor." The opposite of a woman is a man. So what you're saying is a man can be born to be anything-- President, pastor, whatever. But ALL I can be is a woman. Meaning that my purpose in life is to have children.

Excuse me? I thought male humans had a role in having children too. Why not say to Wade or Obama, "You were born a man; so your role is to beget children"?

What you're saying is inexcusable. Jesus NEVER told a woman, "You were born a woman, so that's your role-- all you're for is to have children." Never.

I am a woman. I have children. I am also a paralegal, an office manager, a student of the Bible and a writer. I was not born simply to breed. I have a brain and a heart and a human spirit like yours. I am made in the image of God. I am born again through Christ, to follow Him and make disciples and reflect His glory.

May God forgive you.

Carrie said...

To use childbearing to prove roles of women in the church is a non sequitur. I, as a woman, am capable of having a child because I have certain body parts that my husband does not have. For a man to be a good pastor and/or Bible teacher, he has to have a heart and a brain and a personality given to servant-leadership. Women can have those qualities too; we all already have the physical organs prescribed, and the personality/calling varies from woman to woman just as it does from man to man. It does not follow to say that, because I can physically bear children and my husband cannot, therefore he can spiritually be a pastor or Bible teacher and I cannot. That argument simply doesn't stand.

Kristen said...

Now, you may say, "Oh, you can be a paralegal, an office manager, and a student of the Bible and a writer and still be a woman." So what? You are still saying that my purpose in life is tied to my reproductive organs in a way a man's purpose is not tied to his reproductive organs. You are saying that because I am able to bear children, leadership is denied me. You are saying that because you are able to beget children, nothing is denied to you. This is what you think God is like. This is what you think God has done to women who are made in His image. That He has made us brood mares, but with human brains enough to understand what He has done to us-- and we are supposed to say, 'Thy will be done"?

Can you understand why non-Christians reject that view of God as monstrous? Male and female alike, they look at that picture of God and say, "No thanks. I can be more just, more compassionate, more righteous with my eyes shut than this small-minded, authority-mad little dictator you worship."

Fortunately, I don't think the real God is like that. But that's the god you worship.

Anonymous said...

@Sarah, maybe it's confusing because I never drew such a parallel- you wholly misunderstood what I said.

@Sallie, I almost said something to this extent but did not, opting for a shorter post.
"I have shocking news for you. The highest calling for a woman is not being a mother."
I also have shocking news for you: I hate strawman arguments and never made such a statement.

I am almost laughing at this point because those responding here seem to have come to the table with their own notions of this "woman-hating, demeaning, lording" view that I supposedly take, regardless of what I actually said, while missing entirely the equally extreme view you have taken yourself.
Women cannot find identity in a man. Man is not the lord of his wife or women. So please, before saying further things: realize what I say.

“Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” I do not find this verse very difficult. It does not mean lordship over women, and it also cannot be discounted.

Your question of infertility ties back to the role God has placed you in, which I started my post with. If you're infertile: that was not God's role for your life. If you are not very coordinated, sports weren’t his role for your life. If you are not good at public speaking: it’s not the role for your life.
Simply, God’s plan was that his church ("how one ought to behave in the household of God") be structured so that men be the leaders in the church.
Are all men to be leaders in the church? No, simply because you are born a man does not make you a leader in the church.
Are all women to be child-bearers? No, simply because you are born a woman does not make you a mother.
But we know women can never be leaders in the church, and men can never be mothers.

I really would like someone to answer my prior question: “God tied childbirth to sex. Why do you have a problem with him tying leadership to it, too?”

Ramesh said...

NYT > At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust

Carrie said...

Anon 5:28, I answered your question above. It's a non sequitur. You're confusing theology with biology.

Anonymous said...

"So what you're saying is"
Another strawman. Without even reading the rest of your post I can assure you this will be my last. I'm all for learning and sharpening each other, but when I spent half of these last two posts simply weeding through and correcting strawman statements of things I did not say: it defeats the purpose.

