Monday, June 10, 2019

I Now See Why They Say Women Are Not to Preach

Co-Equal, Co-Regents, Co-Heirs of Christ
I arrived at the Birmingham Convention Center very early Monday morning to register for the 2019 SBC and to attend the Founder’s Conference all-day seminar on Mature Manhood in an Immature World.

First, let me say that Dr. Tom Ascol, the head of the SBC Founder’s Conference is a very humble man of character. He and I had some good conversations face-to-face today. Everyone with the Founders treated me cordially. I could tell there were hurt feelings from some, mostly family members of the men I charged with bullying Beth Moore. But we worked through it.

Second, after sitting an entire day (my rear-end is sore), I come away with a much clearer sense on why most Founders men and a lessoning majority in the SBC believe so differently than I and other biblicists about Spirit-gifted and God-called women of character being free to serve in the same capacities as men in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

I believe what I teach about the equality of women with men is biblical. The Founders believe what I and others teach about the equality of women with men is borderline heresy.

So, with that said, the Founders men don’t think that the negative things they say about gifted Christian women like Beth Moore preaching, teaching, and giving spiritual encouragement to men and women is ‘bullying.’ They believe they are ‘correcting’ the serious error of a woman “imitating the authority of a man.”

I believe their aberrant patriarchal doctrine of male authority is a serious problem in the church of Jesus Christ.

And I’ll go one step further. I am going to make a prediction.
Within a decade or two, what I say the authoritative Scriptures teach about gender equality will be considered biblical, normal, and eternal by the majority of Southern Baptists, and what I heard today will have gone away, just as the former racism of Southern Baptists went away 100 years ago.
 The Bible is clear to me on this issue of gender equality.

But after today, I understand better why the Founders are confused about my clarity but have clarity about their own lack of confusion.

It’s All About Eden

The Founders (and others in the SBC ) who believe women should be silent in the churches and not lead any man, all believe that God created man (Adam) to be “the head” and the “authority over” the woman (Eve). Adam’s role was “protector, provider, and defender.” Eve’s role was that of helper, encourager, and supporter. God intends a man to be a man, and a woman to be a woman. “A soft (effeminate) man is the bane of society, and a warrior woman is a curse.” That’s why mature manhood and biblical womanhood must be vouchsafed and guarded. It’s God’s design, according to the Founders.

I learned today that the Founders believe Eve usurped God’s design by leaving the “authority” of Adam, listening to the serpent herself, and thereby enticing Adam to sin, plunging the entire world into a curse. That’s why when the Apostle Paul argues in I Timothy 2:11-14 that a woman is to be silent and “learn,” not teach, he (Paul) goes back to Creation!
“EVE BLEW IT, and anytime a woman acts like Eve by imitating “the God-created authority of a man,” then LADIES (listen up, Beth Moore), YOU BLOW IT LIKE EVE.”
What do I believe the Bible really teaches about male and female equality?

At Creation, God gave Adam and Eve BOTH authority over Creation (co-regents), gave them BOTH equality of essence (“both TOGETHER are Man”), and made them BOTH in His image. In other words, Creation is about equality - as well as the NEW CREATION.

It’s the CURSE of sin that causes Adam to wish to “rule over” women, and Eve to “rule over” men. Christian patriarchalism has the same diseased root as secular feminism. Both wish to RULE OVER OTHERS.

When Christ begins His work in the hearts of His people, He turns the stony heart that wishes to “rule over others” into a soft heart that wishes to “serve all others.”

You can see how the Founders cultural patriarchalism is so opposite of my free grace biblicism.

How does the SBC move forward? I believe having more debates, more dialogue, more face-to-face discussions is a good start.

I love the fact they believe they have the Bible on their side. I can fellowship with them. They displayed gracious hearts today.

At the conclusion of the today’s debate on whether women can preach the Bible on “the Lord’s Day,” I was able to ask Tom Ascol a question. My name was not on it because we were asked to submit it anonymously. Here’s what I asked. I am not going to give you his answer because he said he couldn’t answer it. “I don’t know,” Tom Ascol said. Watch the recording.

