Friday, May 11, 2018

Tweet It, Read It, Understand It: The Biblical Basis for Believing Men and Women Are Always Equal

I wrote an article ten years ago (September 2008), which is relevant today due to the current debacle being played out in the Southern Baptist Convention.

If you are a Christian who believes the Bible, take your time to read through this article to familiarize yourself with the reasons why men like Paige Patterson, Wayne Grudem, Bruce WareAl Mohler, and organizations like the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood believe that a man should always lead, and a woman should always submit.

These men teach that if the "roles" of men and women are ever reversed, it's a sign that we are living in a wicked society  It's the reason they fight hard to ignore the giftings of highly educated women and remove them from teaching men Hebrew in a seminary. It's the reason they will tell a woman to return to her abusive husband, submit to him, and pray for him.

This false belief that males have inherent, God-given authority over women is an unbiblical, harmful, and heretical teaching (as I will show below). Yet, these Southern Baptist leaders say they are being "biblical" and those who disagree with them are people who don't believe the Bible or simply pagans.

That's just not so.

Ironically, these Southern Baptists who have promoted the inherent and eternal authority of males over females, may, in fact, be the Christian liberals among us. They seem to deny the clear teachings of Jesus Christ, act contrary to the pattern of behavior for all Christians as outlined out in the New Covenant Scriptures, and are subtly but dangerously falling short in their understanding of the Trinity.

Southern Baptists fought one alleged "battle for the Bible" years ago,  but this modern controversy is over believing and practicing some very important truths about gender equality which are in the Bible, the Bible which we Southern Baptists loudly proclaim we believe.


(Written by Wade Burleson, September 25, 2008)

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

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

This apathy for doctrine has far-reaching harmful consequences.

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

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

The Arian Controversy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Council of Nicaea ended with the Christian pastors declaring Arius and his follower's heretics.

A Resurging Semi-Arianism in the Southern Baptist Convention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is no denying the physical differences between men and women, but to base the spiritual or emotional “subordination” of women to men on the alleged eternal subordination of the Son to God the Father borders on an Arian view of the nature of Christ.

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

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

There is a great deal that will be said in the Southern Baptist Convention and the evangelical world as a whole in the coming months and years about the role of women in society, the church, and the home. Sadly, there is a tendency for those who hold to the hierarchical view of a man’s authority over women to label those who disagree with them as liberal.

But it seems to me that some Southern Baptists follow Arian's teachings more than Christ's teachings.

A Southern Baptist leader has refused to let a woman teach Hebrew to men because of her lesser "spiritual authority" Southern Baptist male trustees conspired to remove a woman from a supervisor’s position in the International Mission Board because she was violating her God-given role of "receiving orders" and was sinfully "giving orders. Southern Baptist pastors will advocate that women staying out of the workforce because their role is to be subordinate to men in society.  In fact, some will go as far as to say any society where "women rule" is an evil, wicked society. To these Southern Baptist Arians, women are “the lesser” regarding “authority” when compared to men, and anyone who dares disagree with them is considered a "liberal" Christian or a pagan.

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

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

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

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

We should accept our brothers (and a few sisters) in Christ who are arguing for "eternal subordination," and we should always treat them with Christian love and respect, but we should never shy away from unchallenging their unorthodox views of the Trinity.

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


Christiane said...

'The deposit of faith' refers to the core orthodox teachings handed down from the Apostles and GUARDED and passed on intact . . . one of the Cappadocian Fathers, Gregory of Nyssa, wrote of the part of this deposit of faith to do with the unity of the Holy Trinity. This quote gives insight into the beliefs of the early Church on the subject:

“St. Gregory of Nazianzus, also called “the Theologian”, entrusts this summary of Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople:

‘Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion, and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures:
I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I entrust it to you today.....
I give you but one Divinity and power, existing One in three, and containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of substance or nature, without superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts down . . . "

Rex Ray said...



The “battle for the Bible” was nothing but a smokescreen to alarm Christians into believing their ‘Conservative Reassurance’ was the right thing to do.

Why didn’t they start their own convention instead of high jacking ours?

They could have named their convention, “Our Way or the Highway Convention”.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct!

Scott Shaver said...

"Why didn't they start their own convention instead of hijacking the SBC?"

Pure speculation on my part but judging from the chauffeurs, servants, travel expenses. Taxidermy bills and luxurious housing arrangments, one might guess it had something to do with $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

God is everywhere so go with the money, honey.

Scott Shaver said...

On TV, When a puffy shirt was presented by Kramer to Jerry Seinfeld as the latest in "pirate fashion," Seinfeld responded "But I don't wanna be a pirate!"

When Paige Patterson serves up his extra-biblical dogma on the role of women in the church and society yoh can almost feel the spiritual reverberation..."But I don't want to be a complimentarion."

Tom Parker said...


You said:""Why didn't they start their own convention instead of hijacking the SBC?"

Pure speculation on my part but judging from the chauffeurs, servants, travel expenses. Taxidermy bills and luxurious housing arrangments, one might guess it had something to do with $$$$$$$$$$$$$."

When has PP sacrificed for the Gospel?

Tina said...

