Thursday, May 31, 2007

How nice: SBC-related megachurch wears apostasy up-front

I think it's very thoughtful when a church displays its faithless apostasy right out there, in center-stage. That way, you don't actually have to go all the way through the membership classes to find out.

In fact, you don't even have to go.

Read: Baptist Megachurch Prepares for Female Senior Pastor.

It's okay, too; their "committee and the deacon council really felt the leadership of the Holy Spirit as [they] navigated this decision-making process." That evidently trumps the (Holy Spirit's) previously-written statement on the issue.

The article does not explain when "the Holy Spirit" changed His mind (I speak as a "cooperative Baptist").

"She is a good role model for any minister, male or female," one is quoted as saying.

Well, except for that little open-rebellion-against-the-Lordship-of-God thingie.

45 comments:

cslewis3147 said...

I wonder what the SBC is going to do about this? Sad, sad...

Kaffinator said...

Be fair now, Dan.

This isn't an SBC church but is part of the "Conservative Baptist Fellowship" which doesn't seem conservative at all.

SBC's confession of faith--according to the article you quoted--prohibits this sort of thing. While CBF does not.

It was not clear how this church "maintains ties with the SBC". I would have liked to see that clarified.

DJP said...

Did you read the whole post, Kaffinator? Including the "I speak as a 'cooperative Baptist' part?

Be fair, now. Read, then comment. It wasn't really that long.

Kaffinator said...

First, a correction of my own. I did misread the original article, it's the "Cooperative Baptist Fellowship" in play here, not the "Conservative Baptist Fellowship" (which a different label used by other Baptists).

Now to respond to Dan.

#1. Your article was entitled "How nice: SBC megachurch wears apostasy up-front".

Now. When you use "SBC" as an adjective to "megachurch" this rather implies that the megachurch in question is actually an "SBC" one.

It's not.

#2. Saying, with tongue in cheek, "I speak as a 'cooperative Baptist'" does not really amend the headline, or even make any specific reference to CBF.

#3. Notice that your very first poster suggests that the SBC is going to have to do something about this. But the SBC can't really since they have no jurisdiction over this particular church, as far as I can tell. But see? This reader thinks they do. This sort of confirms #1 and #2 wouldn't you say?

Look, Dan, I read your post. I agree with your post. I agree with your position as a complementarian. I'm just trying to help you be a little more accurate. You seem to have taken this as an insult and responded with the accusation that my reading comprehension is low. So I will just say, I'm sorry if I seemed overcritical of you, and I meant no offense.

Pastor Steve said...

I think the question is what does the word "ties" mean? Are they part of the SBC or aren't they? Either way it's a travesty.

And Dan, you're right on with their blaming the Holy Spirit for their doctrinal error. I would also blame their former pastor for not teaching this 2,000 plus member congregation what the Bible says about women in ministry. This makes me guess that this church never really received solid biblical teaching to begin with, so this is just a natural next step.

Don't you just wish you had a magic wand you could wave over people to make them obey the truth? Uggghhhh.

Connie said...

As I often say, "I'm disappointed, but not surprised".

Yet another example of how the church continues to "dance" around what Scripture says. Rather than asking, "How do/should we go about obeying Scripture?", the question more often is "How do we dance around this to our own satisfaction?"

And don't even get me started on the "...felt the leadership of the Holy Spirit" line of thinking!! A number of "wackos" come to mind who have hid behind this little phrase thinking it absolved them in some way!

Maybe I should go back on my "blog break" now... :-)

DJP said...

You suggested I was "unfair," and now suggest (or so I infer) that I was misleading.

I linked to the article, which itself says, "First Baptist is affiliated with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship – a moderate splinter group of the Southern Baptist Convention – but still maintains ties with the SBC."

I made the statement you now rather dismiss.

So, of course I don't mind your pointing out that they're "Cooperative" Baptists; I do mind the insinuation that this is a revelation, rather than a repetition of what was already there.

And now I'm done with it. I hope you are.

Back to the point: nice of them to display their apostasy right up-front.

DJP said...

Pastor SteveDon't you just wish you had a magic wand you could wave over people to make them obey the truth?

Amen. I'd have to test it on myself first, though.

DJP said...

Kaffinator—to err on the side of clarity, I've slightly altered the title.

Kim said...

"She is a good role model for any minister, male or female,"

But is she a good role model for other women, or young girls?

mikepettengill said...

There you go again Dan…placing that whole follow-the-Bible-at-all-costs thing ahead of the desire of this church to call who they believe is the best man for the job.

