"It could be a sign of pride in your life if a word of reproof or admonition is not able to be received with the same grace, whether it be given by the poorest of saints or the most educated person." John Bunyan
Aurora Borealis over Norway-NASA
TWW continues in the analysis of Davis’ “reformation.” I will state the bottom line up front. Unless you agree with his view of gender and authority and totally support his self- proclaimed “Biblical” view, you are most likely wicked and unregenerate. And I think this sort of thinking sounds like overreaching arrogance. Perhaps he did not mean for his article to be interpreted thusly. Unfortunately, he gave little reason for me to see it any other way.
However, the real agenda is stated by him at the end of this post. And frankly, it is deeply disturbing. Do not miss it because it spells out how much trouble the post-evngelical church is about to experience.
Please refer to yesterday's post for some background. Here is the link to Davis' article which was posted on the 9 Marks blog.
Did Davis announce his Calvinista leanings and view on gender prior to his call to FBC?
Here is what he says.
“As I prepared to assume the role of senior pastor at FBC, I knew there was a significant flaw in the polity of the church that I would have to address: the issue of gender and authority.
We have reason to believe that Davis may not have revealed his intentions prior to his arrival at FBC, Durham. In fact, his narrative clearly indicates a church that was blind-sided by his absolute, singular emphasis on gender and authority. There has been some discussion on our blog, and others, that some pastors, who receive a call to a church, do not fully explain their view on Scripture. Then they pull a bait and switch and whine when the people do not march lockstep. We believe that deliberate concealment of intentions to change church polity is dishonest and we certainly hope that this is not true of this situation.
Davis believes that women in leadership is unbiblical and outright states that Gordon- Conwell seminary is guilty of unbiblical teaching.
“Now I personally believe that 1 Timothy 3:11 allows for women to be deacons, but I also believe that deacons are in no way to “teach or have authority over a man,” as 1 Timothy 2:12 puts it.”
“My master of divinity degree from the egalitarian Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary had taught me the best arguments for “evangelical feminism,” and I had come to reject them as unbiblical.”
Here is little known fact about your glam blog queen. A wonderful couple, who were attending Gordon Conwell, reached out in friendship to this then shy, brand new Christian and helped me to find some fellowship in the Boston area. I was allowed to sit in on some classes at this seminary and even sat in on the great Elizabeth Elliot’s class. Now, as many of our readers will know, she is hardly a liberal. In fact, Harold Ockenga, and Haddon Robinson, have all been involved at the seminary.
Davis shows his disdain for such spiritual giants by his arrogant pronouncement of the teaching at Gordon-Conwell.. “Andy Davis, you are no Harold Ockenga or Elizabeth Elliot and you should be ashamed."
Frankly, he could have simply stated that disagreed with their interpretation. But such kindness is not in keeping with "my way or the highway" beliefs.
Davis demonstrates his naivete by assuming that the majority would agree with his plan to change those demon bylaws since they were “clearly" unbiblical.
The bylaws allowed for female deacons and it is apparent that he knew it when he accepted the offer.
“As I went to Durham to assume the role of senior pastor, I naïvely assumed that the church simply needed to change its by-laws back to the way they were in 1988, and all would be well. In fact, I was entering a spiritual war zone.”
He tells a woman not to run for deacon and is startled by her response.
"In the conversation, I asked her to refrain from pursuing the office until I had a chance to teach first the deacons and then the church about my convictions on gender and authority. She bristled. And later she would say that I threatened to preach a sermon about her if she didn’t withdraw.”
Interestingly, he did end up preaching one heckuva “repent you wicked people" sermon. So he did preach against her indirectly. She got it; I get it and I bet others did as well.
He claimed that he wanted people to delight in the clear teaching of Scripture.
“My next step was to write a paper entitled “Gender and Authority in the Church” and to present it at a special Saturday session to the whole deacon board. It was one of the worst meetings I’ve ever attended.
"It became clear how divided our church was. Some of the deacons truly delighted in the clear teaching of Scripture. Others were aghast and enraged.”
Of course his clear teaching was that women should not be deacons. So, if I disagree with his clear teaching, does that mean I don't "delight" in Scripture?
Apparently he “knows” that his is the only clear teaching and everyone else must be wrong. You will see what he says later on that will confirm this.
Davis mindreads the response of some deacons.
“I remember the horrible looks on the face of the most powerful leader of the deacons. At one point, I was teaching them that God has prescribed in Scripture how the church should conduct its life together, and along the way I referred to the moment when God struck Uzzah dead for his irreverent act of touching the ark. At that moment, this deacon recoiled in his chair, appalled. He gestured down at the open Bible on the table before him and said, “I could never believe in a God like that!”
Does he really know what the deacon meant? Could he have been appalled that Davis was equating the use of that passage and the conflicts at FBC? It sure sounds like it to me.
Does the Lord still strike people dead for touching the current day ark? Is Davis subtly implying that disobeying his teaching was simlar to touching the ark which God clearly forbade? Even if Davis did not mean this, his ham-handed treatment of this teaching could have led those present to misunderstand his intent.
Davis wanted to change the church polity to match his “clear” view of Scripture.
“At other times of the week, such as Sunday and Wednesday evenings, I taught on gender and authority. I was always clear that the issue was not about “women deacons,” but about ensuring that our polity matched Scripture, which meant deacons should not be viewed as spiritual leaders in the church.”
Church members, who disagreed with Davis, are classified as nominal, unregenerate church members.
“During this time, the ministry of the Word of God was having a powerful and divisive effect on the church. The genuine saints were being deeply challenged and were growing and flourishing, while the nominal, unregenerate church members were becoming openly hostile.”
Election of woman leads to Davis' call to repent.