I’ll give the answer to my own question:
Question: If at Creation God designed the man to be the “head over” the woman and to have “authority over” her, then is it God’s intention for men to be the “head over” women for all eternity and for men to have “authority over” women in heaven? And if not, why not?
My answer: God didn’t design men to ever have “authority” over women. Neither did he design “pastors” to have an “office of authority” over people. Nor did he design husbands to have “authority” over wives. That’s the sign of the curse, not Creation.

God in His work of redemption - by His grace and for His glory (couldn’t resist!) - reverses the curse in every heart, home, and church.

God’s people rule over no one and we are servants to everyone.



Debbie Kaufman said...

I was so pleased how the debate went as far as the relationship between Tom and Dwight. Wonderful. I admit to banging my head on the table during the Adam/Eve that Tom extolled. But I love what you wrote here. I consider myself still in the complementarian(I hate labels) camp so I believe a woman can teach/preach mixed audiences but not pastor. But like what you wrote here.

Donald Johnson said...

Here are 2 questions I would have asked:

1) In Eph 5, husbands are told they should love/agape their wives and in 1 Cor 13 Paul tells us that love/agape does not insist on its own way. Why then do you think that husbands charged with loving their wives get to insist on their own way?

2) Paul says that anything that does not come from faith is sin. If a husband makes a final decision when they have already talked about but disagree but he wife then informs him that she cannot do it in faith, what happens? Does he somehow get to somehow require her to do what would be sin for her or what?

Jacque's Blog said...

Wade, your question was brilliant! ESS is the heresy that complementarianism is built on and you nailed it! Let me see I know someone else who used good questions to trap pharisees. I wonder who that was? It sounds like you were especially full of the Spirit today. Thank you.

Rex Ray said...


You ‘nailed it’ with the question, are men to have “authority over” women in heaven?

WOW! I bet that’s never been asked before.

Also, explaining where Paul got his idea (went back to Creation) about women in 1 Timothy 2:12 “I do not let women teach men or have authority over them.” (NLT) was excellent.

Julie Anne said...

I went over to check out the video, Wade, but noticed that Josh Buice's video is "unavailable." MATURE MANHOOD AND ABUSE | Josh Buice

Do you by any chance know why? Did you hear him speak? He sure has been vocal on Twitter about Beth Moore and women preaching.

Rex Ray said...


Someone once said if you really want to hide something, put it in plain sight where it will be overlooked.

“Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thou kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 KJ)

Like you said the relationship of men and women should be the same here as in heaven.

Tom Rich said...

Hi Wade, I agree that in 10 years or so your views will be the normal, majority view of Southern Baptists. My views on this topic changed about 10 years ago thanks to your blog and several books I read by Jon Zens. My question for you: did you once believe this complementarianism view of gender roles, and if so can you tell us what was your journey that led you to your current beliefs on this?

Wade Burleson said...

Julie Anne,

I did hear him speak. I cannot answer why they took the video down, but I can say that you (and I, and others) would have major problems with what he said. I will be asking why its down.

Thanks for pointing it out to me.

Wade Burleson said...


I STILL believe that men and women complement each other, for without the masculine and feminine, the male and the female, nobody understands the full-orbed image of God, because God is both like a father and a mother.

However, the word “complementarianism” has been hi-jacked in recent years and so I refuse to use it.

I believe the Bible is the basis for an understanding of the FULL and UNQUALIFIED equality of men and women in every single area of life - except physical child-bearing. There is no biblical, spiritual, and functional difference between what a man or woman can do in the world, the home, and God’s Kingdom.

The only limitations revolve around God’s call, Christ’s glory, the Spirit’s giftedness, and the person’s character.

So, yes on this issue, about three decades ago, I stopped believing what people told me the Bible said and started reading what the Biible said.