You see Dan, when you impose your Bible on someone else, you take away their ability to interpret the Holy Spirit as they see fit…and then how are they supposed to feel good about themselves?

Kaffinator said...

Dan -- thank you.

But yes, back to the point: it seems pretty easy, to me, to ascertain whether someone is Biblical in their doctrine. If the female-as-pastor thing is a three-point-nothing-but-net indicator of doctrinal error, there are still bank shots, free throws, and alley-oops which are nearly as easy to tag.

Harder to identify, perhaps, would be a church that has its doctrinal bullet points lined up and tidy, and teaches them often, yet does not demonstrate the love of Christ through service and sacrifice. After all, you don't often see headlines like "Local church doesn't participate in local food drive" or "Area churches unite to ignore AIDS victims".

Pastor Mike said...

Does no one find it even slightly humorous that the pastorette is preaching on Father's Day as her calling up day?

I wonder how much the "been without a pastor for over a year" has worn on the congregation and then they just caved into the expediency of "Julie's available".

I hate how those who are brave/strong enough to stand up against this violation of Scripture are marginalized as "five or six folks who are not happy about this".

lordodamanor said...

Pennington-Russell--

Is that Mrs. or Ms.

Is she submitted to her father, assuming her father is Penninton, Mr. Pennington, or is she submitted to her husband, Mr. Russell? Or, is her husbands name Mr. Pennington-Russell. Bet not.

Schizophenic means having two heads. Spit authority. The head of the woman is her husband and the head of the man is Christ. Right?

I am appalled at the hyphenates. I know they think they are hybrids, but I really think that they are inbreds, wish they were crossbreds.

The article made mention of her being the woman pastor of a large congregation in the SBC, or part of it, or what ever, and inferred that there are a number of smaller congregations in the Conference with women pastors. Any clues to whether that is right?

James Kime said...

God is blamed for so much bad theology. The whole "leadership of the holy spirit" is such a cop out. What about the leadership of Christ? Who is the shepherd of the church? Why do liberals feel they can dodge Christ and then blame the Spirit for this nonsense?

David Castor said...

God is blamed for so much bad theology. The whole "leadership of the holy spirit" is such a cop out. What about the leadership of Christ? Who is the shepherd of the church? Why do liberals feel they can dodge Christ and then blame the Spirit for this nonsense?

Honestly, does it not occur to any of you that this accusation works both ways? Does it not occur to you that Dan and others also appeal to Scripture and God as the source of their positions, rather than their overactive imaginations and ideological idiosyncracies? If you're going to appeal to God as the source of your positions, who are you to accuse others of doing the same? Or is it simply that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander?

One Salient Oversight said...

Apostasy is a strong word. It invokes in me such things as denying the Trinity, denying the Divinity of Christ, believing that all religions lead you to God.

But the article is simply about a church that has called a woman as pastor. Is that Apostasy?

I'm a reasonably conservative Australian Presbyterian. I believe in Sola Scriptura. Having a woman as a presbyter/edler/pastor is certainly in error... but is it Apostasy?

We baptize children rather than adults in our church. As Baptists, you obviously believe that it is wrong. But is it Apostasy?

Jon Nunley said...

When I think of apostasy, I think of an abandonment of what one once believed. This seems more like heresy to me... a twisting of Scripture which essentially goes astray from Biblical truth. This is more like spiritual delusion that leads people astray from what the Word of God clearly teaches... that women are not called by God to be pastors or leaders over men.

Needless to say, this is very disheartening to read that a First Baptist Church is welcoming a woman as a pastor.

This is Lisa, BTW, and not my husband, Jon.

Jon Nunley said...

Come to think of it... If this is an SBC church, than this is both apostasy and heresy.

DJP said...

So, Salient, you've proven it doesn't fit your definition of the word. It does fit mine, evidently. The word can have various applications. Yours is one; CARM gives another. My use doesn't fit yours. It does fit theirs.

David Castor said...

Yours is one; CARM gives another. My use doesn't fit yours. It does fit theirs.

Clearly if Matt Slick says something, it must be true. Although, where he gets this four-fold division of Scriptural error from Scripture itself is anyone's guess ...

Ed Groover said...

David Castor,

Actually the accusation doesn't work both ways. If you appeal to "the Holy Spirit led me", when it conflicts with what the Holy Spirit has already revealed (2 Peter 1:20, 21), you are at least mistaken. Then again, if you don't view the Scripture as the authoritative, sufficient, and final revelation of God, doing whatever you subconcious prompts you to do may seem authoritative.