This. Is. So. Good. Thank you for sharing! It really opens my eyes to how churches say on one hand they believe and submit to the doctrine outlined in the Nicene Creed and then on the other hand they contradict that by practicing Complementarianism (which, in my experience, really plays out no different than Patriarchy, but touted with a less nauseating and misleading sounding name).

Rex Ray said...

Tom Parker,

Rebels stole the name ‘Conservative’ and hijacked the SBC just like they did all the State Conventions except Texas and Virginia. The OLD convention of Texas was formed in 1886 with the name ‘Baptist General Convention of Texas’. (BGCT)

When the ‘rebels’ couldn’t get their leaders elected they split and formed ‘Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’. (SBTC) Their president, Coffey, stated: “I cannot have fellowship with those who do not believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God.”

This states:
“SBTC was formed by churches within the Baptist General Convention of Texas so that they might partner more closely with the SBC in a fellowship based on a common commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture.”

The new convention had meetings all over Texas trying to persuade churches of the old convention to join them by telling outrages lies. They published a newspaper “Plumbline” which stated the old convention:
1.Deny deity of Christ.
2.Call for ordination of gays.
3.Defended distribution of child pornography.

Anonymous said...

I live in Texas and you are socorrect.

Christiane said...

"The new convention had meetings all over Texas trying to persuade churches of the old convention to join them by telling outrages lies. They published a newspaper “Plumbline” which stated the old convention:
1.Deny deity of Christ.
2.Call for ordination of gays.
3.Defended distribution of child pornography."

I find that in our heated political divisions in this country, outrageous lies are told with impunity as though 'if you want to join us, you have to believe this garbage because we say its true'

some initiation into 'membership', when selling out your own integrity brings you a bunch of like-minded 'friends', so I can imagine many people lining up to 'join' for social reasons those groups they want to be a part of, even at the cost of their own humanity

'outrageous lies' . . . the current fashion on FOX News, where a guest reported that John McCain had cooperated with his captors in Viet Nam . . .

I wonder about all the 'lies' and all of the 'division' . . . how much of all the conspiracy theories and such are a result of the Russian attacks on our country through social media? I think the key to beginning to recognize evil is to know that 'outrageous' is a red light that something may not be true and those who are pitching it may be manipulative at best, truly evil at worst.

'Outrageous' is a good discernment word. :)

RB Kuter said...

Great blog with interesting proposals as to the possible motivations of some for positioning women and men in their perspective status in dual-gender relationships. I am not sure how much legitimacy there is for this coming from an Arian ideology there is, but interesting all the same. I learn a lot from your blog sites, Wade, as well as acquiring a lot of the news that is taking place.

Did you see Paige's Tweet giving an apology today? I thought it was well written and displays a heart of someone that acknowledges the possibilities of having overstepped in his illustrations by assuming that his audience understood his intent or context more than they did. It is always good to express regret when something we say results in another person being hurt.

But, of course, Paige's apology will not resolve the problem of his being in the leadership role he currently occupies. I don't believe that the things he has said are what disturb others as much as does the practices that he applies, particularly in regard to women in ministry and discipleship roles.

I recognize that many say that a new concept for the role women are allowed to play in ministry is required. Given that Paige represents a position where women are limited a lot more than men and often are degraded verbally and denigrated to being less capable than men in so many aspects of leadership and ministry positions, he would be a target. But never forget that Paige represents many, many men as explained by Beth Moore's letter. It is the "church culture" that we live in.

The removal of Paige from the scene is NOT going to accomplish much, if anything, in regards to how women are perceived, treated and given opportunities for service. Remove Paige and the current way of thinking in our Convention will continue to exist. For anything to change in a way that opens doors for women and results in their experiencing the sense of equality and respect they seek, will require a change in the mindset of Southern Baptists. Southern Baptists are going to have to be more vocal and forthright in expressing a change of heart and perspective in this regard. That means there must be a shift from within the ranks currently occupied and controlled by the fundamental, ultra-conservative majority who determine the application of ideology. Taking out Paige can't do that.

Curious Thinker said...

I think many of very conservative Christians not just the Southern Baptists argue that men and women are equal under God but are not identical and therefore have different roles and functions. It is somewhat true to an extant. Men and women are equal in God's Kingdom, in salvation and equal in value and worth in humankind but do have some differences(biologically and psychologically) with some different strengths and abilities like men have more muscles and women can give birth as examples. But that doesn't mean they can't have some of the same gifts and abilities in other areas such as leadership including in the church. Although misunderstanding the scriptures plays a part in limiting women's role in the church, the ultra patriarchal culture among the Christian community also contributes to it. Better understanding of the biblical scriptures of women's place among the church will help improve it. Good article. God Bless

Rex Ray said...

Does any MAN want to sign a letter written by men to the SWBTS Board of Trustees?

The one page letter ends with these words:

“Dr. Patterson’s behavior confuses the message of the Gospel. His continued leadership—without repentance and reprimand—call into question the witness of the Southern Baptist Convention. The world is watching, brothers. We pray the Lord will grant you faith, courage, and wisdom to act in a way that represents well our Savior Jesus Christ and the Good News of his Kingdom.”

