“At some point, people in the Southern Baptist Convention are going to need to wake-up to the New Covenant truth that Jesus Christ makes the ground at the foot of the cross equal.”
Dr. Paige Patterson has been completely removed from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was terminated last night by the seminary’s Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. The vote was unanimous.
For nearly twenty-five years I have opposed the authoritarian tactics of Dr. Paige Patterson and Judge Paul Pressler. That was not always the case. From 1979 to 1993 I was an active supporter of the Conservative Resurgence. I believed we Southern Baptists were in a “Battle for the Bible.” I served as a driver for Judge Pressler as he toured Oklahoma to “get out the vote” for the SBC in the late 1980’s. I was part of the platform security team for Paige Patterson and his crew in the early 1990’s.
It was at the 1994 Southern Baptist Convention that I began to see the strong-armed tactics of Dr. Paige Patterson. Some believe that the 1994 Convention was also the beginning of Paige Patterson and his loyalists targeting me.
I began to see that the “Battle for the Bible” was actually about power and control in the SBC. And sadly, it began to dawn on me that a particular harmful and false doctrine which harmed women was taking center stage in the SBC. Southern Baptist leaders (all male) began espousing the unbiblical teaching that males have an inherent “spiritual authority” over women, and that pastors (e.g. “the holiest of all males”) have the greatest spiritual authority of all. This doctrine became the driving force behind the male dominated leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In 2006, Paige Patterson’s disciples who served with me as trustees of the SBC International Mission Board sought to ruin my reputation, end my pastoral career, and threaten my family and church because I stepped up to stop those same IMB trustees from doing Paige Patterson’s bidding in firing IMB President Jerry Rankin and a female Vice-President named Wendy Norvelle (you can read about those days in the book Hardball Religion). My fellow trustees went after Wendy because “no women should be in a position of authority over a man.”
Those IMB trustees failed in their mission to humiliate and silence me, and I thank them for making me the person I am today.
Now their leader, Dr. Paige Patterson, is gone. The only question left is what to do with the stained glass windows at SWBTS. I predict they will be removed by the end of an ominous court trial set to take place in Houston, Texas. I have no joy in my heart over Paige Patterson’s termination. Only a sense of justice.
A New Day Is Dawning in the Southern Baptist Convention
A young generation of Southern Baptists pastors, trained in the politics and spiritual authority propogated by Paige Patterson, had better be careful in aspiring to SBC leadership. Replacing old white SBC pastors who believe in the inherent “spiritual authority” of males over females with young white pastors who believe the same false doctrine will eventually mean these new SBC leaders could make many of the same mistakes Paige Patterson has made.
Let me show you what I mean.
J.D. Greear will be nominated for President of the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas this coming June 12, 2018. J.D. is pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. He seems to be a wonderful man with an equally fine family. He has led Summit to be actively and generously involved in missions and church planting. However, J.D.’s view of women, and what women “can and cannot do” in the home and in the church, serves as a microcosm of the problems we face in the Southern Baptist Convention.
My son, Logan Burleson, and his wife, Nicole, love J.D. and attend Summit regularly. I have friends who tell me J.D. is a “shoe-in” to become President of the Southern Baptist Convention. I think the election will be closer than most imagine. But I am also of the opinion that both J.D. Greear and Ken Hemphill, the other man who will be nominated for SBC President, would serve the Southern Baptist Convention well.
J.D’s views of “spiritual authority,” however, seem to illustrate the problems we have in the SBC regarding women. His views (or at least his church’s all-male elders’ views) regarding men and women reflect the views of the diminishing majority of SBC pastors.
J.D. attended Southern Baptist schools, including Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. While most Southern Baptists will be focusing on the soteriology of the two major Presidential candidates (e.g. “Calvinism vs. Arminianism”), the question every Southern Baptist should be asking each candidate is this:
“What is your view of spiritual authority?”
The problems surfacing in the Southern Baptist Convention over the mistreatment of women directly stem from an unbliblical and harmful view of “spiritual authority.” In the Southern Baptist Convention, pastors see themselves like the priests of the Old Testament: 1. Uniquely holy, 2. Distinctly authoritative, and 3. Unequivocally in charge.
Only prophets dare questioned the priests of old, and it will take modern day prophets to bring SBC pastors to their knees.
Authoritative pastors have been in charge of the SBC for decades. That’s the reason women are overlooked. It’s an issue of wrongly viewing pastors as having “spiritual authority” to the exclusion of everybody else, particularly women (ask Beth Moore). This unbiblical concept of “spiritual authority” is THE problem in the Southern Baptist Convention.
It infects both Calvinists and Arminians.
Oh, sure, there will “resolutions” and “statements” about women, all offered by Southern Baptist pastors or theologians. But until people and gifted leaders (e.g. “pastors”) in the Southern Baptist Convention begin to understand and practice what Jesus Christ and the New Testament teaches about spiritual authority, we’ll continue to struggle with how women are being treated.
Jesus teaches that He is the sole spiritual authority in His Kingdom. All authority rests with Him (Matthew 28:18). Leadership in His Kingdom is based upon giftings, not gender; humility, not hubris; service, not status; character, not control; and esteeming others better than yourself instead of promoting yourself before others.
Any person – whether male or female (e.g. a patriarch or a feminist) – who “grabs authority” by obtaining an office to “rule over people” is disqualifed as a Kingdom leader.
Jesus said as much in Matthew 20:25-27:
25 Jesus called His disciples together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 It is not to be this way with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your servant 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
To be a true pastor in the New Covenant is a verb of service, not a noun of status. But the Southern Baptist Convention has taught for decades that men are to lead, and women are to submit, because God has granted men “the covenant position of authority” and women are to be “under the umbrella” of that authority.
That is pure, unbliblical nonsense. But it’s this faulty and erroneous view of spiritual authority that drives the Southern Baptist Convention’s mistreatment of women.
An Example from Summit Church
Three years ago (May 2015), J.D. Greear had a woman named Elyse Fitspatrick “speak” at The Summit on Sunday morning. Elyse is the author of several books, and according to J.D. Greear, is his wife’s “favorite Bible teacher.”
J.D. should be commended for having Elyse speak on Mother’s Day, 2015. It seems, however, that this invitation for a woman to speak caused some consternation at Summit. 10 days after Elyse spoke, J.D. wrote a blog post entitled Can Women Teach in the Church? He writes:
Our elders have been working on a statement explaining the roles God has given to women in the ministries of our church. That statement is still in the works, but our recent invitation to have Elyse Fitzpatrick share during weekend services has led some to ask whether we believe a woman can preach and teach in the mixed-gender gathering of the church.
