Russell Moore, the Patriarchy and the ERLC: Why It Won’t Work

"The more I see of the representatives of the people, the more I admire my dogs."  Alphonse de Lamartine link


Think about the big picture.

I am doing more research on the writings of Dr. Iain Campbell along with following up on some important information submitted by our readers. I hope to have enough to write a coherent post on Wednesday.There is so much going on that I feel overwhelmed. I am going to hold onto the post which will *cause an explosion* department until next week when I am away of a vacation trip and I can't be hunted down….

**************

My views on politics (don't worry)

Please do not think this post is an opportunity to discuss politics on the blog. I ask that you confine your comments to the subject at hand. This is going to be difficult because it does deal with politics and the Southern Baptist Convention. The question before us is quite simple. Should a representative of the SBC make partisan statements as if they represent the only SBC response?  

Let me explain where I am coming from. I was heavily involved in politics until the early 90s. I helped in many campaigns and ardently supported various candidates. However, I did not do so from a *Christian* perspective. I do not think that there is one Christian way to view politics. I also believe that the people I know make choices based on thoughtful self examination. 

I finally left the political world when I was part of a conversation at a political meeting that I was helping to run. I heard some people denigrating some of those present because they were not *Christian.* By Christian, they mean part of the little evangelical club. I got irritated and said."This is not another Bible stduy." I believe that this country exists to fight for the freedom of all people, not just Christians. I soon left the political arena.

Since that time, I have licked a few envelopes and even served on a health advisory committee when asked by a presidential candidate. In that capacity, I spoke up on the issue of child sex abuse as well as domestic violence which caused a few raised eyebrows because that was not an agenda item. But, speak I did.

I have political opinions but I do not think they are *THE* Christian opinion. I know people who disagree with me and I respect them.

Russell Moore and Presidential politics

The idea behind this post is to help folks to see that there is a fight within the Southern Baptist Convention. Time Magazine pointed out this coming conflagration in May of 2016 in Donald Trump's Feud With Evangelical Leader Reveals Fault LinesIt was known by this time that Russell Moore, the head of SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, was no supporter of Donald Trump.

Trump’s direct attack comes three days after Moore wrote an op-ed for the New York Times, “A White Church No More,” that directly called out Trump by name for a campaign that "has cast light on the darkness of pent-up nativism and bigotry all over the country." Moore pointed out that the evangelical church in the U.S. is no longer the “old white precinct captains in Iowa,” or the “old, white television evangelists."

“The next Billy Graham probably will speak only Spanish or Arabic or Persian or Mandarin,” Moore wrote. “The man on the throne in heaven is a dark-skinned, Aramaic-speaking ‘foreigner’ who is probably not all that impressed by chants of ‘Make America great again.’”

Here is where it gets interesting.

Evangelical leaders are also far from politically united, and Southern Baptists do not vote as a block. Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist pastor of the 12,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, has been very supportive of the presumptive Republican nominee. “Russell Moore has launched numerous vitriolic attacks not only against Trump’s policies but about his own character and integrity,” Jeffress says. “No one should be surprised that Trump would respond to such attacks.”

“This is unprecedented what Russell Moore has done, and I believe there are many people who are not sympathetic with his views toward Trump,” he adds. “While Moore is a respected leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, he absolutely does not speak for all Southern Baptists even as I don’t speak for all Southern Baptists. There are no Southern Baptist Popes.”

Russell Moore supports the hard line Calvinista agenda.

There are few people who know just how hard line Moore is within his faith system..

He is a leader at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

From Wikipedia:

He is currently president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).[1] Moore previously served at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of six seminaries of the SBC, as dean of the School of Theology, senior vice president for academic administration, and as professor of Christian theology and ethics.

He is a vocal  supporter of patriarchy.

He thinks that the word complementarianism is too soft. Instead he prefers the word patriarchy.

Russell Moore: Gender identity and complementarianism… I hate ….the word 'complementarian', I prefer the word 'patriarchy'…

Again at 37:00 ff….

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…"

He is a fan of CJ Mahaney, former head of Sovereign Grace Ministries, who allegedly covered up child sex abuse in his churches.

Link

"It is noteworthy that the vitality in evangelical complementarianism right now is among those who are willing to speak directly to the implications and meaning of male headship—and who aren’t embarrassed to use terms such as “male headship.” This vitality is found in specific ecclesial communities—among sectors within the Southern Baptist Convention, the Presbyterian Church in America, the charismatic Calvinists of C.J. Mahaney’s “sovereign grace” network, and the clusters of dispensationalist Bible churches, as well as within coalition projects that practice an “ecumenism with teeth,” such as Touchstone magazine. These groups are talking about male leadership in strikingly counter-cultural and very specific ways, addressing issues such as childrearing, courtship, contraception and family planning—not always with uniformity but always with directness."

He is supportive of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

link

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said he is excited about Burk’s selection and looks forward to “working with CBMW to serve the church toward a biblical view of God’s good design for men and women, girls and boys

What is the defined mission of the ERLC?

link

Mission
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission exists to assist the churches by helping them understand the moral demands of the gospel, apply Christian principles to moral and social problems and questions of public policy, and to promote religious liberty in cooperation with the churches and other Southern Baptist entities.

So, why was he dissing SBC people who supported a different candidate than he did? That does not appear to be a part of the stated mission. 

There are two big problems confronting the ERLC.

1. The ERLC, along with the IMB and NAMB will not answer questions submitted by SBC churches regarding  financial questions such as salaries.

Point of Fact: These organizations run on money donated by local churches to the Cooperative Program. 

On March 7, 2017, a report was released Attn: Dr. Russell Moore, Servants Answer Questions.

Russell Moore claimed that the ERLC was willing to answer questions of SBC churches. 

“As a servant of our churches, we are happy to work with the Executive Committee, and more broadly, grateful to be able to serve our churches daily, whether by answering their questions, providing resources and assistance or standing alongside them in the public square contending for the fundamental issues of life, family and religious liberty."

Some churches attempted to get their questions answered .

Here is what happened. (I bet you all guessed what happened since you know how Calvinistas love to answer questions.) Those bad boys asked about salaries.

In September 2016, Caldwell Baptist Church (Caldwell, Georgia) pastor J.T. Taylor penned hand-written letters to the heads of the ERLC, IMB, NAMB, the Georgia Baptist Convention, and both Steve Gaines and J.D. Greear. There were no responses from the ERLC, IMB or NAMB. Dr. J. Robert White, Executive Director and CEO of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board responded by letter and forwarded Taylor’s letter to Southern Baptist seminaries. This prompted a telephone call from Paige Patterson. 

The letters detailed Caldwell Baptist Church’s concerns over transparency, stewardship and misplaced priorities distracting the SBC from missions and the treatment of some SBC members. The church formed a committee to explore these issues and the Cooperative Program. The committee followed the letters with telephone calls to the entities. The team worked four months, requested information from ERLC, IMB and NAMB by mail and phone call, but were provided no information from the entities. The committee requested a range of information including salary data on entity leadership through its relationship with the Laurens County Baptist Association. The Association attempted to gather the requested data, but could not get the salary information because they were told this information was “sealed” and would not be provided, according to the committee report of the Special SBC Research Committee of Caldwell Baptist Church.

Here is their summation:"They're hiding something."

“We eventually realized that this kind of financial information was concealed and unavailable to anyone,” the committee reported in December.

Apparently other churches have attempted to get answers to no avail. 

My question: Why do the little guys put up with this racket?

Why in the world would anyone give money to an organization which is not accountable to those who are giving? In fact, these groups have snubbed their collective noses at the little guy while still telling them to send money. That, in my book, is quite a con job. 

2. How can the ERLC represent the political views of the SBC given the diversity of opinion within the ranks?

They can't and that is the problem.

Russell Moore criticized evangelicals who voted for Trump during the election. (Remember- we are not discussing political views merely how Moore represents (or doesn't) ALL Southern Baptists.) It was so blatant that he was forced to apologize. In Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore apologizes for criticizing Trump supporters. Moore, during the election appeared to go after those SBC people who disagreed with his point of view.

Moore had drawn criticism during the general election for calling Trump support by evangelicals and other conservatives "illogical."

"To back Mr. Trump, these voters must repudiate everything they believe," Moore said.

In his apology, which was not well received by the SBC base, he said:

"There were…pastors and friends who told me when they read my comments they thought I was criticizing anyone who voted for Donald Trump. I told them then, and I would tell anyone now: if that's what you heard me say, that was not at all my intention, and I apologize," Moore said.

Here, however, he seems to make it about his own personal views, not about the combined views of the SBC.

The problem with this statement is that he is not representing himself. He is representing his entire constituency and that is a problem. Of course he has a right to hold his own personal views. But, he was speaking for the SBC contributors who were paying him to do so.

He did not back down from his criticism of Trump himself, saying the 2016 election season had been "fraught with ugliness, much of which couldn't be left unchecked."

"In my personal situation, there were some outrageous moments in the midst of the campaign that I felt compelled by my job to address," he said. "It is precisely because Southern Baptists are pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious freedom, pro-racial reconciliation, and pro-character-in-public-office that I felt it was my responsibility to speak out on those issues. For me, to remain silent–rightly or wrongly–felt negligent."

Could Moore lose his job as some churches threaten to withhold funding?

The Washington Post just today posted Could Southern Baptist Russell Moore lose his job? Churches threaten to pull funds after months of Trump controversy. Here are some excerpts.

100 churches threaten to cut off funding and a meeting will be held with Moore today.

Prestonwood Baptist has already withheld $1 million which is a blow considering the continuing decline of the SBC membership.

More than 100 of the denomination’s 46,000 churches have threatened to cut off financial support for the SBC’s umbrella fund, according to Frank Page, president of the executive committee. The committee is studying whether the churches are acting out of displeasure with Moore because it has received more threats to funding over him than over any other “personality issue” in recent memory, said Page, who will meet with Moore today.

…Withdrawal of church donations from the fund threatens not only the ERLC (which receives just 1.65 percent of it) but other Southern Baptist agencies and state conventions. 

Page may ask Moore to resign.

Page declined to discuss the plan for Monday’s meeting, but he indicated that he would not rule out the possibility that he could ask Moore to resign.

Thabiti Anyabwile says such a move would be problematic for African Americans. 

Thabiti was outspoken against Trump during the elections. he appears to be saying that one must be anti-Trump in order to care about race relations.

A threat to Moore’s job would have a “chilling” effect on efforts toward racial reconciliation, said Thabiti Anyabwile,

The SBC appears to be divided, just like the rest of the country.

Also, Moore's supporters appear to be the Cavinista contingent adding another lovely layer of "us against them."

The denomination has gone through a significant realignment before. In the 1980s, Southern Baptists hotly debated the interpretation of the Bible as President Ronald Reagan took office. During his two terms, conservatives in the SBC tended to side with Reagan while moderates tended to side with Jimmy Carter-style Democrats, said Nathan Finn, a Southern Baptist historian. The debates led to nearly 2,000 churches breaking away to form a the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a group that ordains women.

“The last time Southern Baptists were this divided, the Republican Party was reinventing itself,” said Finn, who is dean of Union University’s School of Theology and Missions.

In addition to topics such as immigration and Muslim rights, Southern Baptists have also been embroiled in a theological debate over how to understand salvation that has also divided the denomination along generational lines.

If I don't want to discuss politics, what am I getting at?

  1. I am greatly disturbed that various entities within the SBC will not respond to questions about salaries, etc. I believe that all contributors have a right to know how their money is being used. If they cannot get answers, I do not think they should give a dime to these SBC entities.
  2. Churches need to decide whether any organization can faithfully represent their constituency on political issues. That is not the point of faith. Jesus said "My kingdom is not of this world" yet his followers wanted a conquering king. Is that what we still want today?
  3. I support all folks who think long and hard about about their vote. Politics is not another Bible study and we need to stop treating it like it is. That means that devoted Christians will disagree with one another on political matters.
  4. I think the ERLC will have to get its act together. What, exactly, are they doing and who are they representing?
  5. Never forget that Moore is a patriarch, no matter how *liberal* he sounds.
  6. In the end, it is all about the money. If the money dries up, so will the ERLC and Russell Moore.
  7. I think the concept of the ERLC, as it stands now, is doomed to failure. The SBC must find common ground in their political forays.

Closing thoughts

I am grateful to be a member of a church which handled the election thoughtfully. Instead of directing us "who to vote for" we prayed diligently for this country and our leaders throughout the contentious election. We prayed for peace and understanding. I felt respected by the pastors who actually thought we were all thoughtful people who would struggle through this and come to a conclusion. As one pastor once said "I am not your boss." I bet the votes in that church were all over the map.

I am deeply concerned about how money is used in the SBC. That is one of the reasons I left the denomination. The following is an example. I tried to find out how many church plants the NAMB was supporting each year, the money spent, and whether or not they were Reformed or more traditional Baptist. I also wanted to know how many church plants failed. 

I asked a number of folks in the know. I was told that the information was not available. So, my husband and I decided that our money and support was also no longer available.

Keep your eyes on this situation. i beleive that there will be growing conflict in the year to come. Will Moore hang on? It depends on the $$$$$.

 


Comments

Russell Moore, the Patriarchy and the ERLC: Why It Won’t Work — 317 Comments

  1. From the post:
    “I spoke up on the issue of child sex abuse as well as domestic violence.”

    Thanks, Dee. That truly is non-partisan and Christian love. (We are to be known by our love.)

  2. I disagree with Moore on an awful lot of things, but I respect him very much for using the term patriarchy. The rest of the complementarians are simply trying to be politically correct and cave into culture by using a nice soft term for patriarchal authoritarianism. Besides, the egalitarians coined the word complementarian. Patriarchalists stole the term and ran with it. But no thinking person would be fooled by them.

  3. OP:

    I helped in many campaigns and ardently supported various candidates. However, I did not do so from a *Christian* perspective. I do not think that there is one Christian way to view politics. I also believe that the people I know make choices based on thoughtful self examination.

    I finally left the political world when I was part of a conversation at a political meeting that I was helping to run. I heard some people denigrating some of those present because they were not *Christian.* By Christian, they mean part of the little evangelical club.

    That reminds me of this article…

    Majority of White Evangelicals Believe You Have to Be Christian to Be Truly American
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/majority-of-white-evangelicals-believe-you-have-to-be-christian-to-be-truly-american-174194/

    Fifty-seven percent of white evangelicals make a strong connection between their nationality and Christianity, the survey shows, noting that the percentage drops down to 29 percent among white mainline Protestants, and to 27 percent among Catholics.

    A majority of white evangelical Protestants say it is very important to be Christian to be a true American, and about a third of all Americans also believe the same, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

  4. I wonder if all the churches calling for ERLC transparency are as transparent with their members as they want the ERLC to be. I’m betting there’s some hypocritical churches among the 100+

  5. The Southern Baptist Convention is dying and is fragmented into so many parts. It is not new, but it is all about the $$$$. If the people in the pew quit giving to the Cooperative fund the SBC will die much quicker.

    I put the blame at the feet of people like Patterson who helped orchestrate the Takeover of the SBC.

  6. I’ll modify and say it appears that Page will most likely not ask for Russell Moore’s resignation. But ya never know.

  7. Thank you! I was irritated when I saw that article by Sarah Pulliam Bailey at the Washington Post this morning. I thought Pulliam Bailey pulled (heh heh) her punches by not spelling out the huge controversy that’s consuming the SBC (Neo-Calvinism) nor pointing out that Russell Moore is a complementarian/patriarchalist. I even left a comment on the article. Someone chewed me out for citing Rachel Held Evans on the subject of Moore’s patriarchal leanings. So I came back with Denny Burk. That shut him up.

  8. McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog on Patheos has this post today about Moore: http://bit.ly/2nnrikL

    The comments are also interesting and already the post has been shared on FB about 40 times.

    Lots of concern about this. Once again, TWW is at the cutting edge.

  9. 1. I’m grateful for my new church over the election too, especially considering the Dallas shooting in July. I had to leave the PCA for a Methodist church to hear a quality Two Kingdoms point of view.

    2. Jen Wilkin on Twitter today: I’m praying for the SBC today. May it be a place for diversity of race, age, class, and opinion. God bless @drmoore. Like the opinion of egalitarianism? Or the opinion that no one has to sign an indemnity waiver to go to church?

    3. I didn’t expect Jack Graham and Prestonwood’s escrow to result in anything at all. I thought he was grandstanding to try to get some people back from Village Church. As you can see above, Chandler is all in on the Moore party line.

    4. Does this episode not prove that the gospel™-centered movement is a parasitic denomination completely reliant on money from Baptists and traditional Calvinists who haven’t signed on?

    5. Who says Russell Moore is a nasty guy with no heart? https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4KuxI_VMAAxdNT.jpg:large

  10. Dee, thank you taking the time to ask these questions! My husband and I have decided that we will only give to individual Christian ministries, but no longer to the church because some of it will be going to the cooperative program. I, too, want some answers and we, the lay people, should not be ignored. It is disrespectful to the very people who pay their salaries and fund their programs.

  11. Ruth Tucker wrote:

    I disagree with Moore on an awful lot of things, but I respect him very much for using the term patriarchy. The rest of the complementarians are simply trying to be politically correct and cave into culture by using a nice soft term for patriarchal authoritarianism. Besides, the egalitarians coined the word complementarian. Patriarchalists stole the term and ran with it. But no thinking person would be fooled by them.

    There are a number of people who keep twisting in pretzels to try to make this whole comp thing work without being problematic. I haven’t seen any that do it successfully (imo).

