Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Eternal Subordination and the SBC Divorce Rate

In 2010,  the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution entitled On the Scandal of Southern Baptist Divorce. The resolution states "that conservative Protestants in the United States of America are divorcing at the same rate, if not at higher rates, than the general population." The resolution further states "the acceleration in rates of divorce in Southern Baptist churches has not come through a shift in theological conviction about scriptural teaching on divorce but rather through cultural accommodation."

Very often we never look back at resolutions passed by the SBC, but on this fifth anniversary of the "Scandal of Southern Baptist Divorce," I'd like to encourage you to think about why this resolution may actually reveal the real reason many SBC marriages--especially among pastors--may be in trouble.

Let's begin by asking a question.

How can the divorce rate in every state in the union be declining while at the same time the Southern Baptist divorce rate is accelerating? Because divorce rates are in the culture at large are declining, if Southern Baptists were "accommodating culture," then our divorce rate would be also declining.

Pay close attention to this categorical statement in the resolution:
"The acceleration in rates of divorce in Southern Baptist churches has not come through a shift in theological conviction...
I disagree. I propose one of the major reasons for the increasing divorce rate in the Southern Baptist Convention is precisely because of a shift in theological conviction during the 1990's and early 2000's.

Many of those who were in positions of leadership during those years promoted a doctrinal error called The Eternal Subordination of the Son.  Few Southern Baptist lay men and women even know what that doctrine is, but when you go to a church led by a Southern Baptist pastor who believes it, the emphasis of the teaching will be on "the authority of the husband" and "the subordination of the woman to her husband." This pastoral demand that a Christian wife alone (not the husband) is called to be subordinate and submissive is based on the false belief that Jesus the Son is eternally subordinate and submissive to the Father.

The Word of God teaches a mutual submission of husband and wife to Jesus Christ--the creator God who became Man (Emmanuel)--and a mutual submission to each other (see Philippians 2:3,5-7; and Ephesians 5:2 and 5:21).

When the emphasis in any Christian environment--be it a church, home, or ministry--is on one's alleged superior authority and demand for another's unconditional submission, a separation in relationship is imminent.

A desire to exert power, control others, and demand submission is unnatural to God's design for His creation.

When Adam and Eve rebelled against their Creator, the radial effect of their rebellion included an increasing and ultimately innate desire to dominate and control one another. The curse of sin causes those who are under it to concentrate on establishing an air of authority and demanding complete and unquestioned submission to that authority. This is true of both men and women. Jesus calls this "lording control over others," and said this should not ever happen among His followers (Mark 10:42-43).

Here's the catch. Southern Baptist leaders have made the tragic error of believing that a husband should rule and a wife should be submissive because the Bible demands it. Truth be known, the Bible calls any desire to control and dominate--be it the husband or the wife-- "the curse." The divorce rate increases when Southern Baptists call "the norm" what the Bible calls "the curse." When the first man (Adam) sought to rule over the first woman (Eve), Adam was manifesting a curse, not meeting a commandment (Genesis 3:16).

Jesus came to reverse the curse. Redemption causes curse-filled people to become grace-filled people. Those who seek to rule over others by exerting authority, when they come to see what Jesus says about life, will turn loose of trying to control other people and will only seek to love and serve, NEVER exerting any alleged authority. Again, Jesus said that "the Gentiles lord over others" and "exert authority," but "it shall not be this way among you" (Matthew 20:24-26).

Southern Baptist Convention leaders have wrongly pushed for men to lord their authority over their wives, and called on wives to submit to the authority of their husbands because of a belief in and promotion of "the eternal subordination of the Son." I've written about this doctrinal problem among Southern Baptists for years, but I recently came across a brilliant article by Dr. Keith Johnson (Ph.D. Duke), the director of theological development for Campus Crusade for Christ.  Johnson's article is called Trinitarian Agency and the Eternal Subordination of the Son: An Augustinian Perspective.

Dr. Johnson's article is long, but in my opinion, it gives a definitive refutation for any claim that the woman is to be subordinate to the man in a marital relationship because the Son is subordinate to the Father. Dr. Johnson's summarizes the critical error of those who hold to the eternal subordination of Jesus to the Father (Paige Patterson, Al Mohler, Danny Akin, Bruce Ware, etc....) when he writes:
Bruce Ware claims that “inherent authority” and “inherent submission” constitute the Father/Son relationship; however, this misreads Augustine. “Authority” and “submission” are not “personal properties” for Augustine. To the contrary, “eternal generation” is what constitutes the Son as Son. Augustine is unequivocal on this point. Ware... rejects eternal generation as the distinguishing property of the Son. In Ware’s theology (eternal subordination), “submission” effectively replaces “eternal generation” as the distinguishing property of the Son. Augustine is then read through the lens of this alternative understanding of personal properties.
I'd like to close this post by summarizing for Southern Baptist men and women the practical application of seeing mutual submission of a husband and wife based on the biblical view of mutual submission of the eternal Trinity.

(1). Nobody in marriage has any inherent "authority." Christ has all authority, and He sends His Spirit to live within us, dispenses spiritual gifts for us, and provides loving watch care over us so that we might learn how to love and serve each other.

(2). Submission in a marital relationship is "putting others needs before my own." The submission and subordination of Jesus Christ to the Father was never about 'greater authority' because Christ had "all authority." Christ put the Father's plans first, submitting Himself to the cross in obedience to the plan of redemption (i.e. "If it be Thy will, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, Thy will be done"). Jesus Christ also submitted to us (the church) when He sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane and died in our place. Submission is never about 'greater authority,' but rather, it is always about putting the plans, desires, and needs of others first. In marriage, both the husband and the wife are to be mutually submissive to one another (see Ephesians 5:21). Sometimes what is in the best interest of your partner is to say no! In every decision, your partner's best interest comes first. Don't give up on your marriage until you have sweat blood looking out for your partner.

(3). When we stop trying to control our spouse, and we learn what it means to love and accept him or her the same way Jesus Christ accepts us, then we begin to build a marriage on grace and love instead of domination and control. When that happens, the curse is reversed.

We Southern Baptists do a great many things very well. We do missions well. We perform acts of mercy well. We also -- since 2005 -- are doing well in the election of new leadership in the SBC.

I predict we will see the divorce rate of Southern Baptists decline in the next few years, and it will not be because of cultural accommodation. It will be due to our new leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention laying aside the doctrinal error of eternal subordination.


Chris Riley said...