"a man can be born to be anything-- President, pastor, whatever."
Nope. He can't be a mother. I have said that many times.
A man is restricted in the roles that God gave only to women, just as a woman is restricted in the roles that he gave only to men.

"Meaning that my purpose in life is to have children."
You're the third to express this, and nowhere did I ever state it. Your purpose in life is to glorify God, and that may or may not be having kids. You are putting infinitely more emphasis on kids than I ever have or will in this topic. It was simply an example of a role that WOMEN ALONE are given. Just like MEN ALONE are given church leadership roles.
"For a man to be a good pastor and/or Bible teacher, he has to have a heart and a brain and a personality given to servant-leadership."
Yes and amen. I think 1 Timothy 2 pretty clearly states that God will only give that role to men, though 
I believe it’s clear God will never give the role of childbirth to man. I believe it’s clear God will never give the role of church leadership to women.
"You are still saying"
"You are saying"
"You are saying
"This is what you think"
"This is what you think"
And closing it off with a record number of strawmans.

I was hoping that someone would have been able to shed light on 1 Timothy 2, I think your description is… lacking. I follow your view of it perfectly fine, but cannot hold to it myself as I think the letter does not support the view in the slightest.
I do agree with much of what you say in this post, but I depart from your view at the issue of roles. I believe they do exist, and to deny them is to go to the other extreme.
Keep it up, though, Wade… I have long enjoyed and read much of what you post: but the women subject just struck me enough to voice an objection to it.

Good day!

Christiane said...

f a woman of God could be a prophet, a judge, and a military commander
BEFORE the coming of the Messiah;
how much more can a woman now be ‘in Christ’ ?
The great offerings collected by Churches of the SBC at Easter and Christmas are made off the reputations of two Christians.
Their ‘subordination’ was to Christ the Lord. As all Christian people are to kneel before Him.
If you want to ‘re-align’ women in fixed subordinate positions of importance in the Kingdom, it must be done without the support of much of the witness of the Holy Scriptures. The facts are that EVEN in the days where women were little more than chattel in desert tribes, there arose women that were appointed by God to lead and to judge, and to command, in His service. And they did.
As they say, ‘it is written’ . . .
God chooses whom He will . . . and He doesn’t restrict His choice of leaders to one sex.

Sarah said...

Anonymous -- perhaps we would've responded differently if you yourself had not persisted in using motherhood as an example of a woman's role, juxtaposing it repeatedly with asserted male leadership.

Be careful with "plain meanings," particularly when the passage itself is complex. If we are consistently applying "plain reading" criteria to this passage, men are disobedient when they don't raise their hands when praying, women shouldn't wear pearls or braid their hair, and women are saved through having children.We haven't even touched on the Greek word translated "having/usurping authority" (found nowhere else in Scripture).

While some plain readings are indeed plain, others are maintained only by glossing over nuance, complexity and context. Refusing to acknowledge these things does not honor Scripture.

I wish you well.

Kristen said...

Anonymous, they are not straw men. They are the logical implications of what you have said. It was you who said Obama was born to be President and Wade was born to be a pastor, while I was born to be woman. You didn't say Obama and Wade were born to be fathers while I was born to be a mother. That would have been parallel. But your words made being a woman the same nature of thing as being a pastor or a President. If that's not what you meant, then retract it-- but don't accuse me of making straw men when you were the creator of the scarecrow that I tore down.

The thing that's wrong with tying leadership to sex is that the reproductive act is not necessary for leadership. It is necessary for childbirth. The first is an arbitrary, and thus an unjust, restriction. The second is simply a natural necessity.

Do you honestly think the fact that you can't be a mother makes up for the fact that you get to automatically be the leader in your marriage, and to be considered for church leadership if you apply, while I get to automatically be under my husband's authority, and be told that should I feel the call to lead a church, I need not apply?