    As for the rest, I am glad someone is watching the money and trying to get information. It should not be kept private.

  12. One thing I have found strange online and off for that matter is just how many very spiritual people hate each other in Jesus’ name, of course, its all done in love. Have some of you seen some of the vile written about Mr. Moore on twitter and on some blogs? I was going to post some choice sites but no they are very racist but good at hiding it. Sad to say. So I guess Mr. Moore is going something right.

  13. The SBC has a host of problems and I’m glad I’m not part of it anymore. But I think this particular problem really is all about politics. Plenty of Baptist leaders came out in support of Trump and highly critical of Clinton. Moore is the only one I know of who consistently criticised Trump and he is the only one in trouble. Also, what is the ERLC supposed to do if not talk about moral and ethical issues in the culture? If it’s okay for him to talk about gender roles, why not immigration or racial issues?

    I thought this sbcvoices article summed up this issue pretty well.

    http://sbcvoices.com/the-southern-baptist-conventions-decision-to-investigate-russell-moore-has-huge-implications-for-black-sbc-churches/

  14. JeffT wrote:

    I wonder if all the churches calling for ERLC transparency are as transparent with their members as they want the ERLC to be. I’m betting there’s some hypocritical churches among the 100+

    The ringleader of withholding funds is Jack Graham. What a joke. Will anyone in the SBC demand an investigation into Prestonwood’s failure to report child sex abuse? Where is the outrage for the protection of kids? Jack Graham is on Trump’s religious advisory board. I don’t think Prestonwood members even know how much Jack makes. http://www.dallasobserver.com/news/an-advocate-for-the-sexually-abused-demands-answers-from-prestonwood-baptist-church-7132274

  15. @ preacher’s wife:
    Then why will he not answer questions on how he uses money within the ERLC? To not answer an inquiry when he said he would means he is hiding something.

    Also, he has not mentioned gender roles since he has been doing the ERLC schtick. He knows that will tick off the culturecrats.

    I believe that Jesus was far more concerned about morals and ethics within the church. I have no expectations for those outside of the faith. As I told one friend, each and every person running for President had their own share of moral problems. Why should we expect nonChristians to act like Christians? Even worse, why is it that some nonChristians act better than Christians?

    Unfortunately, Moore has been consistently quiet on issues of sex abuse cover up in the church when if involves his buddies like CJ Mahaney. Let’s attack an outsider for his moral failure but back slap the Christians who are ethically and morally challenged. We are t be the light to the world but we often add more darkness.

    Frankly, I think he is just as political as anyone else. His type of personality, along with Paige Patterson, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, etc. along with those who judge the outsiders far more harshly than the inside caused me to flee the SBC a couple of years back.

    I have found a conservative church which is more into praying for this country and looking at ourselves and our own sins as opposed to judging those outside.

  16. @ preacher’s wife:
    BTW-you do know that SBC Voices is slanted in their theological point of view. I do not think they are anymore thoughtful than those who are irritated at Moore.Each sticks to their theological guns.

    The ERLC must represent ALL Baptists and that is why there will be ongoing problems with the organization. Maybe Moore should speak to the sins in the church more frequently than the sins of those who are outside the church.

  17. I spent many years in SBC circles, including some time at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. I’ve known some people who worked for ERLC. I don’t agree with everything about the way Calvinists, 9Marks, Mark Dever, and a few other things are presented here (though I’m not an apologist, do think some of the criticism lands fairly, and – most importantly – I very much appreciate and cheer the support offered here to those who are victims of abuse in churches; I’m thankful to have had the chance to meet Dee in person and share both a very good meal and my views on all of these matters).

    All that said, I’m not a fan of ERLC and am not surprised this is one of the places the fissures are showing in the SBC. As I see it, there are four possible paths: 1) head of ERLC continues to be able to set the direction and priorities and Moore remains in the role, resulting in lots of politically conservative pastors leading their churches, including many megachurches, to cease their friendly cooperation with the SBC; 2) head of ERLC continues to be able to set the direction and priorities but Moore is removed from the role, resulting in a few to modest departures of churches/people from the SBC; 3) ERLC abolished, which seems unlikely since SBC wants to be able to whisper in the ears of the powerful even if they’re not taken seriously by most; and 4) ERLC is reigned in by the SBC requiring it to follow the will of the convention, resulting in Moore’s resignation since he wouldn’t work under those strictures.

    At present, the first looks most likely. It’s hard to overstate the success of the Calvinists in working the structure of committees and boards of the SBC proper and its entities. This is very similar to the way the theological conservatives took back SBTS – and eventually the entire convention – back in the day.

    There was an article in today’s Washington Post about the Moore/ERLC issue (http://wapo.st/2mUrlHc) and it quotes both the ERLC board chair (a current CHBC elder) and Thabiti Anyabwile (a former CHBC elder and pastor, now a supported church planter in another part of DC).

    IMB provides an example of what the endgame looks like. Of six men on their leadership page (https://www.imb.org/leadership/), their EVP is a former CHBC elder, VP for Global Training is a longtime friend of Dever, and VP of mobilization is a former CHBC member.

  18. “I’ve argued here before that, whatever feminism tells us, our choice is not between egalitarianism and patriarchy but between two visions of patriarchy: a Christian patriarchy that protects women as precious weaker vessels (1 Pet 3:7) and a pagan patriarchy that sees dominance over women as something to be grasped. “

  19. Amy Smith wrote:

    Jack Graham is on Trump’s religious advisory board. I don’t think Prestonwood members even know how much Jack makes.

    I will join a church again, or give money to one, that isn’t entirely transparent about finances, including salaries of clergy and staff.

  20. Correction for typo: I WON’T join a church again, or give money to one, that isn’t entirely transparent about finances.

  21. Russell Moore wrote:

    “I’ve argued here before that, whatever feminism tells us, our choice is not between egalitarianism and patriarchy but between two visions of patriarchy: a Christian patriarchy that protects women as precious weaker vessels (1 Pet 3:7) and a pagan patriarchy that sees dominance over women as something to be grasped. “

    0_o Can I select “neither of those visions”? Seriously, this is all twaddle. Moore talks about “protect[ing] women as precious weaker vessels” but when it comes time to deal with child abuse (which involves young women and girls) we see how that actually works out. Moore’s thing is power and anyone or anything that gets in the way gets discarded.

  22. @ Amy Smith:

    I didn’t know he was on Trump’s committee. And I’ve heard it’s an even million dollars. It’s definitely one sleaze versus another.

  23. Nancy2 wrote (quoting what’s his face):

    [what Christians need is] a Christian patriarchy that protects women as precious weaker vessels (1 Pet 3:7)

    I don’t think 1Pt3.7 thinks what he does, or else, it’s not applicable in today’s culture.

    What he’s advocating for is Benevolent Sexism, which still puts men in charge of women, based on ideas such as, “men should protect women and make choices for them, for their own good.” His type of sexism still limits women.

    And at the end of the day, the guys who adhere to that view still end up abandoning women in need.

    Look at all the Christian men who promote patriachy and complementarianism but who punish women who divorce an abusive husband, or, the ones who coach such women to put themselves into danger by remaining in such marriages (because they don’t believe divorce is “biblical”).

    In other words, Christians who promote patriarchy and complementarianism don’t practice what they preach. They say they respect and protect women, but in reality, they do not do so.

    Women are Kind and Men are Strong: How Benevolent Sexism Hurts Us All
    https://www.themuse.com/advice/women-are-kind-and-men-are-strong-how-benevolent-sexism-hurts-us-all

  24. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    0_o Can I select “neither of those visions”? Seriously, this is all twaddle. Moore talks about “protect[ing] women as precious weaker vessels” but when it comes time to deal with child abuse (which involves young women and girls) we see how that actually works out. Moore’s thing is power and anyone or anything that gets in the way gets discarded.

    Nope. According to RM, there are only 2 options in this world: 1.) the subjugation of women, or 2.) the subjugation of women. Nothing else exists.
    Dr. Moore is welcome to come protect me while we separate some calves form their momma’s for worming and vaccinations! We’ll see how much power he has!

  25. @ dee:

    I’m not defending Moore or his opinions. I’m also not defending the SBC. I just don’t think he would be in trouble right now if he hadn’t been so vocal against Trump. Are most of the churches threatening to withhold money upset that Moore won’t give information about his salary?

    I only mention the SBC Voices article because I do think politics is deeply ingrained within Southern Baptists (and the majority of evangelical churches I’ve seen) and I think race is an issue within the denomination. I know they are slanted – everyone is slanted.

  26. I have never liked the ERLC. Not from the beginning. They could have framed an ethics organization to help the less fortunate without making something about politics, but they wanted to stick their fingers in the pie, and that’s the only point of the ERLC. I am quite familiar with Richard Land, and I intensely disliked him and what he stood for. Moore is much more saavy than Land, but I don’t believe for one second he isn’t a cog in the Calvinista machine.

    It’s not that Page will or won’t do anything, but that he can’t. It’s not his job. The trustees would have to fire Moore, and they’re all Calvinistas. Page could make a statement, but I doubt it would do any good.

    Why can’t more Southern Baptist churches be upset that the SBC is controlled by a cult? Why now do they get upset? Seriously, they’re just as bad, but not for the reasons anybody is talking about in the media right now. Maybe if they started withholding their money until they got more non-Calvinista representation, that might be worth something.

  27. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t think 1Pt3.7 thinks what he does, or else, it’s not applicable in today’s culture.
    What he’s advocating for is Benevolent Sexism, which still puts men in charge of women, based on ideas such as, “men should protect women and make choices for them, for their own good.” His type of sexism still limits women.
    And at the end of the day, the guys who adhere to that view still end up abandoning women in need.

    I don’t think it’s really about sexism, despite the dominance of the topic in their conversation. I think they are equally interested in dominating men. It’s all a big power game, and their theology of patriarchy is just a means to an end. They just use patriarchy to make men under them believe they actually are in power over something.

  28. Ruth Tucker wrote:

    I respect him very much for using the term patriarchy. The rest of the complementarians are simply trying to be politically correct and cave into culture by using a nice soft term for patriarchal authoritarianism.

    YES, this

    I’m married almost fifty years. During this time, my husband and I have both supported one another in battles with illnesses, and our roles were during that time complimentary. But as the situations where one needed more help and support than the other CHANGED, our ‘roles’ changed accordingly. We are each other’s ‘strength and stay’ and when I married all those many years ago, in the Church, I never realized then how those mutual vows would be lived out so seriously.

    To have people who are patriarchal using the term ‘complimentarian’ offends me greatly. At least Moore is straight up about his orientation, calling it what it is, with all the barnacles attached. And he owns his patriarchal actions. Maybe, someday on HIS marital journey, he will learn how it is when the tables are turned and he is the one who is being supported and looked after by a strong spouse who stays up all night in the hospital when he is in crisis and keeps watch over him. I don’t wish him ill, no. But I hope the Good Lord will open his eyes to something about Christian marriage which is far more beautiful than he now realizes.

  29. dee wrote:

    The ERLC must represent ALL Baptists and that is why there will be ongoing problems with the organization. Maybe Moore should speak to the sins in the church more frequently than the sins of those who are outside the church.

    This is true. I think in hindsight, churches and para church orgs entering the political fray was a huge mistake. Fighting for issues? Fine. But picking a side makes everyone on the other side feel unwelcome and that’s not how church should be.

    And that second sentence is how I feel when someone goes off about certain moral topics randomly while ignoring the ones right in front of them. Ignoring pride. Ignoring greed. Etc. Look at the church. See what is wrong in the church. The world is not our business.

  30. Nancy2 wrote:

    “I’ve argued here before that, whatever feminism tells us, our choice is not between egalitarianism and patriarchy but between two visions of patriarchy: a Christian patriarchy that protects women as precious weaker vessels (1 Pet 3:7) and a pagan patriarchy that sees dominance over women as something to be grasped. “

    Hi Nancy. I pass on both of those. Thanks Russell!

  31. I left the SBC before 1985, having seen the handwriting on the wall in reports from several state level conventions the year before. Then there was the 1988 convention in San Antonio where a speaker described moderate Southern Baptists in very abusive terms.

    Hope others will wake up as well to the inherently retro political organization the SBC has become.

    Keep up the good work Dee. The SBC is an abusive organization!

  32. preacher’s wife wrote:

    Plenty of Baptist leaders came out in support of Trump and highly critical of Clinton. Moore is the only one I know of who consistently criticised Trump and he is the only one in trouble.

    “WHO IS LIKE UNTO THE TRUMP? WHO CAN STAND BEFORE HIM?”
    — filk of Rev 13:4

  33. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    I only mention the SBC Voices article because I do think politics is deeply ingrained within Southern Baptists (and the majority of evangelical churches I’ve seen) and I think race is an issue within the denomination. I know they are slanted – everyone is slanted.

    Definitely! Our church held a revival shortly before the election. My husband went one service, and then refused to attend the remainder of the revival. The guest preacher made it clear that the entire revival would be a political pitch for Trump. (For the record, I have no idea for whom my husband voted.)

    Although the SBC is mostly conservative republican, the SBC is rife with sugar-sprinkled misogyny, aka “complementarianism”. I have wondered if, suspected that, sexism may have played as much of, or more of, a role in baptist support of Trump than the political party affiliation.

  34. mot wrote:

    An Attorney wrote:

    The SBC is an abusive organization!

    It sure is. I continue to be surprised that more people do not leave this organization.

    Keys to the Kingdom and Eternal Hell can be quite a motivator.

  35. Lea wrote:

    And that second sentence is how I feel when someone goes off about certain moral topics randomly while ignoring the ones right in front of them. Ignoring pride. Ignoring greed. Etc. Look at the church. See what is wrong in the church. The world is not our business.

    Don’t you know it’s always about the OTHER guys’ SIN SIN SIN SIN SIN?
    (homosexuality…)
    How else can the Church Lady do her Superiority Dance?
    (homosexuality…)

  36. dee wrote:

    The ERLC must represent ALL Baptists and that is why there will be ongoing problems with the organization

    One reason why the ERLC is what it is is that Southern Baptists have become more interested in having someone tell them WHAT to think instead of helping them learn HOW to think.

  37. dee wrote:

    Maybe Moore should speak to the sins in the church more frequently than the sins of those who are outside the church.

    As the Moore debate started to surface I began to wonder why Southern Baptists have an ethics organization that is externally focused instead of one that is internally focused.

  38. FW Rez wrote:

    As the Moore debate started to surface I began to wonder why Southern Baptists have an ethics organization that is externally focused instead of one that is internally focused.

    I have not followed the SBC closely in many years (and have left it entirely) but I did not realize this organization was solely externally focused. That does seem off.

    FW Rez wrote:

    Southern Baptists have become more interested in having someone tell them WHAT to think instead of helping them learn HOW to think.

    I don’t know if the goal of church should be to tell you what to think OR how to think. Shouldn’t it be communing together, studying the bible and helping others? Maybe we need a thesis statement on the purpose of church because I honestly think a lot of people are confused.

  39. FW Rez wrote:

    dee wrote:

    Maybe Moore should speak to the sins in the church more frequently than the sins of those who are outside the church.

    As the Moore debate started to surface I began to wonder why Southern Baptists have an ethics organization that is externally focused instead of one that is internally focused.

    Because the leaders think they are “pure”.

  40. Nancy2 wrote:

    According to RM, there are only 2 options in this world: 1.) the subjugation of women, or 2.) the subjugation of women. Nothing else exists.

    Yes, but there is a choice. One can subjugate women in a mean way, or one can be nice and pleasant and condescending about it.

    That “weaker vessel” thing is bothering me. It’s true that women have less muscle mass than men, typically. There are obvious exceptions. And women also [generally] have a higher pain tolerance. If it were left to men to give birth, the human race would have gone extinct long ago.

  41. Nancy2 wrote:

    “I’ve argued here before that, whatever feminism tells us, our choice is not between egalitarianism and patriarchy but between two visions of patriarchy: a Christian patriarchy that protects women as precious weaker vessels (1 Pet 3:7) and a pagan patriarchy that sees dominance over women as something to be grasped. “

    Which means, if any Christian patriarchy-believing man has abused, that’s OK because he was not a TRUE Christan patriarch.

  42. Lea wrote:

    I have not followed the SBC closely in many years (and have left it entirely) but I did not realize this organization was solely externally focused. That does seem off.

    It is not solely externally focused, but it is mainly so. There are internal initiatives, but now as a Calvinista organization, much of it is focused on doing works instead of letting Christ change you. One internal project they do is help with addictions. They do some world projects, for example on hunger.

    Land founded it with the intention of meddling in politics and establishing patriarchy in the SBC, even though he wasn’t a Calvinista. I think the push for the ERLC to become more project-focused came from churches.

  43. GSD wrote:

    That “weaker vessel” thing is bothering me.

    I can think of that as physically weaker or politically weaker. What I don’t think there is any reason to think it means mentally weaker.

    Taking this as an excuse to treat women poorly is the opposite of what that passage says, no matter how you see it! Men are supposed to honor/respect/be understanding. Which someone pointed out is not so different from how women are supposed to treat their husbands with respect. And all of that mutual respect makes a lot more sense than pure obedience to a husband, mean or kind, with no thought allowed.

  44. Stan wrote:

    Which means, if any Christian patriarchy-believing man has abused, that’s OK because he was not a TRUE Christian patriarch.

    That is what they say, but it is not what they do. They always side with the abuser, and they come down hard on the victims. They also side with the supporters of the abusers, like Mahaney.