J.D. then attempts to answer that question by quoting I Timothy 2 and John Piper. J.D. concludes:
“In context, I think [1 Tim 2:12] means that women shouldn’t be the authoritative teachers of the church…”
J.D. goes on to define what “authoritative teaching” means:
“Authoritative teaching” in a church is (1) teaching that is binding for that particular congregation and (2) the teaching that comprises that church’s fulfillment of its responsibility to pass on the faith to the next generation. The elders have the “authority” to remove from that local covenant community (under the consent of the congregation as a whole) those that reject this official teaching of the church (Titus 3:10–11).
J.D’s teaching on “authoritative teaching” is both unbiblical and harmful to women. There are two biblical reasons I say this:
1. The authority behind Truth is always the greatness of the message, not the genitalia of the messenger.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it (e.g. “the gospel” not the “messenger”) is the power of God that brings deliverance to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16).
If God spoke truth to Balaam through an ass, He can surely speak authoritative Truth to the world through both men and women. Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” He is the Truth; and if He is the topic of the message, the authority of the message comes from Him, not the messenger.
2. If you wrongly believe that there is inherent authority in males, then you must treat female messengers of the powerful gospel differently.
This is where it gets weird. To show how a woman speaking “truth” at the Summit is one without authority, J.D. sets up a “hedge of protection” for the congregation lest they perceive (his word, not mine), that the woman has authority when she does not. He writes:
A woman can teach in a large formal setting, like a mixed Sunday School class or an evening Bible study, but she must not do so in a way that “mimics” the teaching authority of a male elder. Perceptions are important, and if some in the church begin to look to a woman-teacher as their primary shepherd-leader, both she and they have gone into error.
But what about Elyse Fitzpatrick? She spoke on a Sunday morning during the “sermon time” at Summit. J.D. explains how he and the males at Summit took several steps to prevent the wrong perception that Elyse had some authority over the congregation. He writes:
A teaching elder at Summit (e.g. J.D.) set the context, invited Elyse up to ask her a series of questions, and then (I) wrapped up the service by applying her words specifically to The Summit Church. The elder’s introduction, presence on stage, and application at the end “officialized” the explanation and exhortation given by her for The Summit Church, and made clear she was not teaching (as one with authority) in our church. She explained the content, but we, the Summit elders, bore the weight of responsibility for teaching.
If you watch Elyse Fitzpatrick’s message on Sunday morning at The Summit, you will notice she was not allowed things that other male speakers can do at The Summit. For example:
Elyse could not stand as she taught, she had to sit, lest it be perceived she had authority.
- Elyse could not “declare” truth, she had to be asked questions from one in authority.
- Elyse could not “apply” the Truth to the congregation, only those with authority could do this.
- Elyse had to be “introduced” and “followed-up” by a male with authority.
- Had Elyse Fitzpatrick spoken truth the way males usually do at Summit, there would have been shock among the Summit men.
I’ve written here, here and here that the problem within the Southern Baptist Convention is a warped view of authority. A wrong view of male authority got Village Church in Dallas in huge trouble, Ironically the problems at Village – male elders disciplining a female victim who divorced her husband over his child pornography addiction – occurred during the same month Elyse Fitzpatrick spoke at Summit (May 2015). J.D. Greear, Matt Chandler, and Mark Driscoll share a common view of male authority over women.
Unbiblical views of inherent male spiritual authority and the resultant harmful treatment of women infects both Arminians and Calvinists, young pastors old pastors, large church pastors and small church pastors. For some unknown and ungodly reason, biblical conservatism is defined in the Southern Baptist Convention in terms of a woman’s submission and a man’s authoritative leadership, rather than the New Testament definition of Kingdom leadership which is always based on giftings, not gender; character, not control; humility, not hubris; and service, not status.
Southern Baptists say we believe the Bible, but we believe more in our list of “rules” about “roles” for men and women than we do the message of the Bible.
The Good News, the New Testament, the New Covenant signed and sealed by Christ’s blood, elevates women to equal status in the Kingdom of God with men. Equal does not mean identical. Men and women in the Kingdom of God are different, but men and women in the Kingdom of God are equal in spiritual authority. There is equal worth (in Christ), equal significance (born of the Spirit), equal authority (we are all “priests unto God”), equal inheritance (co-heirs with Christ), and equal value (“we are the blood-bought redeemed”).
I did some research on the antonyms of “authoritative” and discovered that “acquiescent” is a good word that describes the opposite characteristic of authoritative. To acquiesce is to “to accept, agree, or allow something to happen by staying silent.”
According to Greear (or at least the all-male elder board at his church), women who teach the Bible can’t be in a position of declaring truth authoritatively, because nobody is to submit to a woman teaching truth. Women are the acquiescers; males are the authoritarians. Males give; women receive. If a male receives “truth” from a woman, then “error” has a occurred because a male can’t get anything authoritative from a woman. There’s a Greek word for such thinking – baloney.
Paige Patterson just lost everything because he consistently behaved according to how he believed. Male authority over females is NOT biblical; it is cultural. And way too many elder boards at Southern Baptist churches have been infected with this false view of male “spiritual authority.”
At some point, people in the Southern Baptist Convention are going to need to wake-up to the New Covenant truth that Jesus Christ makes the ground at the foot of the cross equal.
Whether J.D. Greear becomes President of the Southern Baptist Convention or Ken Hemphill wins the election, reporters should ask both men significant questions about whether they believe men have inherent spiritual authority over women.
I’ll be listening closely to their answers.
I hope that someday someone starts a ‘blog called “Philip’s Daughters”.
2 – is everybody sleeping?
The problems surfacing in the Southern Baptist Convention over the mistreatment of women directly stem from an unbliblical and harmful view of “spiritual authority.” In the Southern Baptist Convention, pastors see themselves like the priests of the Old Testament: 1. Uniquely holy, 2. Distinctly authoritative, and 3. Unequivocally in charge.
This problem is not only in the SBC. It perfectly describes my ex-pastor as well.
Wade, I appreciate your passion, but I also know that when I stand before “HIM” to be judged, that I will be judged by the the book says, not by personal opinions, cultural distinctions, and the like.
I think you may be conflating two different issues, fallen man/men and their individual sin, and the list of these guys sadly seems to grow daily, savage,Patterson,chandler, Mahaney, and the like, with what the Bible teaches.
How do you exeget the Pauline church/doctrinal epistles for the organization of the church?…
Already anticipated you, Wade.
They’re the Predestined Elect, exalted by God before the foundation of the world, and (more important) everyone else is NOT. There is no “equal”, only Exaltation of God’s Speshul Pets.
“The Man PENETRATES! COLONIZES! CONQUERS! PLANTS! The woman lies back and accepts.”