At present there are 280 men on eight pages that list their name, their church, and their town.

I believe if we let our churches know, there’d be 2,000 names before the convention meets.

To sign the letter, click on the link below and follow directions. They’ll email you asking if you want to sign, and you must reply before they add your name.

One guy had the guts to sign who listed his church as: “Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary”.

Rex Ray said...


Taking out Page is a GOOD start.

Anonymous said...

Paige has been far outpaced by Mark Dever and 9 Marks. The dogma is being duplicated without thinking minds looking into Scripture texts and doing proper hermeneutics. This is eerily reminding me much of the Jehovah Witness cult that has a dogma/propaganda that they want to push regarding the deity of Christ so they put forth their views/dogma and then all the followers learn the views and the selected, so-called, proof texts and off they go pushing the ideas forward having never really looked at the scriptures themselves to challenge or to validate the ideas being put forth. I have heard the same arguments over and over again on reasons for women's subordination and gender based giftings.

If I had time, I would lay out the arguments point by point but frankly it is exhausting and others have already done so, but I'll say this much...I'm am very tired of hearing, "Adam named the animals and then he named Eve which means men have authority over women." Do they have any idea how degrading this sounds to women, as though women are in some way judged in value equal to or just above the animal kingdom." I mean picture it, will you? All the animals line up and Eve is in line with the animals waiting to be named by Adam. Very degrading. What kind of twisted mind would even think up such an argument and why are women putting up with it? God would not be pleased and we shouldn't be either. He described her as "Ezer." ... a power or strength corresponding to Adam. She is fully his equal and fully his match and should never be connected with the animal kingdom. What lunacy!

Christiane said...

I always thought that ESS involved a heretical view of 'Who Christ was' and a heretical view of the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity . . .

there is a discussion going on over at SBCtoday between Ed Chapman and Robert concerning the Holy Trinity and, my goodness, what confusion over the Holy Trinity . . . I don't know how much of it is Southern Baptist belief, but it's confirmed in my mind that a strong Trinitarian doctrine that is universally accepted among Southern Baptists simply does not exist . . .

Yes, I can see how confusion would arise. But when people depart from orthodoxy, they can quickly fall into areas of heresy that the traditional Christians in early centuries of the faith dealt with and resolved among the whole Church

Ed Chapman seems confused . . . very 'modalist' in his thinking about the Holy Trinity, yes

Victorious said...

I see "selective literalism" as the problem with those who an "equal BUT" position in both the home and the church.

While they insist on the authority of 1 Timothy 2:12, here are a few that are conveniently ignored as the result of applying proper hermeneutic.

* Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. 1 Tim.2:8 (do you see this practiced in your churches??)

* Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments....1 Tim. 2:8 (no gold wedding bands or pearl necklaces??)

* "If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. John 13:14 (do we do this in our churches???)

* No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. 1 Tim. 5:23 (when I have an upset stomach, should this be enforced??)

* Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him. 1Cor. 11:14 (let's not forget the fact that Paul himself knew of the Nazarite vow.)

* Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called. 1 Cor. 7:20 (this, if taken literally, would significantly reduce the number of marriages, wouldn't it??)

* ...and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Eph 5:21 (this evidently applies to everyone EXCEPT husbands to wives....)

And MY Favorite:

** For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife....Eph 5:31 (we insist on reading that BOTH should leave their fathers and mothers!!)

Conclusion: Selective literalists cut & paste as necessary to arrive at a desired agenda using scripture that enforces their cause.

Jon L. Estes said...


If you are correct and you want to remain true to scripture within an organization... in this case the SBC, it would seem you need to fight against such evil until it is gone or remove yourself from such an organization for holding such a heretical position?

If you are correct and you want the SBC to be purest in their doctrine, then this position you take needs to be brought to the front and treated as evil as the slavery issue the SBC was... is.

To do less means what?

Heresy, by your position, is not worth standing against and truth, as you believe on this topic, really isn’t worth more than riling some people with a blog post against your personal position you make bigger than maybe you think it is.

Hot air or battle warrior... Which is it?

Sallie Borrink said...


Ah, yes. The inconsistencies of applying the "plain meaning of the text" was one of the key factors that led me to really study the complementarian versus egaliatarian/mutuality debate. When the "plain meaning of the text" in one passage clearly contradicts the "plain meaning of the text" in another passage, there has to be more there than the "plain meaning of the text" in English.

If people are truly honest when they study it out, the complementarian view rather quickly falls apart. It has FAR more holes in it then the alternative. But most people don't study it out because they don't want to discover it's wrong. There is too much at stake and it will cause too much loss and upheaval in their lives if they change their position.

There are a lot of people running around in complementarian circles who know that it's wrong, but they won't admit it publicly for fear of what will happen to them, their family, their position at church, their position in the community, their position in their denomination, etc.

Jon L. Estes said...


How does one have an honest discussion on what they disagree over when the accusations call those who see it differently than you is accused of being dishonest and/or living in fear?

Maybe dialogue is not desired.

Sad... regardless.

Wade Burleson said...


"If you are correct and you want to remain true to scripture within an organization... in this case the SBC, it would seem you need to fight against such evil until it is gone or remove yourself from such an organization for holding such a heretical position?"