  45. Lea wrote:

    I don’t know if the goal of church should be to tell you what to think OR how to think. Shouldn’t it be communing together, studying the bible and helping others? Maybe we need a thesis statement on the purpose of church because I honestly think a lot of people are confused.

    I was thinking more on the agency level, i.e. seminaries have become more indoctrinating than they used to be, than the local church level. It is, however, legitimate to extend your question to ask whether agencies such as the ERLC should exist given the near impossibility of them being representative of their entire constituency.

    Even at the local church level, however, there are questions that arise that need to be left to conscience of the individual rather than dictated from the pulpit. I much prefer it when a pastor says “here are a couple of ways of looking at this and I leave you to study and pray about it to come to your own conclusion” than when a pastor thinks his way is the only way. Even when we commune, study, and help together we will have differences. We need to show respect to one another in these differences. A good example is how Dee describes her church’s handling of the elections, knowing that they were “all over the map”.

  46. One comment not approved. All comment with conspiracy theories like one world governments, the Rothschilds, etc. will not be approved.

  47. @ JYJames:

    Ok, I just read that patheos link. Russell Moore as a ‘disinterested, biblical analyst with some prophetic critique’? Really? Politics really does make strange bedfellows.

  48. ishy wrote:

    They always side with the abuser, and they come down hard on the victims. They also side with the supporters of the abusers, like Mahaney.

    Moore was one of them. he res after politicians who are outside of the faith and keeps his mouth shut about the egregious happenings in todays churches.

  49. ishy wrote:

    Land founded it with the intention of meddling in politics and establishing patriarchy in the SBC, even though he wasn’t a Calvinista.

    Good point. The same goes for Paige Patterson.The only thing that differed is the theological basis.

  50. dee wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    They always side with the abuser, and they come down hard on the victims. They also side with the supporters of the abusers, like Mahaney.
    //
    Moore was one of them. he res after politicians who are outside of the faith and keeps his mouth shut about the egregious happenings in todays churches.

    This is why I think this whole “scandal” is ridiculous. It’s just not that important compared to other problems the SBC is facing. Hundreds of SBC churches should be withdrawing their CP support because of Mohler, Moore, and their cronies, not because of politics.

  51. Nancy2 wrote:

    I think Russ leans hard towards dominionism.

    I think that there are a fair number within the Calvinista crowd that lean toward this. It. fits in quite well with covenant theology.

  52. dee wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    Land founded it with the intention of meddling in politics and establishing patriarchy in the SBC, even though he wasn’t a Calvinista.
    //
    Good point. The same goes for Paige Patterson.The only thing that differed is the theological basis.

    Land and Patterson were fairly close in theology, I think. I’ve heard them say very similar things, and I know for a fact that Land liked Patterson. They are conservative resurgence patriarchists, and I’m pretty sure they thought they would be the ones to continue the reform of the SBC. I think the neo-Cals kinda came out of left field.

    Patterson was more academic than Land, so… seminary. Land is very much a person who likes to be in the middle of a big argument, so… politics. But they are just different petals on the same flower.

  53. Lea wrote:

    I have not followed the SBC closely in many years (and have left it entirely) but I did not realize this organization was solely externally focused. That does seem off.

    It is not supposed to be externally focused. But read their mission.

    “exists to assist the churches by helping them understand the moral demands of the gospel, apply Christian principles to moral and social problems and questions of public policy, and to promote religious liberty ”

    However, this mission is not being fulfilled as written. Moore, in his own way, is just a new breed of culture warrior-one in which women take a back seat.

  54. FW Rez wrote:

    Southern Baptists have become more interested in having someone tell them WHAT to think instead of helping them learn HOW to think.

    I think you are right. That is why I love me new church. They emphasize Scripture abdehpcet each person to work it out. As one pastor says “I am not your boss.” I almost fainted since most church leaders pretend they are the boss.

  55. ishy wrote:

    Hundreds of SBC churches should be withdrawing their CP support because of Mohler, Moore, and their cronies, not because of politics.

    Absolutely. It’s hard to pick a dog in this fight when they’re all a mess.

  56. Nancy2 wrote:

    The guest preacher made it clear that the entire revival would be a political pitch for Trump

    I had a former pastor who handed out lists about who and what to vote for. It drove me nuts. He acted like he was the one in the know. I would have walked out of that revival. It is revivals like that which prevent true revival.

  57. mot wrote:

    I continue to be surprised that more people do not leave this orga

    They are. The SBC is in trouble in this area.

  58. dee wrote:

    “exists to assist the churches by helping them understand the moral demands of the gospel, apply Christian principles to moral and social problems and questions of public policy, and to promote religious liberty ”

    Ah. I don’t think churches should need help ‘understanding the moral demands of the gospel’ and individuals should be able to apply Christian principals on their own. So that leaves politics.

  59. @ Lea:
    Great comment. We will never succeed in making this a Christian nation-Christian as defined by the Calvinist brigade. Yet that is what they are concentrating on doing. They are so arrogant that they want your money and won’t tell you what they are doing with it. I think that there would be an outcry if the average SBC Joe ever found out how their hard earned money is spent.

  60. Nancy2 wrote:

    Although the SBC is mostly conservative republican

    This is why I’m not willing to say that sexism was a big factor in this political push. I think demographics are generally more predictive than anything.

    And Russell Moore is not against trump because of sexism that I can see. This seems to have more to do with race.

  61. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    I just don’t think he would be in trouble right now if he hadn’t been so vocal against Trump. Are most of the churches threatening to withhold money upset that Moore won’t give information about his salary?

    I believe that Moore got himself into hot water since the protests are coming on two fronts.

    1. Moore, along with the iMB and NAMB have thumbed their collective noses at the little guy by refusing to say how their money is spent. My guess? There will be some serious issues once. this get out into the open.

    2. The others are angry that he specifically dissed the pastors who were supporting Trump. Mind you, I am not into pastors supporting political candidates. However, the SBC crowd have always gone down that road. If the SBC has no problems with their pastors endorsing candidates, then the ERLC should keep its mouth shut since it represents all SBC members. This is the sticky situation that Moore decided to wade into.

    Either the ERLV becomes a mouthpiece for Russell Moore’s opinions and states that up front or it should stop with the baloney about who is fairer than thou when it comes to supporting candidates. You cannot have both. I am so glad to have gotten away from this organization.

  62. A thought just occurred to me. Maybe some of these protesting churches are protesting this because they are afraid to protest the neo-Calvinista takeover. So it could be a misdirection?

  63. @ Amy Smith:
    Believe me, Amy, I hardly think Jack Graham holds any moral authority over Russell Moore. As far as I am concerned, they both are symptoms of the bigger problems in the SBC.

    But as you and I have discussed, we have both left the fray!!!

  64. ishy wrote:

    Maybe some of these protesting churches are protesting this because they are afraid to protest the neo-Calvinista takeover. So it could be a misdirection?

    As my former pastor said “Even on my best days, my motives are mixed.” Even if it is a bit of misdirection, I still believe in total financial disclosure to the people paying the bills.

  65. dee wrote:

    As my former pastor said “Even on my best days, my motives are mixed.” Even if it is a bit of misdirection, I still believe in total financial disclosure to the people paying the bills.

    Well, you know I’m a escapee, too. The Calvinistas are all about being authoritarian, so financial disclosure would be offensive to them as the “benevolent” powers that be. Any input from peons is offensive to them.

    This is why I think the complementarian debate is misdirection. They want to rule everyone, not just women. They just get “lesser” men to do the dirty work for them.

  66. ishy wrote:

    Well, you know I’m a escapee, too. The Calvinistas are all about being authoritarian, so financial disclosure would be offensive to them as the “benevolent” powers that be. Any input from peons is offensive to them.

    They Hold the Whip, We Feel the Whip. God Wills It!

  67. As a Southern Baptist myself, I am firmly convinced that until we “take out the garbage” with this “reformation” movement, the denomination is in dire peril. The national leadership is very top-heavy with Calvinists who do NOT represent what a vast majority of Southern Baptists believe (that includes Mr. Moore!) I’m already seeing cuts to outreach programs and ministries on a local level. Not only that, but the shift that’s occurring in worldwide missions is becoming much more evident as well. Even though Calvinists will deny it until they’re blue in the face, they really don’t see the point of sharing the (true) Gospel when everyone is already tidily predestined anyway. Southern Baptists are already beginning to see the hollow fruit of this, since our number of international missionaries has been steadily dwindling in recent years.

    As I’ve said before, our own local church narrowly escaped a Calvinist takeover by a reckless YRR pastor, but how long can we continue to stem the tide? The precious faith of many people is being shipwrecked by this ungodly “movement” into legalism. Pray it doesn’t come to your church!

    Once they bleed the SBC dry, though, I wonder who will be next?

  68. ishy wrote:

    This is why I think the complementarian debate is misdirection. They want to rule everyone, not just women. They just get “lesser” men to do the dirty work for them.

    Because nobody is as motivated to keep stomping on those on the bottom as those who are second from the bottom.

    “If Ah can’t be better than a n*gg*r, who do Ah got to be better than?”
    — attr to trailer-trash Ku Kluxer of the 1950s

  69. Southern Baptists need to stop flailing at the branches and take an axe to the root of the tree. Al Mohler is the root. He has maneuvered key leaders into place across the SBC. He has stacked the leadership deck at most SBC entities with New Calvinists, which now control most seminaries, home and foreign mission agencies, publishing house, the ethics commission, the church planting program, and a growing number of “traditional” churches which have been taken over by the new reformers.

    Consider the following Mohler connections. Russell Moore (ERLC) was formerly Mohler’s VP for administration and Dean of Theology at Southern Seminary. Danny Akin (President, Southeastern Seminary) was also a former VP for administration and Dean of Theology at Southern. Jason Allen (President, Midwestern Seminary) was Mohler’s Executive Assistant before going to Midwestern. Kevin Ezell (President, NAMB) was Mohler’s pastor! These are all New Calvinists – surprise, surprise.

    Frank Page, President of SBC’s Executive Committee, is not really the main man within SBC. Al Mohler, champion of SBC Calvinization, is on the throne! If Page acts to remove Moore, who is not representing Southern Baptists at large, all hell will break loose along the Calvinist / non-Calvinist fault line. By withholding SBC Cooperative Program support, “traditionalists” may starve out Moore, but Mohler will still be in place and the New Calvinist movement will be even more energized. The YRR rebels like to scuffle … after all, Mohler has them convinced that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the “gospel” (= reformed theology) that the rest of the church has lost. So they justify being bad boys for the good of the movement.

    Dee asks “Why do the little guys put up with this racket?” Even with the New Calvinist onslaught, majority Southern Baptist belief and practice is still distinctly non-Calvinist (among millions of SBC members at over 45,000 churches). So why do they support Calvinization of their denomination, which is so out in the open, by continuing to faithfully give to SBC national entities? Some say that the masses are uninformed or misinformed … or is it they just trust their leaders too much to the point of being willingly ignorant about the theo-political shift in a once-great denomination?

  70. dee wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Great comment. We will never succeed in making this a Christian nation-Christian as defined by the Calvinist brigade.

    Which has a LOT of resemblance to Christian Nation as defined in The Handmaid’s Tale.

  71. dee wrote:

    An Attorney wrote:
    The SBC is an abusive organization!
    I think the leaders are schizophrenic.

    But they’re schizos with POWER to force their delusions on as much Reality as they can take and hold. Remember the National Socialists, Khmer Rouge, and al-Daesh?

  72. dee wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Keys to the Kingdom and Eternal Hell can be quite a motivator.
    It reminds me of the church during the time of Luther’s rebellion.

    I would have expected Dale to bring that one up 🙂

    But in any case, I mentioned on another thread that in the 500 years since the Reformation Wars, the RCC and Reformed have pretty much switched sides & swapped attitudes:

    500 years ago, the RCC locked into a certain way of doing things because of the Reformation Wars. So did the Protestants. But in the past 500 years (with a lot of it in the past 50) the two church movements seem to have swapped attitudes. Now it’s the Calvary Chapels and Truly Reformed who are into stifling legalism, SCRIPTURE as Koran, more Autocratic Heirarchy (Lead Pastors/Mini-Moses), totalist Thought Reform, and imposing a heavier and heavier yoke and burden after burden. And the RCC which has loosened into a refuge; concern for the poor and downtrodden (especially with the first Third World Pope), creation care, patronage of the arts & sciences, permission of fun and enjoyment, and a much easier yoke and lighter burden.

    The Nones & Dones are fleeing the former. Some find the latter, some stay away completely. And many on the Protestant/Evangelical side (and some on the RCC side) are still stuck in the former Reformation Wars paradigm.

    This also might touch on church history, with major shakeups every 500 years or so. It’s been 500 years since the last big shakeup (the Protestant Reformation) and we’re due for another. Maybe the Reformed need another Reformation?

  73. Max wrote:

    Consider the following Mohler connections.

    Oh, I forgot to list Thom Rainer, President & CEO Lifeway (SBC’s publishing house). He was formerly on the faculty and a dean at Southern Seminary under Al Mohler. I’m sure the Mohler tentacles extend further into SBC life than that, but that’s all I can recall at present.

  74. ishy wrote:

    Land and Patterson were fairly close in theology, I think. I’ve heard them say very similar things, and I know for a fact that Land liked Patterson. They are conservative resurgence patriarchists, and I’m pretty sure they thought they would be the ones to continue the reform of the SBC. I think the neo-Cals kinda came out of left field.

    “Calvinist unto Arminian o’er the world is Brother” — as long as they agree on Who Gets to Hold The Whip. (And guess who that is?)

  75. Max wrote:

    So why do they support Calvinization of their denomination, which is so out in the open, by continuing to faithfully give to SBC national entities?

    I think a majority of Southern Baptists just don’t know, either that or they just don’t WANT to know! I had a former pastor (who’s a trustee at Southern Seminary) argue with me that Al Mohler was not a Calvinist! You’d have to live in a cave to believe that! Sadly, I’m afraid most Southern Baptists don’t want to deal with this whole thing, so they pretend that it isn’t there. Unfortunately, the day is coming, and now is when we’d better know WHAT we believe and WHY we believe it! Sticking our heads in the sand won’t cut it anymore!

  76. dee wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    I think Russ leans hard towards dominionism.

    I think that there are a fair number within the Calvinista crowd that lean toward this. It. fits in quite well with covenant theology.

    Welcome to the prologue to The Handmaid’s Tale.

  77. dee wrote:

    Believe me, Amy, I hardly think Jack Graham holds any moral authority over Russell Moore. As far as I am concerned, they both are symptoms of the bigger problems in the SBC.

    But as you and I have discussed, we have both left the fray!!!

    It’s more than a mess. It is a culture of corruption from the top down in many facets, the coverup of sexual abuse being primary. No doubt there is financial corruption as well. It’s all about power and money, not loving God and people. People in their churches are pawns in their game. Jack has some nerve posturing about transparency when many have been wounded on his watch. There are at least 4 known child sexual predators that I know Prestonwood has covered up.

    And the ERLC, Moore, Page and company have repeatedly shunned victims from SNAP that asked for their help.

    Jack Graham and the mother ship in Nashville made calls to Houston’s FBC when I was going with SNAP to stand outside the convention with Pam Palmer. Someone from the SBC even called the Houston police department ahead of time and tried to intimidate me from proceeding. We always stand peacefully on public property.

    I am glad to be free.

  78. Root 66 wrote:

    I think a majority of Southern Baptists just don’t know, either that or they just don’t WANT to know! … I’m afraid most Southern Baptists don’t want to deal with this whole thing, so they pretend that it isn’t there.

    I spoke to a leader in SBC’s State Convention where I live. A New Calvinist, himself, he said the SBC was easy pickins’ for Calvinization since the average Southern Baptist didn’t have a clue about matters such as this. Thus, a once-great denomination is poised to surrender their denominational gifting of evangelism to a more faithful religious people who will take the message of the Cross of Christ for ALL people to the ends of the earth.

  79. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:
    Because the leaders think they are “pure”.

    Ha! I think Russ leans hard towards dominionism.

    “Some will say that what we do is illegal. Before that can happen, make sure WE are the ones who define what is legal and what is not.”
    — L Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology

  80. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    dee wrote:
    @ Lea:
    Great comment. We will never succeed in making this a Christian nation-Christian as defined by the Calvinist brigade.

    Which has a LOT of resemblance to Christian Nation as defined in The Handmaid’s Tale.

    That might be taking it too far, but then again I loathed that book.

  81. @ Max:

    Agreed, Max! When this came to our church, a TULIP was just a flower to us!
    Kudos though, to this site and others like it to help folks understand that this is much bigger than the local church. I still have people in our church ask me what a Calvinist is. I instruct them not to take my word for it, but to find out for themselves. This is indeed an age where we all need to be faithful Bereans!

    Indeed, they are a “religious people.” However, I perceive they know precious little about the love of Christ!

  82. Root 66 wrote:

    I had a former pastor (who’s a trustee at Southern Seminary) argue with me that Al Mohler was not a Calvinist! You’d have to live in a cave to believe that!

    Interestingly enough, I am not sure Mohler is a Calvinist in belief. I do believe he upholds neo-Calvinist ideals. The problem is that I don’t think a lot of neo-Calvinist leaders are really about theology. I think they view neo-Calvinism as the quickest way to power, and the way to continue upholding that power.

    Mohler used to be more charismatic, and he’s very careful now about how he states things, so they seem like they would appeal to both sides. We know that neo-Calvinists have mastered the art of double-speak, and I believe they use their redefinitions with full knowledge that they mean something totally different to their audience.