Wade Burleson said...

Donald Johnson,

Your two questions are fantastic! I would love to see you debate someone on these very questions yourself!

Unknown said...

It doesn't offend me that scripture says men are in authority in the church and in marriage. It's God's design, like it or not. To answer Donald's questions 1. Men don't insist on their ways, they are commanded to lead; God's designs work. It does seem that women are insisting, however. 2. On a team, the coach is the decision maker; there's an order, someone has to lead for things to run smoothly. Last, men won't lead women in heaven bc there's no marriage in heaven. We are all the bride of Christ. Simple answers to a simple argument that to me is so clear. God's word does not offend me when it says men lead bc it makes works.

Anonymous said...

"I believe the Bible is the basis for an understanding of the FULL and UNQUALIFIED equality of men and women in every single area of life - except physical child-bearing. There is no biblical, spiritual, and functional difference between what a man or woman can do in the world, the home, and God’s Kingdom" ... I'm still trying to understand this topic, so some help would ve appreciated. 1) In the article you mentioned how it's the curse (not the original design) that caused the fight for authority. So therefore believers should live the way we were before the fall? Doesn't that mean we'd also be naked instead of clothed since clothing was used as a result of the fall? (I don't mean this to be rude; it's my lack of understanding).

And with the text I quoted above, does this mean you would say that gender is self determined? I may be crossing threads, but the reasoning sounds similar?

Hope to hear from you and may God bless us with more of Himself.

Unknown said...

Also, let me add, Beth Moore isn't trying to preach she is simply sharing about sexual abuse; there's a difference. I understand many are bullying her bc they are either ignorant or plain sexist men. I guess some do take it to extremes.

Anonymous said...

"just as the former racism of Southern Baptists went away 100 years ago."

But did it, really? The convention refused to pass a resolution directly condemning their past theology on racism until it was removed.
Yes, they passed a "we don't condone this TODAY" but couldn't come close to calling their past position wrong.

Much like racism never actually left the heart of the SBC, I don't believe women's status will, either.

Cathy Hutchison said...

Amen. And thank you!

Rex Ray said...


Someone once said if you really want to hide something, put it in plain sight where it will be overlooked.

“Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thou kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 KJ)

Like you said the relationship of men and women should be the same here as in heaven.

Christiane said...

WADE wrote, this:
"I STILL believe that men and women complement each other, for without the masculine and feminine, the male and the female, nobody understands the full-orbed image of God, because God is both like a father and a mother.
However, the word “complementarianism” has been hi-jacked in recent years and so I refuse to use it."

and Wade's solid Christian views are supported here:

". . .from the prophet Isaiah: "But Zion said, 'The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me'. 'Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you'". (49:14-15). And elsewhere: "As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem" (66: 13). In the Psalms too God is compared to a caring mother: "Like a child quieted at its mother's breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul. O Israel, hope in the Lord". (Ps 131:2-3). In various passages the love of God who cares for his people is shown to be like that of a mother: thus, like a mother God "has carried" humanity, and in particular, his Chosen People, within his own womb; he has given birth to it in travail, has nourished and comforted it (cf. Is 42:14; 46: 3-4). In many passages God's love is presented as the "masculine" love of the bridegroom and father (cf. Hosea 11:1-4; Jer 3:4-19), but also sometimes as the "feminine" love of a mother.

This characteristic of biblical language - its anthropomorphic way of speaking about God - points indirectly to the mystery of the eternal "generating" which belongs to the inner life of God."

(excerpted from 'Mulieris Dignetatem', 1988, John Paul II)

Rex Ray said...


You said, “It doesn’t offend me that scripture says men are in authority…”

Scripture is NOT Scripture unless it’s true. Anything not true is the Bible recording man talking through his own feelings or ignorance. An example besides Paul would be God telling Moses three times he couldn’t go to the Promise Land because he didn’t do what God told him and his brother to do. But Moses told the people three times he couldn’t go because it was their fault.