But if you lose power and control, can you still be a fundamentalist? (Sorry, tongue in cheek.) The whole subordination theology is a such a poor interpretation of Scripture because it ignores the thesis verse of Ephesians 5:21: "Submit to one another." Paul then explains how each person submits: 1) Husband, to your wives. 2) Wives, to your husbands. 3) Children, to your parents. Its basic hermeneutics you are taught as a freshman as in any Bible class. I suppose it is not until we get to our master's degrees that we are taught to ignore a verse?!!
Again, Dr. Wade, you are spot on. Thanks for providing even more background evidence for proper interpretation and application. BTW....on a working sabbatical, shouldn't you be resting and relaxing? LOL

Mitch said...

Thanks for this post. I enjoy learning more about this subject and how to refute it. It seems at times to run rampant in some circles. I have not had time to read the article you linked to but the quote you used appeared to support something I have thought and said many times. It appears that people come of with the errant ideas like ESS, because they fail to have a full or accurate picture of the Father. What they actually have is a picture that focuses on one or two prominent aspects of God. What they end up with is not a picture but rather a caricature. Some times it is a very good one and the Father can still be recognized and identified, other times the caricature looked nothing like Him.

ISTM, Jesus told us that if we had seen him we had seen the Father. If we would study him we would be able to instantly recognize the actual Father from the exaggerations of the caricature. We are told that Jesus is the exact image of God. All of these errant doctrines like ESS are nothing more than bad caricatures that focus on and exaggerate one or two features of God. For ESS the focus if on submission rather than love, relationship or as the author of the article said eternal generation.

Appart from the caricature illustration, I always ask myself "could I hold or agree with this idea without the saving presence of God in my life?" Of course I could, would and did. I would like nothing more than to get everyone (esp. my wife to submit to my authority). It takes the Holy Spirit to submit to others in situations where my physicality, gender or position might cause them to submit to me. Problem solved, that has to be my flesh not the Spirit in me. ranted, that is simple, does require honest introspection, did not require a PhD from one of our indoctrination, I mean seminaries and will probably not advance anyone's personal agenda.

I am encouraged that at least one other person thinks like I do on this subject, sometimes it seems as if the SBC world has gone mad.

Ramesh said...

Off Topic: Suzanne McCarthy: Sad News

Christiane said...

Very sad news, indeed, THY PEACE.

Unknown said...


Thank you for continuing to focus on this terrible heresy. I first heard about it almost seven years ago and appreciated your posts about it.

In God's sovereignty, it was the ESS heresy and the abuse of power in the pulpit that drove Dee and me to launch The Wartburg Watch. Then as we started hearing from more and more commenters, we zoned in on spiritual abuse.

Thanks ESS proponents for forcing Dee and me out of our comfort zones and into the blogosphere. :-) Just giving credit where credit is due. ;-)

God is good!

Anonymous said...

I have to ask, and it truly is a question, if this isn't fall out from SBC men losing a long cultural war.

I don't find it popular in writings where admittedly white male SBC members were considered (wrongfully, but still the culture of the time) above or superior to black male SBC members. Or to black men in general.

Then with civil rights, they lost that sense of "privilege." So we suddenly had the clergy class takeover, aka the conservative resurgence. Gave the good ole boys at the top the chance to be superior to us common pew fillers.

Along came the information revolution and now any old Tom, Dick, Harry, Sue, Mary, or Patty can look up online what a word means in the Greek, the Hebrew, the Aramaic, and tons of commentary on the passage to boot.

So now we are told the Godhead are not 3 in 1, all equal, but a head honcho and His servants. And all so the little woman will stay in her place and be subservient.

Good grief, when they lose this war (and they will!) will they maybe want to follow Jesus and be servants, not bosses?

Now you understand why some of us life long SBC members no longer are.

I was nearly none and done, but have found a good local church in a very conservative Wesleyan denomination. Don't see eye to eye on a few points, but close enough to serve Him with relish and joy again.

If the SBC every decides to follow Jesus, somebody call me.


GC said...

Thank you so much for explaining this nonsense. I've only heard of ESS recently (thankfully, my church would laugh it right out the door) and have been stunned to realize that some who call themselves teachers and leaders in the church are more than willing to throw Jesus under the bus in order to control women and exalt themselves.

Victorious said...

... will they maybe want to follow Jesus and be servants, not bosses?

Linda, I think they've already found a way to be a servant and boss at the same time....they call themselves "servant-LEADERS." And they don't claim to have privileges, but "RESPONSIBILITIES." And of course we're all equal, just DIFFERENT!

And believe it or not, many are still blaming Eve for the downfall of Adam even though scripture nowhere records her for anything other than being deceived. Adam, on the other hand, willfully, deliberately disobeyed God and blamed both "the woman" and God Himself for giving her to him.

Genesis 3:16 as Wade correctly notes, is not a command. It's a forewarning to Eve that if she "turns" to her husband, he will rule over her. It's easily understood when taken in context of all the forewarnings of negative, adverse conditions that will exist outside of the garden, away from the presence of God who walked and talked with them in the perfectly designed environment He had for them. Now they will toil, the earth will provide weeds and thistles, and sorrow will prevail.

But those who desire to rule, as God foretold they would, will continue to interpret Gen. 3 erroneously by removing it from it's context to maintain that rule.

Tango Whiskey said...

Pastor Burleson,
Between Dr. Ware's ESS doctrine and Dr. Schreiner's view of the 10 Commandments one must wonder what, if any, type of oversight the Board of Trustees of SBTS are providing. It is definitely not a Seminary I would recommend.

“When discussing Passover, I noted that believers are not required to observe the feasts, festivals, and special days of the Old Testament calendar. This includes the Sabbath, even though the Sabbath is part of the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:8-11). Such a judgment surprises some, but it must be recognized that the entirety of the Old Testament law is abrogated in Christ.”

-Thomas R. Schreiner, “40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law” page 91

"5. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it; neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.
( Romans 13:8-10; James 2:8, 10-12; James 2:10, 11; Matthew 5:17-19; Romans 3:31 )

6. Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned, yet it is of great use to them as well as to others, in that as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their natures, hearts, and lives, so as examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against, sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ and the perfection of his obedience; it is likewise of use to the regenerate to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and the threatenings of it serve to shew what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse and unallayed rigour thereof. The promises of it likewise shew them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works; so as man's doing good and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law and not under grace.
( Romans 6:14; Galatians 2:16; Romans 8:1; Romans 10:4; Romans 3:20; Romans 7:7, etc; Romans 6:12-14; 1 Peter 3:8-13 )

7. Neither are the aforementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it, the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done.
( Galatians 3:21; Ezekiel 36:27 )"

With Scripture Proofs
Adopted by the Ministers and Messengers of the general assembly which met in London in 1689

ScottShaver said...

Congratulations Wade:

You've just thrown a much-needed monkey wrench into some finely tuned fundamentalist machinery.

Hope the bearings freeze up.

Rex Ray said...