    Really, I think neo-Calvinism is not a theology, but a political ideology that uses theology to maintain control.

  83. Max wrote:

    A New Calvinist, himself, he said the SBC was easy pickins’ for Calvinization since the average Southern Baptist didn’t have a clue about matters such as this.

    I have never been a calvinist, but something of that same sort of thing happened to me. When I was in junior high (a vulnerable age) our traditional moderate SBC church called a pastor who was a Moody Bible Institute graduate and a fundamentalist at heart never mind that he was at the same time a student at SBTS. Meanwhile I was still in the ‘they are not telling me the truth’ dilemma from the Santa Clause/ Jesus episode. So when this Moody/SBTS pastor introduced us to conservative baptist thought and practice I thought “aha, I knew it, here is the rest of the story which they were not telling us’.

    And, indeed, my parents were upset and indeed they had not been telling me a lot, but it kind of got lost in the confusion in my mind as to where the truth lay. It was a classical conservative vs moderate issue.

    I am wondering if perhaps one reason the SBC was easy pickins’ might be because there were other people like me who wanted something more than what historic traditional moderate SBC thinking had been? There could possibly have been some individual felt need on the part of individuals in addition to just ordinary lack of knowledge. So when something came along like neo-cal, which is a fundamentalism of its own kind, they grabbed up on it.

  84. dee wrote:

    I believe that Jesus was far more concerned about morals and ethics within the church.

    No contest.

    dee wrote:

    As I told one friend, each and every person running for President had their own share of moral problems. Why should we expect nonChristians to act like Christians?

    And we all heard the rallying cry……We’re not electing a pastor in chief!…. Still though, ya’ gotta wonder if buyer’s remorse (for some, not all) as well as reality has started to set in.

    dee wrote:

    Even worse, why is it that some nonChristians act better than Christians?

    Good question. My dentist whom I’ve known for over 30 years is an Egyptian Muslim. Here’s another good question: Why is it I’d rather rub elbows with him rather than many Evangelical Christians I’ve known over the years?

  85. okrapod wrote:

    There could possibly have been some individual felt need on the part of individuals in addition to just ordinary lack of knowledge. So when something came along like neo-cal, which is a fundamentalism of its own kind, they grabbed up on it.

    One thing I know ……. almost the only books out there on faith and religion for SBCers read nowadays are written by Calvinists – traditional and neo.

  86. ishy wrote:

    Really, I think neo-Calvinism is not a theology, but a political ideology that uses theology to maintain control.

    Absolutely. Our former YRR pastor was all about control. He didn’t want anyone to question his “authority!” It’s sad, really, because he could’ve been a good pastor if he would have taken the time to get to know us instead of trying to “rule” over us!

  87. Nancy2 wrote:

    One thing I know ……. almost the only books out there on faith and religion for SBCers read nowadays are written by Calvinists – traditional and neo.

    Which tells us, among other things, that there is a market for it. So what happened in people’s minds that they became a market for it, and why did it happen?

  88. Moore should be embarrassed to use the term “male headship”; it is a stupid phrase. Not only is it basically meaningless, it makes me think of head cheese.

    As for his comment about Christian patriarchy and pagan patriarchy, I will choose not to attempt to control or dominate anyone. Not only is it healthier, it is a lot harder.

  89. ishy wrote:

    Interestingly enough, I am not sure Mohler is a Calvinist in belief.

    Well, you wouldn’t think that based on the following statement by Mohler:

    “Where else are they going to go? If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this New Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there, and that’s something that frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism — where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they are going to need and where else are they going to connect. This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing that Paul said, they want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and they know that they are going to have to, if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

    Mohler obviously believes that reformed theology is the only “truth” … there are no options, he says.

  90. Robert wrote:

    Moore should be embarrassed to use the term “male headship”; it is a stupid phrase. Not only is it basically meaningless, it makes me think of head cheese.

    It makes me think about a head as a literal spaceship, zooming around. Which is probably not what they were going for, but it sounds really stupid to me too, just as a word beyond the philosophy behind it.

  91. Robert wrote:

    As for his comment about Christian patriarchy and pagan patriarchy, I will choose not to attempt to control or dominate anyone.

    I really think anyone who wants to control his wife in such a fashion has major problems. (although there are a number of people who are probably more in the ‘benign control/egalitarian in all but name’ category)

    What I don’t understand are the people who clearly see the problems with that kind of control, who I respect in general, but cannot let go of the philosophy of ‘headship’ and males being the leader and all that entails. They can dissect the problems, but they can’t let go of what I see as part of the source of said problems, which is the theory behind it. That theory can only hurt relationships, in my opinion, not help them. Best case scenario, it is neutral.

  92. Russell Moore joined Calvinist fraternity “The Gospel Coalition” in 2015, serving on its Council alongside Mark Dever and SBC entity heads David Platt, Albert Mohler, and Danny Akin:

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/about/council

    Moore would have to be fired by the ERLC board of trustees, which is chaired by one of Mark Dever’s parishoners:

    From the Washington Post story:

    “Moore reports to the 35 trustees of the ERLC, who would decide his ultimate fate if he faced requests to resign. His board chairman, Ken Barbic, who attends Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington, wrote in a text message that “Russell Moore is a Gospel-centered, faithful, and prophetic voice for Southern Baptists,” and that he and the board ‘wholeheartedly support his leadership.'”

  93. Max wrote:

    Mohler obviously believes that reformed theology is the only “truth” … there are no options, he says.

    I don’t believe people always say what they believe, for one thing. And that quote by Mohler is so ridiculous that it makes me believe even he doesn’t believe it. There are plenty of serious non-Calvinist Christians out there, and he knows it. But the YRR ones are the easiest for him to control, because 1) they are often radical true believers, and 2) the authoritarian structure of neo-Calvinism keeps them under his leadership.

  94. Wartwatch blog: Did filter my legitimate and factual comment about Moore’s and Chandler’s connection to Soros?

  95. Nancy2 wrote:

    “I’ve argued here before that, whatever feminism tells us, our choice is not between egalitarianism and patriarchy but between two visions of patriarchy: a Christian patriarchy that protects women as precious weaker vessels (1 Pet 3:7) and a pagan patriarchy that sees dominance over women as something to be grasped. “

    Moore’s thesis fails to account for the fact that “protection” of the so-called weaker vessel is also a form of domination, especially when said weaker vessel has no desire to be protected and would rather take her own chances on what she’d like to be “protected” from.

  96. Max wrote:

    Mohler obviously believes that reformed theology is the only “truth” … there are no options, he says.

    For people who want the sort of things that neo-cal offers, what are the options? If you want lots of theology, a bunch of rules and guidelines in the absence of a written catechism, an anti-pentecostal stance, conservatism without IFB style fundamentalism, people who teach the same lifestyle at church that you are trying to teach your kids at home, where are people going to go? Who is the chief competitor at this time to neo-cal? And besides, may I say something without saying it. Class and race and economic stratum at a time in this nation when ideas are changing about class and race and economic status.

  97. The team worked four months, requested information from ERLC, IMB and NAMB by mail and phone call, but were provided no information from the entities.

    You know the saying: ‘when you get no answer, you have gotten your answer’.

    Why do the little guys put up with this racket?

    It’s mind boggling. Maybe it’s just that no one else wants to take on the responsibility.

    It’s interesting that churches don’t care enough about accountability and transparency to withdraw their contributions, but they will withhold them over politics, though.

    That is not the point of faith. Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world” yet his followers wanted a conquering king. Is that what we still want today?

    Yes, I think this is still what [many] Christians want.

    They want their viewpoint to be validated by government and popular culture.

    They have been convinced that Christianity is endangered and will not survive unless it gains political and legal power.

    They are convinced that God deals with countries rather than individuals. They believe his blessings are dispensed to groups who promote the old testament law and everything “bad” that happens can be traced to the fact that the culture is not Christian.

    Never mind that Jesus said to enter by the narrow gate, they want to take possession of the wide gate and present it to him in triumph. (Maybe they can prove wrong that “a disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master.”) They don’t notice that they have to compromise their values and discard many precepts to get there. They don’t notice that with money and power come corruption. They don’t stop to think that church and state were separated for a reason, it’s been done and it wasn’t good. Politics is Satan’s arena. They can’t win that game.

  98. okrapod wrote:

    So when something came along like neo-cal, which is a fundamentalism of its own kind, they grabbed up on it.

    I think this is why it’s a mistake to see the problems as being all about Calvinism. I think the ‘fundamentalism’ aspect of it is much stronger, albeit different from traditional fundamentalism. Calvinism is more of a backdrop, what they actually care about is authority and patriarchy. And believing themselves to be much smarter than everybody else. Those are their values.

  99. Muff Potter wrote:

    Moore’s thesis fails to account for the fact that “protection” of the so-called weaker vessel is also a form of domination, especially when said weaker vessel has no desire to be protected and would rather take her own chances on what she’d like to be “protected” from.

    I think most of the guys who harp on protection are really just ‘protecting’ her from themselves. Which is what the mob does.

  100. Can’t Recall My Handle wrote:

    2) head of ERLC continues to be able to set the direction and priorities but Moore is removed from the role, resulting in a few to modest departures of churches/people from the SBC;

    I’m guessing from your last two paragraphs about the influence of Dever that ERLC will continue but Moore will leave and a Dever loyalist will take his place. Perhaps Thabiti? Transparency is not going to happen. Not now, not ever.

  101. Lea wrote:

    And believing themselves to be much smarter than everybody else.

    Don’t forget entitled. Now neo-cal doctrine could play that better than other fundamentalisms because of the doctrine of election as meaning predestination. Born to rule, now and eventually in the kingdom.

  102. “Will Russell Moore be fired?”

    Very unlikely. The SBC big dogs are scared to death of Mohler and his teams … they are in charge across too many SBC entities. It would take more churches tightening up their purse strings to starve the whole bunch out, but SBC would completely unravel before that happened. Local churches would survive, but the home and foreign mission endeavors would fall victim. One thing’s for sure, Mohler and his mission have caused the denomination to re-think a lot. In his convocation address at Southern Seminary when he first came on the scene – referring to SBC theological drift – he said “It is with a single man that error usually commences.” He got that right!

  103. @ Gram3:
    I hear you about Moore staying, but I don’t see the megas going along with him going against them. Mohler needs their money and so does the CP. I’m missing something.

  104. Root 66 wrote:

    Southern Baptists are already beginning to see the hollow fruit of this, since our number of international missionaries has been steadily dwindling in recent years.

    Just want to point out that a majority of those were fired or given ultimatums, and did not leave willingly. They are taking out anyone who is spreading the gospel of Christ and replacing them with those who are taking over churches with neo-Calvinism authoritarianism.

  105. Max wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    Who is the chief competitor at this time to neo-cal?
    The Kingdom of God.

    Ah, but the Kingdom of God is not offering what some people want. If you want what the neo-cals are offering you will not find it in the Kingdom of God.

  106. Gram3 wrote:

    I hear you about Moore staying, but I don’t see the megas going along with him going against them. Mohler needs their money and so does the CP. I’m missing something.

    The mega I used to go to totally pretended like they had no idea there was a problem. Nobody knew about it, though I know the pastor does. They were not Calvinist. And the pastor of that probably could make an impact on the non-Calvinists in the SBC. But he remained silent on the issue. That was one of the reasons I left it.

    The thing you are “missing” is Lifeway and GuideStone (formerly the Annuity Board). These are money-making institutions for the SBC. Plus, the neo-Cals have set up their followers so they only ingest neo-Cal books and media. Lots of money in that. Lifeway was nothing in 2001–it was the neo-Cals that developed it. I think they planned for the CP giving one day to go bust.

  107. @ ishy:

    Has any official information come out as to what the criteria were for firing those who were fired, or are we just guessing why they chose who they chose to fire?

  108. ishy wrote:

    I don’t believe people always say what they believe, for one thing. And that quote by Mohler is so ridiculous that it makes me believe even he doesn’t believe it.

    Dr. Mohler believes it enough to have aligned himself with The Gospel (aka Calvinism) Coalition and Together for the Gospel (aka Calvinism) – to form networks with non-SBC groups to advance New Calvinism. He believes it enough to make Southern Seminary ground-zero for New Calvinism – cranking out a YRR army of fresh graduates which have disrupted the church. He believes it enough to maneuver New Calvinist leaders into key SBC positions. He believes it enough to speak and write in a manner to fuel and energize the reformed movement. Yeah, he believes what he preaches.

  109. FW Rez wrote:

    As the Moore debate started to surface I began to wonder why Southern Baptists have an ethics organization that is externally focused instead of one that is internally focused.

    Exactly. Political power as the solution rather than spiritual transformation.

  110. okrapod wrote:

    Has any official information come out as to what the criteria were for firing those who were fired, or are we just guessing why they chose who they chose to fire?

    A block of them were fired for not signing the BFM 2000, but as they’ve gone on, they’ve fired more, and I don’t think it was clear. I know in particular they’ve been shifting money away from the IMB to NAMB and focusing heavily on “rebuilding” US churches.

    But here we hit the same complaint that is made by those against Moore: they aren’t sharing how any of the CP money is spent now. They are keeping a tight lid on what they are doing, and they know that sharing how the funds are spent would be very revealing as to their methodology in everything else.

  111. Max wrote:

    Yeah, he believes what he preaches.

    It is obvious that he believes that it works. Whether he believes it at the level of thus saith the Lord might be another question. I don’t see Mohler as having any higher priority than what works to accomplish his own goals; he just does not sound ‘prophetic’ when he talks.

  112. Root 66 wrote:

    Southern Baptists are already beginning to see the hollow fruit of this, since our number of international missionaries has been steadily dwindling in recent years.

    Terminating 1,000 career missionaries in one brush of the pen was not a steady dwindle! These folks were predominantly non-Calvinist in belief and practice – faithful to their calling, reaching the nations for Christ until their denomination stopped supporting them. I wonder what the theological flavor will be of those who replace them?

  113. Max wrote:

    Dr. Mohler believes it enough to have aligned himself with The Gospel (aka Calvinism) Coalition and Together for the Gospel (aka Calvinism) – to form networks with non-SBC groups to advance New Calvinism. He believes it enough to make Southern Seminary ground-zero for New Calvinism – cranking out a YRR army of fresh graduates which have disrupted the church. He believes it enough to maneuver New Calvinist leaders into key SBC positions. He believes it enough to speak and write in a manner to fuel and energize the reformed movement. Yeah, he believes what he preaches.

    I’m a skeptic. I don’t think he has to believe any of it to develop it and preach it. I think there are other leaders that believe it, but I’ve never felt that passion coming from Mohler, only cold strategy.

    I think he only has to believe it makes him powerful and makes people obey him.

  114. @ Max:

    Yes, my apologies, I should not have attempted to be so diplomatic in my wording. The faithful missionaries were given the boot, for sure! I too, wonder about the future of “missions” in the SBC. Our former YRR pastor went on a “missions” trip which merely amounted to handing out 9-Marx books to unsuspecting pastors in another country! Hopefully they didn’t read them…

  115. Lea wrote:

    Robert wrote:
    Moore should be embarrassed to use the term “male headship”; it is a stupid phrase. Not only is it basically meaningless, it makes me think of head cheese.
    Lea: It makes me think about a head as a literal spaceship, zooming around. Which is probably not what they were going for, but it sounds really stupid to me too, just as a word beyond the philosophy behind it.

    I visualize crazy things, I get way too literal ……… Is a single woman a headless body? Is a single man just a head without a body? Is divorce equal to beheading? Does divorce make an ex wife a severed limb? ….. When a single man gets married, does he gain an artificial appendage? ………I keep thinking about the headless horseman ……

  116. @ siteseer:

    I absolutely believe the restlessness of the YRR comes from their expectations of privilege in southern society for being Christian which never happened. Any figure who can convince them that they might be able to bring that world back gets a fanatical following. So that’s Russell Moore with his political prophecies, or Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll with successful churches in very liberal cities.

  117. ishy wrote:

    But here we hit the same complaint that is made by those against Moore: they aren’t sharing how any of the CP money is spent now.

    It seems awfully convenient to blame politics for these concerns here, doesn’t it? Then they can deflect, deflect, deflect.

  118. Root 66 wrote:

    Our former YRR pastor went on a “missions” trip which merely amounted to handing out 9-Marx books to unsuspecting pastors in another country!

    That’s because he didn’t know how to preach the Gospel (the real one). It was easier for him to hand out a Calvinist text about “another gospel”, than proclaim the Cross of Christ that can save anyone anywhere. The predestined elect mumbo-jumbo is not the same as preaching the Gospel for ALL people. These folks don’t need to be going on mission trips … their mission is to plant reformed theology, not Gospel churches.

  119. Stan wrote:

    I absolutely believe the restlessness of the YRR comes from their expectations of privilege in southern society for being Christian which never happened. Any figure who can convince them that they might be able to bring that world back gets a fanatical following.

    Of the various southern cultures, which one do you live in? I say this first because the cultures vary, and secondly so as to not compromise your anonymity.

    For a check off list we have: tidewater, greater appalachia, deep south, Louisiana and Texas, very different cultures.

  120. Muff Potter wrote:

    Moore’s thesis fails to account for the fact that “protection” of the so-called weaker vessel is also a form of domination, especially when said weaker vessel has no desire to be protected and would rather take her own chances on what she’d like to be “protected” from.

    Exactly what kind of “protection” do women in the USA need? Protection from education, knowledge, self-reliance, self-defense tactics? Nah. All Russ and jerks like him are worried about protecting are their own frail little egos. Otherwise, why don’t they focus on protecting “weaker vessels” that are violated by church leaders …… “weaker vessels” in Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Syria ……….?