Convert Pecan Manor to HQ for the SBC Predator Database. Install the stained glass windows of Patterson and Page to give the building a new identity. Adjacent to each window place steps to a platform where folks can stand to spit on the windows (10 cents per spit) to fund a Victims Fund.
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8. (Figured I’d join in. 🙂 )
Some of the best leaders in SBC life never make the list of candidates for SBC President. They are serving faithfully to preach the Gospel, reach the lost, and make disciples of Christ. They know God and are known by God. They can be found in places where God has planted them; some are pastors of small churches in rural America, some are evangelists on inner-city streets. They are not concerned about SBC theo-politics or the latest movement. They desire to please God, not men. To the SBC elite, they are obscure souls who are never thought of when it comes time to look for a leader, even though they are the most equipped to lead because they are Spirit-led and hear God’s voice. In my 60+ year tour of duty as a Southern Baptist, I have been blessed to know a few of these servant-leaders. Unfortunately, the SBC messengers won’t be blessed to see them on the platform in Dallas, although some of them may be sitting on the convention floor quietly praying that God would change the hearts of Southern Baptists and use them again. With all due respect to J.D. Greear and Ken Hemphill, they are on the ticket because competing factions vying for control of the SBC put them there. It would be better if we had humble servants of the Lord as candidates who have been untouched by the agendas of men. In the meantime, God will give us the King we want.
First hubris, then nemesis.
I wonder whether it may be the case that in the present-day authoritarian tradition of evangelical biblical interpretation, there are misunderstandings about “what is the point of the local church” and “what is the proper function of people entrusted with the activity of overseeing.”
I also wonder whether it may be that we have over-personalized the ministry of the Holy Spirit and have neglected biblical hints that there is an interpersonal component to the presence and work of the Spirit.
At the risk of simplification or even caricature (though these characterizations accurately describe my observations from my limited multi-denominational experience of the evangelical movement), it seems to me that
* the fundamental point of the local church is seen as “getting people saved” (in traditional non-calvinist groups) or “keeping them saved”/”making sure that they actually are saved” (in calvinist groups).
Making this the “main point” of the local church sort of makes sense in a “Pascal’s wager” way of thinking, but it seems to me that it doesn’t ring true to the New Testament narratives or the exhortations of the New Testament letters. In the NT narratives we read about what might be described as “a new kind of social organization” that is characterized by loyalty to Messiah Jesus and a highly visible emphasis on mutual care. Paul’s letters are packed with “one another” commands that seem to aim for the same thing.
IOW, the local churches of the New Testament were primarily visible instances of the New Creation/Kingdom of God/Age to Come that was inaugurated by Jesus’ resurrection. They were realized eschatology communities.
(I owe this analysis to N T Wright, who IMO makes more sense of the New Testament than practically anyone else I have encountered in my 4 decades of trying to understand the Scriptures)
* If the primary function of the local churches is to “get/keep people saved”, then it makes sense that the leaders will be tempted to lead in heavy handed ways — so much is at stake that one might consider oneself justified in breaking some NT commands to rulers (to not rule harshly, for example) in order (for the good of the ruled) to try to ensure a good future outcome for those who are treated harshly.
But this introduces an interpersonal dynamic into local church that is in conflict with the goal (granting the above hypothesis that this is the actual purpose) that the local churches be visible instances of God’s New Creation.
Perhaps the proper function of local church overseers is to help the members of these groups (through things like “admonishing the unruly, encouraging the fainthearted, helping the weak, with patience toward all”) to grow toward the likeness Jesus so that in the quality of their individual character and the quality of their interpersonal relationships, the people of the local church really are a visible instance of God’s New Creation. Of course, this might be done in heavy-handed ways, but again, that introduces an interpersonal dynamic into the local congregation that defeats its purpose of manifesting New Creation.
I like to contemplate Jesus’ patience with his unruly band of disciples. The Gospel narratives portray the Twelve as a rather proud and selfish lot. Jesus’ patience with them (punctuated by occasional outbursts of exasperation) perhaps could serve as a model for what it means to “admonish the unruly, … with patience toward all”.
* This brings me to the third thought that perhaps there is an interpersonal aspect to the presence and work of the Holy Spirit that has been neglected in our pre-occupation with the concept of the indwelling of the Spirit within the individual believer.
Semantically, of course, the word “en” that appears so frequently in the “indwelling Spirit” texts can also mean “among”, which it plainly does in non-HS texts such as John 1:14.
I’m intrigued by the fact that in Ephesians 4, the list of sins that precedes the command to “not grieve the Holy Spirit” are all interpersonal. I wonder whether interpersonal conflict may have been a problem at Ephesus. In Rev 2, of course, the church at Ephesus is threatened with dissolution on account of its lovelessness.
Also intriguing is Jesus’ emphatic statement in John 16:7 that the Spirit would not come unless Jesus first departed. I’ve never seen an adequate explanation of this. The Father consistently heard Jesus and granted His requests (Jn 11); Jesus had previously promised (Jn 14) to “ask the Father to send another comforter”. Why not ask prior to Jesus’ departure? The answer seems to be that the Spirit was unwilling. There was no point in asking prior to a change in the character of the apostles and the quality of their interpersonal relationships.
Or, to put it another way, it appears that the interpersonal relational environment of the apostles, one with another, was grievous to the Spirit. They didn’t love one another and their interest in Jesus had a significant element of self-interest. Perhaps two of the big themes of the Jn 14-16 supper discourse, “love one another” and “I will send the Spirit” are intimately related.
Perhaps the Spirit dwells not only within the individual believer, but also in the relational spaces between believers, and when those relational spaces are unhealthy, the Spirit is grieved and is less present.
(Aside — Richard Hays in his “The Moral Vision of the New Testament” has proposed that the “en” sayings should be understood in the sense of “among”, though he does not exclude the idea of individual indwelling)
This also makes good sense of the “corporate temple” theology that occasionally appears in Paul’s letters.
So I am tempted to suspect that authoritarian leadership style in the churches may be missing the point of what the local church is meant to be, may be missing the proper function that church overseers are meant to fulfill, and may be contributing to relational environments that repel the Spirit of God.
Feminism is doing quite a masterful and subtle job of convincing more and more girls and young women that happiness and fulfillment can only be obtained outside of the role and boundaries that an all-wise and all-knowing God has established for them. It is nothing more than a continuation of the serpent’s lie to Eve.
What an interesting idea! How about the new multi-million dollar facility on the SWBTS campus being the database headquarters? Especially since Paige and Dorothy Patterson will not be residing there.
