"I believe these leaders are some sort of Baptist but I am not sure if they are Christians.” Moi
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” C. S. Lewis
The topic of the role of women tends to be contentious. The Church, through the centuries, has not been particularly effective in carefully addressing this issue. However, as women’s rights in society became a hot button issue early in the previous century, the church has been forced to respond.
There is little doubt that secular feminism has gone over the top. I recently heard a proabortionist leader proclaim, quite indignantly, that “no women” would have an abortion for frivolous reasons. As a public health nurse, I know that statement is false. Some feminists have disparaged marriage; one going so far to say that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” (Gloria Steinem).
I believe that today’s church s somewhat like a lumbering dinosaur, reacting to societal drift as opposed to carefully and proactively examining its own biases and beliefs. For example, many churches spoke out against allowing women to vote. Yet today, few churches would oppose women voting, except for a few within the patriarchy movement. Vision Forum is one such Christian group. Here is a quote from one their sites.
“Both ideas (Prohibition and Suffrage) were unmitigated disasters; God has not allowed the civil magistrate to outlaw wine and God does not allow women to vote (cf. 1 Tim 2:11ff). But by ignoring God’s law, American Christians both destroyed their own credibility (the Prohibition era is STILL a matter of public ridicule and repealing prohibition set the legal precedence for pornography, sodomy and the acceptance of other moral failures) and the integrity of families.”
This raises the obvious question. What is a Biblical mandate and what is manmade bias? As Christians, we see multiple generations of fatherless children, single mothers living in poverty and a contentious debate of what constitutes moral behavior. But, instead of careful study and thoughtful debate, the church appears to be doing what societies have done throughout the ages; assign a scapegoat. It sure is a whole lot easier to point to one bogeyman as opposed to looking at many other failures of the church as it has responded to critical societal issues. That scapegoat is women.
Many organizations have been changing their statements of faith to include this new emphasis on gender roles. Here is one example. Together for the Gospel is an entity made up of like minded churches. It includes Reformed Baptists, Presbyterians, and Sovereign Grace Ministries. (Think Calvinista). Here is an excerpt from their statement of beliefs.
”We affirm that the Scripture reveals a pattern of complementary order between men and women, and that this order is itself a testimony to the Gospel, even as it is the gift of our Creator and Redeemer. We also affirm that all Christians are called to service within the body of Christ, and that God has given to both men and women important and strategic roles within the home, the church, and the society. We further affirm that the teaching office of the church is assigned only to those men who are called of God in fulfillment of the biblical teachings and that men are to lead in their homes as husbands and fathers who fear and love God.
We deny that the distinction of roles between men and women revealed in the Bible is evidence of mere cultural conditioning or a manifestation of male oppression or prejudice against women. We also deny that this biblical distinction of roles excludes women from meaningful ministry in Christ's kingdom. We further deny that any church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.”
I recently heard an excellent presentation of the three views of gender roles within the church. These are: egalitarianism, complementarianism and authoritarianism. Did any of you notice something different? I had always been taught that there were only two views on the role of women: egalitarianism and complementarianism. I believe this pastor hit the nail on the head.
Complementarianism is the belief that men and women are created equal but have different roles. I have always believed that position had merit even though I tip towards egalitarianism. Recently, the definitions seem to be changing. The argument goes something like this. God created man first and the woman was created from the man’s body. Therefore, the woman is subordinate to men.
Interestingly, at the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, they have allowed for the following argument. Some claim that because Eve was the first one deceived by the serpent, she is the more easily deceived and gullible of the sexes! Yep, that’s right. There is absolutely no mention that the man was similarly deceived by the woman and went along with her.
In fact, using this line of reasoning, one could imagine this argument. The serpent, the fallen Lucifer, deceived Eve. He, at least is know as the “great Deceiver.” A mere mortal deceived the man. Therefore, he is even more gullible,
Actually, this whole line of reasoning is suspect. Most churches believe that women can teach Sunday School to the children. If women are the most easily deceived, why are they allowed to teach children who are even more gullible? Just wondering?
We contend that many of those who claim that they are complementarians are actually authoritarians. Here is a conversation with Mark Dever, Pastor of Capital Baptist and a Calvinista interviewing two other Calvinistas : Russell Moore of Southern Seminary (Baptist) and Randy Stinson, President of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Russell Moore: Gender identity and complementarianism… I hate ….the word 'complementarian', I prefer the word 'patriarchy'…
Mark Dever: So then, why is it you don't like the word complementarianism?
Russell Moore: Because complementarianism doesn't say much more than the fact that you have different roles. Everyone agrees that we have different roles, it just a question of on what basis you have different roles? So an egalitarian would say, "Yeah, I'm a complementarian too, it's on the basis of gifts." I think we need to say instead, "No you have headship that's the key issue. It's patriarchy, it's a headship that reflects the headship, the fatherhood of God, and this is what it looks like, you then have to define what headship looks like…
Mark Dever: So, Randy (Stinson of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood), are you rewriting the CBMW rewriting the CBMW materials to take out the term complementarianism?
