"In its official policies, Campus Crusade for Christ also falls into this category [One Point Complementarianism], since the organization has not taken any public stand on the role of women in ministry…"
Wayne Grudem in his book Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism, page 287
UPDATE 12/6/12, 9:30 pm
When I was writing this post, I should have taken the time to Google Al Mohler and Thomas Kidd, who wrote the WORLD article Campus Ministry Conflict.
Better late than never…
Mohler interviewed Kidd (no kidding!) on November 7, 2011. The topic discussed was Thinking in Public. Mohler then posted the interview on his website. Take a look.
Here is how Mohler introduces Kidd:
"Mohler: It is no accident that so much about intellectual activity is invested in thinking about history. It’s also no accident that we have so many conversations with historians because they are often those who in the academy are dealing with the most interesting ideas, not only in retrospect, but in terms of the contemporary meaning of these things. I’m looking forward to this conversation with Thomas Kidd. Thomas S. Kidd is Associate Professor of History at Baylor University where he also serves as senior fellow of The Institute for Studies of Religion. He is the author of several very well received and respected academic works in American History, starting with The Protestant Interest: New England after Puritanism published in 2004 by Yale University Press, and his most recent work, Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots, published in just recent days by Basic Books. Professor Kidd, welcome to Thinking in Public.
Kidd: Thank you for having me on."
WELL PLAYED CALVINISTAS!!!
No doubt you've probably heard about the brouhaha involving the Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) chapter at the University of Louisville.
WORLD Magazine covered the conflict in an article entitled: Campus Ministry Conflict. It begins as follows:
"Controversies over women’s roles in ministry have rocked churches in recent decades. But at the University of Louisville’s chapter of Cru, the conflict has entered the world of campus ministry. Cru officials recently demoted Louisville’s Missional Team Leader, Daniel Harman, over his refusal to allow female staff to teach Bible studies to mixed-gender audiences."
We could have predicted this happening in Louisville, which is now ground zero for 'biblical manhood and womanhood'.
The article goes on to explain that Harman was an 11-year veteran of Cru, having spent eight years in eastern Europe (from 2001 to 2009). In 2009 he became the Director of Cru at University of Louisville. The WORLD article explains:
"Harman became concerned about Cru’s policy on women in ministry at a staff training meeting in spring 2010, when Cru officials noted that they required male and female campus staff to share leadership duties."
Apparently, Harman did allow females to speak to mixed-gender audiences at Cru events and assume various leadership roles.
Then this fall a female Cru staff member asked Harman whether a woman could teach the Bible in mixed-gender meetings. Harman, an M.Div. student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said women were prohibited from teaching men because of Paul's admonition in 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Regional Cru staff got involved and met with Harman, informing him that Cru has a policy of "men and women leading together". According to the WORLD Magazine piece:
"They gave Harman three weeks to reconsider his position, and said that if he remained 'dogmatic' about the issue, he could no longer serve as Missional Team Leader. Harman decided that he would not change the practice, and Cru demoted him."
Is there any doubt that Daniel Harman is being held up as a hero by the SBTS faculty and CBMW crowd? The Calvinistas obviously knows that Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) does not take a public stand on the role of women in ministry. Why? Because their go-to-guy Wayne Grudem wrote the following in his book Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism: Biblical Responses to the Key Questions (published in 2007). Grudem writes:
One Point Complementarian
"An organization that holds to a “One-Point Complementarian” position believes that men and women have equal value but have different roles (1) in the home. In order to be in this category, an organization must be neutral regarding women as pastors or elders. (Those who advocate women’s ordination I call egalitarian) Many of these One-Point Complementarian groups may have leaders and members who are privately Two-Point Complementarians, but the official stance of the organization is One-Point Complementarianism.
In its official policies, Campus Crusade for Christ also falls into this category [One Point Complementarianism], since the organization has not taken any public stand on the role of women in ministry while Family Life, a division of Campus Crusade under the direction of Dennis Rainey, clearly teaches male headship in the home at its “Weekend to Remember” marriage conferences." (page 287)
How has Cru responded? According to the WORLD article, Cru's spokesman, Mark DeMoss:
"argues that the personnel issue is essentially about policy, not theology: “A local campus leader for Cru in Kentucky was asked to relinquish his current leadership position, not because of a theological disagreement, but rather, because of a failure to abide by the terms for holding a position of leadership within Cru,” he told me. DeMoss confirmed Harman’s contention that he was not advised of Cru’s policy until after coming to Louisville, but he notes that regardless of the timing, Harman knows what the policy is now.