That is Pecan Manor. 🙂
Yep, they are stuck in the Old Testament while the New Testament teaches that individual believers are priests! There was a long-standing doctrine in SBC life (before Non-Calvinist and New-Calvinist patriarchs took over) that there is to be a “priesthood of THE believer” in the assembly of God. That means you, too, Maple Lady are a priest! Those who teach/preach otherwise strive to put you in bondage, while Christ has set you free.
You mean SWBTS’ own Furtick Mansion?
“To the Victor Belong the Spoils.”
Very enlightening reading, Samuel Connor. While I would want to contemplate the Spirit being unwilling before Jesus left, I find no flaw that I can see (in my decidedly lay mind) to everything else you state. In fact, my heart screams “OF COURSE it is interpersonal as well. The corporate temple is OBVIOUS! YES, YES, and YES!” The Scriptures do say “Where two or three are gathered…”. You have put in to words quite a bit of “obvious” theology that seems to be so overlooked.
Your summation is on point, in my opinion, and I applaud your comment. I find I will be coming back to it and dwelling on what it says, thank you.
Hi Benn, you might start with this 7-part series on Wade’s blog. Actually, I should probably re-read it too. Some serious exegeting going on there…
“A Biblical Primer on Women in Christian Ministry”
This has been on my heart for a few years. I was in a church where the relational environment among the leaders was eerily reminiscent of the Gospel narratives’ descriptions of the pre-Pentecost apostles. And there wasn’t a lot of interpersonal love in that group, either among the leaders nor among the led, and not a lot of evidence of the working of the Spirit. Trying to understand the “why” of all this led in the direction of the above meditation.
I’m glad you found it helpful.
One of the implications or associated hypotheses, which may be quite controversial, is that the apostles didn’t change because of the coming of the Spirit; the Spirit finally showed up in power because the apostles changed. If that’s true, it has important implications for local churches that yearn for “more of the Spirit.”
Amen. Great point. The problem is sin, and sin does not discriminate along denominational lines.
This is not correct.
The lie specifically stated that death would not occur by taking part in the knowledge of good and evil.
The ability to discern good from evil, results in guilt and death. Exactly as the latter giving of The Law by Moses. This is why it is called, The Law of Sin and Death. Because by the knowledge of sin, comes death. As Paul instructed, the ordinances are against us.
The concept of Law and Gospel, unveiled in the 1500’s is a continuation of the lie.
so this is my last comment. aka warning. The new pastor at FBCJAX, Heath Lambert, is quoting a dude named rick phillips…who is a five point calvinist…about salvation. On his twitter and facebook. The doctrine of salvation. This wasn’t about the well-being of women, ever. It’s a calvinist plot to take over the southern baptist convention. I’m sorry fbcjax. You can get rid of your lighthouse now. Salvation. There you go, boom.
GSD [Getting Stuff Done],
GSD, I will look at this, thanks, I am not here to throw bombs at all, just looking for ultimate truth.
I am an Erasmus type humanist ( as in the original meaning of humanist, “back to the sources guy). The only thing that matters to me is the original autographs )
Sadly in 2018, the main business of the SBC, is far too often just business…..
This wounded gopher is celebrating!
Perhaps you missed the foundational verses in Genesis 27 and 28. Not a thing said there about “roles” – just a responsibility to both male and female to take dominion over the earth.
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
I’d suggest you consult some scholarly commentaries to broaden your understanding. I’ll offer this as an appetizer, knowing in advance you will likely spit it out:
Genesis 3:4–5 (NICOT Ge 1-17): The whole mixture here of misquotation, denial, and slander fed to the woman by the snake is reinforced even by the ambiguity of the passage in Hebrew. For the phrase good and evil may function in apposition to “God”—“you shall be as God who knows good and evil.” More likely it is to be understood as predicative—“you shall be as God, that is, you shall know good and evil.” Rather than providing insights about theism to Eve, the serpent intends to place before her the possibility of being more than she is and more than God intended her to be. As the narrative later makes clear, “eating the fruit is a wrong that brings an advantage, and a gain which brings a disadvantage.”
Should she decide to proceed and implement the serpent’s suggestion she will begin her heavenward climb. Von Rad is quite correct when he says that “the serpent’s insinuation is the possibility of an extension of human existence beyond the limits set for it by God at creation, an increase of life not only in the sense of pure intellectual enrichment but also familiarity with and power over, mysteries that lie beyond man.”
Deification is a fantasy difficult to repress and a temptation hard to reject. In the woman’s case she need give in to both only by shifting her commitment from doing God’s will to doing her own will. Whenever one makes his own will crucial and God’s revealed will irrelevant, whenever autonomy displaces submission and obedience in a person, that finite individual attempts to rise above the limitations imposed on him by his creator.
Certainly! Lambert is a New Calvinist. The new reformers teach doctrines about grace, rather than a direct experience of Grace through the Cross of Christ. Salvation is not a “doctrine”, but these folks don’t understand that. The “gospel” message is about to change at FBCJax (Calvinism = Gospel). Lambert didn’t waste any time to launch his indoctrination of the good people there; they love to use social media to get their congregations reading the “right” stuff.
And 4. Dudes Only.
Mixing covenants gets messy.
Well, he’s a graduate twice over of Southern – Neo-Cal Ground zero under Mohler.
Oh, and his Ph.D is in SBTS’s “Biblical Counseling” major. Oh, FBC Jax, you are the frog in the pot now.
Fae Wade’s post:
I agree, and furthermore, I suggest they refine the question along the lines of: how do you yourself, from day to day, demonstrate and model submission to authority in your own life in such a way that others can observe your example and follow it?
If they believe in BiblicalBiblical, I’d expect them to model it in the way Jesus modelled behaviour. For instance, he didn’t say, I’ve washed my Father’s feet, so you should wash mine – that’s how the pecking order works. He said, I washed your feet, so you should wash one another’s – there IS NO pecking order.
The truck full of ESV Bibles is probably heading your way! If you still have congregational polity, you can forget that as soon as Lambert can convince you that elder-rule governance is the more Biblical approach to church governance. He will then demote the deacon body and raise up his hand-picked elders if he is reading from the New Calvinist play book. Jerry Vines wouldn’t like it one bit!
From Slate.com (https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/06/southern-baptist-icon-paige-patterson-has-been-fired-and-his-reckoning-was-a-long-time-coming.html):
The current president of Southeastern seminary, meanwhile, tweeted on Thursday morning that he was praying for Southwestern, its trustees, faculty, staff, students, and for Patterson and his wife.
He did not mention Megan Lively.
After the silence of the bombshell, the counter arguments have started in earnest. Sharayah Colter has put out a piece that was difficult to get through without throwing my phone. I managed, however.
