Thursday, February 13, 2020

Gifted Women in Leadership and the SBC in 2020

Hosanna Wong,  Disinvited to the 2020 Pastor's Conference
When a very sick patient goes to a doctor, the patient desires the truth. 

No mincing words. No hiding behind politeness. "Give it to me straight, Doc!" 

The Southern Baptist Convention is sick. 

Our problem is power, authority, and control. 

That's right. Power. Authority. Control. PAC. 

Political parties have "political action committees" (PACs) which are the real power behind the parties. Super-PACs are able to raise unlimited amounts of money and exert extraordinary power.

The Southern Baptist Convention is controlled by males who seek to dominate females.

That's sick.

Jesus called His disciples around Him and said:
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and powerful men exercise authority over people. It shall not be this way among you" (Matthew 20:25-26).
But it is this way among many Southern Baptists.

This past Tuesday night, a few of those SBC PAC men who lord over others and exercise authority over others pressured David Uth, President of the 2020 SBC Pastors Conference, to disinvite Hosanna Wong to the Pastor's Conference at the 2020 Southern Baptist Convention (Update: FBC Orlando and Dr. David Uth resisted the pressure from SBC PAC men, and have decided to pay for the Pastors Conference themselves, and follow through on the invitation for Hosanna Wong to come speak. Good for them).

Hosanna Wong has the gift of teaching. She's a writer, spoken-word artist, and Teaching Pastor at East Lake Baptist Church, a church that "first and foremost desires people to find and follow Jesus Christ." 

But Hosanna Wong is female.

Rather than follow Jesus and let His people serve and minister as gifted by the Holy Spirit, men in power take authority over others and take control (PAC) over churches, people, and particularly women.

If you want to hear Hosanna Wong, you'll need to attend First Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida, on Sunday morning, June 7, 2020. David Uth is the church's pastor, and after caving to the pressure of SBC PAC men in disinviting Hosanna, he's fulfilling the contract by having Hosanna at FBC Orlando.

People sometimes ask me, "Wade, are you complementarian?" Answer: Yes. Men and women complement each other. "Wade, are you egalitarian?" Answer: Yes. "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). You can't get much clearer.

But I don't like the words complementarian and egalitarian. They've been hijacked by many to mean certain things that advance an agenda of power, control, and authority over others, PAC for either men or women.

I am a follower of Jesus who believes the Bible. If you want a word that describes me, it is anti-authoritarian.

I don't like PAC men. I don't like PAC women.

The only spiritual authority in a Christian's life is Jesus Christ. The only spiritual authority over a female follower of Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ. The only spiritual head over a male follower of Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ.
"Jesus is the head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:18).
When Jesus gifts His people, His gifts are never gender-specific. Males and females have the gift of teaching/preaching. Males and females have the gift of service (deaconia). Males and females are gifted to exhort (encourage), to give, to prophesy, etc... (see I Corinthians 12).

Sarah Herrian taught at Emmanuel Enid during all three Sunday morning services a couple of weeks ago. Everyone who heard this Spirit-gifted teacher expound and exegete the Word of God left knowing God better.

At Emmanuel Enid, pastors have no spiritual power, authority, or control over anybody.

In the SBC, males in leadership exert spiritual power, authority, and control over everybody.

That's why the SBC has lost its Hosanna.



For everyone who reads this post and then asks:

1. But what about I Timothy 2:9-15? (see Artemis and the End of Us: Evangelical Errors Regarding Women).

2. But specifically, what about I Timothy 2:12?  (see 'The' Woman of Error in I Timothy 2:12).

3. But what about I Corinthians 14:34-36? (see A Free Speech Ekklesia for All Brothers and Sisters).

Now, I'm asking you a question. Why do you base your views on three passages of Scripture that at your first glance "prohibit women from speaking or teaching," but you ignore the overwhelming and clear teachings of the Scripture that all men and women who follow Jesus are to serve as the Holy Spirit gifts them?

The Bible clearly teaches that both men and women are to minister and lead in Christ's Kingdom and in our Southern Baptist churches. 