No, Jon, I am quite comfortable cooperating with people who see these issues differently than I.

Heresy is a "strong word" and it only applied to the Arians in the 4th century. Even though modern Christians might hold to Arian ideas, I would not call them heretics (and will refrain from doing so), just like I don't call someone who believes in conditional immortality, or tongues, or women in ministry, or universal redemption a heretic.


I will dialogue and cooperate with anyone who names the name of Christ as Lord and Savior.

Jon L. Estes said...

“This false belief that males have inherent, God-given authority over women is an unbiblical, harmful, and heretical teaching (as you will show below)”


Your words in your blog speaking about the SBC.

You can say you didn’t mean it, but it’s there.

Scott Shaver said...

He is certainly correct as quoted Jon. Try rereading first 3 chapters of Genesis (i.e. God's view of male and female prior to fall vs the practice of humanity after the fall). For emphasis restudy the use of Hebrew word "Ezher" in Old Testament.

Jon L. Estes said...


I am sure you believe you are right.

In my disagreeing with you, I have not labeled you a heretic.

Christiane said...

Hello Victorious,

I agree with what you wrote, this:
"Conclusion: Selective literalists cut & paste as necessary to arrive at a desired agenda using scripture that enforces their cause."

When Patterson selectively cut and pasted in order to use a portion of the sacred Scriptures as a weapon against Dr. Klouda, he forgot that the written 'Word' cannot go against 'The Word' Himself. Hence, Patterson's sin was to use what he should never have done in order to break the Royal Law of Christ and that puts his soul in jeopardy. There is no part of the written Word which cancels out Our Lord's teaching on how we are to treat others. At worst, Patterson's kicking of Our Lord to the curb in his BF&M 2K was a planned way of getting around Our Lord's teachings and focusing on the Patterson Doctrine of Subordination of Women with an agenda that included tragic consequences for innocent women.
And having done this, it encouraged the CBMW to go forward with their ESS Doctrine, putting Our Lord's position in the Holy Trinity down as a way of reinforcing belittling women.

Those ESS people then tried to claim their teaching was 'orthodox', but the ESS teaching jars Christian people with a strong trinitarian training . . . it is immediately recognized as being 'off'

Rex Ray said...


AH, the old “I do not let women teach men or have authority over them…” (1 Timothy 2:12 NLT) that Patterson has engraved on his heart.

It’s easy to see Paul’s statement did NOT come God, since he gives his lopsided/prejudice reasons:

1. “For God made Adam FIRST…” (1 Timothy 2:13 NLT)
2. “It was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result. (1 Timothy 2:14 NLT)

BTW, Headlines of our newspaper today: “48 Hours” will air on CBS at 9 p.m. Central time May 19, about Fannin County’s most notable unsolved murder case.”

The murder of Jennifer Harris on May 12, 2002 in our local town has many twist and turns. She was a Bonham, Texas High School cheerleader. Had a Masters Degree in Nutrition, Counseling and Health Science. She was divorced. She said she was going to meet someone at Bonham Lake. Days later she was found in Red River.

I believe there was a ‘coverup’ since evidence at the Police Station was discovered missing.

Scott Shaver said...

I don't know what you do in your offline personna, Jon. Paige and his spiritual offspring on the issue of egalitarianism have certainly worn the linguistic rubber off the term "heresy" so not going down straw alley with you.

Address the biblical question and not personality. Isn't that what the acolytes of Patterson would approve with their "high views of Scripture?"

Victorious said...

Another mistranslated verse(s) is that of divorce. Each time Jesus replies to the Pharisees question about "putting away" their wives "for any reason"... Mat 19:3  Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" 

He reiterates the reason for the writ of divorce Moses made.   They *said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?" 
Mat 19:8  He *said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." Matt 19:7-9

The reason Moses allowed divorce (Deut. 24:1-4) was because of the hardness of their hearts. The proof of divorce was protection for the woman and her safety from being stoned for adultery should she desire to remarry.

The same proof of divorce is necessary today as protection from the "hard-hearted" husbands who are guilty of abusive behavior. Just as a certificate of marriage proves a marital relationship, so the certificate of divorce proves hard hearts. And if a husband refuses to sign a certificate of divorce and remarries, he is guilty of adultery.

But those today who use those verses to make marriage a prison for abused women (or men) do not interpret the context correctly.

Wade Burleson said...


Scott is making my point.

I'm not calling anyone a heretic. I'm showing that the doctrine of Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS) was deemed heresy in the 4th century.

I can cooperate with 4th-century heretics and not consider them 21st-century heretics. Can the ESS holders of today fellowship and cooperate with egalitarians?

Sometimes one must push hard to get the pendulum to swing the other direction.

Sallie Borrink said...


How does one have an honest discussion on what they disagree over when the accusations call those who see it differently than you is accused of being dishonest and/or living in fear?

Maybe dialogue is not desired.

Sad... regardless."


If you click on my name, you will discover I have been having a dialogue about these issues with people for years. So much so that I created an entire website to record what I was learning so others could benefit from the hours, days, weeks, months, and years I invested in it. I wish I had more time to devote to study and the website, but being a wife, mom, homeschooler, and business owner with chronic health issues means that I add to it and comment as I'm able.