What you're talking about is not different roles. It's permanent positions of superiority and inferiority. "Equal" is just a word used to make us feel better about it. Just saying someone is equal doesn't make it so.

As I said, if you think that's justice, you have a warped view of justice.

Kristen said...

As for the idea that men will still get to be in authority and women will still be subordinate even in heaven-- that is completely unbiblical. Your prooftext doesn't even say what you were using it to mean. "The kings of the earth" are not kings in heaven. The passage doesn't say that.

You are welcome to go to that heaven, which sounds a lot more like an Islamic or Mormon view of heaven. I'll go to the heaven where I get to walk free with my Lord. And I'll take a gospel that's good news for everyone, not just those with the "Y" chromosome.

Paul Burleson said...


There is a great deal I don't know, but I'm confident that I do know and recognize what's happening when there is a complete confusion of "Role" [behavior] and "Function." [being]

"Function" is the purpose for which something is designed. Male/female creation is an illustration of that. "Being" is the operative word there. In the normal context, it takes both "being male and female together for the birth to happen. That's function. That's being male and female.

Role, on the other hand, is the part played by someone in a given social context, with an expected pattern of behavior. "Behaving" is the operative word there.

A male can "be" a male and "behave" by doing different things such as mopping floors, cooking meals, cleaning dishes, or even shopping for groceries.

That's a little different role than traditional but a good one to play when both spouses work or one has just given birth or the nest is empty, or one just chooses to.

A female can "be" a female and behave by doing different things such as driving a car, working a job, running a business, mowing a lawn, or even changing the oil in a car.

That's a little different role than the traditional but a good one if the spouse is laid up with surgery, both work, or the nest is empty, or one just chooses to.

But please don't ever think of bearing children as just a role. [patterns of behavior] It is a function [purpose] for male and female to bear children in the normal context. It is neither the sole nor supreme purpose, but it is a function/purpose, NOT A ROLE.

Roles can be worked out and ARE NOT sacred. They can even change as time goes along. But the purposes for which we are here ARE sacred and shall never alter. And, as the commenter above suggests, we are never defined even by any one function, but by our personhood and identity in Christ.

Finally, IMHO the New Testament [New Covenant] is all about "Function" [Being] not "Forms/roles." [Doing]

Ramesh said...


Wade Burleson said...

Extremely well said, Paul Burleson. :)

Debbie Kaufman said...

What are those of you who are so strong that we as women should have certain roles, so afraid of by granting women, or your spouse(let's start there) or daughters freedom to serve God as they desire? Letting down the walls? I am just wondering what are you so afraid is going to happen? There seems to be fear as if you are going to disobey God by allowing women to be free. Why?

The Goat's Opinion said...

This is a really superlative article (not to discount Pastor Burleson's writings) by Kenneth Bailey on the role of women in the church.

Also, I'm generally frustrated by people and their insistence on a "plain meaning" understanding as dependent it is on the reader's usually contemporary understanding. This particular practice can cause extraordinary difficulties. The historical contexts really do matter.

Rex Ray said...

I agree God can choose whoever to do whatever—Once He even chose a donkey to teach a man.

Adam wanted to be like God, but some seem to want to be higher than that in telling God what he can’t do.

Kristen said...

It is God who has told us what He won't do. And among the things He won't do is show favoritism, warp justice, or make promises He doesn't keep.

He said, "On my sons and my daughters I will pour out My Spirit." What you are saying His word says is something it cannot mean; any more than it can mean that women are saved by having babies rather than by the blood of Christ.

When the apparent meaning of a passage contradicts the greater message of the gospel or the character of God, you look more closely. You don't say, "Evil or good, all that matters is the letter!"

Debbie Kaufman said...

Rex: I have heard comments like your before. 1. We have no desire to be like God, and we are not an ass. That is the same as comparing women in ministry with homosexuality. It is a great insult and something I do not find as respectful or charitable. Christ certainly didn't treat or look at women in such a way as this comment.