Here is a link to Christian Post: https://www.christianpost.com/news/evidence-challenges-paige-patterson-allegations-friend-says-he-was-fired-by-phone-dead-of-night-224570/
Jesus had promised the apostles that they would sit on twelve thrones and govern the twelve tribes of Israel. They seem to have embraced this promise very literally and were eager for its soon fulfillment. They also seem to have had something of a competitive attitude amongst themselves (for example the “behind the back of the others” request to be granted the two highest places in the coming kingdom, seated at Jesus’ left and right). It is repeatedly reported that disputes broke out amongst them concerning who should be regarded to be the most important of them (one of these disputes occurred the night of Jesus’ arrest(!) and perhaps is part of why “love one another” is such a large emphasis in the long discourse after the meal)
The hypothesis is that with Jesus present as the visible focus of the apostolic band, and with the continuing possibility of Jesus’ installment as the visible Messianic king of Israel, the apostles were more concerned to maneuver for personal advantage in the form of high office in the coming visible Davidic Kingdom than they were concerned to learn everything that Jesus wanted to teach them. “I have many more things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now”. They regarded one another not as fellow brothers of their elder brother Jesus, but as potential rivals competing for power.
(As an aside, the power games in present-day churches have a strong echo in the Gospel narratives of what the apostles were like before Pentecost. Perhaps there is a lesson for the churches in that)
Or, to put it another way, the apostolic band was not yet what Jesus wanted His Church to be.
The apostles’ dreams of high office (“grant that we may sit on your left and right in your kingdom”) were dashed with Jesus’ execution. But the resurrection seems to have rekindled this hope. As late as Acts 1, they are still wondering about when the visible Davidic kingdom will be inaugurated. It’s supposition, of course, but I find it hard not to imagine that their interest in this question was related to a continuing hope for high office in Israel. With Jesus back from the dead, nothing would be impossible. The lust for high office, seemingly killed with Jesus on the Cross, was resurrected along with Jesus.
So Jesus, back from the dead, could not remain visibly present among the apostles. He had to permanently leave.
To wrap up, it looks to me like the kinds of relationships that existed among the apostles were not conducive to the presence and working of the Spirit *** in the group ***. He had spent three years teaching them, among other things, to love one another, and they had not “got it.”
Consider a counterfactual — if the Jerusalem authorities had welcomed Jesus and embraced Him as Messiah, and allowed Him to order Israel as He pleased (and assuming that the Roman authorities did not intervene; admittedly doubtful), would the Spirit have come on the disciples the following Pentecost? It seems unlikely; the infighting among the apostles would have increased and the relational environment in Jesus’ “leadership team” would have become worse.
This is now over the cliff of speculation, but it may be edifying even though it cannot be proved one way or the other: what were the apostles praying about those weeks between the Jesus’ ascension and the ultimate arrival of the Spirit. Were they praying for the Spirit to come (as is commonly taught in “how to bring revival to your church” teachings)?
But it may also be that they were repenting. “If I regard sin in my heart, YHWH will not hear”. They had been regarding quite a bit of sin during the time Jesus was with them. That had to change. I suspect that when it did was when the Spirit was finally pleased to come in power.
Patterson fired via phone call while he was on assignment in Germany. Booted out of retirement home.
Dilday fired after receiving a glowing appraisal the day before. Locks changed on his office within minutes.
Regardless of what you think about either man, the SWBTS Trustees don’t handle termination of seminary presidents in a Christlike manner. But, Texas is in the wild wild West.
Yep… they fired them like they would a female faculty member.
Eight more accounts may be coming…
Woman hushed by Patterson comes forward, tells of 8 more
“She said eight women with similar experiences involving Patterson have contacted her since she went public…”
Summit Church’s pastor and elders are wrong about sitting. There are places in the Gospels where Jesus is described as sitting while teaching – notably Luke 4.20 when he was in the synagogue. They are also ignorant about the customs of the ancient world; teachers generally sat to teach, and their students/disciples sat “at their feet,” actually close to and around the teacher – not necessarily on the ground.
Complementarianism collapses from the weight of it’s own stupidity.
Indeed. Are all men ‘identical’? No. Does it matter? No.
This is yet another stupid argument used against egalitarians.
Here are how Eagles handle home duties:
Male and female eagles can perform all of the jobs related to chick rearing but for most pairs they do have roles. In the early period after hatching the male does the bulk of the hunting providing prey to the brood. The male also stands guard nearby and is responsible for territory and nest defense. During this early period, the female does most of the direct brooding and most of the feeding of chicks.
Then the men should be standing outside in the rain/cold/heat through the night and day instead of being comfy inside. Being on guard you know. Blue Jeans, Boots, Bare chested, and a hardback ESV in their hands for defense.
Talking snakes!! Oh My!
Because happiness and fulfillment is totally obtained by checking the brain god gave you at the door when a man enters the room, and living completely to do whatever he wants you to do, accepting all his opinions as your own, and basically having zero agency. Sure. I’m convinced.
Place where the bible says ‘here are the 8 roles that are allowed for women and NOTHING else’? Anyone? Bueller?
BTW, a rabbi told me that Adam and Eve is a story basically about growing up. It sure makes a lot more sense in that context!
I really like your thought process here.
I think church is meant to be a gathering of believers for fellowship, teaching and prayer. Yes, if someone is doing heinous things you (by which I mean the church as a whole, not one dude assigned to the role of ‘kicking people out’) can kick them out, but that is not its primary goal.
Whatever they were praying about – together and separately – I can confidently state that if I’d been among the 120 at Pentecost (or, indeed, had there been 121 of us), I’d have been the one not speaking in tongues.
Why pick eagles as the template? Why not use praying mantises, where the female slaughters and eats the male after sex and rears the children herself? 😉
My point being, nature is not a consistent witness to complementarianism…
Complementarians need to compliment each other more.
Someone in an article says: “SEBTS legal counsel, George Harvey, confirmed that such correspondence should be held in student files under the protection of federal privacy laws regarding education records. ”
So that’s not good. In addition to being generally terrible people, they don’t seem to be teaching any kind of professional ethics at that seminary, do they? And apparently they throw out every former president like someone caught stealing. Interesting.
I really like how you worded this. The love and service we receive is to be passed on to others. It isn’t about, you pat my back and I’ll pat yours. And I really appreciate all the varying opinions and conversations on this blog. It is not until you are out of a controlling, oppressive church that you really see how controlled and oppressed you were. These things are really hard to perceive from the inside – I speak from experience both from decades with an emotionally abusive ex and with the church that just kicked me out for my having serious concerns about being in the same building with said ex. The church had done some helpful things, as they have for others, but the parting words included a snap about how this is the thanks he (the pastor) gets for all the things he did for me. The pastor totally controls the narrative, and complete shunning is all the thanks I get for years of supporting their ministries and tithing (if I chose to look at it that way, which I don’t). It is taking time, but I am learning to appreciate the freedom, though sad to be one of the “Dones”.