For further reading, peruse A Biblical Primer on Women in Christian Ministry.

The problem in the SBC is men acting like "Gentiles" (Jesus' words) and seeking to exert power, authority, and control over people. Power. Authority. Control.

PAC men are running the SBC, but the days are soon coming when the Spirit will move and Christ will become the Head of His people  and this infatuation with authority and control will come to an end.

Spiritual power trips typically end in twisted trysts of sexual submission.

When Jesus is the only authority over His people, then His people - that means every brother and every sister in Christ -  are empowered to serve as Christ gifts and commissions us.


Debbie Kaufman said...

Yes the SBC is very sick and I am glad you wrote this. The anger and meanness which was used to squash Mrs. Wong is also sick. I think I am angrier about the way it was done more than I am that there was an objection.

Kate Johnson said...

Excellent post. But why did the SBC disinvited her rather than let the PAC men not come? Oh, wait. They hold the PAC. Smh. If they thought it was biblical in the first place, why bow to pressure? Biblical is biblical.

Wade Burleson said...


Exactly. "Biblical is biblical."

Unfortunately, even in the SBC, money speaks.

Wade Burleson said...

The people with the power right now hold the purse strings.

Christiane said...

As women begin to be recognized more fully as 'human persons' made in the image of God, it will become more and more clear the full meaning of 'in Christ there is no male or female'

the celebration of the full dignity of even ONE human person in the Church will someday bring on a sea-change and the Church WILL move forward in response because the respect given to even one human person is based on the dignity of Lord Christ Himself, who sent Mary of Magdala to serve as the Apostola Apostolorum, assigned to be the first to announce the Good News

hope is a good thing :)

it's only been two thousand years . . . there may still be time for good to come

Heather Johnson said...

“ Spiritual power trips typically end in twisted trysts of sexual submission”

Before the “end” that you describe is the silent suffering of those who have been spiritually hurt and abused and damaged by those wielding that Power, Authority and Control.

You have written often and well about the scourge of spiritual abuse, but I think many “ordinary” people in the church today think that that it is only something that happens to a few unfortunate souls and that the sexual abuse is so rare that it can be ignored as an anomaly. They fail to see that this PAC mentality and practice is seeping through the church, through every aspect of the daily lives of Christians who keep going back for another dose of PAC teaching each week.

I have a very good sense of smell, which is annoying at times. But if there is an moldy orange anywhere in my house I will find it IF I have been outside and then come home with a renewed sense of smell. And since I have a mold allergy I am vigilant about removing that orange from my life. I don’t notice it unless my perspective changes, and I become aware of it.

In a similar way, the majority of Christians today seem to be unaware of that “moldy orange” in their houses of worship. And since they are often warned away from “outside influences” they never get that breath of fresh air and the change in perspective that brings. I have lost the good things, the relationships and ways of worshipping and serving, of two abusive churches, but I don’t have to live with that toxic mold in my life. Sometimes I wish, only for a second or two, that I had remained blind to the wrongness of PAC behavior and could be blissfully unaware of it all. But to not see the problem is to be part of the problem.

Thank you for being part of the solution as God opens the eyes and ears, and noses, of His people to the stench of the PAC!


Anonymous said...

Many object to Mrs. Wong on the basis of her teachings and her theology, not her gender.

Frequent transfers meant we worshipped and served in a variety of denominations. Right now we are in one that does not ordain women, and we concur with that stand. That said, we have served in denominations that do ordain women, do have women as pastors, as district superintendents and general superintendents.

We soon learned that just being female did not give a woman a right to a voice. Considering Mrs. Wong's Foursquare theology I cannot think of any reason she would ever have been invited in the first place to any sort of official SBC meeting.

True equality for women demands the same hard smell tests be applied to their teaching as would be applied to any man's teaching. True equality for women means that just as the laity decides if "Bro. Bill" is truly called to preach, the laity will also be judging the call of "Sister Sue."

Her call will be judged by the content of her teaching, not her gender. Which means many women, like many men, will be rejected.


Wade Burleson said...


Listen to her videos.