The campaign for the ‘SBC Conservative Resurgence’; sometimes known as the ‘Fundamentalist Takeover’ began around 1960 and achieved their goal in 1997.
1900 churches from the convention, broke away in 1990 to form the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a moderate Baptist group which affirms women in ordained ministry and continues to uphold the traditional Baptist principles of the autonomy of the local church, the priesthood of believers, and soul liberty.


The OLD conventions of Virginia and Texas are the only States that operate under the BFM 1963.

‘Our way or the highway’ sums up the REQUIRED signing of the BFM 2000.
One of its crazy statements:

“Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of ANY secular or RELIGIOUS authority to IMPOSE a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches.”

DUH! They did what their man-made creed said they were not allowed to do.

Whose influence besides the devil has drown witches, burned Christians, fired missionaries, and in the name of God?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “I wish the BFM 2000 would go back where it came from…the SMILING lips of the devil.”

Aussie John said...


Thank you for an excellent article on a dark monster, which has tentacles everywhere, including Australia. The result many wounded families and congregations.

Tamara said...

I wish there was a definite way to verify correlation = causation here.
But also interesting...a recent Christianity Today article says the SBC, despite an increase in church plants, has lost 800,000 members since 2003. Which also fits the time frame of the theological shift of the late 90s/early 2000s toward the submission/authority emphasis. And based on the theology of the "church planting networks" like Acts 29, one can presume a large number of those church plants fall under that doctrinal distinctive.

Tamara said...

PS - This article and the one preceding it are terrific.

Anonymous said...

Does Russell Moore believe in ESS.

ScottShaver said...

How do you really feel about it Bro. Rex?

ScottShaver said...

Wonder how many were female? My daughter could be counted within that number.
Better ministry vocation track in Methodist Church for her.

ScottShaver said...

Good question

Ian said...


Acts29 recently published a piece by Bruce Ware:


It's mostly rhetoric, but he does employ what I think is a christological argument based on Ephesians 5:23-24 - Christ is the head of the church, so the husband is the head of the wife. I think this as different to ESS. And, of course, I would say it only applies to marriage, not to roles in the church.

How can we disprove that? One method I've seen is to say the household codes are restrictive (to bring the culture into line with christian values) rather than prescriptive (for all time). And the later verses in Eph 5 need to be reconciled with the mutual submission in Eph 5:21.

ScottShaver said...

When one thinks about the beauty of mutual submission within the eternal Trinity, why would any thinking, perceptive Christian in his/her right mind/heart exchange that for an ESS interpretation?

Forget the good stuff we'll take the garbage?

Makes no sense unless the underlying agenda is control or dominance.

Anonymous said...

I don't know for sure, but this piece by Wade seems to me to smell a whole lot like;

I have seen statements like the following:
"the widely respected Barna Research Group has released the results of an in-depth study which found that while 25 percent of American adults HAVE BEEN DIVORCED AT LEAST ONCE, the divorce rate is even higher (27 percent) among self-identified “born again” Christians and higher yet (29 percent) among Baptists."

I don't buy Barna's Survey publication regarding this and certainly do not buy Wade's position in this debate. Why?

1. I hope there are MORE Southern Baptist members sitting in our pews who have been divorced than there are in the outside world! If there are, it DOES NOT necessarily indicate that Southern Baptists GET DIVORCED more than outsiders. It could very well mean that Southern Baptists churches are most effective in attracting couples who have experienced divorce prior to joining the church! They may very well have the perception that fellowship in a SBC church is the best way NOT to experience another divorce! It could mean that hurting, broken people see Southern Baptist Churches as spiritual hospitals!

I have searched for the specific terminology used in the Barna Survey to discern these published conclusions but have not been successful. Can anyone tell me a credible publication that reveals where "Southern Baptist Members" who get divorces WHILE BEING ACTIVE MEMBERS are equal to or greater than the non-Christian world?

2. I usually respect Wade's opinion, and I ALWAYS respect Wade, but have no reason to believe his position that the preaching and position of Southern Baptist preachers related to the husband-wife relationship is a contributing factor to the rate of divorce among SBC members! Sounds like pure conjecture to me. Upon what survey is THAT based?!

And the assertion that some far-fetched doctrinal position called "The Eternal Subordination of the Son" has any influence on the preaching of Southern Baptist preachers of any significant number or has an influence upon the divorce rate among SBC members is WAY out there!

Help me out here! If you have some credible support data please let me know. If not, let's stop with the "sensationalizing" by giving more credibility to conjecture than needs be.

Christiane said...

I remember how shocked I was when I learned about the teaching of ESS, and I knew immediately that my Church had NEVER taught anything like it, nor had the Eastern Orthodox . . .

it simply wasn't 'orthodox'

in the end, the ONLY reason I could figure out for it being developed was to shore up the 'submission of a wife to her husband' teaching expressed in the BF&M 2K.

I agree with many who think it is a form of Arianism and some of the best quotes against ESS come from the early Fathers who fought Arius' teachings and who supported the orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity

ESS is heresy . . . the proof is in the pudding: it has bred ill will in marriages because the 'set-up' does not respect the place of the wife in married life, and has led to the creation of a male hubris cult . . . very macho and disrespectful of women

Wade Burleson said...




I happen to agree with you. :) Divorce rates could be higher because evangelicals actually get married.

Tango Whiskey,


Rex, Scott, Aussie, Victoria, Wanda, Thy Peace, Chris,

Invariably, I learn more from all your comments than I do my own research.

Thank you all.

Rex Ray said...

Scott Shaver
If you’re LOL, then I’m rolling on the floor reading:
“You've just thrown a much-needed monkey wrench into some finely tuned fundamentalist machinery. Hope the bearings freeze up.”

I mean that’s classy stuff.

How I feel is like this: My son, seven year missionary in Israel, was told by Rankin, President of the IMB, that missionaries ‘grandfathered in’ didn’t have to sign the BFM 2000. Then he was told if he didn’t sign, he wouldn’t be fired.

Both statements didn’t hold water as the IMB wilted under Chapman, Executive Board Committee President. 15 missionaries were fired in a single day. My son was not one as he and his wife received permission to leave to obtain higher degrees in school.

They had 5 sons; 3 born in Jerusalem. While baby-sitting I learned that mountains can look a mile away when they are four. I swam from a graveyard to a beach on the Sea of Galilee when I was 65…3 hours and 18 minutes without water…wasn’t worth shooting. One guy asked if I made it…told him I had to walk the last half.

Rex Ray said...

I hope these two letters are not boring because I believe they explain what took place so long ago.
This is Rex’s second letter to Jerry Rankin written by adding notes to Rankin’s reply with Rex’s words in [ ] that were written 5-29-03.
BTW, Rankin’s next letter had: “In reality the 2000 BF&M has not changed any beliefs at all, because the Bible is unchanging.”