This was written on Wade’s post: about “Open Letter to my Calvinistic Friends…” June 1, 2019:

Anonymous said...When the scripture says I do not permit, the *I* pronoun referred to Paul, not the Lord. If it had been the Lord that did not permit, Paul would have said so. Mon Jun 10, 10:13:00 PM 2019

Is the comment correct?

Christiane said...

if I look at men and women, I am looking at human persons who are made of the same elements of the Earth and into whom God has breathed life and given an immortal soul . . .

the 'dignity' that belongs to ALL human persons derives from their being 'made in the image of God', so when patriarchists attack the dignity of women, just Whose dignity do they think they are offending?

the problem continues in how it back-washes: when men put women down, they also lose something of their own humanity in the process . . . the old 'I'll break her down' attitude hurt the man who gave birth to it as much as the poor wounded woman he sought to 'break down'

I love this phrase from the great freed-slave woman Sojourner Truth who spoke on behalf of women's suffrage, this:
"But the women are coming up blessed be God and a few of the men are coming up with them.

I remembered these words by Sojourner Truth when I read poor Ed's comment about how he treated his wife, and I thought 'he also is wounded by that terrible teaching';
and how, if Ed were freed to understand the truth, he would also be freed of that part of the curse where a married couple cannot live in mutual love and mutual service either to other. Time the bring 'the mens up'. Christ has come. The Incarnation has happened. Our Lord has made men and women co-heirs and in Him, we are 'one' humanity, able to be healed and freed from the 'curse'. It's time.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanne White Ferdinando said...

Please, please, please read my book, "How Does God Really Feel About Females." It clarifies through honest, objective, scholarly research what the Scriptures really say about gender equality from Genesis through the Epistles. We have to stop believing what tradition teaches and get to the source, the real bottom-line of Scripture, if we want to know God's heart about women and their role in the Church. The profits from my book are not going in my pocket. They are going to my daughter's Christian counseling ministry, to provide scholarships or whatever else is needed. I just really want people to know the truth!
For the Church is to function best and save the most people, God needs the help and talents of all men and women believers who follow Jesus Christ. Women need to stop accepting a secondary status (it's really a copout) and men need to stop limiting them.

Livingnew said...

Im surprised this biblical scholar pulled the “I don’ know” in answer to your question. The Bible is pretty clear on that in my opinion.

Mark 12:24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Jen said...

This is so encouraging! Thank you for standing for biblical equality!

kmurdock said...

I've read your entire article and not ' One Time ' did you offer any biblical evidence to back up your claim. You can't go by feelings. I guess it's possible you don't believe in the inerrancy of the Bible or maybe some other reason. Id like to know how any why you believe it's ok for women to be in the pulpit, Biblically of course. With all do respect I don't want your opinion, I want God's lead on this. Sincerely, Ken Murdock.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Ken. How about you first starting with the inherent, literal scriptural support for the use of a pulpit? :)

Florence in KY said...

Ken, what is so sacred about "the pulpit?" Maybe I've missed it, but I can't find it in the N.T.

Florence in KY said...

Also, I've spoken behind "the pulpit" a few times as a missionary speaker and everything remained in tact.

Unknown said...

Brother Wade,

I am presuming by your article and your comments you are purposing the SBC will turn to egalitarian ? Am I correct?

Jo said...

Ken Murdock: You sound a little 'intense' but I'd like to make a comment. Please hang in there with me. As long ago as 50 years (yes, I'm that old), I remember being in my quite conservative GARB Baptist church listening to female missionaries speak behind that 'pulpit' to the entire church. I remember 3 single women in particular, plus a married woman who had a unique witnessing ministry and testimony, all of whom had impeccable reputations and highly respected. If it was a married couple, the wife had equal time to speak. I was an adult then, so I could have easily picked up on any discussion about the ladies not being allowed in the 'pulpit' or it not being appropriate. In any case, the ladies were all invited to the 'pulpit' with the approvals of the pastor and deacons. Further, I later worked in that same church office as an admin. asst. to the senior pastor. I was privy to all kinds of confidential correspondence, meetings, etc., I never heard a word about this whole "women are subject to men" thing, not from that church or from any other church in that association. So it seems you are saying that we got it all wrong. Fifty yrs ago it was the norm and OK, but now we're trying to defend against this heresy? What changed?