Sam said...

I wasn't aware that FF Bruce was considered an apostate.

Seriously though, the fact is that there are many committed scholars making strong biblical arguments on BOTH sides of this issue.

Female subordination and teaching is a complex debate. To deny this, or to act as though it is clear-cut, is to take an arrogant and ungracious stance toward those who differ with you.

NB: I refer only to those who argue on a scriptural basis. Anyone who simply decides to ignore a verse, or be 'lead by the spirit' to go against it, rather than arriving at a different understanding, is a different story...

Sam said...

Allow me to soften what I said, least I be hypocritical. Can I simply suggest (to borrow anothers word) "polite disagreement rather than condemning a brother (or sister) in Christ as a heretic and blasphemer".

David said...

"a pastor young enough and mature enough to appeal to both young and old congregants, a dynamic speaker, and passionate and warm leader with a vision for the future of the church."

I am sure they got just what they were looking for.

Pastor Steve said...

What is so complex about this verse?

1 Timothy 2:12-13 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.

What makes it complex is when we start twisting its meaning to fit our own ideals. To take this plain statement and twist it to say totally the opposite is indeed a complex work of exegesis.

centuri0n said...

Well, I heard she doesn't cuss or drink or go with boys who do. That's got to count for something ...

... pheh ...

David said...

I find a couple of things interesting about I Tim 2:12/13

First - Paul often diferentiates between his own words and Jesus's words - as in here where he says "I do not allow...". This is not to argue it is not a biblical mandate, but I have always been interested how Paul does that and I have not found any sort of study or write up on it. But pay attention to it when you read Paul. Paul clearly places more weight on the words of Jesus and seems to assume that his readers will also. Which is one of those "no duh" kind of statements, but my easily diverted mind has always been fascinated by Pauls habit of doing that. But I think a legitimate question is this - If Paul places a higher value on Jesus's actual words than his own - should not we? If we are going to point out errors in others beliefs, should we draw the brightest line in what Jesus taught as of most importance, and what his disciples taught as second?

Second, and more directly related, Paul was actually being incredibly radical in I Tim. In our pomo culture, it is easy to pass over 2:11 "a woman must learn quietly". Of course a woman must learn we think. In Jewish culture of the time, women were not taught the law. Paul goes way past allowing the teaching of the law to women - he states that women "must" learn. That is a radical overturning of Jewish tradition.

Now go to church.

Oh, and as to titles to posts, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal today led with "Lutherans favor end to gay clergy ban ". While accurate, you had to read the rest of the article to know that it was the ELCA, and further that it was just the Greater Miwaukee Synod Assembly. So, not really "Lutherans did this" in the larger sense of all Lutherans, but accurate in the sense that one small part of one part of the group of people who call themselves Luthern did this.

Pastor Steve said...

So how inspired was Paul when he wrote this passage in 1 Timothy, as opposed to the words that we have recorded from Jesus? Was he only 85% inspired? Maybe 92%? And then how much leniency do we have in following it? Can we fudge on it up to 15% or 8%?

centuri0n said...

Pastor Steve:

I'm not sure David was advocating word a "Red Letter" version of Bible reading. His point-- which I think is a valid one -- is that Paul sometimes give sadvice rather than making theological pronouncements. The passage in 1 Cor where he is discoursing on marriage is an excellent example -- where he would rather (in his own opinion) that all people were like himself and unmarried by dedicated to service of the Gospel, buit that the command of God is to be married, and that marriage is not a trifle but a covenant which must be honored even when one of the spouses is not a believer.

The Bible is God-breathed -- not question. But we have to read what is said there in the way it is said and in the intention it is given for the purpose it is given.

Pastor Steve said...

Cent,

I agree with that, but I think that statement by Paul in 1 Cor. can be projected on too many other statements by Paul, thus relegating more of his teaching to mere opinion than should be. I think it's a slippery slope that we need to be careful of.

In 27 verses Paul uses the phrase "I do not" of which 1 Tim. 2:12 is a part. While not all 27 times are as significant or carry the same weight, he uses that phrase when introducing tongues (1 Cor. 12:1), In reference to teaching on the mystery of the church (Rom. 11:25), and on things sacrificed to idols (1 Cor. 10:20). I would count all of those as being authoritative teaching, and not mere opinion.

David said...

Frank is correct as to my thinking.

having said that, I do think this particular teaching is authoritative.