August 8, 2002
Mr. Rex Ray
7075 W FM 898

Dear Brother Rex:
I apologize for my delay in answering your letter of June 7, 2002. It arrived after I had left for the Southern Baptist Convention, and the summer has been filled with travel so I am just now catching up with correspondence.

[My pastor said he would hand-deliver my letter at the Convention and gave it to someone that said they would give it to you. The main point of my letter was I hoped you could use your influence to reinstate ‘priesthood of the believer’ into the 2000 BFM. I’m disappointed that you did not address the subject in your reply. You did not criticize the way I viewed the Bible but was only critical of me reading the Baptist Standard and me saying that making missionaries sign the BFM would only enlarge egos of men that wrote it.]

In fact, I enjoyed seeing Dan and Frances Ray at our International Mission Week at Ridgecrest last week. I appreciated your kind comments about me and my leadership as reflected by Joe and Mark. I did not know they were related until reading your letter. I have enjoyed working with Mark and Karen over the years in Australia as I was previously their area director and negotiated their assignment with Australian Baptists. Joe and Beth have made a wonderful contribution to our work in the Middle East.
It was also gratifying to hear of your own involvement in missions, especially in your conscientious devotion to the project in Japan. (I’ve been 13 times) With the economy being what it is there, the labor you provided obviously stretched our very limited mission dollars. I cannot imagine anyone considering firing Dennis Folds. He and Judy are effective missionaries, and I recall his becoming pastor of the Tokyo Baptist Church was at a time of transition when we were moving away from supplying local church pastors for English congregations but affirming churches reaching the international community as consistent with our mission task.

Rex Ray said...

Under Dennis’s leadership, Tokyo Baptist Church has certainly demonstrated an effective ministry which the IMB endorses.

[My latest email from Dennis said they were having four morning services. God is using him in a great way. He once asked me did his preaching the Gospel make him a conservative or a moderate. Isn’t it sad that missionaries giving their life’s work for God and they’re forced to enter politics that they don’t know anything about. Missionaries signing will force others to sign. If Dennis had not signed, would you feel comfortable in firing him? I’ll bet you don’t feel good about firing anyone. How do you think local churches will feel? There is a straw that breaks the camel’s back. This may be it.]

I have received a large number of letters regarding the Baptist Faith and Message issue and appreciate your taking the time to write about your concerns at length. It is interesting that I have yet to get a letter or e-mail critical of my action that did not reveal an obvious predisposition against the leadership and direction of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist Faith and Message. It is obvious that you have been reading the Baptist Standard whose reports bear little resemblance to truth or the reality behind our motives and rationale for this action.

[There are many kinds of Baptist; two are those that read the Standard and know what’s going on, and those that don’t. I was one of those that didn’t read until my son sent me your email to all missionaries in 1997. You asked them to follow God-appointed leaders whether they understood or agreed. That substitutes leaders for the Holy Spirit. That let the cat out of the bag of what was coming with the 2000 BFM.]

I have been reminded of a quotation by philosopher William James who said, “Nothing is so absurd that if repeated often enough, people will believe it.”

[True. An example is what you said about the Baptist Standard.]

Our board drafted a policy, which I communicated to our missionaries, that current missionaries, who had already been processed for appointment in the past, would not be required to sign the revised BF&M.

[This was told to my son.]

Rex Ray said...

They did not feel it necessary to reverse that position and it has not been changed requiring missionaries to sign the BF&M as reported. However, to dispel growing suspicions and mistrust which were threatening to undercut the credibility and support of the IMB.

[Who had the power to hurt the IMB? It wasn’t the BGCT, so it must be your bosses, the Southern Baptist Executive Committee. You said your actions avoided 9-11 to the IMB. Was the Executive Committee going to replace IMB personnel that would control missionaries like they wanted?]

I did personally ask our missionaries collectively to affirm once again to Southern Baptists that they would work in accord with the BF&M and not contrary to it.

[After your actions, the Executive Committee bragged on you, saying something like: “You wanted a leader. Now you have one.” Hitler ruled with a whip, but the Baptist world doesn’t work that way.]

They have responded with overwhelming understanding and cooperation, yet Texas Baptists have taken a small handful of missionaries who have totally distorted the nature of our confession of faith and struggled with my request misrepresent the picture altogether.

[The majority of missionaries are ‘short term.’ The career missionary is the backbone of missions. How many career missionaries have left since you told them to sign? 77 refused to sign and many more have left without stating a reason.]

Yes, the Bible is our only creed and sole authority of faith and practice, but do you know who coined that expression? It was Alexander Campbell who founded the Church of Christ. So what is it that distinguishes Baptists in East Texas from the Church of Christ, since both claim the Bible as their creed?

[It is repulsive to see in our SS quarterlies, “The 2000 BFM is our doctrinal guideline.” Your reasoning about Campbell for replacing the Bible with man-made rules is disgusting and shameful. German soldiers belt buckles had “In God we trust.” Should we remove that from our money? ]

Rex Ray said...

For 400 years Baptists have been drafting confessions of faith to say, “This is what we believe,” and “here we stand,” in response to contemporary social challenges to the teachings of God’s word. It is unthinkable that the missionaries sent out and supported by Southern Baptists churches would represent that which is contrary to what Southern Baptists believe. Why would not a missionary, or any Christian for that matter, be reluctant to state what they believe whenever and as often as they are asked to do so?

[The new BFM sewed the curtain that God tore at Calvary. A creed is anything written by others you are forced to sign. True Baptists do not sign creeds. They didn’t sign for the same reason Quakers refused to take an oath to the king. Is there any difference? The same attitude that killed Quakers fired missionaries. When 273 years of missionary service is fired, we have “the blind leading the blind.” The evidence shows the Executive Committee had rather argue Bible doctrine and persecute than win souls.]

For your information, missionaries are even allowed and encouraged to state any personal disagreements with the Baptist Faith and Message, so it is not a creed being imposed on any church or individual. Also, Morris Chapman did not ask me to call Scott McIntosh, as reported; I did so because of my personally concern for one of our effective missionaries I respected who was obviously having a problem due to some unfortunate perceptions, just as I would seek to encourage and minister to any of our missionaries.

[You did not deny that Chapman called you, and you told McIntosh "Now we have to do some damage control, and this might cause missionaries to have to sign the Baptist Faith & Message." Your “damage control” was putting fire out with gasoline. It anguished missionaries and only enlarged egos of your bosses. (Chapman received an email written by McIntosh requesting his copy of their Baptist Press be stopped.)]

Where did anyone get the idea that our missionaries are being “forced” to sign something that they may not agree with, or that anyone would be terminated if they did not respond to my request? Neither of those positions has been advocated or communicated by the IMB.