(Stinson) Best thing they could do, but don't hold your breath…to take out the term complementarianism?
Does this startle you? These influential leaders are admitting that complementarianism is not their goal. They believe in patriarchy which is simply another name for authoritarianism. What are some of the beliefs of patriarchy? Wade Burleson defines this on his excellent blog:
“Patriarchy is a Greek word which means "father rule." In essence, patriarchy teaches that the male in the family (i.e. the progenitor or originator of the family) has the inherent authority over – and the power to rule – the entire family. In short, patriarchy is the belief in male dominance. Bill Gothard spiritualized patriarchy by proposing what he called "an umbrella of protection" provided by the father for the entire family, and any family member who remains under the "authority" of the father is protected from harm. Gothard's views express the extreme logical conclusions of patriarchy within Christian circles.
Likewise, many evangelical Bible-believing Christians who understand biology and the tendency of all men to dominate, renounce patriarchy or, "this inherent desire to rule," as the anti-thesis of the Christian life as revealed by Christ and the New Covenant Scriptures. For example, the conservative theologian Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian, author of the article I Believe in Male Headship writes that . . .
The word head is used five times in the New Testament to define the relation of Christ to the church. As will be shown below, the use of head is consistent in all of those texts.
Eph. 1:22-23. The passage that immediately precedes this text exalts the supremacy of Christ in his session. But in relation to the church, the role of Christ is described as being appointed as head for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. The headship of Christ is never over the church in the New Testament. Here, it is for the church. As head, Christ gives the church fullness. He provides for the church's growth. The function is not one of authority but of servant provider of what makes the church's growth possible.
His survey indicates that head, biblically defined, means exactly the opposite of what it means in the English language. Head is never given the meaning of authority, boss or leader. It describes the servant function of provider of life, growth and development. This function is not one of top-down oversight but of bottom-up support and nurture.
The church, per the hierarchical view, becomes a family of many, many families over which the local elders preside. Men, as the heads of their families, become the focus of ministry in the local church, and ministry then proceeds from men to their individual family members. Church ministry is thus mediated by the federal head. As a consequence of this form of government, the wife holds no independent relationship to the church that is apart from the family or male headship.”
“The headship of Jesus Christ transcends culture, and in heaven there will be neither marriage nor the giving in marriage. A slice of heaven on earth is when men and women are treated equally in the church of Jesus Christ and neither one gender, or the other, are viewed as the "authorities" or "rulers."
“I sometimes wonder if our Southern Baptist seminaries teaching of male domination is the reason why Southern Baptist women are being bypassed for, or removed from, positions on seminary faculty, administrative positions at the IMB and NAMB, and other various positions where a woman has "authority" over a man.”
I am a great fan of Jill Briscoe. Yesterday, I discussed the wretched treatment she received when she graciously responded to an invitation to speak at a seminary. I believe that those men who turned their backs on her as well as the ones who did the same to Anne Graham Lotz have disqualified themselves from the pastorate. Jesus Christ NEVER would have responded in this way. In fact, I believe if he were present, he would have called them all a bunch of pharisaical hypocrites. They did not have to come to hear her speak. Their only reason for doing so was to show her “who’s boss!” Not only did they exhibit their disdain for their own institution that asked her to come but they showed arrogance and condescension to a wonderful women and superb teacher.
I have included the link to an essay entitled, Q."Does the Bible really say I can't teach men?" Jill Briscoe wrote for Christianity Today. You can read it in its entirety at:
However, this excerpt says it all.
“Years ago, when I discovered I had gifts half the Christian church didn't think I should have, it was my husband, Stuart, who encouraged me the most to use them. Once on a radio show, an interviewer said to him, "You take the position you do on a woman's role in the church because of the wife you've got!" My husband replied, "Has it ever occurred to you I have the wife I've got because of the position I take?"
One of the main reasons that I have bid adieu to the SBC is the low view on the role of women exhibited by the leadership. I hope someday that God will give Jill the pleasure of handing these men their assignments in heaven.
So I leave you all with this. There is the story of Perpetua, a Christian convert and daughter of a wealthy man. Much is known about her martyrdom (@203 AD) because some of her writings are said to have survived her martyrdom. Here follows the well-known account of her last day:
“At the demand of the crowd they were first scourged; then a boar, a bear, and a leopard, were set on the men, and a wild cow on the women. Wounded by the wild animals, they gave each other the kiss of peace and were then put to the sword. "But Perpetua, that she might have some taste of pain, was pierced between the bones and shrieked out; and when the swordsman's hand wandered still (for he was a novice), herself set it upon her own neck. Perchance so great a woman could not else have been slain (being feared of the unclean spirit) had she not herself so willed it."
It is said that Perpetua’s bravery was one of the reasons that the Romans began to lose their taste for such events.
Did you know of this martyr? If not, I (a women) have taught you something. Any patriarch will need to repent immediately.