This article contains some powerful truths:
“The Epidemic of Denial about Sexual Abuse in the Evangelical Church”
Misogyny as a so-called Biblical role for men is doing quite a masterful and subtle job of convincing more and more boys and young men that happiness and fulfillment can only be obtained outside of the role and boundaries that an all-wise and all-knowing God has established for them. It is nothing more than a continuation of the serpent’s lie to Adam. (That role be ruling over and subjugating women.)
Max, In Patterson’s case, the locking down of SWBTS resources makes sense after furnishings, cars, files, etc. disappeared from SEBTS when he left. The Trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to protect institutional assets. The fact that Patterson and company were inconvenienced while travelling in Europe is unfortunate.
Max, when I was there, I found SWBTS the most UN-Christlike place I have ever been in my life. ( Of course your mileage may vary.)
I have said for years, I taught 3 years in an intercity school, had to deal with gangs, narcotics, teen pregnancy, and there were more people there Christlike than the seminary.
Don’t get me wrong, there are good people at the seminary, but I have never had been so disappointed in my education while I was there, the people I associated with in my classes both in front of the room, and sitting in the desks. ( I can count on my left hand the number of professors I thought walked the walk.)
I don’t know, maybe it was the group I was with, but I saw things occur that if I had done the same thing while teaching in public school, they would have asked for my resignation.
Sorry to vent….I know it isn’t the same for all, but my experience was different.
Why would you hire someone like that, if you knew about it before though? Why would you continue to employ someone in that position who stole from his previous employer??? Is this new information?
I worked at another SBC seminary — Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary — from 1996 through 2007, for multiple departments where my work periodically involved accessing confidential materials — institutional, alumni records, student files, address databases, etc.
I worked in two departments dealing with student files, and so I observed how the institutional oversight of student files was particularly strict. I also worked in several offices there where, if someone came in and could potentially see confidential information on my computer screen, I turned off the screen.
I know SEBTS is a separate institution, but they were/are still bound by laws about student files, even if they have different access protocols from GGBTS. I have the feeling that Sharayah Colter’s posting of student files demonstrates a serious breach that could have legal repercussions.
Anyway, some details. Here’s the text from a series of tweets I posted on a tweet by Wade Burleson, starting here:
1/ From what I recall, the protocol when I worked at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary as admin assistant for D.Min. department, I could only access relevant confidential student files by submitting a list and receiving those files only.
2/ Or, if I had extensive file work for a large number of students, I was allowed into the vault, where only file cabinet drawers w/ D.Min. student files were unlocked for me. Once I finished, or temporarily left vault, cabinets were relocked. So, this situation is quite curious.
JULIE ANNE SMITH ASKED: Brad – did you also have to get permission from the student to look at their files?
I can’t recall if they had to sign a release as part of their application, but I know I could only access files of students within the D.Min. department’s purview: its applicants, candidates, graduates. Student files were kept in locked file cabinets in lockable fireproof vault.
This came to mind on reading about file materials in Sharayah Colter post. “SEBTS legal counsel, George Harvey, confirmed that such correspondence should be held in student files under the protection of federal privacy laws regarding education records.”
From same link: “Harvey, who is conducting the schools’ internal investigation, said he had not seen the correspondence between Patterson and Lively until it surfaced online and that SEBTS did not appear to be in possession of the material before it was shared publicly.”
It gave them more time to change the locks on his office.
When SWBTS trustees fired Dr. Dilday, students shouted “Why? Why?” in a crowded auditorium when the announcement was delivered. “Chairman of the Southwestern Seminary board gave no explanation in making the announcement except to say ‘the institution needed new direction to move us into the 21st century..'” https://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/11/us/baptists-dismiss-seminary-head-in-surprise-move.html
Well, the SBC miraculously survived into the 21st century. Look where the “new direction” got us!
The Southern Baptist Convention is comprised of over 47,000 affiliated churches and over 15 million members. In addition to local church funding, Southern Baptists give nearly $1 billion each year through a cooperative program and designated gifts to support SBC entities (including seminaries) and mission efforts around the world http://www.sbc.net/fastfacts/
Each church can send one or more “messengers” to the annual convention to cast their vote for SBC officers, as well as various resolutions to be presented there. Does anyone know how many of the 47,000 churches will be represented at SBC-Dallas? My guess is 10-15%.
In this highly technological age, I believe ALL SBC congregations should have a voice, not just those that show up once a year. Surely, there’s a better way…
Is that what God said to you?
That which comes against the church can be placed in one of three categories: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The world and the flesh trip up the church, more than the devil. Adapting the church to be “culturally relevant” in its method and message is of the world. Authoritarian patriarchal treatment of believers to control, manipulate and intimidate the spiritual life out of them is of the flesh. When the devil gets involved, you usually know it … e.g, New Calvinists lying to pastor search committees to gain control of non-Calvinist pulpits through stealth and deception, church leaders of various theological flavors committing or covering up sexual abuse, etc. Indeed, much of what we are seeing in the YRR movement can be attributed to the world, the flesh, or the devil … not much Christlike to it (at least in my neck of the woods).
Agreed. Each church can cast electronic votes faster than I just wrote this. Ahhh, but the SBC elite can control the convention floor, not local churches sitting at keyboards across America.
Thank you, Wade Burleson, for speaking out for Prof. Klouda many years ago. Many of us biblical egalitarians remember it well! Thank you for continuing to speak biblical truth today, especially your phrase here on male authority over women:
“There’s a Greek word for such thinking – baloney.”
And another one. Heart gripping.
And another one…heart gripping.
My niece recently became an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. She preached at the early service on Mother’s Day. Wish I could have heard her, but I live about a couple of states away. But her mom, my sister did, and she did a great job. My family is all proud of my niece, as we should be. I’ve heard this said in churches “Preach it Brother, Preach it”. But now I say “Preach it Sister, preach it”.
GSD [Getting Stuff Done],
GSD, thanks again for the link, I have just started to peruse wade’s teachings.
He is passionate in his beliefs, but I struggle with egalitarianism, I am a deacon and Sunday School teacher at an SBC church, we are as weak into SBC politics as any church could be and James 3:1 is a powerful verse, some modern translations say do everything you can to talk anyone out of becoming a teacher, in light of the strict judgement they will face.
And if you research Ephesians 5:22-24 “ head “ means head as in authority, I’m sorry. that is what is means.