I'm profoundly thankful for Wade as the Lord used him and his writings while I was sorting out these issues.

There are no accusations in what I wrote. There is a statement of facts. You will also notice I used qualifiers such as "most" and "a lot" instead of saying "everyone." I've interacted with plenty of people who fit the descriptions I gave. People have written to me and told me they are secretly egalitarian but could never say so publicly because it would cause too much trouble. People who are egaliatarians in complementarian churches who have said they cannot ever say what they believe because they wouldn't be accepted any longer.

The average complementarian in the pew is complementarian by default because that is what "good biblical" Christians believe. They have read some articles or books by Piper and a few other CBMW authors. Most of them have never read solid BIBLICAL teachings about egalitarianism/mutuality let alone spent a significant amount of time really studying it. I also don't think most complementarians have asked God to open their eyes to the truth if they are wrong because they assume they are correct. They think that Christian egalitarianism is solely driven by secular feminism. It's not. I don't care what the secular feminists think. I care about what the Bible says and the Lord thinks.

There is no combativeness in my tone when writing this comment. I'm simply sharing the facts as I've experienced them over the past twenty years.

Rex Ray said...


I haven’t seen anyone’s name from your blog on the list of men who have signed a letter to the Board of trustees. The letter and the names that have signed it can be seen here:

The number of men is up to 286.

Do you disagree with their letter that ends with these words?

“Dr. Patterson’s behavior confuses the message of the Gospel. His continued leadership—without repentance and reprimand—call into question the witness of the Southern Baptist Convention. The world is watching, brothers. We pray the Lord will grant you faith, courage, and wisdom to act in a way that represents well our Savior Jesus Christ and the Good News of his Kingdom.”

Rex Ray said...

I hope you haven’t been tricked into drinking his cool-aid. :)

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, "Taking out Page is a GOOD start."

To me, it would be at best a symbolic act empty in its accomplishment of achieving any significant change; much like "politics" in Washington where an aggressive act by an enemy elicits a cruise missile attack on an abandoned terrorist camp. More likely an act of some level of temporal gratification.

Rex Ray said...


If we ‘took out Page’, we wouldn’t have to listen to his sermon at the SBC conference. :)

Are you going to sign the letter. My name is on page 7.

RB Kuter said...

"Why didn’t they start their own convention instead of high jacking ours?"

Rex Ray; you and I see eye to eye on almost all issues but you seem to be more hostile toward the fundamentalist movement than I. I hate the extremity of the hostility on both sides and recognize the collateral damage done in the process of the all-out battles that rage but see the legitimacy of aspects of the argument on both sides.

When some interpret the fundamentalist takeover as being a "hi-jacking" of the Southern Baptist Convention, I will have to say that I believe it was instead a re-possession of the Convention following its having been hi-jacked by the leftist movement.

I have recounted my personal experience upon attending Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in the 80s prior to it be reverted by the Conservatives. I believe I am objectively assessing that it had become a "liberal" haven for the teaching of those who were skeptical as to the authenticity of Scripture, Biblical miracles, and the supernatural power of God involved historically in the course of accomplishing His eternal plan for the redemption of mankind.

Believe me, Rex Ray, the propositions of liberation theology, the question of the virgin birth of Christ, abandonment of the position of the exclusiveness of Christ as the only hope for mankind were all very much present and an accepted form of teaching on campus while the more conservative, literal acceptance of Scripture was often actually ridiculed.

I also believe that SEBTS at that time was typical of the environment at Southern Seminary and others and therefore that of the power players in control of the Southern Baptist Convention. I also believe that those proposing a shift back to a more conservative position were not allowed at the table for serious debate and consideration by those in power prior to the Convention wars. I believe it was this scenario that pressured the rebellion against the liberal power base in control at that time.

I also believe that the great majority of Southern Baptists in churches during that time prior to the resurgence of the conservative uprising were like me before I attended a Southern Baptist seminary. They were blindly ignorant as to what was taking place in Southern Baptist academia and if they had known they would have been shocked and totally against it.

To say, "Why didn’t they start their own convention instead of high jacking ours?" seems to me to be similar to Vice President Joe Biden saying to Vice President Paul Ryan during campaign debate, "Why don't you people just get out of our way?!"

I see it all in a way similar to our nation when the pendulum swings first from "the right" to "the left" and then will eventually will swing back to "the left again", and so on and so on.

RB Kuter said...

"Are you going to sign the letter. My name is on page 7."

Rex Ray, are you referring to the letter from women to the Trustees that is mentioned in one of Wade's earlier posts? No, I don't want to sign it. I just do not feel it clearly states my perception of things or will contribute to things changing in a way I believe they should be changing. I guess I view things in a more comprehensive perspective than localizing it to being a "Paige" problem.

Also, there are statements in The Letter such as: "The world is watching us all, brothers. They wonder how we could possibly be part of a denomination that counts Dr. Patterson as a leader. They wonder if all Southern Baptist men believe that the biblical view of a sixteen-year-old girl is that she is “built” and “fine” —an object to be viewed sexually."