Rex Ray said...

[Why did it take over a year for you to let the missionaries know they would not be terminated if they didn’t sign? Most of them signed believing it was true. You had your cake and ate it too, but history repeated itself: King Saul thought priests were disloyal and wanted them killed, and the Executive Committee thought unsigned missionaries were disloyal and wanted them fired. The army refused Saul’s request, and you delayed. Doeg killed the priest, and Avery Willis demanded signatures of missionaries on stateside assignment. You duplicated Pilate wilting to religious leaders. I think you saw your job fading and stated May 5, 2003 as the deadline or be fired. You passed the tiger’s tail to the IMB to approve firing 13 missionaries.]

It certainly is not the first time missionaries have not agreed and done what I asked them to do. I am disappointed that you would presume to attribute motives of “enlarged egos” to those conscientious denominational leaders who are seeking to keep the Southern Baptists Convention anchored to the inerrant word of God. Where does scripture justify such judgmentalism?

[Who besides inflated egos wants missionaries fired? No other word has hurt the witness for Christ by dividing Christians than the word inerrant. I once heard a man yell at a SBC, “We have our inerrancy, and no one is going to take it away.” Sounded like the yells for the god, Diana. Many years ago, I was denied permission at Southwestern Theology Seminary to pass out eight definitions of “inerrancy” that was written by one of their former professors. I complained that Christian freedom wasn’t any better in America than it was in Israel. I’ll never forget what I was told; “That’s interesting. We may want to change our policy. I’ll bring it up at our next meeting. We have new trustees and we can do anything we want.” Case closed.]

Yes, some missionaries have resigned and there will probably be others, who are unwilling to be accountable to anyone.

[Accountable to God takes precedence over man-made rules or those playing God.]

Rex Ray said...

Avery Willis once observed that we had a very biblical mission strategy—“Everyone did that which was right in their own eyes.” God condemned such independent arrogance in the time of Moses, and the scripture has some pretty strong teaching on mutual submission and accountability within the body of Christ. I do not know what the BGCT will do, but I can assure you we are going to keep our eyes on Jesus, and keep sending out missionaries to be obedient to His mandate to win and disciple the nations.

[When I asked Willis to help Dennis, he said his hands were tied. Are your hands tied to help those missionaries who put their jobs on the line for the sake of God’s principles? People in time of Moses did not have the Holy Spirit to guide them. They needed a leader such as a prophet or king. We do not need a Baptist pope or the SBC to take the place of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ mandate was the Great Commission and not the 2000 BFM. If the BFM must be bowed to or signed, before doing what Christ said, then the BFM is more important than God’s word. The ‘glue’ that held Baptist together was missions or the Great Commission. Fundamentalists changed that ‘glue’ to doctrine and came up with their mandated 2000 BFM and look at the mess we’re in.]

Sincerely yours,
Jerry Rankin

[Jerry, I feel that much of what has been done, by the group you’re in, is not to your liking. How far must they go before you take a stand for your beliefs? Most of our life is over but it’s never too late to stand.
More than sincere: Rex Ray]

Tango Whiskey said...

Pastor Burleson,

You may wish to update your link to the article by Keith Johnson. The link takes you to the most recent addition of Themelios and you can then execute a search to get to Johnson's article. I believe this link will take one directly to the article you referenced:


Kind Regards,

Todd Wilhelm

ScottShaver said...

RRR, a guy with a monkey for a snapshot wants others to stop "sensationalism"?

Wade Burleson said...

Todd, you are very kind. Thank you sir for the effort in helping me.

Nancy said...

Matt. 28:18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 'All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
ESS either makes Jesus a liar, or it makes scripture NOT inerrant. Also, limitations placed on women by the SBC and a majority of Southern Baptist churches would mean that when Jesus gave the Great commission, he was only speaking to men. Because, of course, women are not allowed to do ANY of the things that Jesus said to do! They might as well kick women out of the churches, or start counting each one of us as half of a member! At this point, it wouldn't hurt my feelings any.

Divorce??? Yeah, my husband and I came within a couple of weeks of going down that road. A few years ago, he, started working on a degree from an SBC affiliated Bible college and I became more of a piece of property than a person. He started making decisions that affected me directly and tremendously without even bothering to inform me, let alone discuss the decisions with me. When I started standing up for my rights, my husband became very self-righteous and critical.
We are now working on repairing our marriage, but I am afraid I will be doubtful and wary for years to come.
I know two other couples who have divorced because the husbands developed similar attitudes and behaviors. Hmmmm, and they say the divorce rates have nothing to do with what the churches teach???

Wade Burleson said...


Thanks for your transparency. My thoughts and prayers (already given) will be for you and your husband's repair of your most important partnership.

ScottShaver said...

Thanks Wade for letting Rex Ray post this material at length. Thanks Ray for sharing.

Balderdash is their SOP......ridiculously sad, but the irony is fascinating.

Florence in KY said...

Thank you, Rex. I remember those days very well. Dark days for the FMB.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that thought! I had wondered if statistics were not skewed due to couples coming to SBC churches that had experienced divorce formerly and now seeking some solid, Bible-teaching church to help their current marriage thrive. BUT I had not considered that perhaps the numbers are also skewed due to more couples in Southern Baptist churches "being married" compared to outsiders where they simply live together! Hence; divorce rate higher. That's a very interesting consideration.

"Nancy": I sure hope you two keep on trying. My wife and I have survived so many significant times of turmoil in our marriage but, mostly I think due to God's grace, we stayed at it and now have been married 48 years. Sometimes it was out commitment to God that got us through even more than our commitment to each other, but I am so glad that we persevered.

Anonymous said...

I did recently read an article debunking the idea that Christians in general have as high a divorce rate, or higher, than non believers.

Point of the article is that it may be true if you count everyone who responds of members of this or that denomination. But further study was said to show that among those actually attending church weekly, evangelicals and other Christians have a lower divorce rate.

Maybe many of these divorced Southern Baptists joined a church at some point in time, maybe as a young teen, but haven't really been part of a church for many years?

Aussie John said...


The Australian divorce rate among Christians is the same as the general population, although denominations other than Baptists have a lower rate.

Across the board the divorce rate is 2.2 per 1000 marriages and has declined during the last few years.

Gordon said...

I think the Australian divorce rate is more like 22% of marriages. This could possibly work out at 2.2 per 1000 people.

Rex Ray said...

Scott and Florence

On the subject of a wife submitting to her husband, our mother said our father was the head but she was the neck.

Anonymous said...

From the 2012 census report (and noting that there are 8 million more females); over 33% of the men never marry and for those that did over 40% of them are still married to their first and only wife, while 28% of women never marry and just over 37% are still married to their first husband (table 1). These numbers are definitely not better; at 60% divorce rate for men and 63% for women.