"On Sunday, August 19, 2001, cards with the results from the deacon election were distributed to the congregation. As I already mentioned, I stood up and called the church to repent." (Read yesterday’s blog post).
Couple leaves church and call Davis a liar.
“Soon after this first woman’s election, she felt pressure from godly friends in the church and decided to resign. She and her husband then left the church, but not quietly or in love. At a climactic church conference, the husband, who had up to that point been my friend, essentially called me a liar in front of the whole church. He and his wife left the room and the church from that moment. “
Could it be that this couple were telling the truth? Could it be that they believed that Davis hid his true intent from the pastoral search committee in order to assume the pastorate? Could it be that they were implying that Davis pulled a classic bait and switch?
That couple may have been onto something.
“From the first time I read FBC's constitution and by-laws, I knew that the church needed to change its by-laws on deacons. So I learned how to change a by-law at FBC, followed the procedure, and wrote a new by-law saying that only men could be nominated, elected, and serve as deacons.”
Did Davis inform FBC of his objection prior to accepting his position? Surely such a doctrinally minded individual read the bylaws prior to his agreement to be pastor.
He discusses his intense agony and adds some information that might lead some to logically believe he knew about the bylaws and planned to change them prior to arriving at FBC.
He accuses the people in FBC of being “hate filled”. Could it be that they were very upset with the machinations of Davis and not full of hate?
“It was not a particularly difficult passage to preach on, but I was preaching to so many hate-filled faces that I found myself clutching the sides of the pulpit to keep upright."
"I barely made it through the sermon, then went home to recuperate for the evening service. I lay down in a hammock out in the backyard and prayed. I had just found out that week that one of the opposing church members was organizing a lawsuit against me. The reason? “Breach of contract,” I had heard. The logic was that, in changing the church’s by-laws which I had known about before coming to the church, I had misrepresented myself to the church.”
Davis continues to call those, who opposed the bylaws change, wicked!
He is given Psalm 37 to read which he finds helpful. He is right and his opposition is wicked!
“Wicked people make plots and schemes against the righteous, but they will fail. In the end, the righteous will inherit the earth, and the wicked will be no more. So do not fret or be anxious; do not worry or be alarmed. Simply stand firm and watch the deliverance that God will bring about.”
He then makes what appears to be a judgment on the salvation of those who disagree with him.
He calls those who disagreed with him “unregenerate.”
I took a branch (with leaves on it) with me to work and still have it. The leaves are completely dead now, because I cut that branch almost ten years ago. It represented the end of the era of unregenerate church members dominating the life of FBC.
Unregenerate means not reborn spiritually and not repentant
Andy Davis, you are wrong to say such a horrible thing. I know the couple who left your church. They may disagree with you but they love and follow the Lord. Scripture is very clear that you should not judge the salvation of others. In fact, this may be the worst thing you could have done and you need to repent.
When the church voted to keep women from becoming deacons, he calls it “following biblical authority."
Look what he calls the final vote when he gets his way. “It was something like 170-120 in favor of following biblical authority.” So all of the 120 nays were made by those who disagree with "biblical" authority? I don't buy it.
He continues to demean, years later, decent people who disagreed with him.
“Simply put: Do you believe the faithful ministry of the Word of God is sufficient to reform a drifting church, to revive a dying church, to convict a sinning church?”
He advises people to avoid gossip but does he?
“We need to be especially careful to avoid gossip and slander against people who have wronged us or are opposing us.”
So calling people wicked, unregenerate, hate filled sinners is loving and kind? His very article is full of gossip and innuendoes and the people involved have no way to respond. Maybe they should start a blog?
Here is the crux of the matter and the church better be prepared!
Davis believes that there are no non-essentials!
“I once heard a story about a well-known preacher of the Word whose expository ministry has helped shaped my own. To this day, this man is characterized by boldness and uncompromising clarity in his preaching, but he also tends to admit of no gray areas. Everything is equally true, certain, clear, essential.”
The Calvinistas are on the move and you better believe exactly as they do or you may be unregenerate and a sinner. Can you imagine if they had the governmental power of Calvin? Good night-grab the babies and head for the hills!
The Donner Party
Eagle, one of our frequent commenters, made an astute observation today. He said that post-evangelical church is beginning to behave like the Donner Party.
From Wikipedia here we learn about the Donner Party:
"The Donner Party (sometimes called the Donner–Reed Party) was a group of American pioneers who set out for California in a wagon train. Delayed by a series of mishaps, they spent the winter of 1846–47 snowbound in the Sierra Nevada. Some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism to survive, eating those who had succumbed to starvation and sickness."
We are in real trouble. If everything is essential, just wait until the boys start imposing all sorts of essentials. And guess what? They get to identify the essentials! Davis is friendly with Al Mohler. Mohler believes that Young Earth creationism must be stressed and considers it his priority for the coming year. Off with my head, right?
Folks, we will be eating our own and Davis is quite clear that it is justified.
What Davis wants to do
“The reformation of First Baptist Church is one of the greatest displays of God’s glory that I have ever seen in my life. My prayer is that God will use this narrative to effect similar reformation in other churches around the world for his glory.”
Are you scared yet?
TWW goes on the road
We ask our regular readers to bear with us. We will both be traveling to Oklahoma to spend some time with Wade Burleson and his family. We are thrilled to get to meet, face to face, with a pastor that we have long admired. This meeting will result in some exciting things for the coming year and we will keep you all posted as things develop.
We will continue to post on schedule and plan to post a final analysis by Wenatchee the Hatchet on Mark Driscoll on Monday. However, we may not comment much on the discussion until we return home, mid week.
Lydia's Corner: Job 1:1-3:26 1 Corinthians 14:1-17 Psalm 37:12-29 Proverbs 21:25-26