  121. ishy wrote:

    I don’t think he has to believe any of it to develop it and preach it.

    I guess we won’t know that for sure until we see the good doctor in a “Calvin is my Homeboy” tee-shirt 🙂

  122. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t see Mohler as having any higher priority than what works to accomplish his own goals

    Mohler is such a sly fox that he could have been just as powerful walking a non-Calvinist pathway to stardom. He’s so smart you know … he has a big pile of books!

  123. Nancy2 wrote:

    Exactly what kind of “protection” do women in the USA need?

    You’re right Nancy. I would like to hear one of these people describe exactly what ‘protection’ means to them.

    I said elsewhere, I do not see protecting others as a gendered issue. It is a weaker/stronger issue. You might be called to protect a child, or an older person or a sick person at any give point in time or life.

    Which gets into the other issue, which is that many of them see ‘protection’ more as protecting their property rather than protecting a vulnerable human being.

  124. Lea wrote:

    Which gets into the other issue, which is that many of them see ‘protection’ more as protecting their property rather than protecting a vulnerable human being.

    I should say, this is what I hear when people start talking about only protecting those who have accepted them and their theological opinions. Or their spouses. No. See someone in trouble, help. That’s what the good Samaritan did, yes?

  125. okrapod wrote:

    Which tells us, among other things, that there is a market for it. So what happened in people’s minds that they became a market for it, and why did it happen?

    People are people the world over and believe what they want to believe based on internal resonant frequencies of what’s already there. We all have triggers and mechanisms running in the background so to speak. Permit me:

    Good Baptist folk already had a healthy fear (reverence) of the Almighty and the Bible. It was just a short hop from there to capitalize on that reverence and re-spin it so that it also contains the reformed tenets of sovereignty and divine fiat.

    Gone is the old and admirable paradigm of soul competency. You (generic you) no longer have to reflect or think on those kinds of things. We (neo-cal dogmatists) have done the heavy lifting for you, all you have to do is obey.

    And yeah there’s a market for it. People want assurance and security. Neo-Calvinism promises both.

  126. Nancy2 wrote:

    “weaker vessels”

    I can understand people not liking to be called weaker. I got that. So how come we are not asking what ‘vessel’ means in that context? There is no definition of the word vessel that I have found so far that is anything but an insult to a woman. Vessel for containing what? Or vessel like a boat on water?

    But judging from the sentence in calling women ‘weaker’ vessel we have to say weaker than what. Obviously the comparative to something which is also weak and which is also a vessel. I guess that would be men. But does that make any sense to anybody? Here we have two kinds of ‘vessels’ both of which are weak but one is weaker than the other. What does vessel even mean in this context? And weak, weaker and weakest compared to what standard? And what degree of weak / weaker-ness are we to understand the writer to mean? And weak / weaker in what way?

    I really can’t do too much with this biblical reference until I get some answers about what on earth it means.

  127. Muff Potter wrote:

    People want assurance and security. Neo-Calvinism promises both.

    Fundamentalisms do that for true believers. I think you are correct. That must be it.

  128. @ okrapod:

    I grew up in Houston. Wealthy urban area, red state culture, every campaigning politician believed in “family values”, you know what I mean.

    The Porch at Watermark is the Mecca of young adults in Dallas. On October 13, 2016, they promoted their upcoming election-themed sermon series on Facebook saying: “We are the hope of America because our hope is in Jesus. Let’s be the generation that takes our counter back to it’s [sic] Christian roots. #OneNationUnderGod #ChangeStartsWithUs”. Russell Moore recently was a guest on their “Real Truth, Real Quick” web series.

  129. okrapod wrote:

    Obviously the comparative to something which is also weak and which is also a vessel. I guess that would be men.

    I think that’s why I never gave it much thought, except that it sounds anachronistic. Isn’t there talk somewhere in the bible of being ‘poured into’? (answer, yes lots). I guess if anything I connected it with that, but now I’ve gone googling and found a Jen Wilkins (who made a comment in support of Moore, to tie it in) saying that this passage was about unbelieving wives, which I never heard before and do not think is correct. Her explanation is very garbled.

    Interestingly, the NIV seems to have translated this as ‘partner’ and several other translations dropped ‘vessel’ altogether.

  130. @ Stan:

    Oh my, I see what you mean. Thanks for the reply. I am in greater appalachia, and I did not recognize what you were saying in the original comment.

  131. okrapod wrote:

    I can understand people not liking to be called weaker. I got that. So how come we are not asking what ‘vessel’ means in that context? There is no definition of the word vessel that I have found so far that is anything but an insult to a woman. Vessel for containing what? Or vessel like a boat on

    Something Mark Driscoll said comes to mind ………

    But really, I read somewhere (don’t remember where) on some possible things Peter may have meant by “weaker vessel”. Perhaps he was influenced by the times in which he lived. The world was a much more harsh and violent place. In most cultures women were property. Women were war spoils. Women were not allowed an education …… Dunno. Your guess is as good as, if not better than mine.

    I really don’t believe that Peter thought women were unable to take care of themselves and their children. Otherwise, why would he have wandered far and wide following Jesus instead of taking care of his wife and family? Could Peter’s wife have been one of the women who followed along? And what of the well-to-do women who financially supported the apostles? Where would the phrase “weaker vessels” leave them?
    From where did Jael get protection when she drove the spike into Sisera’s temple? Looks to me like Sisera was the weaker vessel there!

  132. Nancy2 wrote:

    Where would the phrase “weaker vessels” leave them?

    It could be simpler than that, and “vessel” was a common term for “human”, and wasn’t gendered.

    Personally, I think humans are generally pretty weak, and many people are just kidding themselves when they pretend that they aren’t.

  133. I haven’t seen any analysis of the numbers comparing before/after SBC cut all those missionaries, but many of the more prominent pastors in the Mohler/Dever circles have been working for years toward an IMB that focuses primarily (exclusively?) on the “10-40 window.” They’d be happy I think to never again fund a missionary to central america, western europe (unless working with muslims there), etc. A lot of time and effort went into influencing IMB leadership in those regions and here in the US. See my earlier post for a few sentences on the makeup of current IMB senior leadership. I failed to mention there that IMB’s General Counsel (not on their leadership page, but easily identifiable online) also was a member of CHBC.

  134. @ ishy:
    Isaiah 64 – “……We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand……”

  135. Max wrote:

    Root 66 wrote:

    Southern Baptists are already beginning to see the hollow fruit of this, since our number of international missionaries has been steadily dwindling in recent years.

    Terminating 1,000 career missionaries in one brush of the pen was not a steady dwindle! These folks were predominantly non-Calvinist in belief and practice – faithful to their calling, reaching the nations for Christ until their denomination stopped supporting them. I wonder what the theological flavor will be of those who replace them?

    Dear Max- how do you know that the SBC missionaries who accepted the buy-out were not Calvinist in belief?

  136. @ dee:
    Ah, two trains running parallel ……. Brown is blind as to which train is running in the wrong direction!

  137. GSD wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    According to RM, there are only 2 options in this world: 1.) the subjugation of women, or 2.) the subjugation of women. Nothing else exists.

    Yes, but there is a choice. One can subjugate women in a mean way, or one can be nice and pleasant and condescending about it.

    That “weaker vessel” thing is bothering me. It’s true that women have less muscle mass than men, typically. There are obvious exceptions. And women also [generally] have a higher pain tolerance. If it were left to men to give birth, the human race would have gone extinct long ago.

    so much here: ‘weaker’?
    in what sense? muscles? the female uterus is the strongest muscle in our species when it is contracting to give birth ….. so that argument falls away

    character? I’m sorry. The SBC has been bringing big money in for the missions on the backs of the reputations of two women of powerful faith: Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon.

    endurance in the face of a range of low-level abusive treatment all the way to unspeakable cruelty:
    the heart-breaking situations of mothers and wives of husbands who don’t respect them as people, and see them as not only in the role of subserviant creatures but also as ‘lesser Christians’ whose voices ought to be silenced?

    My heroines are those women, who in the face of that from which they cannot escape, choose to live their lives with a dignity and a purpose that can stand beside any of our species as an equal. There are plenty of women like this out there. And they are not whiners like Piper, or leches like the Doug Wilsons. They don’t need people to be subserviant to them, and they don’t treat others as ‘lesser’ beings. If I had to pick the stronger sex, my money is on the heroines of the faith anyday.

  138. Stan wrote:

    @ siteseer:
    I absolutely believe the restlessness of the YRR comes from their expectations of privilege in southern society for being Christian which never happened.

    But wasn’t “privilege in southern society” a simple matter of “Black & White”?
    Plus land ownership if you were the right color?

  139. Christiane wrote:

    so much here: ‘weaker’?
    in what sense? muscles? the female uterus is the strongest muscle in our species when it is contracting to give birth ….. so that argument falls away

    You can’t beat someone up with your uterine muscles, and “I Can Beat You Up! RAWR!” is what counts in that context. Animal Forced Dominance Display.

  140. Max wrote:

    Root 66 wrote:
    Southern Baptists are already beginning to see the hollow fruit of this, since our number of international missionaries has been steadily dwindling in recent years.
    Terminating 1,000 career missionaries in one brush of the pen was not a steady dwindle!

    It’s called a Purge of The Party.

  141. okrapod wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    And believing themselves to be much smarter than everybody else.

    Don’t forget entitled. Now neo-cal doctrine could play that better than other fundamentalisms because of the doctrine of election as meaning predestination. Born to rule, now and eventually in the kingdom.

    “RULERS OF TOMORROW! MASTER RACE!”
    — Ralph Bakshi, Wizards

    “Tomorrow Belongs To ME!”
    Cabaret

  142. Lea wrote:

    Robert wrote:
    Moore should be embarrassed to use the term “male headship”; it is a stupid phrase. Not only is it basically meaningless, it makes me think of head cheese.
    It makes me think about a head as a literal spaceship, zooming around.

    “Space… The Final Frontier… These are the voyages of the starship Male Head…”

    P.S. Which “head” on the male are they talking about?

  143. @ dee:

    That has to be the dumbest thing I have read in a long time. All words, no content, no understanding of either Bonhoeffer’s relationship with the confessing church or of Moore’s relationship with SBC. Whatever is that man thinking? Why do I assume that he is thinking? I need some coffee, and I don’t even like coffee.

  144. dee wrote:

    Moore is being compared to Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    Moore ain’t no Bonhoeffer. Neither is he a prophet or a gift to the church. These young Calvinists are looking through different glasses than the church at large. When you worship someone, you become blind to reality.

  145. ERLC search committee stacked with two trustees from a single Southern Baptist church?

    Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church had two members on the seven-trustee search committee that selected Moore in 2013:

    http://mail.erlc.com/article/committee-named-to-seek-lands-successor

    “named to the committee are Ken Barbic of the District of Columbia; Kenda Bartlett, an at-large member of the board from D.C.”

    “Barbic, senior director of federal government affairs for the Western Growers Association, is a member of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.”

    “Bartlett is executive director of Concerned Women for America and also a member of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington.”

  146. Max wrote:

    Moore ain’t no Bonhoeffer. Neither is he a prophet or a gift to the church.

    Moore is a wannabe.

  147. DMZ wrote:

    Dear Max- how do you know that the SBC missionaries who accepted the buy-out were not Calvinist in belief?

    Well, I don’t know for sure. But, since most were seasoned missionaries, with decades of experience on the foreign field, I assume they surrendered to preach the prevailing SBC whosoever-will Gospel message of the Cross of Christ at the time they were sent. While the SBC has had a mixture of Calvinist and non-Calvinist members for the past 150 years, most (millions) have been non-Calvinist based on my experience as a 60+ year Southern Baptist.

  148. dee wrote:

    Things are getting crazy out there. Now Moore is being compared to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. ROFL!!!!!

    I’m surprised they aren’t comparing him with Christ! The young Calvinists who hang out over at SBC Voices clearly worship the man. You can summarize the multitude of comments on various SBC Voices’ postings which support Moore as “The SBC doesn’t deserve Russell Moore. He doesn’t need the SBC. They need him. They are unworthy of him.”

  149. !Jerome wrote:

    Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church had two members on the seven-trustee search committee that selected Moore

    Theo-politics at its best!

  150. Max wrote:

    But, since most were seasoned missionaries, with decades of experience on the foreign field, I assume they surrendered to preach the prevailing SBC whosoever-will Gospel message of the Cross of Christ at the time they were sent.

    This all just bothers me no end. When I spent that time of discernment in Africa I noted that few of the missionaries were actually ‘preaching’ anything. There were a number of school teachers, many of them women. There was a fairly large contingent of medical personnel, and at the yearly mission meeting while I was there some of the missionaries were fussing that why had anybody sent us there to observe because they already had too many nurses and they certainly did not need any more. Yep-told us that. And of course they were only sending married men so there were the wives. Perhaps there has been a move away from institutions like schools and medical stations and perhaps those were some of the people fired. One of the missionaries with whom I stayed for a while was of the opinion that the board should quit appointing single women (she was a wife and a medical person) because apparently there had been some problems concerning single women. Apparently the target population did not approve of an adult woman being unmarried-at all. I am thinking that it may be far more complicated than calvinist vs not calvinist.

    Anyhow, I did not apply to the board for a heap of problem issues some of which I have just described. Perhaps the idea that the SBC had the greatest thing going since shredded wheat is a bit of an exaggeration. But that is just my conjecture.

  151. Dever makes a point of not being political in the pulpit (in contrast with a former pastor of Capitol Hill who liked to rub elbows with Members of Congress). But he’ll get involved privately where he thinks it’s a moral issue. A few years back both Dever and Mohler leaned on a member of Capitol Hill who was a member of the Maryland state assembly. This you guy had run and been elected, in part, on his support for gay rights. When a gay marriage bill came up he changed his tune a couple of times in response to the pressure he was getting from behind the scenes from Dever and Mohler. Ultimately, he voted against the bill, outraging his supporters, and was completely ineffectual for the balance of his (single) term. One of many, many stories about the whole mess: http://americablog.com/2013/01/sam-arora-gay-marriage-explanation.html

  152. @ Stan:
    They are blowing kisses at one another. I want them to figure out how to represent the entire SBC-notjust one another.

  153. Friend wrote:

    How about a comment on the two little ponies that got free in New York City in the snowstorm?

    This is a wonderful comment!

  154. Jerome wrote:

    ERLC search committee stacked with two trustees from a single Southern Baptist church?

    Everything in the SBC is now run by the Calvinist set. However, in order to be effective , they need the money from the little guy in Mississippi.

  155. okrapod wrote:

    One of the missionaries with whom I stayed for a while was of the opinion that the board should quit appointing single women (she was a wife and a medical person) because apparently there had been some problems concerning single women. Apparently the target population did not approve of an adult woman being unmarried-at all. I am thinking that it may be far more complicated than calvinist vs not calvinist.

    I can see how single women could be problematic in some cultures, but IMB has historically taken the position that single women shouldn’t be missionaries and sent very few anyway. However, in both college and seminary missions programs, they were solid majority female (about 90% at Liberty and 70% at SEBTS). Baptist men want cushy US pastor jobs (which women aren’t allowed anyway at most Baptist churches). So the marriage pickings are slim for women called to ministry, and most go alone with other organizations that are more open to women.

    I was going to Japan, where being a single woman was a boon. Japan has a generation of women who’ve chosen not to marry for various reasons, and single women are treated much like they are in the US. But at the time, there were about 3 posts for single woman in IMB when I looked at it, and I think all were in India or Haiti.

    Basically, there’s a lot of female missionaries because that’s the only place they can do ministry. And they are short for people in many places, unlike what you described, but they won’t send unmarried women so nobody goes.

  156. When I started thinking about the “weaker vessel” idea, it did come to mind that I wouldn’t want to arm-wrestle Venus Williams or Rhonda Rousey. And I’m a dude [although I have more of a computer nerd physique].

    Maybe Peter was advising his roughneck manly-men readers to treat their wives “AS IF” they were weaker, to be kind, gentle, just plain nice and considerate. Which is great advice, especially in cultures where men are trained to look on women as a step above servants.

    Speaking of things getting weird, I’ve been listening to the Phil Vischer podcast. It’s usually a different spin on evangelicalism, which I enjoy, but today they did discuss Russell Moore’s issues. And they defended Moore, who is a friend of the show.

    And then they interviewed Barnabas Piper on his new book, which is about how Christians should feel free to be curious and ask questions. [I’m guessing that includes asking questions about someone’s dad’s views on divorce and remarriage.] I I mean, seriously, why do I need to read this book? Why do I need Barnabas’ permission to be curious?

    https://youtu.be/rhqmj8i-72g?t=31m50s

  157. Russell Moore was a Democrat political operative in Mississippi before he became a religious political operative in Louisville before he became a somewhat less religious political operative in D.C. My grandmother used to say there is more than one way to skin a cat.

  158. ishy wrote:

    but they won’t send unmarried women so nobody goes.

    I guess the IMB has decided not to send unmarried women missionaries and if it causes some to go to H E L L so be it and if the IMB leaders such as Platt have a strong Calvinistic slate it was just predetermined these folk would just go to H E L L. What wonderful, loving leaders–NOT!!

  159. dee wrote:

    they need the money from the little guy in Mississippi.

    I really do wish the little guys would quit giving.