While I do not care for the motives of Pew Research; they do collect data. I see 70% of us are Christians. I see the number of married dropping in total, but the number of never married increasing the same amount; same for Baptists at 58% married, better than nation average.

I am not Baptist, but I would ask why do you pick on them? Are they not trying to build families; just because you disapprove of their Doctrine? Many things are disproven, in fact, statistics, Doctrine, wisdom, knowledge… but the same concepts keep coming up.

I would contend, as most of the Christian world does, that Paul went out of his way in Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of GOD” and the rest of the Chapter defines the husband and wife as “one”. The husband is given the same referential authority and commanded to LOVE AS CHRIST; while the wife is commanded to submit in subjection of such great gift.

What do you think to serve in LOVE (Mark 10 or Matthew 20) actually means; “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (same in both)? HE and we will submit to your needs, as we do now, but not to your wants or whimsical ideologies.
John 15:
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Mark 3:
24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

Dr Johnson's argument fails 1 John 4:3 “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” In John 8:13 the Pharisees asked the same question and JESUS answered. The concepts of two becoming one escapes many; whether FATHER AND SON or husband and wife. You have to give up you and remove you from the picture before this can happen.

We have had this discussion before. I would contend this fails all requirements of Titus 2.

Ramesh said...

krwordgazer > In Tribute: Suzanne McCarthy, 1955-2015

Anonymous said...

"It's mostly rhetoric, but he does employ what I think is a christological argument based on Ephesians 5:23-24 - Christ is the head of the church, so the husband is the head of the wife. I think this as different to ESS. And, of course, I would say it only applies to marriage, not to roles in the church.

How can we disprove that?"

There is no need to "disprove" that but to understand it within its historical context. How would a 1st Century hearer in Ephesus understood "kephale"? They would not have understood it as authority or boss as we understand the use of "head". Language changes over time and this causes great problems in translation. The whole "head/body" metaphor breaks down if we do not understand this correctly. And it is confusing because Jesus Christ is our "boss" so to speak so we have a very hard time not transferring that truth into this very metaphorical passage about being filled with the Holy Spirit and what that would look like in mutuality . Christ is the source (Head) that supplies the body. A 1st Century husband had to be the source (head) that supplied the needs of his wife as she was not exactly able to attend the University of Ephesus and get a degree to support herself. Marriages were arranged not based upon love or choice.

It cannot mean what it has been historically interpreted unless we are going to admit that a married woman has a husband mediator between her and Christ. Just as women are obviously not saved in childbearing...contrary to the silliness in how that passage is interpreted making it a work of salvation in "role".

Gordon said...

In marriage two people become one as they covenant before God to see the relationship through to the end, come good or bad times. We take a considered risk by entrusting everything we are and have to one another, and there is no going back on the decision 'to leave and to cleave'. It becomes our privilege to submit to one another, even when one partner may have to take the lead or a back seat for a while, and then change over as circumstances alter. But always aspiring to act together in loving agreement, co-ordination, co-operation, complementing one another's gifts and experience.
It's like playing mixed doubles tennis where you are relying upon and supporting each other all the time. The divine Jesus Christ subordinated and limited himself temporarily to accomplish the salvation of his bride (Philippians 2:3-11), and we are now called upon to identify ourselves with him in his service, suffering and sacrifice in a similar manner in our married lives. And what a privilege it is to do so!

Gordon said...

In marriage two people become one as they covenant before God to see the relationship through to the end, come good or bad times. We take a considered risk by entrusting everything we are and have to one another, and there is no going back on the decision 'to leave and to cleave'. It becomes our privilege to submit to one another, even when one may have to take the lead or a back seat for a while, and then change over as circumstances alter. But always acting together in loving agreement, co-ordination, co-operation, complementing one another's gifts and experience.
It's like playing mixed doubles tennis where you are relying upon and supporting each other all the time. The divine Jesus Christ subordinated and limited himself temporarily to accomplish the salvation of his bride (Philippians 2:3-11), and we are now called to identify ourselves with him in his service, suffering and sacrifice in our married lives. And what a privilege it is to do so!

Victorious said...

How can we disprove that?

One would think that should such a position, responsibility or entitlement be given to a husband, we could find such a command in scripture. I've not been able to find such an instruction directed to a husband.

He is commanded, however, to love his wife with the same degree of love Christ had for His church, that is He laid down His very life for her. This love of the husband for the wife parallels the greatest love one can have. John 15:13

The wife, then, being the beneficiary of that great love and lovingly responds to it just as we do to Jesus' selfless sacrifice. The result is perfect; mutual love of both toward one another.

Anonymous said...

Yep; right above the verse you are looking at. Ephesians 5:24 “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Whatever definition you which to give to head (or anything else); to depredate the authority of the husband is to desecrate the authority of CHRIST over the Church. I would never recommend doing that.

The younger women are to be taught “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” in Titus 2:5. “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority” in v 15.

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17; the husband has to provide such account in Ephesians 5:27.

The Church has requirements in 1 Timothy 3: “4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”

I think you confuse the definition of LOVE and submission. Do you think that CHRIST submits to you; or does HE provide you when and what is needed, because of you? If HE does submit to you; then I bow my head to you. Otherwise: promote strong, blessed families that create a strong Church and definitely do not assume yourself sufficient of wisdom to create another plan; just to meet your individual ideologies.

Victorious said...

I think you confuse the definition of LOVE and submission

Anonymous, it seems you are confusing verses directed toward wives and assuming (by default) they're meant for husbands.

I'm looking for a command directed to husbands to have authority over their wives.

No, Paul was certainly educated and articulate enough to clearly say, "Husbands, I want you to have authority over your wives." Like he did when he said, "Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension." I hope you lift up your holy hands when you pray.

And like Paul clearly said this, "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide (G3616) the house...1 Tim. 5:14

G3616) From G3617; to be the head of (that is, rule) a family: - guide the house.

And you are reading authority into Ephesians 5:24. The love husbands are to have toward their wives is compared to the same love Christ had for the church when He gave Himself up for her. That's the command directed to husbands; LOVE your wives as Christ loved the church. There is no mention whatsoever about authority.

So can you provide a verse(s) that commands husbands specifically to have authority over their wives?

Christiane said...


with respect to your post, I've been thinking about the possible intersection(s) of several issues:

first, I am wondering if people who follow patriarchy and CBMW, as well as Southern Baptist 'submission of women' doctrine, ALSO fail to recognize the common humanity that both men and women belong to ?

secondly, IF it is true that the male and females of our species ARE seen by patriarchists as not belonging to a common humanity, how is it that they can apply Our Lord's Incarnation as effectively covering both males and females?

thirdly, IS it possible that having rejected the common humanity of both males and females of our species,
that the whole concept of ESS came about as Christ, having 'saved' males (whom He assumed in the Incarnation) then indirectly 'saves' females through their submission not directly to Him but to those males He saved?