Wade Burleson said...

I am proposing we be biblical. Read the article. You can call it whatever you desire. said...

I would highly recommend that all should read Dr H. Wayne House's dissertation on complementarianism V egalitarianism seeing that he, H. Wayne House is the one who coined the term and the concept of complementaranism and not just Wayne Grudem and John Piper.It would be wise to check with H.Wayne House who was the past president of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood CBMW to get proper understanding from the person who initated the pharses and what was meant.

Christiane said...

"Fifty yrs ago it was the norm and OK, but now we're trying to defend against this heresy?
What changed?"

men who immortalized themselves in stained glass, changed the BF&M 63 to accommodate their agenda, and invented a doctrine that attacked the traditional Doctrine of the Holy Trinity and attacked 'Who Christ Was' . . .

my goodness, the SBC took a heavy hit for a while . . . it would be great if it could recover and treat its women folk honorably again

the abusiveness towards women as shown in some recent rather unfortunate comments really will require an intervention of grace to heal, as it is all a product of 'the curse' and deeply ingrained in the sin of pride

solution? humility before the Lord, humble service to others, a return to Christ the Lord as THE 'authority' over Christian people and a repudiation of male idolatry
(and it's not just the SBC that needs to recover . . . there's plenty of guilt to go around, yep)

Ken F said...

"I guess it's possible you don't believe in the inerrancy of the Bible..."

Hi Ken Murdock,
Where does the bible say that the bible is inerrant? As far as I can tell, the bible is actually silent on that. Likewise, the bible does not claim to be errant. So it seems we have to go outside of the bible to establish whether or not it is inerrant. Odd.

FluffyBabyBunnyRabbit said...

If I may offer a reply?
With the naked issue, I would say that if the weather allows, there really isn't anything wrong with no clothing. Many indigenous people in warm areas wear very little to nothing. In the west we sexulise body parts and so cover them out of respect for others, but even then people have different views. I was brought up at Australian beachside suburbs and honestly laugh at many American evangelical folks talking about leggings and tank tops!
Literally no one cares here in Australia (and have you noticed that these debates always focus on what women wear? There is something distinctly sexist about the way we talk about clothing). So we cover up for a variety of reasons (weather being one, but to go about our business without being harrassed sexually might be another) but at the end of the day NO ONE IS BEING RESTRICTED OR RESTRAINED from sharing teaching or preaching the gospel because of clothing, so it's a non-issue in terms of going about our commission.

Honestly cannot see where you get the idea that the quote might imply gender self determination though.

FluffyBabyBunnyRabbit said...

Except scripture doesn't say that. Some of our translations might, but not in the original languages.

And a team is a human concept, not a heavenly one. It is evidence that people need to nominate a leader to get along instead of just... getting along. Viz the Israelites who wanted a king 'like the other nations' instead of just loving and caring for one another with only God as reference.

God gives us what we ask for. Sometimes we don't ask wisely.

FluffyBabyBunnyRabbit said...

Yes, and that is exactly the answer that is given when that questionis asked. But there are a few complementarians (patriarchalists) who DO believe that men will have authority over women in the afterlife. I think Wayne Grudem might be one, but it's ages ago I read that - maybe John Piper?

Anonymous said...

Women judges sit in the courtroom everyday judging the men who come before her. She has authority over them and they must obey her or face the consequences. So, why can’t a women stand in a pulpit and preach to men (and women) in a church? I don’t get it.

A sister in Christ said...

There's a pretty obvious to your question- if your complementarianism is Biblical *cough cough*.