  160. Back to the topic above about questioning salaries of mega preachers, etc at churches. I can go on-line and find the salary of the President of the US, his vp, the US Senators, US Representatives, etc. If I can do this, and do it easily, why would a church with hold this information from me, unless they have something to hide? You would think that the church would gladly give this information to anyone who asks. After all, they are the pastors, ministers, etc. of the church where people pay their tithes and offerings. This all smells pretty fishy to me. Any group that won’t divulge salaries of their paid members is suspicious to me. I don’t give money to the church anymore. Even though my son says I am very wrong. I know where my heart is and God also knows.

  161. Jerome wrote:

    “the ERLC will continue to refrain from saying it represents all Southern Baptists but will communicate the views expressed in annual resolutions regarding issues”
    When did that change

    Stealth takeover?

  162. ishy wrote:

    “the ERLC will continue to refrain from saying it represents all Southern Baptists but will communicate the views expressed in annual resolutions regarding issues”
    When did that change
    Did it even start?

    The way neo-Cals do things is to lie, take it over, and then control the narrative and insist they are in control. That’s how they take over churches, and that’s how they’ve taken over the SBC entities. That’s probably what they are doing.

  163. Gram3 wrote:

    Russell Moore was a Democrat political operative in Mississippi before he became a religious political operative in Louisville before he became a somewhat less religious political operative in D.C. My grandmother used to say there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    He got a BS in poly sci before he went into theology. I wonder if he could have ever made it as a politician?
    He lives in Brentwood, TN – a wealthy Nashville suburb, one of the weathiest burbs in America. You know he has to be raking in some dough to be able to live there.

  164. Gram3 wrote:

    My grandmother used to say there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    Well, it appears at this point that Moore’s opponents did not skin him this time. He wiggled free of the SBC head-hunters and remains in office according to the latest reports. These guys are elusive.

  165. @ okrapod:

    No prob. Glad I could clarify. Just start looking for any messages of “make Christianity great again” and who they’re coming from.

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Whoa, not that kind of privilege! The good churchgoers vs. wicked heathens dynamic that, in my opinion, was still going strong in the 90s.

  166. Daisy wrote:

    Fifty-seven percent of white evangelicals make a strong connection between their nationality and Christianity, the survey shows, noting that the percentage drops down to 29 percent among white mainline Protestants, and to 27 percent among Catholics.

    A majority of white evangelical Protestants say it is very important to be Christian to be a true American, and about a third of all Americans also believe the same, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

    If this is true, it is a terrifying thing:
    I think it reflects some of the reasons why SOME who call themselves ‘Christian’ are so deep into Islamophobia.

    There is a segment of people who seem to draw ‘energy’ from hatred and contempt rather than from the faith;
    and this negative energy is expressed in Islamophobia, homophobia, despicable characterizations of trans people (even trans children who suffer so much), misogyny, and other ‘anti’s’ . . . . .
    what is going on with a people that draw together and find fellowship in their hatred of others? And why is it that they feel they CAN identify as Christ-followers?

    What am I not understanding?
    ?

  167. Nancy2 wrote:

    I wonder if he could have ever made it as a politician?

    All things considered, could his work not be called a kind of ‘para politics’ within the SBC ?

  168. Stan wrote:

    Just start looking for any messages of “make Christianity great again” and who they’re coming from.

    my first thought would be the ‘Dominionists’

  169. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Max:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/russell-moore-southern-baptist-convention/519540/

    Thanks Nancy2 for the link. Certain lines from the article are red flags for Southern Baptist who are listening. The “Next Generation” is clearly in charge and belief and practice is trending their way.

    “He is part of a new generation of pastors, who tend to be more Calvinist in orientation, who have taken over leadership roles.”

    “When I was young, there was a culture … that’s been blown completely to pieces.”

    “The leadership of the SBC may be trying to “build bridges” within the denomination. But many believe those bridges were already burned …”

    For someone who has spent 60+ years in SBC, I’m deeply saddened to witness a once-great denomination silence the message and mission which led countless souls to life in Christ, in favor of a new movement with an uncertain end.

  170. Christiane wrote:

    All things considered, could his work not be called a kind of ‘para politics’ within the SBC ?

    Yes. Moore is a globalist. He is a theo-politician with an agenda outside of mainline Southern Baptist views. It sounds like SBC executive leaders reached a compromise with him to keep him in place and the YRR army at bay. It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen … these young whippersnappers running rough-shod over millions of Southern Baptists and getting away with it!

  171. @ Max:
    What I meant was that he had more than one way to achieve a goal. He may not have been elected to Congress or the Senate, but he’s on TV.

  172. Gram3 wrote:

    What I meant was that he had more than one way to achieve a goal.

    Oh, I see. What I meant was that they needed to skin the cat while they had a chance! 🙂

  173. Christiane wrote:

    What am I not understanding?

    Perhaps the way the survey was designed or conducted, interpreted and reported? A Pew survey is a snapshot of a sample. Which is a gross oversimplification. That is all that it is. Don’t lose sleep over it.

    Rational questions are not phobias. Different opinions are not phobias.

  174. Max wrote:

    What I meant was that they needed to skin the cat while they had a chance!

    G
    Not going to happen as long as he keeps the right people happy. If there needs to be an ERLC, why do the choices have to be limited to those dictated by the (R) and (D) party hacks? That is what is depressing. I do not want a Trump or a Clinton proxy.

  175. Max wrote:

    “The leadership of the SBC may be trying to “build bridges” within the denomination. But many believe those bridges were already burned …”

    The problem is that they have not tried to build bridges. They have built metaphorically higher and higher pulpits from which they issue loftier and loftier edicts to their subjects. Moore has created this problem for himself because he is an elitist. The Calvinistas are elitists. The leadership of the SBC are elitists which is why they scoff at demands for transparency. They will continue to scoff until the cashflows turn negative.

  176. Max wrote:

    “He is part of a new generation of pastors, who tend to be more Calvinist in orientation, who have taken over leadership roles.”
    “When I was young, there was a culture … that’s been blown completely to pieces.”

    And keep in mind, this is none other than SBCVoices Dave Miller saying this!

  177. I’m actually in the middle of writing an exegetical paper on 1 Peter 3:7 for school (non-Baptist and non-indoctrinating). I was very bothered by the “weaker vessel” comment as well. Every single scholar I have read says that “weaker” refers to social-political standing and physical ability. Grudem is the only exception, of course (I do not consider Moore a scholar). He throws in a short paragraph about how women are emotionally weaker. My husband and I had a great laugh about that. Women had no rights in the 1st century and could be divorced and thrown on the street. They could also be beaten, abused, and neglected and few people would really care. What’s interesting in the verse is that Peter emphasizes that women are joint heirs with them men – something that just didn’t happen in life. It’s as though he is saying, “I know that’s not how society is set up now, but in God’s Kingdom women are your equals.” Also if men were not kind and honorable to their wives, they would essentially be cut off from God. I don’t think Patriarchy works when we’re co-heirs.

  178. Gram3 wrote:

    The Calvinistas are elitists. The leadership of the SBC are elitists which is why they scoff at demands for transparency. They will continue to scoff until the cashflows turn negative.

    Then they all need to be starved out. While they were spending $60 million per year on a reformed church planting program, they let the international mission effort suffer. They are not good stewards of SBC resources. They appear more concerned about planting theology than planting churches which will reach souls for Christ. Elitism hinders the work of God.

  179. Nancy2 wrote:

    And keep in mind, this is none other than SBCVoices Dave Miller saying this!

    When Dave Miller says “We don’t know who we are”, he forgets that he helped create the identity crisis by encouraging the proliferation of New Calvinism in a denomination that doesn’t really want to go that direction. If the average Southern Baptist was adequately informed of the ongoing Calvinization of their denomination, they would not agree with the drift in theology and shift in belief and practice headed their way.

  180. Christiane wrote:

    Stan wrote:

    Just start looking for any messages of “make Christianity great again” and who they’re coming from.

    my first thought would be the ‘Dominionists’

    You mean the “Handmaid’s Tale For Real” guys?
    “Just like the Taliban, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”?

  181. Gram3 wrote:

    The problem is that they have not tried to build bridges. They have built metaphorically higher and higher pulpits from which they issue loftier and loftier edicts to their subjects.

    Edicts Ex Cathedra.

  182. @ Max:

    And if there were new worlds within reach to plunder, they’d be searching for gold. Just like the Conquistadores.

  183. Muff Potter wrote:

    And if there were new worlds within reach to plunder, they’d be searching for gold. Just like the Conquistadores.

    At least the Conquistadors didn’t try to hide their agenda – everyone knew they were bad boys and were out to conquer everything in sight. They didn’t disguise themselves as preachers, bowing so low to deceive search committees in order to takeover the SBC kingdom one church at a time!

  184. So many good thoughts/insights here. I enjoy reading and processing here even if I don’t often comment.

    I have a heart for the SBC but it’s still so hard for me to talk and think about it. I was strangely made to feel like an outsider in so many hurtful and often passive aggressive ways that really hurt my heart and confuses me still. Until it occurred to me that I was indeed ambiguously for some reason/vibe an outsider and that was never going to change and I couldn’t find a spiritual home there.

    I had lots of hopes and questions and genuine, normal concerns, really pleasant and open and just wondering about it. Hardly anyone one would really engage in discussion directly and this seemed to point to a larger, systemic concern. It felt like people couldn’t just have normal, free discussions without it being filtered through SBC approved scripts or predetermined catch phrases and rote talking points. It’s anyone’s guess if it was more difficult for me to relationally engage and have more direct understanding because I was a woman and all that goes on in the unspoken, posturing, and power dynamics in conversation and social settings with that.

    Many of the questions and observations raised here are what I was greatly struggling with. I found this blog I think about 5-6? years ago for instance by googling to see if anyone was reasonably and freely talking about the things I was seeing and sensing and trying to discern/figure out.

    The hyper-authoritarian trends in ecclesiolgy, the sophisticated reemergence of the Shepherding movement, church contracts (which are fundamentally anti-baptist to me), the diminishment of the priesthood of *all* believers, every single one, in subtle and not so subtle sociological ways.

    CJ Mahaney fleeing responsibility and the flippancy displayed toward children/people who suffered unimaginable things in SGM, (took the time to read the court documents and testimonies and almost vomited at the sheer horror of it all), Leaders not being held to same standards and doing overtly (in my opinion) mean or shady stuff and everyone seemingly being afraid to call them out or say something, a subtle feeling of condescension among some toward the faceless lay people or people not Christian famous or who’s who, etc.

    Then there’s the general ministry industrial complex and guru enablement and posturing and jockeying for position and ladder climbing and product pushing, platform building, getting into dangerous territory of monetizing God that is a general problem in all ministry circles not just in the SBC. And the constant virtue signaling everywhere in all ministry circles/groups (I know that V.S. term is wearing out its use).

    Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill, sociologically one of the biggest church collapses in American church history is just forgotten!! and no upfront examination or pastoral concern or serious sociological reflection about how that was enabled in the SBC and beyond and how it came about and how to stop it from happening again.

    Lastly, last Spring/summer how the Trinity debate was handled in a very disingenuous way was my final sign to exit.

    This “young” generation SBC person left and is not spoken for in all their dialogues/monologues and I am sure there are many younger people like me. I started to drift in and out, and it took me a long time to finally leave emotionally. And practically I was kind of stuck in an academic program I was too far into to just lightly walk away and it was stressful trying to think that through (understatement).

    Also, largely, and maybe most importantly, my view on woman became…not complementarian anymore. So there’s that. lol!

    There are people, warm/kind professors and individual ministers and missionaries and pastors in the SBC who I think are doing good and wonderful work, sincerely care about people and Jesus, and have a special place in that world. I couldn’t stay in it anymore for the sake of my mental health and my views on women are now incompatible with theirs. Ultimately, it felt like I could never truly become the honest scholar and minister that I would hope to be in front of God and in respect and love to others by staying in that world.

  185. Some thoughts about this post:

    1. Greater transparency should indeed be the order of the day. It shouldn’t matter whether one’s theological “tribe” won or lost at the Synod of Dort, the Council of Orange or whether one’s theological influence was Fosdick or Machen.
    2. It’s disconcerting to have continued silence in regards to C.J. Mahaney. It isn’t as bad as Mohler’s papering things over, but still . . .
    3. I fail to see what his relation with CBMW or his beliefs about “patriarchy” vs. “complementarianism” or his theological predilections have to with much of anything short of stigmatizing a man and his theology. If Moore had been arminian in his theology, would he have drawn as much attention from people here or not?
    4. So let me get this straight: if conservative evangelicals had been criticized for being essentially “the Republican Party at prayer”, then why is it now wrong to demonstrate some differences of opinion?
    5. Should Moore have hid his true feelings and flattered his brothers and sisters with sweet words of the Orange Haired Wonder Boy being “God’s choice”?

    What would help Moore and the ERLC going forward would be a return to serious discussions of public policy (physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are ripe fields) that will steer away from political partisanship.

  186. SteveG wrote:

    3. I fail to see what his relation with CBMW or his beliefs about “patriarchy” vs. “complementarianism” or his theological predilections have to with much of anything short of stigmatizing a man

    I suppose that is easy to over look when you are not a female who must be subjugated, marginalized, and condescendingly patronized.

  187. preacher’s wife wrote:

    I wish there was a “like” button. You said a lot that I can relate to.

    Me, too. Been a Baptist my whole life, but I’ve only realized how condescending and caustic so many of our churches are towards women……… and it’s getting worse. My husband preaches occasionally, but I cannot attend a church who worships a god who distances himself from women.
    Their teaching/preaching that God doesn’t have much use for women, himself. We’re just around to serve men. If they are right, why should I bother? If they are wrong, it’s heresy. Either way, I see no point in subjecting myself to that kind of degradation.

  188. SteveG wrote:

    I fail to see what his relation with CBMW or his beliefs about “patriarchy” vs. “complementarianism” or his theological predilections have to with much of anything short of stigmatizing a man and his theology.

    He is the one who has made it a cornerstone of his public persona. It is hard to think that he wants people to just not notice that.

  189. Nancy2 wrote:

    SteveG wrote:

    3. I fail to see what his relation with CBMW or his beliefs about “patriarchy” vs. “complementarianism” or his theological predilections have to with much of anything short of stigmatizing a man

    I suppose that is easy to over look when you are not a female who must be subjugated, marginalized, and condescendingly patronized.

    Steve needs to try to place himself in the place of a woman in SBC life and see what it feels like to be treated as sub human.

  190. Max wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    And keep in mind, this is none other than SBCVoices Dave Miller saying this!

    When Dave Miller says “We don’t know who we are”, he forgets that he helped create the identity crisis by encouraging the proliferation of New Calvinism in a denomination that doesn’t really want to go that direction. If the average Southern Baptist was adequately informed of the ongoing Calvinization of their denomination, they would not agree with the drift in theology and shift in belief and practice headed their way.

    Dave Miller is so full of himself IMO. He thinks he is a big shot in the SBC.

  191. Max wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    And keep in mind, this is none other than SBCVoices Dave Miller saying this!

    When Dave Miller says “We don’t know who we are”, he forgets that he helped create the identity crisis by encouraging the proliferation of New Calvinism in a denomination that doesn’t really want to go that direction. If the average Southern Baptist was adequately informed of the ongoing Calvinization of their denomination, they would not agree with the drift in theology and shift in belief and practice headed their way.

    This is the same Dave Miller who was proudly a Foot Soldier in the SBC Takeover. I often wonder how many men and women’s life in the SBC he destroyed?

  192. mot wrote:

    I often wonder how many men and women’s life in the SBC he destroyed?

    It is way past time that people weighed the ethical question of which is best, to shout the boat is sinking so man the lifeboats or to stay and go down with the ship.

    Ultimately pew persons cannot shift the entire responsibility for what does or does not happen to them onto others, be they leadership or theologians or members of one’s small group. If I understand scripture the ‘you’ of the judgment is both plural/corporate/group and also individual.

  193. Nancy2 wrote:

    Their teaching/preaching that God doesn’t have much use for women, himself. We’re just around to serve men.

    I see “serve” and I think “service”.
    Because in Pornography, the woman is just around to service the man.

  194. Nancy2 wrote:

    I suppose that is easy to over look when you are not a female who must be subjugated, marginalized, and condescendingly patronized.

    “Waddaya mean, ‘There’s something wrong with the system’? It’s working just fine (for MEEEEEEEEEEE)!”

  195. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “Waddaya mean, ‘There’s something wrong with the system’? It’s working just fine (for MEEEEEEEEEEE)!”

    Precisely. But in all fairness it is not just the neo-cals who take that approach. We see that in other religions and other denominations, we see it in politics, and we see it in people’s individual marriages where it works for one and not the other.

  196. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    . It’s as though he is saying, “I know that’s not how society is set up now, but in God’s Kingdom women are your equals.”

    Paul says explicitly ‘there is no male and female (etc) we are all one in Christ, and people still don’t listen.

  197. mot wrote:

    He thinks he is a big shot in the SBC.

    The New Calvinist who’s who have been using him as a mouthpiece. He gets to rub shoulders with them at conferences. Once SBC Calvinization is complete, they will be done with him.

  198. Nancy2 wrote:

    SteveG wrote:
    3. I fail to see what his relation with CBMW or his beliefs about “patriarchy” vs. “complementarianism” or his theological predilections have to with much of anything short of stigmatizing a man

    I suppose that is easy to over look when you are not a female who must be subjugated, marginalized, and condescendingly patronized.

    Isn’t it just.

  199. preacher’s wife wrote:

    @ emily honey:
    I wish there was a “like” button. You said a lot that I can relate to.

    I very much enjoyed her comment as well.