They are Christ-exalting, Bible-based, and Spirit-led.

Debbie Kaufman said...

"Listen to her videos.

They are Christ-exalting, Bible-based, and Spirit-led."

Yes and yes. I had never heard of her until she was invited to the conference, so of course being who I am I had to find out the truth about her. I was blown away and have added her to my women to listen to list. That alone was the good that came out of this mess.

Anonymous said...

This act by the so-called spiritual leaders of our SBC churches, plus the egregious way that women are treated in general by so many fundamentalist and legalistic people continues to drive so many individuals from desiring to know Jesus — much less become part of a SBC church family.

This is not the 1800s, but 2020 where so many gifted, educated women abound all around us.

Many of these so-called spiritual leaders are so entrenched in their narrowly viewed interpretation of scriptures that they would not even entertain the act of picking up a book written from a different perspective about women in ministry.

So many so-called leaders I see on twitter, etc. never present the plan of salvation, but they will certainly let their misogynistic views be proclaimed!

We continue to decline in so many ways as the SBC. No one should wonder anymore about why our baptisms are declining and why our young people are leaving the church in droves.

What will it take to wake up those in SBC leadership?
How I wish I had never stepped foot in a SB church. If I had known some 45 years ago what I know now, I would not have — absolutely heartbreaking!

Let’s call it for what it is — pharisaical, controlling, manipulation, misogynistic, and authoritarian!! God help the SBC before it is too late because Jesus certainly is not glorified in any of this!

Ken F said...

Hi Wade,
Eastlake Church is not Baptist. Do you have any insight into why a non-Baptist was invited to speak?

Wade Burleson said...

Ken F,

Probably the same reason Condaleza Rice, Mike Pence, and a host of other non-Southern Baptists have been asked to speak. They have something to say. And, not intentionally being snarky, the same reason God invites a non-Baptist to heaven.

Rex Ray said...


How about putting a name on these men that are “political action committees which are the real power behind the parties…able to raise unlimited amounts of money and exert extraordinary power.”

“The Executive Committee of the SBC was formed in 1917 and established its offices in Nashville in 1927. It is comprised of 83 representatives and officers and acts on behalf of the Convention between sessions. It reviews their financial statements and recommends the Convention annual operating budget. In addition, it receives and distributes the monies the Southern Baptist give in support of denominational ministries, acts as the recipient and trust agency for all Convention properties, and provides public relations and news services.”

At one time Paige Patterson was on this Committee when they did a study of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and recommended leaving. Billy Graham’s son-in-law, Lotz, was its secretary.

I attended the Convention when they left the BWA, and heard Patterson say, “The BWA was gay-friendly.”

The BWA wasn’t permitted to attend. Can you imagine a trial were the person on trial wasn’t allowed to attend?

The real reason Patterson was angry with the BWA was because it accepted the Conservative Baptist Fellowship as members.

“The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) is a Christian fellowship of Baptist churches formed in 1991. Theologically moderate, the CBF withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) over philosophical and theological differences, such as the SBC prohibition of women serving as pastors. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship claims approximately 1,900 partner churches.”

I asked a guy why he was angry with them because they were winning souls for Christ. He replied, "Because they're getting money that should be coming to us!"

FluffyBabyBunnyRabbit said...

Linda, you said:

True equality for women demands the same hard smell tests be applied to their teaching as would be applied to any man's teaching. True equality for women means that just as the laity decides if "Bro. Bill" is truly called to preach, the laity will also be judging the call of "Sister Sue."

I don't think anyone would argue with that, but it isn't her teaching she's being rejected for - it's her gender.

Rex Ray said...


My last comment was written a long time before it reached your post because our internet wasn’t working.

In a way, the ‘SBC Executive Board’ is like the internet because it’s a ‘dictator’.

I haven’t talked with Dennis Folds in about 20 years. Last night I learned his phone number and called him. Many years ago, three missionary couples met in our home and shared their problems with their orders coming from the SBC Executive Board.

Dennis had been told it was OK to be interim pastor at First Baptist Church of Tokyo, but couldn’t be their pastor because there was a rule that missionaries couldn’t be pastors of a church that used the English language.