If you go back to Plato, Josephus, Plutarch, Philo, the Septuagint, look at the history of Greek,look at Greek drama, rehtoric, Greek romance, poetry , it will validate what Paul wrote, it is undeniable.
So it is what it is, I am sickened by the terrible way men are leading or should I say not leading, it is nauseating.
But I struggle to see any grounds for egalitarianism, but Wade is very sincere in his beliefs, so I want to really dig into his writings…..
From a four part video series (regarding a book called “The Handmaidens Conspiracy: How Erroneous Bible Translations Obscured the Women’s Empowerment Movement STARTED by JESUS CHRIST” by D. L. Howell):
Panel Discusses Donna Howell’s Groundbreaking New “The Handmaidens Conspiracy”
I have more links on my blog, in a blog post. They also released the same material to a podcast.
I lived in those roles and boundaries (i.e., complementarianism) for many years, and it contributed to my clinical depression, low self esteem, etc.
Then I realized how unbiblical complementarianism is, rejected it by my 30s, and, as a result, a lot of my depression, poor self image, and other problems lifted.
I wrote about it on my blog.
Christian Gender Complementarianism is Christian-Endorsed Codependency for Women (And That’s Not A Good Thing)
Some of the most godly men I know are women. 🙂
Oh no, under complementarianism, (which is what you’re promoting), complementarians actually insist that women make human men’s wills their will.
Complementarians ultimately want women to obey and follow men; complementarians do not generally demand, teach, or ask women to follow God.
Comps spend more time harassing women over submitting to a husband (if they are married), and reminding them that they supposedly should not be preachers, and should be wary of feminism, than they do in encouraging girls and women to follow God.
Complementarians ask and expect women to view human men as their high priests / mediators, when the Bible says that Jesus Christ is the only high priest between people and God.
I think black widow lady spiders eat their male partners after mating. (Or is that some other spider breed?)
Male Seahorses get pregnant and give birth to the baby seahorses.
Male Seahorses Are Nature’s Mr. Mom, Researchers Say
Just posted a bit ago — details from SWBTS Trustees on the firing and the unauthorized release of student documents.
Statement by Kevin Ueckert, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
By Kevin Ueckert on Jun 1, 2018
Based on a number of follow-up questions I have received this week, I am providing this additional statement related to our May 30, 2018 statement. The unanimous decision by the Executive Committee to immediately terminate Dr. Paige Patterson was prayerfully considered and warranted.
We confirmed this week through a student record, made available to me with permission, that an allegation of rape was indeed made by a female student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003. This information contradicts a statement previously provided by Dr. Patterson in response to a direct question by a Board member regarding the incident referenced in our May 30 statement. The 2003 rape allegation was never reported to local law enforcement. SWBTS will not release the student record to the public without additional appropriate permissions.
In addition, as previously disclosed, a female student at SWBTS reported to Dr. Patterson that she had been raped in 2015. Police were notified of that report. But in connection with that allegation of rape, Dr. Patterson sent an email (the contents of which were shared with the Board on May 22) to the Chief of Campus Security in which Dr. Patterson discussed meeting with the student alone so that he could “break her down” and that he preferred no officials be present. The attitude expressed by Dr. Patterson in that email is antithetical to the core values of our faith and to SWBTS. Moreover, the correlation between what has been reported and also revealed in the student record regarding the 2003 allegation at Southeastern and the contents of this email are undeniable.
Further, SWBTS received a request from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary requesting the return of any documents taken by Dr. Patterson upon his departure from Southeastern. Counsel for SWBTS, Michael Anderson, immediately reached out to counsel for Dr. Patterson, Shelby Sharpe, on May 25 and made inquiry regarding the documents. Mr. Sharpe advised Mr. Anderson that Dr. Patterson only took documents from Southeastern that belonged to him. Yet, independent of that request, following the May 30 Executive Committee meeting, SWBTS located Southeastern documents on the SWBTS campus and began taking steps to preserve them. Mr. Anderson is in contact with George Harvey, counsel for Southeastern, and is working with Mr. Harvey regarding Southeastern’s request for the return of its documents.
The morning after the May 30 Executive Committee meeting, Mr. Sharp provided a few documents he reportedly obtained from Dr. Patterson. The documents clearly dealt with Dr. Patterson’s tenure at Southeastern and should have been previously provided in response to Mr. Anderson’s May 25 request. Shortly after these documents were provided, the wife of Dr. Patterson’s Chief of Staff published a blog and attached these documents without the permission of the students referenced in the documents or appropriate leadership from SEBTS or SWBTS. I believe this was inappropriate and unethical. Regardless, the additional documents do not alter the decision of the Executive Committee.
Ultimately, the decision of the Executive Committee to immediately terminate Dr. Patterson was clear and unanimous.
I also want to reiterate what SWBTS Interim President Dr. Jeffrey Bingham said earlier this week. SWBTS denounces all abusive behavior, any behavior that enables abuse, any failure to protect the abused, and any failure to safeguard those who are vulnerable to abuse.
In this difficult situation, the Executive Committee based its decision on the current performance of the president and did not allow the legacy of Dr. Patterson or the #MeToo pressure to steer the outcome. We did not react; rather, we decisively exercised our responsibility based on the Seminary’s biblically informed core values and integrity.
I join Dr. Bingham in his call for the SWBTS community to join the Body of Christ in praying for healing for all individuals affected by abuse.
Scripture does not say “cover-up a multitude of sins” … a shameful (and criminal) mishandling of a child abuser in various corners of the SBC.
Daisy, I agree as to being leary of some of the modern translations, that is why I am trying to learn koine Greek, and not have to run to various commentaries, but I do favor some modern translations taken from the alexandarian text, I’ve had enough of the Texus receptus….
Wow. Simply wow.
If they did, they would be kicking and screaming over what is about to happen at SBC-Dallas! The vast majority of SBC’s membership are non-Calvinist, residing in predominantly small churches (<200 members). They don't get involved in theo-politics and shouldn't … it's not Kingdom business. However, that will be their downfall – few are aware that a highly organized group of New Calvinists have positioned themselves to impose their will on the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest non-Calvinist denomination in America. The election of J.D. Greear will complete that mission, with only a few remaining items to take care of (capture remaining seminaries, lie their way into more traditional pulpits, etc).
Does anyone in this organization have any ethical entegrity? The wife of PPs Chief of Staff posted student files on her blog. Patterson took files from the organization. Women are not supported and protected from abusers. Women are told not to contact police. This place is dangerous and evil.
And just like that, protestors should have their chant.
Break. Her. Down.
Would not this release and access by an unauthorized person be a Federal Buckley amendment violation or similar? What about Identity Theft laws?