Pastor Steve said...

My apologies then for reading too much into it. I'm pretty hyper when it comes to defending the authority of Scripture, sometimes overly so probably.

David said...

no problem Pastor Steve. I am the token (fill in the blank) here

DJP said...

Pastor Steve, fwiw, it struck me just the same way.

So, in review:

1. The Bible clearly says A
2. The world emphatitically says B
3. A church that embraces B, to that degree, is apostate.

Throw out all the big names one likes, it really doesn't affect the argument. If [insert-big-name-here] advocates something, can it really be sin?

Well, yes. Of course.

David said...

djp - glad to see your leading the charge for head coverings.

It is after all, the clear teaching of the bible. We do need to correct those apostate churches that do not require them.

DJP said...

...because, if any passage is not crystal-clear, then every passage you have personal issues with are unclear?

Do you even actually read what you're kneejerking to, before you kneejerk?

David said...

Dan -

Pauls view on head coverings is perfectly clear. I have no issues with it. Just as I have no issues with the role of women in church as stated by Paul.

I am glad that your standing up for both positions, in a consistent manner, as they are both the clear teaching of the bible.

So yes, I did read everything, including the verses we are discussing, as well as your pals D. Wallaces excelent piece on headcoverings before I posted.

And just when have I ever said
"if any passage is not crystal-clear, then every passage you have personal issues with are unclear?"

I know I have not ever said, much less posted that or anything similar anywhere. But thanks for making the statement (posed as a question) and whacking me over the head with it. Because the really does address my point. No, guess not. But it is a nice example of an ad hominem arguement. You win.

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

Paul may not be writing about head coverings as we understand them in 1 Cor 11...he says a man dishonours his head by wearing a head covering, but in Ezekiel 44:18, Levitical priests are enjoined by God to wear head coverings. In 44:20, however, priests are also neither to shave their heads, nor to have long hair. It is possible that what Paul is referring to is the way one wears one's hair, as women of decorum in Corinth at the time wore their hair done up with pins, in a sort of crown. Jewish women who wore their hair down were regarded as adultresses (Num 5:18); in Corinth, women in the cult of Isis would wear their hair down when participating in their frenzied rituals.

Either way, there is enough ambiguity in this passage that it is not so clear-cut that it's about hats, veils, or the like. It is possible to throw up our hands and say that we don't really know exactly what Paul meant...we shouldn't cast aside what he has written, but we shouldn't be making up rules Pharisaically on the basis of what we think Paul meant. His main point in this passage was that men and women have divinely ordained and distinct, complementary roles to play in life and in worship, and they should not scandalize new belivers by doing away with fundamental sexual distinctions in appearance.

Pastor Steve said...

Sometimes I really dislike living in a country that allows free speech...

Sewing said...

Free speech is better than the alternative.

Sewing said...

One of the only things that gives North Koreans hope, for example—a society where speech is more heavily regulated than anywhere else on earth—is the underground proliferation of the Bible there.

David Castor said...

Paul may not be writing about head coverings as we understand them in 1 Cor 11...he says a man dishonours his head by wearing a head covering, but in Ezekiel 44:18, Levitical priests are enjoined by God to wear head coverings. In 44:20, however, priests are also neither to shave their heads, nor to have long hair. It is possible that what Paul is referring to is the way one wears one's hair, as women of decorum in Corinth at the time wore their hair done up with pins, in a sort of crown. Jewish women who wore their hair down were regarded as adultresses (Num 5:18); in Corinth, women in the cult of Isis would wear their hair down when participating in their frenzied rituals.

You might have entered into this conversation quite late, so your contribution is quite excusable. But just to bring you up to speed, I'll share with you Pastor Steve's hermeneutic approach:

What is so complex about this verse?

1 Timothy 2:12-13 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.

What makes it complex is when we start twisting its meaning to fit our own ideals. To take this plain statement and twist it to say totally the opposite is indeed a complex work of exegesis.


In short, I'm sure Pastor Steve would disagree with your exegesis because Scripture requires a simple reading. Some might even say a lazy and ill-informed reading that ignores context, settting and audience. The fact that you've actually sought to understand these elements rather than blindly follow the straight forward reading of the text is evidence that you are simply making the text say what you want it to say.

Sewing said...

Thank you for "excusing" my "contribution," although I have in fact been following this thread since it was first posted.

I'll let Pastor Steve speak for himself, but oddly, I don't see any inconsistency whatsoever between his position and mine.