It's a big kick in the teeth actually. Forgive me as I am angry every time I read such a comment.

j2kblank said...

Wade, Interesting read...I consider myself a complementarian, but I do not consider myself a fundamentalist. I believe we err when we generalize with labels.

In reading your article and most of the comments to this point, I became curious as to your position regarding the Trinity and the submission of God the Son and God the Holy Spirit to God the Father as I believe is evidenced in Scripture. I believe they each are equal in person, but yet, they have different roles. Thoughts?

Wade Burleson said...


I believe the doctrine some are calling "the eternal subordination of the Son" is contrary to Scripture, an indictment on the Deity of Christ, and was ruled a heresy by the early church fathers. So ...

I see a complete equality in the Trinity for we serve One God--the Father, the Son and the Spirit.


Rex Ray said...

I learned something on Wade’s previous post—that an angry bull doesn’t see what’s behind the red cape in a ‘bull fight’.

I thought Wade wrote the complete post. Even after he explained his post I didn’t get it. It wasn’t until I really read the last paragraph of the post that I got it.

What made me angry (I chose to get angry) was Al Mohler being a great theological hero.

What made you angry? Surly it wasn’t me:

1. Agreeing with Wade in my comment of Sun Jan 08, 08:58:99 AM 2012
2. Agreeing with Christiane.
3. Saying God can choose whoever to do whatever.

Me saying, “Once He even chose a donkey to teach a man” was in reference to “God can choose whoever to do whatever”, and was NOT in the slightest referring that women were donkeys.

Many things can be taken the wrong way. For example you said:
“We have no desire to be like God, and we are not an ass.”

I know what you meant about God which was good, but I could dispute your words by saying the Bible teaches us to be LIKE God/Jesus in loving, kind, etc.

All SB state conventions have accepted the 2000 BFM, except the OLD conventions of Virginia and Texas.

We try to live by the 1963 BFM which DOES NOT require women to submit to their husbands and DOES NOT require MEN ONLY for pastors.

If you go along with Oklahoma in accepting the 2000 BFM, then maybe what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said may apply:

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

BTW, I believe you are twice the theological hero than Mohler thinks he is.

Veronica Zundel said...

One thing struck me as I was reading your piece about the man who wanted two women to read scripture at his mother's funeral. Who composed the Magnificat? Mary, surely - unless someone has discovered a man wrote it and attributed it to her. If a woman can create Scripture, surely a woman can read it out!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade--

Were it just myself I would definitely be interested in partnering with Emmanuel at Enid.

I am responsible for the religious training of two young girls, ages 7 and 8, and at this point cannot see bringing them up in the SBC.

There are no CBF or ABC churches within about 100 miles.

We may consider a Presbyterian church locally, or start a home church.

We would appreciate your prayers during this difficult time.


Sallie @ A Quiet Simple Life said...

Linda -

I just wanted to say that I sympathized with your comment. I was a life-long Baptist (not SBC) and finally gave up on being in a Baptist church a few years ago. We are now in a CRC church (which brings with it its own set of problems but that's another story).

I miss a great deal about the Baptist churches I was a part of for so many years. Changing demoninations in a major way like we did was very hard. But the women's issue was one we just could not overlook any longer. We tried for a number of years. But when we had a daughter we knew there was no way we were going to bring her up in a situation where women would be functioning as second class citizens and would be denied the opportunity to function freely in the church. (I know many comps don't view it that way, but we do.)

Our daughter sees women reading Scripture in church. Leading the congregational prayer. Giving the children's sermon. And serving as deacons (but not elders at this point). She is witnessing godly women using their gifts in the life of the church and it often moves me to tears to witness this.

I hope you can find a place to raise your daughters as well. It is a big jump to go from Baptist to CRC (or Presby as you mentioned). But we decided that if the people in the CRC are going to be in heaven with us there is no reason we cannot fellowship with them on earth! :-)

Anonymous said...