    I am in a sort of different position in that in my adult life I could never quite find a church to settle in, and now I have and it’s the opposite of all this complementarian nonsense. I might become a church officer and (apparently) be ordained and I’m finding this both mind blowing and mundane at the same time.

    I think it’s hard to realize how stifling the rules were until you leave them and see the opposite.

  200. okrapod wrote:

    mot wrote:

    I often wonder how many men and women’s life in the SBC he destroyed?

    It is way past time that people weighed the ethical question of which is best, to shout the boat is sinking so man the lifeboats or to stay and go down with the ship.

    Ultimately pew persons cannot shift the entire responsibility for what does or does not happen to them onto others, be they leadership or theologians or members of one’s small group. If I understand scripture the ‘you’ of the judgment is both plural/corporate/group and also individual.

    I think he is quite proud of what he did to these people’s lives–they deserved it. I will call what he did what it is–pure evil!

  201. mot wrote:

    I think he is quite proud of what he did to these people’s lives–they deserved it.

    You can’t make a Perfect Omelet without cracking a few eggs.
    — paraphrase of Comrade Stalin

  202. Max wrote:

    The New Calvinist who’s who have been using him as a mouthpiece. He gets to rub shoulders with them at conferences.

    Just like a Celebrity Groupie.

    Once SBC Calvinization is complete, they will be done with him.

    As in Purged once he has Outlived his Usefulness?

  203. mot wrote:

    This is the same Dave Miller who was proudly a Foot Soldier in the SBC Takeover. I often wonder how many men and women’s life in the SBC he destroyed?

    He is, without a doubt, a Calvinist. And, IIRC, he believes in ESS.

  204. okrapod wrote:

    He is the one who has made it a cornerstone of his public persona. It is hard to think that he wants people to just not notice that.

    Perhaps Steve G shares those beliefs.

  205. Nancy2 wrote:

    SteveG wrote:

    3. I fail to see what his relation with CBMW or his beliefs about “patriarchy” vs. “complementarianism” or his theological predilections have to with much of anything short of stigmatizing a man

    I suppose that is easy to over look when you are not a female who must be subjugated, marginalized, and condescendingly patronized.

    Which is exactly why SBC “Traditionalists” (as represented by Gaines) are being over-run with authoritarian complementarian New Calvinists. Steve Gaines (current SBC President, a non-Calvinist) ain’t scaring them with rhetoric like that! Frank Page (SBC Executive Director, a non-Calvinist) doesn’t worry the New Calvinists either, with his string of compromises which have forsaken millions of Southern Baptists who are not in agreement with a Calvinist takeover of their denomination. The elite structure within SBC, which strokes each others’ big egos and covers each others’ behinds, needs to go. The SBC is done – it just hasn’t quit yet.

  206. @ Gram3:

    nevertheless, the fear-mongers are real and the expression of hatred and fear towards minority groups is on the way to becoming ‘normalized’

    even the poor among us, the elderly, are on the chopping-block these days

    do I lose sleep because of worrying?
    Nope. I keep vigil out of hope, Gram3

    My son said something very wise yesterday. We were watching the news and I was ‘down’ over some of it and he said, ‘Mom, it will have to get very, very bad before people ‘get it’. This must run its course.’

    So I pray for the vulnerable and the innocent with hope. Losing sleep? Not a problem for me.

    Statistics? they can be manipulated, so can people, but in the end when real people suffer, the causes are usually out there for everybody to see, and sometimes it must come to that

  207. Max wrote:

    The elite structure within SBC, which strokes each others’ big egos and covers each others’ behinds, needs to go. The SBC is done – it just hasn’t quit yet.

    But what about the people in the Churches? The children who need the nurturing of the Word, and the elderly for whom ‘Church’ is a lifeline? They can not so easily pick up and find a greener pasture? I think there are some very good people still in the SBC as pastors and I hope they will have an influence for good against what is destructive.

  208. SteveG wrote:

    If Moore had been arminian in his theology, would he have drawn as much attention from people here or not?</blockquote
    He would not have been head of ERLC for one thing… 🙂

    FWIW one of my many uncomfortable moments in church was when one of the Big 316 Names invited a politician to the pulpit. Very uncomfortable in the sense of very wrong. So I get what you are saying. I don't like mixing any kind of politics with any kind of faith. And, yes, I've been in a spectrum of evangelical churches.

  209. emily honey wrote:

    Ultimately, it felt like I could never truly become the honest scholar and minister that I would hope to be in front of God and in respect and love to others by staying in that world.

    No doubt you will be joined by many more young women who are studying the Bible academically and also young men who are studying with young women side by side.

  210. Max wrote:

    The elite structure within SBC, which strokes each others’ big egos and covers each others’ behinds, needs to go. The SBC is done – it just hasn’t quit yet.

    Yep. I think it’s brain-dead. How long before it gets taken off life-support?

  211. Christiane wrote:

    But what about the people in the Churches? The children who need the nurturing of the Word, and the elderly for whom ‘Church’ is a lifeline?

    The SBC made up of independent churches. Churches do not owe their existence to the SBC – quite the opposite. A church can easily exist with the SBC bickering and overreach ….. and probably function in a better, more financially sound, more Christ-focused way.

  212. Nancy2 wrote:

    My husband preaches occasionally, but I cannot attend a church who worships a god who distances himself from women.

    It’s not God Who distances Himself from women, Nancy Two …… it’s the men who would be held up as ‘heads’ over women who have place women in a position that is ‘distant’ and unkind. Silly men, who see themselves as intercessors between God and women? They forget to whom God entrusts new life to come into this world ….. women, who bear life within themselves, and bring it into the world, have no need of men to instruct them about their ‘place’ in God’s Creation. Silly men. 🙂

    The God Whose messengers came with ‘Be not afraid’ and ‘Fear Not’ did not distance Himself from women: He came to comfort them and reassure them of His Presence in their midst:
    http://matthewwarner.me/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/the-virgin-consoles-eve.jpg

  213. Nancy2 wrote:

    The SBC made up of independent churches. Churches do not owe their existence to the SBC – quite the opposite.

    Precisely. There are all sorts of other baptist affiliations that individual churches can make when and if they do the right thing and dump the SBC. In my town alone there are three large and prospering formerly SBC churches who have affiliated rather with a different baptist group and are far the better for it.

    And if someone is in a church that has veered from the faith they are responsible to get out and join the hoards of people who just fold their tents and move on. To keep one’s behind in the pew and one’s money in the plate can become, if the situation is bad enough, an act of treachery to the gospel and is certainly enabling the right to fail and the wrong to prevail. To stay and let the minds of their children be polluted is just not an option once has come to the realization that the church is teaching what one does not believe to be true.

    I actually think that it is right and just that a church or a denomination fail and go under if it has so far wandered from the path that it tolerates abuse, financial chicanery, unbiblical doctrine, oppression and suppression, under the table political affiliations, corrupt clergy, rabble rousing, neglect, unholy alliances, lies and lying, preferential treatment of one group at the expense of another group and attempts to shackle the mind and behavior of man to a set of questionable beliefs.

    And, yes, I have a verse. Do not be deceived. Nobody makes a fool out of God. Whatever you sow you also reap.

  214. Christiane wrote:

    the expression of hatred and fear towards minority groups is on the way to becoming ‘normalized’

    That is the normal state of mankind since forever. I am not aware of any Christian who are saying that Christians should hate any group of people. A difference of opinion on policy matters is not hatred. A difference of opinion on political matters is not hatred.

  215. okrapod wrote:

    I actually think that it is right and just that a church or a denomination fail and go under if it has so far wandered from the path that it tolerates abuse, financial chicanery, unbiblical doctrine, oppression and suppression, under the table political affiliations, corrupt clergy, rabble rousing, neglect, unholy alliances, lies and lying, preferential treatment of one group at the expense of another group and attempts to shackle the mind and behavior of man to a set of questionable beliefs.

    Sure sounds like the SBC qualifies.

  216. Christiane wrote:

    But what about the people in the Churches?

    What about the people in the German Reich and Tojo-Shogunate Japan when their elite structure of leaders threw them into total war in 1939 and 1941?

  217. Gram3 wrote:

    That is the normal state of mankind since forever. I am not aware of any Christian who are saying that Christians should hate any group of people. A difference of opinion on policy matters is not hatred. A difference of opinion on political matters is not hatred.

    Amen. Maybe if people are unable to deal with differences of opinion they need counseling. Okay, that was ugly, but so is the other;

  218. Gram3 wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    the expression of hatred and fear towards minority groups is on the way to becoming ‘normalized’

    That is the normal state of mankind since forever.

    Just ask Koreans how racist Japanese can be.
    Or Central Americans how racist Mexicans can get.
    Or Tutsi & Hutu about each other.
    Or Serbs & Croats…

  219. Gram3 wrote:

    A difference of opinion on policy matters is not hatred. A difference of opinion on political matters is not hatred.

    It is when the policy and/or political matters are elevated to Cosmic Importance.
    “HERE AHURA-MAZDA, THERE AHRIMAN!”

  220. mot wrote:

    Dave Miller is so full of himself IMO. He thinks he is a big shot in the SBC.

    “Brewery-wagon driver saved from obscurity by his beloved Nazis.”
    — Leon Uris, Armageddon: a Novel of Berlin, re a (fictional) KZ Kommandant

  221. Gram3 wrote:

    I am not aware of any Christian who are saying that Christians should hate any group of people. A difference of opinion on policy matters is not hatred. A difference of opinion on political matters is not hatred.

    I’m not buying that, no. It’s too transparent these days to miss. There were too many ‘dog whistles’ during speeches to too many in the base, so eager to support what cannot be called ‘moral’ in any sense of the word.

    What’s done is done. Now comes the fallout on the innocent.

  222. Lea wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Just ask Koreans how racist Japanese can be.
    The Chinese hate Koreans too.

    “Oh the Protestants
    Hate the Catholics
    And the Catholics
    Hate the Protestants
    And the Muslims
    Hate the Hindus
    And everybody hates the Jews!”
    — Tom Lehrer, “National Brotherhood Week”

  223. Gram3 wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    the expression of hatred and fear towards minority groups is on the way to becoming ‘normalized’

    That is the normal state of mankind since forever. I am not aware of any Christian who are saying that Christians should hate any group of people. A difference of opinion on policy matters is not hatred. A difference of opinion on political matters is not hatred.

    ‘That is the normal state of mankind since forever’
    But something HAS profoundly changed the state of ALL mankind forever: the Incarnation.

    “Bonhoeffer on the Incarnation:
    “” We now know that we have been taken up and borne in the humanity of Jesus, and therefore that new nature we now enjoy means that we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others. The incarnate Lord makes His followers the brothers and sisters of all humanity. The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the Incarnation is the ground of Christian love towrd all on earth that bear the name of human. The form of Christ incarnate makes the Church into the body of Christ. All the sorrows of humanity falls upon that form, and only through that form can they be borne. The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed: in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:4). The Christian life is a life of crucifixion.”
    (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

    We can’t have it both ways.
    We can’t support that which crucifies the poor and the weak and the innocent, and still call ourselves ‘human’;
    because our humanity was assumed by Christ at the Incarnation and there is no going back.

    ‘if we are not for others, what are we?’ (Hillel)
    What indeed?

  224. I just don’t see how the same political movement can be represented by the likes of Roosh V, Heartiste, JonTron, Milo, and Mike Cernovich on the one hand, and evangelical leaders on the other.

    No tent can possibly be big enough for both “game” and the gospel.

  225. Thinking about what Okrapod said about bailing. I think that the ERLC exists so that the Big Men have a direct pipeline to DC power, and it is no coincidence that everything seems to tie back to CHBC, IMO.

  226. @ MidwesternEasterner:

    I think you’re looking at it wrong.

    Say you have ten issues.
    Issues 1-3 might be super important to you.
    Issues 4-6 might be super important to someone else.

    You and those other people might be completely different and voting for the same person.

  227. @ Gram3:

    And somebody remind me again as to when the link between church and state started? Historically that is. And when did people ever actually deconstruct that idea in the history of christianity, historically. Why are we surprised?

    Now, I do not think that means that every decision coming out of some church/state interaction is necessarily the wrong decision, but I do notice that it was not baptists who originated the idea.

    I do not think that there has been any shift in popular thinking about whether the church should influence the state, but there has been a shift in relative influence by various church groups.

  228. Christiane wrote:

    We can’t have it both ways.

    I am not trying to have it both ways and please do not put words in my mouth and do not imply that I am saying that the Incarnation, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord are of no effect. That is not true, and that is not what I said.

    Please read history about the normal state of mankind in every culture. It is the exception when that does not occur.

    I do not hear dog whistles because I am not a dog. Thankfully dogs do not vote. If someone thinks they are hearing a dog whistle, I think they are mistaken or they have somewhat exceptional hearing or mind-reading ability.

  229. @ JeffT:

    This is one of the many things I want to tackle in my post for Friday. I find it rich that some of these churches which won’t divulge pastoral salaries to their congregation are demanding the ERLC to be transparent. But since Prestonwood wants to withhold a million dollars maybe they should ask Amy Smith how they can invest it! 😉

  230. dee wrote:

    The others are angry that he specifically dissed the pastors who were supporting Trump. Mind you, I am not into pastors supporting political candidates. However, the SBC crowd have always gone down that road. If the SBC has no problems with their pastors endorsing candidates, then the ERLC should keep its mouth shut since it represents all SBC members. This is the sticky situation that Moore decided to wade into.

    The SBC has been involved in politics since the days of the Civil War. Many Southern Baptists got involved in the slavery discussions when slavery was a hot political issue. This continued all the way up to when South Carolina succeeded from the US in December of 1860 and ultimately when the south fired on Fort Sumter in April of 1861. But Dee the SBC has always been like this…

  231. @ Gram3:
    I said ‘we’ (general term), not ‘you’. Nor would I say ‘you’, Gram 3.

    You are offended? By the way I worded that? That was certainly not my intent. We may disagree on MANY things, but you are entitled to your OWN words, and I respect that. OTOH, I must be careful not to cross lines here that fall into those areas that we are not to enter in the political realm. I am an advocate for the elderly, since the days long ago when I worked in the old ‘social services’ system and did case work for the elderly, long ago. I think then it was called ‘Aid for the Aged’.

  232. Gram3 wrote:

    I do not hear dog whistles because I am not a dog. Thankfully dogs do not vote. If someone thinks they are hearing a dog whistle, I think they are mistaken or they have somewhat exceptional hearing or mind-reading ability.

    well, perhaps the term ‘dog whistles’ doesn’t make sense to you, but it does to me:
    we have now a whole series of events taking place where extremists who felt ’empowered’ by the speeches of their hero, have engaged in activities that are unspeakable. Yeah, I heard the speeches, and I picked up on the undercurrents, and so did the rest of the nation.

    It won’t be forgotten, or forgiven. Rabble-rousing and appealing to the darker angels of those who hold to extremist views is not something easily dismissed.

    Nothing personal about this was said to you, Gram 3. Not by me.

  233. I have a problem with the concept of ‘extreme’. Who determines what is extreme? Right now the TEC is benched by the Anglican Communion for extreme ideas of permitting gay marriage. Liberals would not call that extreme. I have heard an awful lot of negative talk summarizing the opinions of conservative baptists as being fundamentalist extremism, but actual fundamentalists would be considering moderates as extremely compromising to a fault. And I am staying away from the forbidden religious discussion, but each side has historically considered the other extreme in one way or the other.

    If we say that ‘extreme’ is + or – three standard deviations from the mean, then we are saying that the arithmetic mean is true and just and correct and the only ‘sin’ is not to fit in with the majority of the crowd. That won’t work.

    At this point we have not defined ‘extreme’ beyond mere personal opinion. That won’t work for me.

  234. Hi David

    I know the SBC has always been like this. What I am saying is that they shouldn’t be like this. 

  235. @ okrapod:
    ‘extreme’
    unfortunately, what has happened has ‘skewed’ the stats:
    a lot of people ‘hold their nose’ and support that which they don’t approve of in order to get that which they want for their own agendas

    this opens the door for encouragement of those who hold to ‘values’ that are not mainstream nor morally acceptable in our society

  236. Dee, I so appreciate this post; I take great comfort in the reality that Jesus chose both extremes of the political spectrum to number among the 12–a tax collector and a zealot. I am comforted that the reality of Christ in this world reduces the tyranny of the urgency of political thought and action. In a perfect church culture we would pray for our country and vote responsibly–but we would not have leaders who purport to speak for ‘the church’ or God regarding political issues.

    Matters of individual conscience must be left to the individual–comments regarding politics must be limited to the sphere of our identity as citizens, not our heavenly citizenship as a means of trying to manipulate other Christians to our view.

  237. Christiane wrote:

    a lot of people ‘hold their nose’ and support that which they don’t approve of in order to get that which they want for their own agendas

    i think some of that may be what is afoot in some churches. It is pretty common for people to not like this or that but to stick around for other reasons.

    I doubt that there will be a mass exodus due to Moore, for example.

  238. Cousin of Eutychus wrote:

    comments regarding politics must be limited to the sphere of our identity as citizens

    Rick, I think it is very difficult for someone to believe something as powerful as Christianity, and not have it affect the way one interacts with what one encounters on the side of the road…..

    for too many, the ‘talk’ and the ‘walk’ are not in sync;
    and I am not sure how, where conscience is examined, that this can be resolved.

    Perhaps I misunderstand what you wrote.

  239. Cousin of Eutychus wrote:

    I take great comfort in the reality that Jesus chose both extremes of the political spectrum to number among the 12–a tax collector and a zealot.