He decided: “We must listen to God and not man.” His decision was based on more people being saved the year he was interim than when he was a missionary: He’s spent 20 years in Japan as a missionary and 20 years as a pastor.

Before Dennis became a missionary, we’d played together on our church softball team. Years later, he asked me to get a ‘team’ to remodel their church.

Christiane said...

The Southern Baptist Convention is sick.

"Our problem is power, authority, and control.

That's right. Power. Authority. Control. PAC.

Political parties have "political action committees" (PACs) which are the real power behind the parties. Super-PACs are able to raise unlimited amounts of money and exert extraordinary power.

The Southern Baptist Convention is controlled by males who seek to dominate females.

That's sick."

When what is honorable is set aside in pursuit of what is expedient, but destructive, harm will come to people instead of good. Once unleashed, what is destructive cannot be 'controlled' and may consume those who thought to use it for their own ends.

some thoughts, in a very dark time

Rex Ray said...


Did you catch why the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship withdrew from the SBC? (Because the SBC prohibition of women serving as pastors.)

Now we’re trying to make the SBC accept women as pastors. Right?

Reminds me of a cigerate commercial of a guy smoking with a black eye. He’s saying, “I’d rather fight than switch!”

Are we doing the same thing as the smoker? :)

Wade Burleson said...


The Bible is our standard.


Bob Cleveland said...

I've heard that "A man's position on many things depends on which set of proven facts he chooses to ignore". Now that's not always true with Scripture, but you can defend lots of opposing views with Scripture. IF ... you ignore context.

When I hear things like "No weapon formed against you shall prosper", I have to ask who spoke that and to whom, and under what circumstances. Many of those OT statements simply do not apply to us.

I think that's the missing element in the traditionalists who insist that women cannot lead, teach or preach (to men). I am not sure there's a cure for that, either, other than to point out the man-made errors.

Rex Ray said...

“The Bible is our standard period.”

What kind of reply is that?

Does the Bible teach we should belong/support the SBC, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship should not exist?

“Keith Parks served as president of the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board) for twelve years. He then became the first coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in 1993 and served there until his retirement in 1999.”

Once, Parks had a ‘meeting’ about 15 miles from where we lived. I argued to ‘fight’, and he wanted ‘peace’. (I now believe I was wrong.)

Years later his wife asked a member of their church (my cousin, Claude Hicks), if he knew a Rex Ray.

“Yes, he’s my uncle; a missionary to China.”
“No. I’m talking about Rex Ray the blogger.”
“Oh, he’s my cousin.”
“I believe everything he writes.”

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. :)

Wade Burleson said...

What I intended to communicate is anyone who exalts Christ, believes the Bible, and loves people should be welcome in the SBC.

Rex Ray said...


Correct me if I’m wrong, but many of your post have attacked the SBC for their view and treatment of women. In referring to the SBC, two days ago you said, “The people with the power right now hold the purse strings.”

“Affirmation of women in ministry was one of the founding principles of the Fellowship. Most CBF members agree that both men and women may be ordained as ministers or deacons and serve as pastors of churches.”

“The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) claims approximately 1,900 partner churches. The CBF is involved with the Baptist Center for Ethics, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, the Baptist World Alliance, and 15 Baptist seminaries and divinity schools.”

Wade, is there anything in the link above that you dislike about the CBF? I know you’re not like the guy that said, “They’re getting money that should be coming to us!”

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

Rex Ray:

I was involved in the startup of an SBC church in an upscale planned community near us. During the initial phases, a rep from the new CBF came to present their info to the new church, in hopes of having them join CBF rather than the SBC.

If he was really representative of the CBF views, he was much more liberal than moderate. MUCH. And, they were never a part of the SBC, so did not "withdraw" from the SBC.

Rex Ray said...

Bob Cleveland,

You said the CBF was “never a part of the SBC, so did not “withdraw” from the SBC.”

Does Wikipedia have it wrong?