I'm at the age my children are grown, but grandkids come into play.

My parents were UMC, but my personal theology is more reformed leaning by a long shot.

The local UMC knows this and is still very welcoming.

The local Presbyterians have made it plain we would be welcome either as members or as fully functioning "Baptisterians" as they refer to some making that choice.

But it is refreshing to be treated as an adult member of society.

The total irony in this is that I freely chose to be a full time homemaker raising my family, and since they were grown have still devoted most of my time to grandchild care (in addition to working at public schools and libraries.)

I want the little ones to see women capable of serving in WHATEVER capacity God calls them.

I know my granddaughter was fascinated at church yesterday with the pastor's sermon--absolutely entranced listening to.....her.

It is good to see her expanding her horizons.

It was good to feel like a free Baptist, even if it wasn't in a Baptist church.


Katia said...

Wow, great post. Thanks for sharing!

One group of people complementarians ignore is singles. Why? In a nutshell, we void all their doctrines about men's and women's role and behavior. As a single woman, I have to have a career outside the home, have no one to submit to, have no spiritual head, and have to develop skills and traits not seen as "feminine". As for single men...they have no wife and family to be "head" of, no wife and family to qualify them for church leadership, no wife to blame their faults on.

For various reasons, I fell for the lie that woman should be a wife and mother only and not pursue a career. Never heard about singleness being an option. Today I'm still struggling to build a career, but God has used that experience and being single to draw me closer to Him than I ever dreamed. He's used those experiences to show me that even though I'm a single woman, I can still have an active, crucial, fully equal role in His body. What a wonderful God he is!

Anonymous said...

Katia--thanks for raising the issue of singlehood!

I married at 20, have been happily married nearly 42 years, and definitely WAS called to the homemaker role.

But that said, there are men AND women around me and in my family that are single.

They too feel the sting of not being treated as fully functioning adults.

You raise some points that really through the whole separate but equal theology a loop.

Thank you!


Anonymous said...

I may be adult but apparently cannot spell "throw."

Pastor Wade, if you can edit my last post to correct the spelling please feel free!


Anonymous said...

"Your question of infertility ties back to the role God has placed you in, which I started my post with."

Anon, Paul Burleson has it right about "roles". That word is killing your problematic interpretations. You guys might want to come up with something different.

For one thing, I assume you believe, as a woman, I am to be "Christlike"? So who is my female model in the Bible to be a Christlike female since it cannot be Jesus as a male.

That is where "roles" take us if we are logical. It takes women away from Christ and looking to man.

btw: The "childbearing" in 1 Tim is a noun and refers to the birth of Messiah. It was directed to "a" woman. singular. The one who was "authenteo". Now, we know Chrysostom wrote that a husband should not "authenteo" his wife. So, there you have a big problem interpreting it as authority.

Jerome translated it as domineer which is closer.


John Wylie said...

Funny...citing patristic hermeneutics to build a case against complimetarianism or what some on here call patriarchy. Just kidding...I just thought there was a little humor in that.

Kristen said...

John Wylie,

I think the point is that whatever we may think of the patristic attitude towards women, they were much closer to the original language of the New Testament than we are today. Tertullian, for instance, confirms that "kephale" ("head") in 1 Cor. 11meant "source," not "authority over."

John Wylie said...


Yes ma'am I understand your position that's why I said I was just kidding. I have a deep appreciation for the church fathers,and I realize that they can shed much light on a passage of scripture. But, at the same time recognizing that they don't speak ex cathedra.

John Wylie said...


A great example is that Tertullian said women were to blame for sin and death. I want to state that I don't believe that. I'm just saying extrabiblical soruces are just that, and as such are fallible.

“You are the devil’s gateway: you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert — that is, death — even the Son of God had to die.” (Tertullian, On the Apparel of Women 1.1, trans. S. Thelwell, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans reprint, 1979), 4:14.)