1. Roles are specific to covenants. There's no headship or submission without a covenant.
2. A husband's authority extends within the limits of the marriage covenant. (The reason we don't have female elders is so that the structure of church authority doesn't cross the structure of marriage authority.)
3. There's no marriage in heaven or the new creation.
4. Therefore, the authority structures of marriage end when marriage ends.

It's the same as asking whether my pastors will still have authority over me in heaven, or whether my boss will have authority over me in heaven, or whether the government will still have authority over me in heaven. Of course not. All those types and shadows are fulfilled in Christ's rule over the church and our submission to him.

Julie Anne said...

Wade - I went back and looked at the missing video. I was mistaken. I was thinking the timestamp was below the video. It's above the video. The missing video is: 11:15 AM | MATURE MANHOOD IN THE PULPIT | David Miller

Do you remember anything from David Miller's talk that was questionable?

Wade Burleson said...

Juli3 Anne,

"Do you remember anything from David Miller's talk that was questionable?"

Answer: The whole thing.

Christiane said...

men having 'authority' over women in heaven?

treated like the wife in that unfortunate comment of Mon Jun 03, 10:02:00 AM 2019 ?
(the author removed the comment)

how strangely some push male idolatry . . . what wife, having endured such unkindness on Earth, would want to continue with it in Heaven? Surely these patriarchal men can see that this could not possibly happen?

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,
I do understand you feel you are trying to be biblical so I will ask in a different fashion. Do you believe the SBC should allow female pastors?

Anonymous said...

Good answer

Callie M said...

I watched the debate today and it was a very real blessing to think through. I wanted to give Dwight McKissic a big hug by the end of it. Tom Ascol does seem like a very humble man. On this particular issue, while his perspective seemed scripturally informed, he also seemed a bit naive. For example, when he said he knew he was on thin ice by using Balaam's donkey in one of his responses, but used it anyway, I don't think he grasped just how offensive that is for women. Its painful to hear for the same reason as the "tethering" illustration that Doug Wilson used in your previous post, in that women are being compared to animals. That's not only dishonoring to sisters in the Lord, but also God's word which states that together man and woman are made in His image. I'm sorry that I even have to point out the horrific subtext that argument makes, even if its intended as a joke. Its not a joke. I'm thankful that Pastor McKissic saw fit to state that he did not affirm that sentiment in any way.

Likewise, on another occasion, Dr. Ascol said something (around 1:15) along the lines that any woman who is doing this (meaning following Gods word to not preach on the Lord's day) is not going to feel oppressed by doing what the bible says, but rather rejoice in that. There are so many problems here. The unspoken side of this that I receive as a women, is that if I'm not rejoicing over submitting to the strict complimentarian view of that particular passage then there is something wrong with my heart. That's actually characteristic of spiritual abuse. Dr. Ascol seems like a kind man and I doubt he personally meant that as a means of control (I really hope not), but it did explain some of his earlier naive statements to me. What happens to women in that sort of environment is that it removes freedom to express their thoughts and feelings honestly about the limitations their church is placing on them. Personally, I tend to think that if I want to be respected by male leadership, and be invited into leadership roles that suit my gifting in those spaces, then I have to suppress those thoughts. Its not something I can share because then I become threatening to that environment. I'm not longer a well behaved women, but someone who might challenge the status quo. Sometimes I wonder if women who take hard lines on this for themselves, do so because that's what's required of them in order to be promoted within their particular community. In any case, if it removes freedom for dialogue, then the male leadership will remain immature in this area, in that they are missing out on a vital perspective from the women in their surroundings. And frankly, when someone compares my freedom to speak God's word to Balaam's donkey, I do feel oppressed.

I greatly appreciate that Pastor McKissic pointed out that women are preaching on "the Lord's day" on the mission field, and what that implied. That was a powerful statement, in my opinion. Also that he was well convinced that a woman preaching on "the Lord's day" was not in anyway out of creation order when invited by male pastoral leadership. That just seems so obvious to me.