I do not believe this objectively portrays that entire scenario of Paige's comments, the context of his statements or its intent. Seems to be distorted by a lot of bias, kind of like "fake news" on TV. There are so many other aspects of his leadership style and practice that are inappropriate and obvious that should be addressed and to distort statements and comments in an attempt to paint him as a dirty old man seems to me to undermine the significance of other areas where he has overstepped his position and authority, like having the Muslim student, forcing out Professor Klouda without legitimate justification, arranging for the elaborate retirement living accommodations on campus and other things. So, no, I won't sign that letter.

As I have already said more than once, those Trustees at SWBTS are the true source of our problem along with those previous SBC Presidents who have been instrumental in our having such Trustees on our Boards. They are the ones who are allowing the abuse and irresponsible management of our SBC institutions. Why would I write a letter to them expecting to see any significant improvement in our situation?

Scott Shaver said...

Exactly. I can't even get him to address the issue of plenary verbal inspiration being foundational to the dynamic of salvation.

Scott Shaver said...

Nobody has yet to address whether or not that is "adding to the gospel" in order to promote the CR-Patterson dogma of "inerrancy". One could spend weeks reviewing the history of that over last two decades. Again, BFM2000 under Paige is a reflection of a lot of this stuff.

Rex Ray said...


I see that you haven’t read the link I posted of “Men writing trustees”.

I am not referring to the letter from WOMEN to Trustees.”

Here is the link again:

Nancy2 said...

Jesus said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Do complementarian men wish for women to treat them the same way they treat us?

Jon L. Estes said...


So one who teaches thing which you deem heretical because they believe such things to be true... they are not heretics?

It is a very demeaning word to use if you are not wanting to say you see them as heretics.

My day is just beginning, as I am 9 hours ahead of you. Busy day ahead. I do want to speak to the cooperation subject, but time does not permit right now.

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

Hey to Nancy2 . . . I have missed your voice much. :)

I enjoyed your choice of Deborah and Jael over on SBCtoday blog, in your comment to "Andrew" who, with all of "his" talents as a put-down artist, can't touch Debbie's integrity.

I've been thinking about just how EPIC the story of Dr. Patterson and Dr. Sheri Klouda is.
In our modern times, rarely do we see two individuals so clearly defined by their own actions.
And when these two people came into a situation with one another, the light came on very brightly to illustrate their characters and how they so profoundly differed. It is a story for the SBC to study and to learn from, yes. And it is an example for the wider Church also of what can happen when male pride and hubris overrides a declared faith in Christ, and how a woman can show tremendous strength in response as an honorable Christian woman, even to the selling of her own blood to help pay for her sick husband's medical expenses.

So we see this EPIC story coming to a head:
Patterson has gained his whole world: honors and titles and a great house and a retirement home and no doubt will be financially secure plus his own contribution to his fame: a stained class window . . .

And Dr. Klouda has SURVIVED his abuse with dignity, with honor, and with an honesty that is immediately recognized by many women in our present day, and which certainly is on a level of survival that raises her as a model of strength for women to learn from . . . and also for MEN to learn from . . . . as there WERE some Christian men who saw her situation and spoke out and came to stand by her with support . . .

And now, in the final years of Dr. Patterson's 'career', he is being called to account for episodes of failing to be charitable and instead choosing to abuse BECAUSE HE COULD. And this also brings many other men into conviction and into accountability for their support of him, either by 'looking the other way' or 'excusing' his betrayal of the Royal Law of Christ in his treatment of women . . .

EPIC? It reads like a biblical story, Nancy 2 .... I am much moved by how it has unfolded. I HOPE that there will be healing of male hubris and pride, because some of these men need to come and humble themselves before the Lord and return to their first love, the Lord Christ. And the SBC would do well for itself to return to the 'servant model' of the 'either-to-other' self-giving of spouses where all is done each for the other for no other reason than love.

I often think of your inspiring stories of cooking and of caring for your animals. And I miss your voice muchly. Take care and God bless!

Rex Ray said...

The number of women that have signed a letter to the Board of Trustees at SWBTS is now 3,148, and the men’s letter is 292.

I NOW REALIZE I DID NOT TELL THE TRUTH WHEN I SIGNED THE MEN’S LETTER; because I overlooked this statement in the letter: “We…affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.”

What should I do?

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade says... “This false belief that males have inherent, God-given authority over women is an unbiblical, harmful, and heretical teaching (as you will show below)”

Let me ask then - If someone in the SBC seminaries is teaching the complementarian view that males have an inherent, God given authority over women... and you believe this to be an unbiblical, harmful, and heretical teaching... are you not saying that this is heresy and those who do such are heretics (people committing heretical acts)?

The term heretics... heretical... is a strong term which you used.

Wade also says... "I'm not calling anyone a heretic. I'm showing that the doctrine of Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS) was deemed heresy in the 4th century."

So then, those who teach heretical things (which you deem heretical teachings) are not heretics? I still see this as an extremely harsh word that imposes a certain picture of evil against scripture.

Wade also says - "I can cooperate with 4th-century heretics and not consider them 21st-century heretics."

So you are arguing against 4th-century heretics not against 21st-century fellow believers in the SBC who teach that males have inherent, God-given authority over women?