Kristen said...

John, yes, I'm familiar with Tertullian's words about women and the sin of Eve. I guess we're on the same page. :) The church fathers can be helpful in understanding the NT language, but we must also take into account their own biases.

Sorry for my apparent lack of a sense of humor; you did say you were kidding, but I wasn't quite sure where you were coming from.

John Wylie said...


No problem at all. In actuality my attempt at humor there was probably poor at best. That's what happens when I post comments at this time of

Patricia said...

Back when the Sheri Klouda incident occurred, your church took a collection for her and her family. I sent a check. But the acknowledgment (for tax purposes?)letter was sent to my husband. Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

patricia, get your own checking account. :o)

Anonymous said...

john, the fact that Chrysostom was the typical patriarch who viewed women as property, makes it even more interesting that he wrote ' a husband should not authenteo his wife'. that word is so rarely used in koine greek that his writing that makes it significant when looking at the proper translation of the word.

we know that he was not saying a husband should not have authority over his wife. and that means.... that passage in timothy has been badly translated.

lydia said...


Laughing. I do apologize for the faux paux. Thanks for the contribution for the Klouda family!

And I also do agree with anonymous 11:00 a.m.

Patricia said...

Your quip is typical of SBC churchianity. I've never written another check to anything associated with the SBC, and never will support churchianity ever again. Neither will my husband.

Phil said...

Wade, your style and knowledge dealing with this topic is too important to be left to the limitations of

Let me know if I can be of assistance setting up your own domain and hosted content as well as designing an attractive format that will lend itself to a google rank that this topic deserves.

John Wylie said...


With all due respect I do not believe that the statements of one man constitute a closed case on whether or not a passage has been translated poorly. While I agree it could shed light on a particular meaning of a word. said...


I would be interested, but wouldn't know the first place to begin! :)

Anonymous said...

There is good in all of this:

We learn, some of us over and over again, to have no other gods before Him.

Perhaps we focus on the church and miss it's master.

I choose to see this as a time of God bringing me closer to Him, and freer to follow Him fully.

So for that I am thankful.

Pege' said...

Wade, isn't it absolutely amazing all the thoughts and ideas about this topic. No wonder there is so much confusion. I love the fact we can discuss it and get it all out on the table instead of allowing all the frustrations to fester. Not too many people are brave enough to get it out there. Love the posts ya'all.
BTW to the anon. posters...
I know it is annoying logging in, but it really get so confusing which anon. is making what point...ARGH!!

Lamar Wadsworth said...

Wade, thank you for including my experience of not being allowed to have my mother's funeral at the church where she was an active member 52 years (I will name the church, Second Baptist Church in Rockmart GA) because I asked two women, both exemplary Christians, to read scripture at the service. Three years after the fact, the memory that lingers is not the the harsh legalism we encountered at my mother's church, but the phenomenal kindness of our church, Heritage Baptist Church in Cartersville GA, which honored my mother like one of its own. One of the women who read Scripture is a long time family friend who is "Aunt Wanda" to our children and grandchildren. Wanda is terrified of public speaking and told me before the service, "I wasn't sure I could do this until that preacher said I couldn't." Afterward, Wanda told me that she thought she'd be shaking like a leaf, but she wasn't, to her surprise, she said she felt more calm and confident than she'd ever felt in her life, something that was apparent from her good eye contact and strength and clarity of her voice. Elizabeth, the other woman who read scripture, overheard what Wanda said. She laughed, gave Wanda a hug, and told her, "It's the anointing, Honey." All of the hurtful stuff was buried under an avalanche of grace.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect I do not believe that the statements of one man constitute a closed case on whether or not a passage has been translated poorly. While I agree it could shed light on a particular meaning of a word.