I suppose if I had been there, I would have asked why "the Lord's day" was chosen as the point of focus, based on scripture. 1 Tim 2 certainly doesn't specify a day of the week. Is a woman allowed to address the congregation on a Tuesday? If so, how is that in keeping with the same hermeneutic that they used to limit "the Lord's day"?

There so much more I could say but this has been a bit of a book as it is. It really is worth taking some time to watch, though!

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous, you ask - “Brother Wade, I do understand you feel you are trying to be biblical so I will ask in a different fashion. Do you believe the SBC should allow female pastors?”

IF you define “PASTOR” as “an office of authority, with one who RULES OVER PEOPLE” then my answer is “no,” the SBC should allow female pastors. Neither should they allow male pastors under that definition. The SBC should disband.

If by “pastor,” however, you mean “Spirit-gifted, God-called, humble servants to ‘shepherd’ and ‘guide’ and ‘mentor’ God’s people, then “Yes,” men and women in the SBC should pastor.

In the first definition of the word ‘pastor’ everything hinges on “authority over,” “headship,” and forced submission to the one in authority. That is not only unbiblical, it is contradictory to the teachings of Christ on true leadership, and its detrimental to the God’s people.

The second definition of the word ‘pastor’ (the one to which I hold), sees pastor as a verb of service, not a noun of status. Those who serve others as gifted by the Spirit and called by God and His people are pastoring, and it makes no difference the gender.

Rex Ray said...


I think you omitted "not" in your answer above.

Victorious said...

.... Those who serve others as gifted by the Spirit and called by God....

Wade, I ask this question in all sincerity. Who determines which members are "gifted by the Spirit and called by God?" Who makes the final decision as to whether or not someone fits that qualification and who determines where that individual may serve in the capacity of their choice?

Sallie Borrink said...


To your point re: the day of the week...

A few years ago I asked a prominent complementarian this question in his comments section.

Eight people are out in a boat and a storm comes up. It appears they are all going to perish. The only Christians on board who know the Gospel are women. Should the women preach the Gospel to the lost men on board about to perish?

He WOULD NOT answer the question. He told me I didn't understand complementarianism. He knew if he said that they should preach the Gospel to those lost men before they died, then the follow up question is why those women should be able to proclaim the Gospel to those men there and not preach the Gospel from a pulpit.

It all comes back to authority, every single time.

The missionary question that has been brought up above is the main thing that made me start to seriously question complementarianism. If it's wrong for a woman to speak, then it's wrong. Putting Elisabeth Elliot behind a music stand up front instead of the massive pulpit doesn't change anything. It's either wrong for her to speak or it's not. It's either wrong that women missionaries risked everything to take the Gospel and help establish churches by teaching theology to men or it's not. You can't have it both ways.

At least the denominations that completely shut down women are consistent. The problem is the denominations who are hugely inconsistent and make exceptions for this and that. It's either wrong or it isn't. Some man standing up and saying that he's "covering" a woman who is standing up to speak/preach isn't right. And they know it isn't. But when you can see women clearly gifted by the Holy Spirit and you have to make up excuses to shut them down, you end up doing stupid, inconsistent things.

What I can't figure out is why these men are so stressed out about allowing women to use gifts they have received from the Holy Spirit. What they should be concerned with is this: if they are wrong on this, they have essentially told the Holy Spirit to take a hike and that they don't want Him working through the women in their church that He has equipped to build up the body of Christ. In their desire to combat radical feminism in the culture, they may very well be spitting in the eye of the Holy Spirit (so to speak). I'd frankly be a lot more concerned about getting that wrong than the opposite.


Callie M said...


Thank you for your response. I love that we rhyme, btw. That question you posed was great. I'm right now praying that it will continue to work in the heart of the man that you asked.