If such a teaching was heretical in the 4th century, why is it not now? And, if it is, it would seem your fight would need to be to see the whole convention stand against it, not just a handful of loyalist to you.

For the SBC to stand against such would lead to a huge split. Maybe you see it as needed... Or maybe such heretical teachings is ok to cooperate with. You tell me.

Wade Burleson said...

"If such a teaching was heretical in the 4th century, why is it not now?"

Heresy hunters were prevalent in the 4th century.

And Heresy hunters are prevalent in the 21st century.

Don't count me in that camp.

I only point out the heretical history of ESS BECAUSE most heresy hunters I know in the 21st century ARE holders of ESS.

Sometimes the best medicine is in one's own cabinet.


Wade Burleson said...


"I NOW REALIZE I DID NOT TELL THE TRUTH WHEN I SIGNED THE MEN’S LETTER; because I overlooked this statement in the letter: “We…affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.”

Forget it. Don't worry about it. Act like you are a professor of SWBTS.

Dr. E. Earle Ellis, outstanding scholar and SWBTS Professor of New Testament, internationally recognized for his scholarship, believed the New Testament taught conditional immortality, women in ministry, and held to a few other theological positions that contradicted the BFM 2000.

Patterson hired him anyway, told him "not to worry about signing the BFM 2000," and proudly spoke of his prestigious New Testament scholar on the faculty.

Signing the BFM 2000 is akin to removing from power those you don't want to cooperate with - but those in power use it as a tool to keep people out from the positions leadership never wishes to give up.

Sign it, forget it.

It's not the Bible. :)

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade -

Ok, I will not count you in that camp. I'll just recognize you as one who is willing to use the word, claiming such teaching is heretical and happening in the SBC but not consider it an important subject to confront and see removed.


Cooperation is great (I guess) when heretical teaching is not really important enough to see removed.

Rex Ray said...


Thanks for the friendly advice.

I look at it this way; if ‘Man B’ makes a trap that people fall into and die, is it more important to punish Man B than it is to remove his trap?

Likewise, Patterson made the BFM 2000, and it’s more important to remove his BFM 2000, than to punish him.

I cannot find the email address for the ‘Men’s letter to Board of Trustees at SWBTS’. I would like to send what is written below.

Dear Sirs,
Why is it important in your letter to the Board at SWBTS to state: “We…affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.” Is that some kind of ‘password’ for approval? Do you know how many Baptist churches reject the BFM 2000 and abide by the BFM 1963? Do you want them excluded from protesting against what Patterson has done? If this statement cannot be removed from the Men’s letter, please remove my name Rex Ray that is on page 7.

Scott Shaver said...

Jon, you continue to stay focused on the bad taste in your mouth for Burleson et al while refusing to address biblical questions raised.

Leads one to surmise that all this was never really about either Scripture or the trustworthiness thereof to begin with.

Reminds me of an old tune by Living Color, "The Cult of Personality".

Jon L. Estes said...


This is not personal against Wade. I like Wade and he has done some good things. I am in disagreement with his use of the term heretical in the manner he did.

Do you believe the complementarian view is a heretical view? Do you believe that those whe teach this view are teaching heresy?

If you do, wouldn’t that mean you believe those who teach such are heretics?

It is the term being used which can by association end up leaving those who read the comment as calling fellow Christians heretics.

RB Kuter said...

Thank you for giving me the correct references, Rex Ray. No, I would not sign the "Men's" letter "to the Trustees" either. Why? Because of the situation portrayed by the quote in the news article:

"As some wondered this week whether the seminary trustees could remove its president"

Where in the world is the letter demanding that all of these "TRUSTEES" immediately tender their resignations? It is the Trustees who refuse to perform their job as they were delegated to do. The Trustees of SWBTS, as well as the IMB and other SBC Institutions, are the problem. Their function is to be the accountability source that protects all of our SBC institutions from having leaders that have such outrageous, egregious, behavior. Yet they are failing.

Give me a letter to sign that is directed to such Boards of Trustees calling for THEIR resignations and I will sign it immediately. Those Boards who allow this kind of situation are the parties that should be undergoing the scrutiny and demands for dismissal.

In a similar display of Trustee Board dysfunction, the Trustees of the International Mission Board of the SBC filled the top executive, President position of that institution with a totally unqualified and non-experienced "personality". The result was that this President's only achievement during his short two-year stint of service was to reduce our missionary force by 40%, cutting it from 5,000 to 3,000 of our best people. This was done under the guise of "reducing expenses" and was done before any other significant steps were taken to cut the pork belly fat from the exorbitant spending allowed by that Trustee Board over the years.

All the while we never heard one squeak of resistance from that Board of Trustees nor any other Southern Baptist leaders. Total silence! What a disappointment in Southern Baptists who have always insisted that they were so loyal and devoted to their missionary force. What a revelation of that hypocrisy and empty cymbal clanging.

No, for me, the entire Paige Patterson storm and debate only serves to elevate the image of the incompetence of numerous Boards of Trustees that have been chosen through the broken structure of the Southern Baptist system of Presidents, Committee of Committees, etc. The amazing aspect of this flurry of outrage and noise about Paige is that nobody seems to take notice of the source of the problem.

