"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Tom Ascol Rattles the Cage of the Slumbering Bear; Wong Is Right and the Founders Eventually Leave

Tom Ascol runs Founders Ministries.

I consider Tom a friend, but like any true friend, there's no hesitation in speaking up when I believe Tom or his Calvinistic Southern Baptist brethren have crossed a line - a biblical line. 

Tom crossed that line in a Tweet from Monday, February 10, 2020.



Hosanna Wong
Hosanna Wong is an author, Bible teacher, and spoken-word artist who serves as a Teaching Pastor at EastLake Church in San Diego, Calfornia. She's recorded a couple of spoken word albums and published a couple of outstanding books

Hosanna has been asked by SBC Pastor's Conference President David Uth to speak at the 2020 SBC Pastor's Conference in Orlando, Florida, June 7-8, 2020. 

Tom and his Calvinist friends are shouting their complaints on social media.

A woman will be on the platform.

A woman will be speaking truth from Scripture. 

A woman who carries the title Teaching Pastor at an evangelical church will be highlighted at the SBC Pastor's Conference.

What's the big deal?

Sexual abuse in the SBC. Now THAT'S a big deal. 

But Wong's presence on the platform has led Tom Ascol to pull out of attending the SBC Pastor's Conference, publicly tweeting:
"I wonder what the SBC@ExecComm will do about providing space at a discount?"
Rather than learn biblical truth from a woman, Tom would rather host his own conference at the same time, in competition with the 2020 Pastor's Conference. Tom, how about a debate with a man who also believes in the inerrant Scriptures, in particular atonement, and that the Bible teaches Kingdom leadership is determined by Spirit-gifting, not sexual gender; humble character, not hubristic control; and selfless service, not authoritarian attitudes?

Or, if that scares you, how about a friendly wager? I bet you a steak dinner (with you and your wife) that Hosanna Wong knocks it out of "the proverbial park," and that after the people attending the SBC Pastor's Conference hear her spoken-word teaching, it will be Hosanna Wong's part in the program that will be what everyone remembers because of what we learned from the Scripture. If I'm right, you buy my wife and me a steak.

I like my Rib-Eye medium.

You might say, "But Scripture forbids a woman to teach a man!" No sir, not even close.

Scripture forbids a man from controlling Christ's gifted body. Jesus Christ alone is the Head of His body, and He gifts His people as He pleases. If God has a way of using donkeys like you and me to preach the truth, surely He can gift a woman to do so, right?

Spiritual gifts are never gender-specific.

Tom, you and your buddies are on the losing side of this biblical issue, but you all are rattling the cage. Be careful. You are waking the bear.

Who's the bear? 


It's the average Southern Baptist church-goer who wonders where all the male SBC leaders were when a sexual abuse scandal rocked the SBC

It's the average Southern Baptist church-goer perceptive enough to realize that "spiritual power trips typically end in twisted trysts of sexual submission."

It's the average Southern Baptist church-goer who gets that the Baptist Faith and Message is not a creed, nor is it without error, nor should it be used as a club to beat autonomous churches into submission.

The bear understands.

The bear is awakening.

Stand firm, Ronnie Floyd. Stand firm, David Uth.

You men have no idea of the power of an angry bear. Cage-rattlers eventually go away. The bear is here to stay.

See you in Orlando.


7 comments:

Rileydogbarks said...

Wade, do you think this issue will be the next great divide in Baptist life?

Wade Burleson said...

Rileydogbarks,

Yep.

Clearviewfarms said...

I read their comments on Twitter, and it just boggles my mind that they are spending so much time worrying about this woman being on stage, yet nothing is said about the sexual abuse situation within the SBC. Thank you again for being one of the few [male] voices crying out.

Joe Misek said...

I am a Vineyard guy now, but it would be tragic if the largest and most influential denomination in America is handed over to a belligerent and oppressive group of men.

Don't let them have it. Nobody can stop them from leaving and starting their own thing. But don't give up and hand it over to them.

Their books, sermons, and conferences don't deserve the wider audience; we need the Holy Spirit to move in our midst, not these ideologies.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

You might guess what caught my eye: “You men have no idea of the power of an angry bear.”

Try looking eye to eye with a Grizzle that’s standing taller and just been shot four times; not a happy camper. :)

Link below happened last year when Tom Ascol fell to the floor while preaching.

https://churchleaders.com/news/367396-tom-ascol-out-of-hospital-following-collapse-at-church.html

He remembers an exchange between an EMT and himself in which the EMT expressed frustration by cursing while looking for Ascol’s wallet. Ascol, only managing a whisper, told the EMT to fear God. Ascol said he felt like he was ready to die and it would be ok.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronnie_Floyd

“Floyd was a member of the "conservative resurgence" that retook control of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) during the 1980s.”

A believe he was fooled by Patterson and Pressler, but that retaking control of the SBC was more like being highjacked.

P.S.
The comments have mentioned the name “Ben” 7 times. The post did not mention that name and Google states Tom Ascol name is “Thomas K. Ascol”. So, who is Ben?

Stephanie said...

As a female, this kind of behavior is offensive and unbecoming those who claim the name of Jesus. Men in the SBC need to model the behavior of Jesus when it comes to females. Females were important to Jesus. Notice that NONE of the disciples were at the tomb that first morning after his resurrection. They were in hiding and scared. It was the WOMEN who were there to tend to him and who pronounced to the disciples, "He is risen!" That is the best news and it was relayed to the men through women. Imagine if the disciples had not heeded the words of the women. This kind of male dominance in the SBC needs to stop. It is tearing the SBC apart. It has been a hot button topic for the last 30 years and it's time to put it to rest. I am not advocating for female pastors, but for trusting that God has gifted men AND women in the Body of Christ with gifts to serve and build up the Body. Please show honor and respect to God by honoring and respecting those to whom he has gifted.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

Ben is Ben Cole.