Tue Jan 10, 11:59:00 AM 2012

With all due respect, John, That is only ONE quote. There are other examples of authenteo usage in Koine Greek that do not mean authority over either. I just think that Chrysostom one is interesting since it is: Husbands should not "authenteo" their wives. Obviously this "patriarch" from Ancient days did not mean authority over. :o)

He also referred to Junia as a woman. Perhaps you might want to pass that along to Piper and Grudem. They do not listen to women. :o)


John Wylie said...

Thayer says that Junia was a female as well. There is quite a debate over the translation of that passage as well. ESV translates it this way "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me." Romans 16:7

Lydee said...

What I have a problem with is the denial of complete & logical views of Eden by many pastors who state that it was Eve who was "first deceived". I was a pastor's kid (P.K.), and now a pastor's wife (P.W.). After studying basic Hebrew I have come to some conclusions.

Okay, in the beginning (Eden, the Garden) at that moment in time (before deception), nowehere in scripture (be it the dead sea scrolls to the NIV)is it stated that Eve was alone, without her hubby (Adam) by her side.
The deception (and the original form & context of that particular group of characters) that Genesis speaks of is the fact that Eve was the first one to MAKE A CHOICE and eat the apple. It is speculated by many educated & MALE theologians that Adam was right there with her.

In this sense, we get another view of the uniqueness of gender tendencies towards sin as Adam SAID NOTHING to his beloved either (Uh, honey why are you talking to that creature? Um, hey, let's go over here & discuss this before we decide. Or just plain, "No, wait, stop!"..etc...). Eve made a decision. Adam made HIS OWN decision as well. Eve also did not blame another HUMAN for her sin.

BOTH chose to sin, therefore BOTH were deceived. Oh -- don't forget in the following verses that Christ states, " ... and your desire will be for your husband.." that was part of the CURSE (along w/pain in childbirth, working under the sun, etc..) under the OLD law, not under the NEW law of grace. Therefore, I believe the basis of male headship under the "first deceived" argument is null and void if you believe in Jesus.

Thanks Wade for your commentary on the above. For the past 10 years I have denied (almost to the point of my own death) that Christ was raising up inside of me the seeking of His truth & the ability to speak and proclaim it - as a woman. I still feel like I am putting a big target on my head & my family's, and frankly, I am scared for the future (I am still in the beggining stages of obtaining my education down the long & winding road to seminary).

Yet I am also confident that what God wants God gets. I am also certain that if I were to further try to put to death the calling He has placed in my heart that I would merely be exisiting. I cannot do that as it would equal a meningless life.

Celina Gonzales said...

Mr. Wade, Thank you thank you thank you! I am a 25 year old mother and wife and daughter of an evangelical minister. I have not heard this encouraging of a message to women in all of my life in the church! I am a believer in distinguishing opinions and preferences from scripture and godly counsel. If paul the apostle stated a distinction in advice then why don't today's "ministers"? What is with the obsession to fit scripture into our molds and church culture? These issues are what drive my age group out of the church and into home groups/bible studies. Politics suck. But I am very aware of the need to stand and deliver, so many women out there need to be set free by these messages. Again thank you!

carla said...

To me, the key is " dysfunctional views of male authority and female subordination." The examples you give are just that, dysfunctional. Those behaviors are not of God and no discussion is going to change your or anyone else's views. Unless you live or witness this beautiful design of God played out, you will never understand. Just like someone who has not been given the "gift" of the Holy Spirit cannot understand speaking in tongues. Bless you all! I thank God that we do not have to argue over these things.

Anonymous said...

I am an ordained minister. I'm also a woman. I have preached the gospel in many nations. I have also taught about the equality of women in many nations. The great commision was given by Jesus to GO into all the nations and preach the gospel. I have led to Christ: Hindus, Jews, Bhudists, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and atheists. They have left their false religions and their names are now written in the Lamb's book of life. Does it matter that a woman rescued them out of the jaws of hell? God has gifted me to bring the lost to salvation by preaching the gospel. He doesn't care what sexual apparatus I have. He just cares that His children are redeemed by His blood!