    Yes he did, but I never thought of it that way. What he then told them, apparently, was to stay out of it. His kingdom is not of this world I think he said, when it came to the politics of rulership. My old tradition used to preach separation of church and state, but it looks like now they may be wavering on that issue.

  240. Reflecting on church history, the church has always diminished in its faithfulness to its calling to be the body of Christ on earth whenever it has aligned itself tightly with whatever the political powers of the time happened to be. The church may have increased its status, grown in monetary wealth, grown in worldly power and influence through such alignments, and even reduced its persecution, but I think it is the case that when you mix dye and water that the dye will color the water, not vice versa. The spiritual is subsumed into worldly power and disappears. It becomes servant to its new master. The world has occasionally been affected by the church functioning as a second kingdom in contrast to the world, however.

    The white evangelical church has been very faithful to its partner, the Republican party. And this past election, the majority of Catholics voted Republican for president as well. But if a Christian organization aligns with a party, by commending a vote for a particular party as did many evangelical leaders, then I think it behooves those same leaders to “call out” (or “speak prophetically”) into what is wrong as well. There was a “laying on of hands” by the commendations that incurs responsibility.

    Just one example that is pertinent to this blog: We elected a man who is on tape bragging about sexual assault and his ability to do it because of a power differential. I have heard precious little from Christians who are Republicans about this. Unsurprisingly, given the kid glove treatment of other Christian celebrities, I have instead heard things such as it was “So long ago” (that matters?) and it was “just locker room talk” and we should “forgive him.” (How does one forgive a sin committed against someone else? ) I happen to believe the women who came forward, but even if I didn’t, he was bragging about sexual assault that he could commit because of his power. I have also heard the broken heart of a woman close to me who was the victim of sexual abuse as a child say that it was an overwhelming reaffirmation that neither a good bit of the culture nor the church really believe sexual abuse victims and will protect the perpetrators because protecting the perpetrator protects the system they benefit from. She showed up at the march for that reason. To her, her church said, “We don’t really care all that much about that stuff. Well, we do if a Democrat does it, but only because we can try to get a political advantage from it. We don’t actually care about women and girls (and boys) who are victims.” (Though they did not identify as Christians, feminists did much the same thing in response to Bill Clinton.) If there is any Christian leader speaking up about this still, I would be very encouraged to see a link to it. Some women like Beth Moore and Jen Hatmaker did. I haven’t seen a lot of the men join them.

    Despite the fact that I have enormous personal reason to be strongly prejudiced against Neocals involved in stealth takeovers who mistreat women, to the extent that Russell Moore spoke prophetically and I believe he did, I support him and the very few others who have had anything other than praise for the Republican candidate. The church does not need to get in bed with any political party.

  241. okrapod wrote:

    My old tradition used to preach separation of church and state, but it looks like now they may be wavering on that issue.

    In a one-sided sort of way ……. the SBC wants to be a powerful political machine, yet it wants the government to keep it’s nose out of churches, especially the tax-exempt status part of things.

  242. @ Christiane:
    Then I guess I missed the entire point of “we can’t have it both ways.” I think it is dangerous to paint others who disagree with your policies or opinions as evil. You cannot possibly know enough about the subject matter or the individual to know that.

  243. Nancy2 wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    My old tradition used to preach separation of church and state, but it looks like now they may be wavering on that issue.

    In a one-sided sort of way ……. the SBC wants to be a powerful political machine, yet it wants the government to keep it’s nose out of churches, especially the tax-exempt status part of things.

    The SBC leaders love the power aspect IMO. I think they are clueless about their once main mission of missions for all.

  244. Christiane wrote:

    But what about the people in the Churches?

    The churches can still exist, but independent from the SBC mess. It’s the SBC denominational structure that needs to go. There are faithful pastors and congregations across the SBC landscape who don’t need to put up with unfaithful denominational leaders more concerned about control and power than assisting SBC’s 45,000+ churches to spread the Gospel. You are right – there are good people and good pastors who need local churches, but they don’t need bad theo-politicians among national leaders who squander their tithes and hinder the work of the ministry.

    Evangelist Charles Finney provided some good counsel nearly 200 years ago that SBC leadership should heed:

    “It is evident that many more Churches need to be divided. How many there are that hold together, and yet do no good, for the simple reason that they are not sufficiently agreed. They do not think alike, nor feel alike … and while this is so, they never can work together. Unless they can be brought to such a change of views and feelings as will unite them, they are only a hindrance to each other and to the work of God. In many cases they see and feel that this is so, and yet they keep together, conscientiously, for fear that a division should dishonor religion, when in fact the division that now exists may be making religion a by-word and a reproach. Far better would it be if they would agree to divide amicably, like Abraham and Lot. ‘If thou will take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, I will go to the left.’ Let them separate, and each party work in its own way; and they may both enjoy the blessing.” (Charles G. Finney, Revivals of Religion)

  245. @ okrapod:

    It’s sort of ironic that Baptists back in the 1700s were very much in favor of separation between church and state. At that time they were a fringe minority group. From what I can see in America, church and state didn’t really bond again until Billy Graham helped get Eisenhower baptized (presbyterian if I’m not mistaken). From there we had the “golden age” of church attendance in the 50s. My theory is that church growth and cultural Christianity could not have happened if not for the Cold War. “Communists are Atheists. We don’t like Communists and are nothing like them. To prove it, let’s all go to Church!” It’s just a theory…

  246. Christiane, thank you for your thoughts in this (I was unable to block quote). I think the challenge for individual Christians is, as I think Eugene Peterson said it, to be a people between the times. The early church faced incredible pressures from often hostile political systems, and did not just survive but grew. I am not sure what it looks like to be in that right posture regarding politics–but I think it must be a posture of reconciliation and respect for those on our left and our right.

    If we are seeking political power, I think we are in grave danger of idolatry. Repentance and rest, yes! Earning trust of those around us by living a renunciation of worldly power. As I write I feel incoherent–I think because a practical theology regarding this is in process…

  247. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    mot wrote:
    I think he is quite proud of what he did to these people’s lives–they deserved it.
    You can’t make a Perfect Omelet without cracking a few eggs.
    — paraphrase of Comrade Stalin

    All wars have casualties.

  248. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    Christiane wrote:
    the expression of hatred and fear towards minority groups is on the way to becoming ‘normalized’
    That is the normal state of mankind since forever.
    Just ask Koreans how racist Japanese can be.
    Or Central Americans how racist Mexicans can get.
    Or Tutsi & Hutu about each other.
    Or Serbs & Croats…

    Or all the waaaay back there….”I am not my brother’s keeper.” Cain

  249. @ SteveG:

    Steveg, you find Moore’s continued silence toward CJ Mahaney disconcerting, but not his support of patriarchy?

  250. @ GSD:

    “Speaking of things getting weird, I’ve been listening to the Phil Vischer podcast… And then they interviewed Barnabas Piper on his new book, ….I mean, seriously, why do I need to read this book? Why do I need Barnabas’ permission to be curious?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    sounds like he just needed filler. something to talk about.

    in which case, why do you need Phil Vischer’s podcast?

  251. @ Lea:

    “What I don’t understand are the people who clearly see the problems with that kind of control, who I respect in general, but cannot let go of the philosophy of ‘headship’ and males being the leader and all that entails.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    oh you got that right. this is the main reason i no longer attend the Assemblies of God church i had been attending. The denomination is so pro-woman — if you read their position papers. in practice, it’s an experiment in cognitive dissonance.

    well, let’s just say the male clergy seem utterly oblivious to the dissonance part.

    my cynical laughter at the whole thing is quickly snuffed by how sad and pathetic it all is.

  252. @ Lea:

    Robert wrote: “Moore should be embarrassed to use the term “male hadship”; it is a stupid phrase. Not only is it basically meaningless, it makes me think of head cheese.”

    Leah wrote: “It makes me think about a head as a literal spaceship, zooming around. Which is probably not what they were going for, but it sounds really stupid to me too,”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Makes me think of a giant streaky urinal sporting a laurel wreath on a pedestal with spotlights. men’s room smells ‘n all.

    (i’ve ‘cleaned the church’ enough times to know)

    what a thing to believe in. ridiculous. the lengths people will go to…

  253. I’ve worked for Lifeway (when it was still the Baptist Sunday School Board) and NAMB. I worked for NAMB during the last big shakeup and left during the same time. Now, I’m not even a Southern Baptist. I’ve seen how the sausage is made . . . twice.

    Anyone that questions how their tithe money is spent is unquestionably on target.

  254. Darlene wrote:

    All wars have casualties.

    And contrary to Augustine’s pronouncement, there is no such thing as a “just war”.
    There is only war and the waging of war.

  255. SteveG wrote:

    What would help Moore and the ERLC going forward would be a return to serious discussions of public policy (physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are ripe fields) that will steer away from political partisanship.

    When my time arrives (by say a terminal illness known for extreme pain) I sincerely hope that I can be allowed a death with dignity by morphine and to hell with Moore and the ERLC.

  256. Muff Potter wrote:

    When my time arrives (by say a terminal illness known for extreme pain) I sincerely hope that I can be allowed a death with dignity by morphine and to hell with Moore and the ERLC.

    some ‘pastors’ would make better academics than shepherds

  257. @ brian:
    It really seems to be all about positioning with Moore. He speaks in parsed, detached, theological manner that, for lack of a better term, feels like programmed compassion. We live in a world that seems intent on coronating a king with a church that is infected with a humanistic leadership culture. We are desperately in need of humble leaders who lead a heartfelt, Christ-like existence in their interactions with others. We need servants who privately lead the few with rich character and gentle direction more than we need articulate masters who publicly move many without being committed to the one. I desperately want to see something different in Mr. Moore, but I’m afraid I’m just looking at the distorted reflection of Al Mohler in the funhouse mirror. Mr. Moore seems to be saying many of the right things to preserve the SBC brand long enough for the next theological resurgence in the convention.

  258. Abi Miah wrote:

    Despite the fact that I have enormous personal reason to be strongly prejudiced against Neocals involved in stealth takeovers who mistreat women, to the extent that Russell Moore spoke prophetically and I believe he did, I support him and the very few others who have had anything other than praise for the Republican candidate. The church does not need to get in bed with any political party.

    They are an organization that was born in May of 1845 out of the defense of slavery, and they never dealt with their history. Over the next century and a half….over and over and over the SBC showed how racist it is. From how they reacted in the Jim Crow era, to refusing to support Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights era, what many SBC said about interracial marriage in the 1960's all the way to what Richard Land said about Treyvin Martin. 

    (Most of this comment was deleted because I asked that politics not be discussed specifically.)

  259. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    My theory is that church growth and cultural Christianity could not have happened if not for the Cold War. “Communists are Atheists. We don’t like Communists and are nothing like them. To prove it, let’s all go to Church!” It’s just a theory…

    Sounds like there’s something to it.
    The Enemy does “X”, so We must do “Not X”.
    In your specific application, that IS when and why “In God We Trust” got added to American money and “Under God” got added to the Pledge Of Allegiance.

  260. Dave (Eagle) wrote:

    Russell Moore is also dealing with the cognitive dissonance of Trump voters and supporters, which sadly makes up quite a bit of the SBC.

    Anything like the cognitive dissonance of supporting Russell Moore who is a big on patriarchy?

  261. @ Dave (Eagle):
    I have asked folks not to discuss politics on this blog. I am going to have to delete part of your comment.

    Russell Moore has supported CJ Mahaney and he supports patriarchy. He is no golden light to those whose children have been abused in SGM nor is he a light to women who are to be submissive in his world.

  262. Speaking of politicizing, one of the guys on the Charisma podcast is claiming Milo Yiannopoulos is literally a prophet whom “God is hiding himself in”.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/lance-wallnau-claims-milo-yiannopoulos-in-the-name-of-jesus-for-the-kingdom-of-god/

    What’s truly freaky about this is I think he might have been inspired by…yours truly. I wrote a Poe’s Law-style parody of religious rightism a few weeks ago, in which I said I’d had a revelation that Milo and the Donald were the Two Witnesses and that they exemplify the love between the Father and the Son, which is why Milo is submissive to Donald and calls him “Daddy”.

    I intended it as a parody of both the ESS doctrine and the religious right’s political idolatry (in order to show how unchristian both of these things are), but I also posted it on Reddit under a fake name in order to see how real Pentecostals would respond. They didn’t take the bait (most of the folks on that subreddit turned out not to be Trump fans). But now I’m wondering if Lance Wallnau actually saw it and thought it was the real deal.

    When a belief system becomes indistinguishable from a parody of itself, you know something is really wrong.

  263. scott hendrixson wrote:

    I desperately want to see something different in Mr. Moore, but I’m afraid I’m just looking at the distorted reflection of Al Mohler in the funhouse mirror. Mr. Moore seems to be saying many of the right things to preserve the SBC brand long enough for the next theological resurgence in the convention.

    Your entire comment was excellent, but this part is especially on target. You are looking at a projection of Al Mohler. IMO, Moore and the others are saying what they are saying because they are playing to the Millennial future of the SBC while the megas are playing to their “base.” I think it is really that simple. I do no hold out much hope for a theological resurgence in the convention as it is now constituted. And that is because the SBC was destroyed with the BFM2K becoming a de facto confession of faith. There may be a group of churches which break away and form another co-operating fellowship, but I think the Mohlerites killed the SBC when they and the Deverites made it about power.

  264. dee wrote:

    Russell Moore has supported CJ Mahaney and he supports patriarchy. He is no golden light to those whose children have been abused in SGM nor is he a light to women who are to be submissive in his world.

    Thank you for saying this, Dee. I have been very disappointed in people like Scot McKnight and others who are so delighted that Moore is against a particular candidate that he is willing to overlook what Moore says and promotes and proclaims about women. That is very disheartening. We need to be better than this kindergarten level of discourse.

  265. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    Speaking of politicizing, one of the guys on the Charisma podcast is claiming Milo Yiannopoulos is literally a prophet whom “God is hiding himself in”.

    Good night!!!! Do you know if Moore, Mohler, or any other politically enamored folks are supporters of Milo? He is nuts!

  266. Gram3 wrote:

    they are playing to the Millennial future of the SBC while the megas are playing to their “base.”

    Social Justice Warriors and Culture Warriors.

  267. dee wrote:

    @ Dave (Eagle):
    I have asked folks not to discuss politics on this blog. I am going to have to delete part of your comment.

    Russell Moore has supported CJ Mahaney and he supports patriarchy. He is no golden light to those whose children have been abused in SGM nor is he a light to women who are to be submissive in his world.

    I am shocked and I mean shocked that Eagle can seemingly overlook Moore’s second treatment of women in the SBC!

  268. I am shocked and I mean shocked that Eagle can seemingly overlook Moore’s second hand treatment of women in the SBC! That is treated as 2nd class citizens.

  269. dee wrote:

    Good night!!!! Do you know if Moore, Mohler, or any other politically enamored folks are supporters of Milo? He is nuts!

    Milo comes across my FB feed quite often. Many Christians thinks he is just peachy . . . head bangs desk.

  270. Bridget wrote:

    Milo comes across my FB feed quite often. Many Christians thinks he is just peachy . . . head bangs desk.

    Peachy huh? That’s like saying … (oops!)

  271. Even political and theological opponents in the SBC leadership seem to have a “gentleman’s agreement” not to talk about the scandals surrounding each other. Paige Patterson won’t talk about Mahaney/SGM, and Al Mohler want mention Darrell Gilyard. If either did so, he’d be a hypocrite if he didn’t also confess his own guilt. Just like when Mohler wrote about the Penn State scandal.

  272. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    What’s truly freaky about this is I think he might have been inspired by…yours truly. I wrote a Poe’s Law-style parody of religious rightism a few weeks ago, in which I said I’d had a revelation that Milo and the Donald were the Two Witnesses and that they exemplify the love between the Father and the Son, which is why Milo is submissive to Donald and calls him “Daddy”.

    If you can stretch that into 22 volumes plus marketing tie-ins, you might have a new Christian Apocalyptic best-seller. That beats my Rev 13:4 filk of “Who is like unto The Trump?”

    But you really should have known that in an Age of Extremes like today, no matter how over-the-top and crazy you get for parody’s sake, there are going to be True Believers out there twice as over-the-top, twice as crazy, and DEAD SERIOUS.

  273. Bridget wrote:

    dee wrote:

    Good night!!!! Do you know if Moore, Mohler, or any other politically enamored folks are supporters of Milo? He is nuts!

    Milo comes across my FB feed quite often. Many Christians thinks he is just peachy . . .

    Revelation 13:8 in action?
    Or 2 Thessalonicans 2:11?

  274. scott hendrixson wrote:

    @ brian:
    It really seems to be all about positioning with Moore. He speaks in parsed, detached, theological manner that, for lack of a better term, feels like programmed compassion.

    Like a sociopath trying to reproduce the external signs of compassion or a bad actor playing a role and hitting the Uncanny Valley instead?

  275. elastigirl wrote:

    @ GSD:

    “Speaking of things getting weird, I’ve been listening to the Phil Vischer podcast… And then they interviewed Barnabas Piper on his new book, ….I mean, seriously, why do I need to read this book? Why do I need Barnabas’ permission to be curious?”

    Because he’s a Piper.

    “Because you’re a Lannister.”
    — Patriarch Tywin Lannister, Game of Thrones

  276. Gram3 wrote:

    I have been very disappointed in people like Scot McKnight and others who are so delighted that Moore is against a particular candidate that he is willing to overlook what Moore says and promotes and proclaims about women. That is very disheartening.

    This is an example of how politics corrupts, to me.

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