I know these ideas are strange (even to me) but could there be something in the thinking of patriarchists that draws from these weird and wrong presumptions ?
If so, it looks like ESS is not only a case of heresy, but also real idolatry of the human male, and also grounds for the formation of cults.

Anonymous said...

This is a command; “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22. You can choose to follow CHRIST or not.

This is a statement and definition of extent in reality “ For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” or like 1 Corinthians 11:3 “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” The grass is green, the sky is blue, there is no legal interpretation or derived variations; it is lawyer proof. However you wish to define head or attempt to degrade the husband; you in like degrade CHRIST and GOD. READ THE WORDS.

No different than the example given in 1 Peter 3: 5 “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

Or the requirements for the older women to teach in Titus 2: 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Genesis 3: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Genesis 5: 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
Numbers 30:5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.
Numbers 30: 13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.
Matthew 5: 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Luke 16 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
1 Corinthians 14: 34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

CHRIST made the ultimate sacrifice, because of us; but GRACE only added to our requirements. Now, not only is the act, but even thinking it a sin; should submission not also be commanded in, as and above such?

Anonymous said...

Christiane; I think my wife statements puts it in best tense. How can anyone not follow HIS PLAN? How can anyone not wish the provider ship and protection of a strong house; along with the blessings that come from following CHRIST? She thinks that others are envious and covet; miserable and searching in life, wanting everyone else to suffer with them in their little hell holes. My 15 year old daughter is pretty blunt: some fail to love as CHRIST, some fail to submit in everything and some fail to rebuke within Titus 2; making everyone else’s job much more difficult and then they are nowhere to be found to help clean up the mess.

I could care less about your ideologies of humanity; they are of this world and will be stripped away. I worry about what is left over. You do seem to wish to lord over your thoughts over and condemn others; who seem to be trying to make strong families and a strong Church as CHRIST commanded. I am sorry, but I see no purpose, reason or anything having to do with GOD within any of such presented.

2 Timothy 3:
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Victorious said...


Thank you for listing all the wives and fathers commands. What I'm looking for is the husband command to have authority over his wife.

You forgot to note that the wife has authority over the husband in 1 Cor. 7:4.

Common sense tells you that if there is no such command for husbands to have authority over his wife, then there is no such command for a husband to have authority over his wife. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this truth. As someone who lived under this (and suffered under it), I cannot tell you how I feel that someone "in the camp" acknowledges the very direct correlation of authority and divorce. I was taught this in my early 20's, and the result was that it gave biblical permission to my spouse who already demanded authority. And I felt I had no choice but to follow the teaching, or risk being shunned by my then faith community as well as incurring the very wrath of God. Adultery still was not an out, as I was expected to take the higher road. I eventually felt forced to choose between leaving an abusive relationship or church, so I left. But I left too late for my children, as that teaching still is wreaking havoc in their lives. It just felt like God hated me. I found a group of believers who have loved on me, restored me, supported me, and have taught me that I was not created to be dominated. I hate anonymous comments, but in this instance I am still afraid of the push back, even after all these years, from those who still hold such beliefs. For the record, there were six of us young couples who were taught to model the submission, headship, stay at home, homeschool camp, and all six are now divorced. Coincidence??? I have always thought not. Again, you have validated my story and you speak for so many who are broken and hurting.
Thank you

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous 11:35 am

I would desire - only if you feel led by the Spirit - for you to email me at wwburleson@gmail.com and tell me your complete story. I have no desire to embarrass you or anyone else (so you can change the names of all involved if you desire), but I found your comment compelling. If you feel led to write your thoughts into a narrative, I'd love to share it. It's one thing for me to speak of eternal subordination from a theoretical, theological perspective, but quite another for people to hear how it plays out in marriages.

Regardless of your decision, I thank you for your comment and admire your courage.

Christiane said...

I think some of the comment responses show us the thinking of those who have psychological needs to be controlling that would possibly lead them to belong to a cult of extreme patriarchy; while other comments sadly show us the suffering of the victims of such destructive cult teachings.

It has been informative for me to engage with this post and to read all of the comments and I hope that some good will eventually come for the sake of the lady who has suffered terribly and shared her story with us. The fact that she is able to tell her story is a sign that she is on the right track towards the light of Christ. I pray for her to have strength on her journey, and for her to find peace.

Anonymous said...

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17;"

You might want to do an indepth study on the Greek and see how some of the same words in that passage were translated totally different in other passages. The translators had strange word choices because this passage tends to negate stuff both Jesus and John said.

I just don't want to go there anymore as I get weary of people like you who machine gun verses to prop up a mediator between a wife and Jesus Christ. Or a mediator between a believer and some sort of church leader. It just gets old.

Nancy said...

Sorry, I just can't help myself:

Romans 16:16. Salute one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
1 Corinthians 16:20. All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with a holy kiss. 😘

People (men, in particular) put much emphasis on the interpretations of what the Apostle Paul has to say about "a woman's place", but I never see any of the men puckering up at church, or even discussing those verses, for that matter!!! 😱

Brother Wade, thank you for your prayers!

Anonymous said...

I “speak, and exhort, and rebuke within all authority” (1 Timothy 5:20, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Timothy 4:2 and Titus 2)

2 Peter 1:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The SCRIPTURE does not belong to you; nor is it open for your individual interpretations.

Ephesians 2:
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
The Church does not belong to you; those works are of others and definitely not yours to tear down.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Your motives fail convection. There is no service to CHRIST or Church in any of this. You wish to tear down the Church and in those building, based on your individual interpretations of HIS PLAN? I think you might have to take that up with HIM; Job’s 3 friends made it through.

Then you wish to not comfort one asking and in need; but use such pain for your own means? Leaving others to do that?

GOD has a perfect PLAN and Loved us enough to send HIS only begotten SON; as a sacrifice for and because of us. GOD didn’t make bad people; they did that on their own and are everywhere. HE does not hold us accountable for the things we have to do; because of them. Many times they interfere with HIS PLAN; but evil is the problem, not the PLAN and definitely not the Church. The Church is strong and has been there as the Light and to help since existence. The PLAN fails in our execution. We fail to do what we are told, create our own individual ideologies to not follow the PLAN, come up with every excuse and then our own reasons for failure. Evil is out there; CHRIST said it takes a strong house and kingdom to fight the battle and a house divided will fall (Mark 3).

Matthew 5: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Now I would ask you, why are you angry with not just your brother; but all brethren?

Ramesh said...