Dejablue said...

You may not have heard of this blog before. But this guy takes the story about the pastor's wife and the expensive house and totally misinterprets it by about a mile.

Thought you'd like to see it for yourself.

joe said...

After reading these comments, I am sadened to see how difficult it is for well-intentioned Christians to accept a simple teaching. The simple reading of the scripture seems to indicate the God wants women to submit to their husbands and not lead men (in particular) in church. Is this an absolute in all cases? Maybe, maybe not. It wouldn't be the first time that the birthright passed from the intended to someone more deserving. But in most cases, what if the simple reading is the true reading? What will all the feminist Christians do then? Defy God? The scripture seems to create a certain order. Probably because there is a certain order in heaven (not necessarily the same order). If you cannot follow God's order of things here on earth, why should he trust you to follow them in heaven. Lucifer didn't. Many rejoice in being Christians until God commamds them to do something that they do not want to do. Reading all the mental gymnastic that all you sons and daughters of adam and eve employ in your cause to say 'yes' where God seemingly says 'no' makes me think that you are indeed your parents children.

joe said...

Additionally, If you can discredit some of the teaching of the bible based on context (as some seem to argue here), then isn't much of the bible discredited since we live in such different times. In which case why bother read the thing at all.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the comments about Mother's day.

Christians whose mothers are dead, or women who are infertile and can't have a baby of their own, do not like Mother's Day, nor do most feel comfortable with the amount of attention it is paid in American churches.

Most U.S. churches do make a big fuss over Mother's Day. They will hand out flowers to the moms in the audience or ask them to stand so they can be acknowledged.

In my situation, the Mother's Day celebrations at church is a reminder I can't get married, Mr. Right has never come along, (and I'm traditional so I'm not going to have a kid outside of marriage), so seeing all the reminders tossed in my face about marriage and babies in such things as "Mothers Day" celebrations/ recognition at churches always makes me leave church services crying and feeling sad.

I'd rather churches not, not, not make a big deal out of Mother's Day (or marriage/ babies), and lots of other Christian women on other blogs feel the same way as I do.

American churches already fixate way, way too much on marriage and kids but ignore single men and women who are over 30 years old, who almost now outnumber married people.

Anyway, I agree with Wade's main post. I don't think the Bible teaches complementarianism but rather egalitarianism.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if my last comment went through or not.

I wanted to add one positive thing about being a woman over 35 who's never been married is technically Baptist churches can't force that trash on me about having to submit to a husband, since I don't have one.

Retha said...

There is an anonymous commenter here who tied male leadership to biology, a type of "men should lead, women should get children" argument.

I always wondered about men who do that, how the connection works for them. (I write more of my thoughts on the topic here : )

1) Do they think females are as completely and utterly incapable of leading anything as men are completely and utterly incapable of getting pregnant, that it would be obvious to anyone in any society however primitive or modern?
2) Are they so unappealing that they cannot conceive their wives initiating intercourse, so they think a world without male lead will have as few children as a world where men do not initiate?
3) Do they think male anatomy is for being in charge, the way the female anatomy is for babies? Such an argument would excuse rape, as raping a woman means the male anatomy takes charge of the woman's body.

Anonymous said...

YES!! It is SO good to see a man that can see through the twisting of scripture and clearly articulate common sense!
"One day when you die your entire identity will be in Christ and no other man. One day when you die you will be given a new name, a new place to live and a new purpose for eternity--all based upon who you are as a person-- equal to any man God created. While you are on earth, I hope you find that the teachings of grace and equality in the Bible prepare you for eternity. But if your cultural preference is to find your identity in a man, then just be honest that you feel safer and more secure in the shadow of man's identity, and if equate your submission to God to that of a visible, physical man, then just be honest about what you are doing. Don't call it biblical Christianity."
Exactly! Don't call your preferences "Christ-ianity"!!