This morning I woke up thinking about this word "function" that they also keep using. A woman should not imitate the "function" of a pastor, etc. So often the marriage relationship is used as an example here, but in real life, there are definitely times that I "function" in roles that my husband would normally take on for whatever given reason, and vice versa. That doesn't mean we are "out of creation order". It just means that in that particular scenario, it made sense for us to switch tasks for the good of the family. Maybe a wife has to pay her husband's way through grad school, or a husband has to give a baby a bottle... there are times in the family that we "imitate function" for the greater good. I understand they would argue that my examples are not ecclesiological, but it speaks to their larger "created order" umbrella. Likewise, I do think scripture supports women teaching in a variety of contexts and ecclesiological passages. Having a woman speak on Mother's Day could be a real blessing to the congregation as her insight on that issue is going to be different than a man's. Even within a complimentarian framework, its baffling to me that outside of fearing a loss of power and control, that would be offensive to anyone. You have to add a lot to 1 Tim 2 for Beth Moore speaking on Mother's Day to be "wrong." The Lord's Day is shabbat, for example. It was tradition that moved worship to Sunday, not God's word. There are no pulpits in scripture (occasionally swapped out for music stands, LOL)... again, tradition. And while I'm here, this business about women not teaching in Seminary, again, where is seminary in God's word? That's something that developed out of tradition, so lets be honest that an opinion that women can't teach in seminary is just that -an opinion. So there sure are a lot of ideas based on tradition and opinion bound up in the school of thinkers who pride themselves on basing their arguments on what it says in God's word.

Let it be known that we see through it! ;)

"Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the RIGHT HAND or to the LEFT, that you may have good success wherever you go." Joshua 1:7 (Emphasis mine)

Wade Burleson said...


“The individual Christian realizes the bestowal of God’s call and the Spirit’s gifting” because to “EACH” member of the body, the Spirit gives gifts to enable the work of God, and the individual Christian is sent by His Master to do the work (and its not always easy).

“The local autonomous church recognizes the blessing” of God’s call and the Spirit’s gifting” on His people and will do everything they can to empower individual Christians - both men and women - BUT, in the case of some (like Jeremiah for example), the individual calling of God is rejected by the corporate people of God and the Spirit-gifted, God called leader is imprisoned and shackled. Woe to the body who suppresses God-called, Spirit-gifted people (ask 586 BC Judah).

“The Kingdom of Christ at large receives the benefit of God’s call and the Spirit’s gifting” when the individual fulfills his/her calling with the local church’s support. But even without CORPORATE support, the individual can fulfill a call - because Christ is Head of the church, not the pastor.

Hope that answers your question.

Victorious said...

Thank you, Wade. Makes sense. Both natural and supernatural gifts cannot be limited to any one "area." The Holy Spirit directs believers to edify and instruct both in the "church" and outside to unbelievers. Even if one's gifts are not welcomed and recognized in a local assembly, their expression will be directed by the Holy Spirit to those who will be receptive.

Unknown said...

Hi Wade, I'm from Australia so this discussion within the SBC is somewhat irrelevant to me. A US friend posted your article and I was interested in what you had to say. I'm surprised at the idea that "quietness" (ἡσυχία) in 1 Tim 1:11&12 is taken to mean no speaking at all. In the cultural context that is not what this is referring to. "Quietness" refers to the manner in which one speaks. The idea is not to be involved in arguments and disputes, which is the literary context of these verses. He's actually telling the men to conduct themselves in a "quiet" manner since the object of prayer (1 Tim 2:1-2) is to live "peaceful and quiet lives" and they are to pray "without anger or disputing" (1 Tim 2:8). "Likewise" the women are to conduct themselves in a similar manner (1 Tim 2:9-12).
To understand the cultural context I recommend Harry O. Maier, "The Politics of the Silent Bishop: Silence and Persuasion in Ignatius of Antioch." The Journal of Theological Studies 55.2 (2004): 503-19.
In this article Harry Maier asks and answers the question how you can have a 'silent bishop'? Anyway, have a look at this and see if it helps your argument.