I have wondered about the pressure that is brought to bear on the women who are married to men in ministry in SBC. As a divorce is a nuclear option that ruins the men in ministry. So lot of pressure on women to remain in marriage and possibly endure the suffering caused by authority and headship which is wrongly understood.

What a mess!

Anonymous said...

Interesting concept: You wonder about the pressures on SBC Pastors wives? Shouldn’t we worry about all Pastors, their wives and families (any Pastor doing their job anyway)? As one, they are the strength, structure, beacon and light to the world; people flock to them like flies with their problems, because of this. This is a very difficult job (and this includes all of the Church leaders); do they not deserve our help, support, appreciation and hearts?

Did you go up and down the streets and see if you could help; in such wonder and concern for those that do such a difficult job? Or maybe is the ideology more like; CHRIST does not need me to help in delivering Blessings? Are those executing HIS PLAN not worthy of your help?

I am not a Baptist, but I see multitudes of communities now, with many banner Churches and Denominations; all working together and supporting each other. They have picnic’s, commune and serve the needs of the community; all together. Then I see this.

GOD does not need us for anything; but he Loves us. HE cannot make anyone love; we are here with choice. If we Love CHRIST, we serve HIM and HIS body of the Church. You seem to have problems with authority and headship:
2 Thessalonians 3:
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

Hebrews 13:
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

actionsub said...

I find the assertion that "divorced couples are coming to Southern Baptist churches to find hope there" interesting.
When my wife abandoned our marriage, I moved back home and went back to my former church there seeking the same. I was told that "Divorced people are sinners who wanted an easy way out of their problems" (when I wasn't the one who sought the divorce), that I would never be allowed to preach again since "if I got remarried I would automatically be an adulterer and that would be as bad as letting a homosexual in the pulpit", and other pearls of "hope".
I eventually left to try to repair what was left of my faith in a church of another denomination, though I still miss the SBC.

Nancy said...

I write this under the assumption that the anonymous person who keeps writing about "HIS PLAN" and says that a wife's failure to obey her husband is the same as disobeying God, etc.

Your statements and Biblical references leave me thoroughly confused! Please clarify. Do you mean that "HIS PLAN" is that a man is prophet, priest, and king of his home? Do you mean that in "HIS PLAN", women are property? Do you mean that IN "HIS PLAN", a man owns his wife and any daughters that they may have????

That is the impression I get, although you do not state it outright.

Gordon said...

(a) In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were perfectly one, in a loving, trusting relationship.
(b) When Eve fell for Satan's temptation and disobeyed God, she not only ruined her own life but drew Adam and her children into the misery of the curse of rejection as well.
(c) From then on, the only way in which women could have some protection and provision was to sell themselves completely to any man who would take them on as slaves and as disposable property.
(d) The patriarchal society of the OT was the structure for that situation....polygamy and eviction for the smallest displeasure, at the drop of a hat. The man alone was property holder, prophet, priest, policeman , prison warder and politician in his own home.
(e) The New Covenant, cut in Jesus's blood, happily brought all this old order to an end when Paradise was regained and plan (a) was restored for our benefit once again. With Him there is now no racism, no East nor West, neither male nor female and no slave nor freeman, no Jew or Gentile......all believers are of equal value, of one flesh under God's authority as it was originally meant to be. Therefore in our marriage relationship we gladly submit to one another, but above all to God; we love one another dearly, but God firstly; we walk in harmony with each other, being led personally by the Word and the Spirit.

What more do we want ? Why then should we live any longer under the marriage and relational constrictions of the Old Covenants when we can experience the glorious liberty of the new and better covenant ? To my mind, too many Christians live by outdated cultural structures which have long since been superseded by this new and better way revealed in Jesus Christ.

Nancy said...

(e) The New Covenant --- with Him, there is no racism ...
I agree. Society (people in our imperfections, in our churches, in our governments) impose racism, patriarchy, and countless forms of discrimination ---- not God!
In marriage, when we disagree, we need to make our decisions, our compromises, with much prayer, discussion, and thoughtfulness. A marriage shouldn't be centered around some human, mortal, male who has appointed himself "prophet, priest, and king" of his earthly home. Inclusion shouldn't be based on the color of a person's skin, the shape of a person's eyes, the social status of the parents, or how many X or Y chromosomes a person has.

Anonymous said...

Nancy, I will try to put this into simplest form; since you seem to search. The Scripture, Doctrine and the WORD of GOD does not belong to you, Wade or me; it belongs to HIM and is HIS PLAN, we have nothing to do with it. It is there to help, guide and comfort us.

2 Peter 1:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

CHRIST said twice that not one tittle of the law fails.
Matthew 5: 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Luke 16 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

Galatians 3:
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Do not disannul or try to add your individual ideologies to GOD’s Covenant, nor attempt to remove the promise of those trying to meet the requirements as heirs.

Romans 7:2 “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.”
1 Corinthians 7:39 “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”

I do not tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear; because I Love you and worry of your Soul. If you do not like HIS PLAN; I am sorry, but it is HIS PLAN and does not change. This was presented on June 23 above; from Law to Grace. You can serve HIM or you serve your self interest; simple as that.

Victorious said...

Anonymous (Sun Jun 28, 04:57:00 AM 2015)

Romans 7:2 “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.”
1 Corinthians 7:39 “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”

Where can we find this law Paul refers to? Do you have a scripture reference?

Nancy said...

So, are you saying that the all of the OT laws still apply??? And by HIS plan, do you mean that my husband serves God and I unquestioningly serve my husband???

Nancy said...

And, Jesus died on the cross so that we could all be subject to Hebrew laws?

Nancy said...

When you were referencing Numbers, Ch. 30, you left out the 1st verse:

Num. 30:1 And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded.

You left out a few other things, too.

Gal. 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Gal:23-25 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Eph. 2:14-15 For he is our peace, who hath made both one and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us: having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace:

Anonymous said...

CHRIST in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Most of the law is found in the first 5 books of the BIBLE (and yes Moses was a Lawgiver). GOD does not change; he is JUST and LOVING. In alternate: we ate the fruit, we could not keep the law, he had to sacrifice HIS SON and it will still not be enough for us.
Mark 13: 20 “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.”

You bring us to the mediator in Galatians 3:19. Galatians 3:20 “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” Ephesians 2:16 “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”
CHRIST explains this in John 8:
15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

We have been given the greatest of GIFTS and for those that persevere; we will be one. Within Love should we not keep the Law and tell everyone else they should also? Should be not tell everyone about Grace and the additional requirements of Love for one another there? Should we not teach and follow the PLAN or do we just assume we will get the blessings of the Plan? Do we graciously ask for forgiveness when we sin and be grateful for such; or do we assume some kind of ownership as spoilt children and say we have the right to screw up as we have throughout all existence?