“The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) is a Christian fellowship of Baptist churches formed in 1991. Theologically moderate, the CBF withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) over philosophical and theological differences, such as the SBC prohibition of women serving as pastors.”

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...


Perhaps they were referring to the individual churches which withdrew their membership in the SBC, but the entity wasn't part of the SBC (as I recall). If I'm wrong, I plead advanced age....

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...


Let me just say that the most interesting part of the debate with him was over homosexuality: He said they'd be accepting of that in the CBF, for members. When I asked him how that squared with the clear instructions of 1 Corinthians 5, he said the homosexuality wasn't the same, now (in 1991) as it was when Scriptures were written..

I don't call that moderate.

Rex Ray said...


You quoted a stranger saying, “The CBF believed homosexuality in 1991 wasn’t the same when Scriptures were written”.

First of all, Keith Parks was President of the Foreign Mission Board for 12 years. Would you agree he’d never been in that position if he believed as your ‘stranger’?

And second, if the CBF believed as your stranger, Parks would never have accepted being their leader.

I know we’re all getting older. My nickname is “the forgetter”. That’s one reason I check with Wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

Our old ones are called 'the greatest generation' and it has nothing to do with conspiracy theories or propaganda either;
and it certainly doesn't show that 'there were good people on both sides'.

Bob Cleveland said...

Rex: Keith Parks was not there that night. This man, who was sent as a representative of the CBF, was, and said what I mentioned. I don't know how his position lined up with Keith Parks;: I only know what the rep said.

Rex Ray said...


I see your point.

But with the same reasoning, would you condemn the SBC if someone like Patterson told you Baptists abided by his 2000 BFM?

Christiane said...

FYI for them what likes conspiracy theories

DT borrows many, many millions from Deutsche Bank, all of his loans from Deutsche Bank are underwritten by VTB ( ПАО Банк ВТБ, former Vneshtorgbank), a leading bank in Russia used by Putin and the oligarch$

soon a case involving Deutsche will end up likely in the SCOTUS

should be interesting for those who like conspiracy theories as to why DT is so favorable to Putin and why DT disses our own American intel

new book coming out tomorrow on Deutsche Bank and its clients and also it's connections to Russia (Dark Towers)

Christiane said...

More helpful info for them what like conspiracy theories:

Rex Ray said...

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.
-Robert Browning Hamilton

Your long long conspiracy link reminded me of “Pleasure” in the poem above because I was none the wiser in knowing how Russia interfered with the election.

“Russian interference” sounds like a lot of ‘hot air’ to me.

Did they switch the votes in the election? Did they sneak in ballot boxes from Russia? Did they threaten people?

Christian, do you believe Russia or the people of America elected our President?

Christiane said...

Great poem, REX RAY

As to your question re: the '16 election, I'm not sure we will ever know exactly what happened there. I'm more concerned with the coming 2020 election to be honest.

I know that other major countries have been invited to interfere, but that is not our American way, or at least it didn't used to be. Already there are signs of trouble with the caucuses and that is a good mystery for sure, but if paper ballots are also used, I think this time, we can rely on the vote being the real thing, at least that is my hope.

I wouldn't waste time crying over spilt milk, but it sure does look like Deutsche Bank failed to get the proper documentation for its huge loans to Trump Organization over the years, and it is now known that Deutsche Bank was not worried about the T Organization defaulting on those loans because that Russian bank was underwriting all monies loaned to T Organization. . . .

so it helps at least to explain why DT is so simpatico with Putin . . . let's face it: money talks, and these politicians are players

we 'normal people' just get to have fun trying to sort out what they are getting away with :)

remember the punch line of MY favorite political poem, this:
"you can't fool all of the people all of the time"

the truth comes out . . . eventually . . . so no worries

REX RAY, that business with the pastor's conference, who is behind trying to get the woman pastor off of the speaking roster? Please tell me that Paige Patterson is not back in the game again. (Would we be surprised if he did resurface?) . . . more drama !

You can be proud of Wade for staying in the SBC to fight against this misogyny mess. That takes courage.

Rex Ray said...


See Wade and my comments on his post 2-18-20 for latest news.