This all displays a basic "heart" problem in the Southern Baptist Convention which is evidenced by the very dismal report published recently showing a significant decrease in the number of baptisms taking place in our Southern Baptist churches. The records show that this decrease is occurring at the same time that the number of fruitless churches are increasing! (See "State of the SBC",

The decrease in our harvesting the spiritual fruit of souls being saved is a true indicator that God is not blessing the Southern Baptist Convention and this is a sure indication that we are not in harmony with His character and Spirit. Could it be because we are "personality" driven depending upon celebrity speakers and book writers for our inspiration and motivation instead of earnestly seeking to be dependent upon God's exclusive wisdom, will, and counsel? Our failures and neglect to respond to such political corruption and our vile and arrogant attitudes only alienate our Convention and its institutions from the activity of God's work and activity taking place in the world.

Rex Ray said...


What reference did I give you? that you said you would not sign the “Men’s letter because in the news article: "As some wondered this week whether the seminary trustees could remove its president"

I can’t find that statement anywhere.

I indicated that Patterson made a ‘trap against women’ with his BFM 2000. This trap is paraphrased: ‘women are the church and man is Jesus’ by these words:

“A wife is to SUBMIT herself graciously to the servant leadership of her HUSBAND even as the CHURCH willingly SUBMITS to the headship of CHRIST. She…has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to SERVE AS HIS HELPER IN MANANGING THE HOUSEHOLD AND NURTURING THE NEXT GENERATION.”

In other words women are to stay in the kitchen with Martha.

This statement by the BFM 2000 really makes women second class Christians who are not worthy to be a pastor: “The office of pastor is limited to men…”

Women are pastors in China and Japan.
“Pastor Hao Ya Jie, a woman, is the pastor of a membership of more than 7,000 and is considered the largest Adventist Church in the world…More than half of the Adventist pastors in China are women, and a large majority of the members are also female.”
This letter, May 22, 2002 was given to SBC President James Merritt during his visit to Japan by women in ministry of the Japan Baptist Convention. The letter points out the BFM 2000 is wrongly bias against women.

Scott Shaver said...

I tend to agree with Wade about the ESS and CBMW Jon. I would add to that this suggestion that belief in plenary verbal inspiration is essential to saving faith in Christ.

In fact Jon, coupled with some other no biblical dogma I see expressed by hyper-Calvinism within the SBC, I've seen more inclination toward "heretical" influence within the last 20 years of the SBC than in the 30 prior.

I have no problem with use of the term heresy. I don't, however, use the term as a weapon.

Scott Shaver said...

Again Jon, discussing the term "heresy" and its modern useages does not begin to address the biblical questions that either Wade or myself raise here.

Answer to your question on complimentarionism....NO, I do not believe that concept as articulated by Paige Patterson is consistent with God's revealed ideal per Genesis One and Two.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, I can't find that quote that I gave you either. It did not come from the actual "Men's Letter", but from some other side link. It is a "ghost"!

But the Men's Letter that you provided for me did say, "His failure to repudiate these remarks, along with the silence of the SWBTS Board of Trustees, gives the impression that such counsel is appropriate, wise, and biblical. We declare it is not." This acknowledges that the Trustees have kept their silence in the midst of all of the atrocities committed under their watch. Why write a letter to them other than one demanding their resignations from their places at the table?

The note preceding that "Men's Letter" also states, "We understand that private appeals have been issued to the SWBTS trustees pleading with them to take decisive action." Again, those writing to The Trustees of SWBTS acknowledge that they are seeking a corrective response from those who instigated and maintained the problem for years!

Please do not feel that you need to convince me of the man's behavior that disqualifies him as being recognized as a leader. That's not necessary. I concur and support that premise.

Jon L. Estes said...


Thank you though I disagree that a word like heresy used in modern times with a 4th century definition is wise. The term is to demeaning to fellow Christians. Maybe you don’t see it. That would be sad.

I am not sure what hyper-Calvinism has to do with any of this.

The need to throw in completely different doctrinal arguments has to do with how I see the term heretical being used in modern times, against modern people... but hey, I’m sure you have cause.

Been spending to much time arguing, that is not my interest.

I believe I understand both you and Wade well.

I hope the best for you and hope you can continue to live within a convention that has a mass of people who are complementarianism among the ranks. Who support Dr. P. As long as they are here and accepted as part of the convention, you must allow them to live by their beliefs as SB’s, not yours. If the issue is doctrinal, ridding SWBTS of Dr. P does not do anything but make those in support of him more tenacious. Fight the doctrine, not the persons... it might be more effective.

Lived through the CR, no interest in being in another denominational battle.

I’ll just enjoy the ME and will keep reaching the nations.

Scott Shaver said...

Jon, Patterson has been the SBC poster child for demeaning other Christians. That's a big part of what has his tail in a sling right now.

Scott Shaver said...

Jon, you seem willng to discuss how virtuous you are, but you will not address the biblical questions. Waste of time and dialogue. Good bye and good riddance.

Jon L. Estes said...


Scott Shaver said...

Shaking off dust here as opposed to head Jon.

Jon L. Estes said...