Cru staff, DeMoss said, do not have to agree with their leadership on every theological issue, but they do have to abide by Cru’s standard ministry practices. Among these practices is women and men sharing leadership, including both women and men exercising “gifts of Bible teaching,” DeMoss told me.
A Cru written statement from DeMoss commented further, 'Cru is passionate about connecting men and women to Jesus Christ. … While believers understandably have different beliefs on a wide variety of theological issues, Cru has chosen not to allow secondary issues to become primary passions and divert us from proclaiming Christ to the world.' ”
Hmmm… DeMoss. Where have I heard that name before? Oh, Nancy Leigh DeMoss… Yes, Mark DeMoss is Nancy's brother. Now things are getting really interesting. Nancy certainly appears to be in the CBMW camp, while her brother is defending Cru's adversarial position. Could this be the start of a family feud?
Public Relations for Faith-based Organizations
"Founded by Mark DeMoss in 1991, The DeMoss Group is the nation’s first and largest public relations agency exclusively serving Christian leaders, businesses, non-profit organizations and causes. The DeMoss Group provides a range of public relations services including, branding, media relations, influencer relations, crisis communications, marketing, and social media strategy and execution."
Denny Burk, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has written a response called When It Costs to be a Complementarian. This is what Burk had to say about Cru's response:
"A Cru spokesman told World that this incident amounted to a disagreement over policy not over theology. That is nonsense. Cru’s policy represents an egalitarian view of ministry roles, and that stance is irreducibly theological. Daniel was demoted because of theological conviction, not because of an arcane dispute about Cru’s bureaucracy. Certainly Cru has the right to set their own policies. I hope their constituency knows that it excludes consistent complementarians.
From time to time, I will hear people argue that complementarianism only applies to the church and should not be applied to parachurch groups. This has never been a compelling argument to me. It is true that parachurch groups are not the church. They cannot baptize or administer the Lord’s supper. There is a worthwhile discussion to be had about the existence and role of parachurch organizations in relation to local churches. At the very least, I think everyone should agree that parachurch orgs should never adopt ministry practices which would undermine the teaching and discipline of actual churches. For that reason, the complementarian/egalitarian issue cannot be skirted by groups like Cru."
Burk also serves as Journal Editor for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, whose website has been "under construction" since last April. What in the world is taking so long? Could it be that they don't have the funds to overhaul their website? For those who might be interested, contributions to CBMW have been in decline. Here are the financials for this non-profit. In 2011 total revenue amounted to $120,280, while total expenses were $121,792. Net Assets for 2011 were $4,557. What do these numbers mean? I believe they indicate that in actuality CBMW and their ilk don't have that much support in the Christian community. It's incredible to see this crowd go after a behemoth like Cru, whose annual revenues exceed $550 million and assets are over $123 million (link). An awful lot of people are supporting Cru compared to CBMW.
Financials aside, the real problem these Calvinstas are facing is that there is no consistency when it comes to defining "complementarianism". The Danvers Statement was drafted and adopted 25 years ago this month, and it seems that those who adhere to it have differeing views on what it means to be a complementarian. For example, John Piper and Tim Challies recently came out with statements indicating that women are not allowed to read scripture or pray at the front of the church because such actions could be contrued as "teaching". On the other hand, Wayne Grudem's lists (featured in our previous post) do give women some responsibilities in church. And Mary Kassian, close friend of Grudem and Piper, cowered in her post about Rachel Held Evans' latest book A Year of Biblical Womanhood by stating that complementarianism is not about doing housework! I believe that if you ask 25 Calvinistas to define complementarianism, you'll get 25 different answers. There is simply no consistency in what they believe. No wonder Cru takes the position that it does.
While it is true that Bill and Vonette Bright signed the Danvers Statement (in December 1987), I suspect that they were trying to combat radical feminism. After all, Bill Bright received substantial Biblical training from a woman – Henrietta Mears!
While I am glad that Cru appears to be neutral when it comes to women in ministry, I must say that I am concerned that some groups have been heavily influenced by the Calvinista crowd, specifically: Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, C.J. Mahaney, etc. Some of our commenters like Eagle have testified about their frustrating experiences in Campus Crusade for Christ groups. To some degree, Cru groups appear to be inconsistent when it comes to complementarianism. Both of my daughters have been involved with Cru, and I certainly hope that Cru leadership with address these issues and establish some uniformity in their groups, particularly with regard to how females can serve in the body of Christ.
John Piper and the Calvinista crowd have made complementarianism of primary importance (see video below). Now they are trying to shove it down our throats!
Please pray for Cru leaders who appear to be standing up to the domineering Calvinistas.
Lydia's Corner: Numbers 21:1-22:20 Luke 1:26-56 Psalm 57:1-11 Proverbs 11:9-11