Break her down so she’ll recant. Right? Or take the blame? Or what? I can’t stand this denomination right now.
I used to love the SBC. There are people in SBS churches that I still love. There are some pastors in SBC churches that I still love. But, as a whole, the SBC has made me more and more angry over the past ten years ….. too angry to trust myself enough to attend church.
Women and children, relegated to quasi-humans with quasi-souls of little value.
Regarding the soon to be widely notorious “break her down” email, one wonders what horrors reside in the email histories of other leaders, in and beyond the SBC.
I’m going to start this comment with a prayer request and end it with a thumb-nose to the SBC. A long time friend of my family and mine (I can’t remember not knowing her, her husband, her sister…..). Lost her mother less than 6 weeks ago. She and hubby list their son in an auto accident last Friday night……… a few years ago, the sister’s son died in an accident……… this family has been through so much …. please pray a little prayer for them.
My kid brother and the son were buddies. We all use to be members of the same SBC church. Ha, then we all moved to another SBC church …. Not all at the same time. For decades, we were Southern Baptists together. But, this friend hasn’t attended church in a long time – she quit before I did.
I attended services for their son today. Three speakers: two preachers and a military Chaplin, and not a single one of them baptist.
At the Southern Baptist “Biblical Womanhood” site, under the “Resources” page –
Are these links:
You can see what their concerns are.
Are they about building up girls and women?
Or offering teaching on how girls and women can follow Jesus?
Nope. It’s all about telling girls and women about what they cannot and should not be doing. Telling them to stay in their box, don’t preach, and stay away from that horrible feminism.
Their choice of resources, I think, reveals their true interests and motives concerning women.
In a secular school, a person would be facing criminal charges for revealing info from a student’s file.
Excellent post by Wade Burleson
“Where will they then go?” Al Mohler
“Definitely not a SBC affiliated Church” Jeff Chalmers….
I care to much about my daughter, and fellow women, to let here
(them) to be “prey” to these institutionally protected predators…
You mean feminism is doing a good job of telling girls and women that they do not deserve to be raped and that rape should be against the law. Meanwhile, conservative Christianity is telling girls and young women that pedophiles, child rapist, and wife beaters should not go to jail.
I left Christianity. It had nothing to do with the influence of feminism and everything to do with selfish, sexually sadistic, bible quoting, church-going, child raping, wife beating, misogynistic Christian men.
SWBTS released a statement about EC’s decision on May 30.
Can someone please point me to the Scripture where I can find that?
From the statement:
In addition, as previously disclosed, a female student at SWBTS reported to Dr. Patterson that she had been raped in 2015. Police were notified of that report. But in connection with that allegation of rape, Dr. Patterson sent an email (the contents of which were shared with the Board on May 22) to the Chief of Campus Security in which Dr. Patterson discussed meeting with the student alone so that he could “break her down” and that he preferred no officials be present.
God have mercy (but not on Patterson.) Sicko.
By the way. Way to shift the topic.
The main post is pointing out how un-biblical and sexist Complementarianism is, and how it’s behind so many bad things in Baptist churches and Baptist seminiaries, but you’re trying to change the focus to bashing feminism.
Complementarians and Christian patriarchalists like to say that complementarianism and patriarchalism is best for girls and women, that it will protect them, and so on.
Complementarianism and Patriarchalism played a big role in why Southern Baptists such as Paige Patterson mishandled rape cases so poorly. Complementarianism and Patriarchalism, even when done correctly, holds girls and women back and harms them.
Paige Patterson, who objectified a teen-aged girl and covered up a rape case on his campus, was acting out of complementarianism (sexism) and not out of feminism. The guy is not a feminist.
“ABUSERS AND PREDATORS ARE SMOKING FLAX. They are dead inside, completely detached from the roots of their Godly image, incapable of bearing fruit, already halfway to Hell…and they put off a powerful spiritual stench. Their path is marked, their choices made (time and again)…and God’s not going to quench them or bail them out.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: those who have willfully, purposefully, unrepentantly abused their positions of power, whether in the home or in the Church or in any other institution or situation will find that it is, indeed, a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
This is a result of complementarianism, not feminism:
Southern Baptist leader aimed to ‘break down’ alleged rape victim, board chairman says
I agree… that is one of the more damning statements I have read on WW… and think, it was from “Trustee”!
Actually, deification is not a fantasy at all. To be “like” God, to participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), and to live as adopted sons and daughters of the most high, enjoying a reciprocal indwelling of one another has been God’s “Plan A” all along. It makes more sense, given the context of the dialog between the woman and the serpent, to hold that being like God was something within the grasp of her destiny. If it were not so, why would it be a temptation? You see, it is only a temptation if it is within the realm of possibility.
Look at it this way. When the devil tempted Jesus after fasting for 40 days, he said if you are the son of God, turn rocks into bread. This was a temptation for Jesus, because as God incarnate, he possessed the power within himself to turn rocks into bread. Should you or I fast for 40 days, the devil would not come to tempt us with the same line, because neither you nor I possess the power to turn the rocks to bread. For us, turning rocks into bread is beyond our limits and impossible.
Temptations are only enticing if they are misuses of good things we either already possess or were created to possess. Temptations promising impossibilities rarely work, because we know they are impossible. If the woman knew that being like God was not a possibility, then the serpent was a poor tempter, because he promised something impossible. The woman would have been too smart for that, and so for that matter would have been the man who was “with her.” On the other hand, if the serpent was promising a short cut to something she already knew was her destiny, well, then, that might just be tempting, especially if the road to that destiny may have taken a long time or been difficult in some way. Think of Jesus, who was tempted to be given all the kingdoms of the world, if he only worshipped the evil one. Jesus knew his destiny was to be King of Kings, yet the way to that destiny was hard (the cross and the tomb).
Deification, as the early church believed, is the end for which we were created. It is part and parcel of being in the family of God.
I’m sorry, but anyone that did not walk out the door laughing that day can count themselves helplessly brainwashed and mind controlled. This is so asinine it is hard to believe it really happened. These people are nuts.
The very next sentence out of Greear’s mouth is equally disturbing:
“Perceptions are important, and if some in the church begin to look to a woman-teacher as their primary shepherd-leader, both she and they have gone into error.”
Sooo … my perception of J.D. hasn’t changed any after reading that!
I am DONE with the church. D.O.N.E. done. (Not with Jesus.) It’s really clear that the “body of Christ” is not. Read this story and see how the wife of Paige Patterson’s chief of staff took documents that somehow mysteriously made it from the files of SEBTS to SWBTS and posted them to her blog, thinking this somehow exonerated Patterson. And a female professor at SWBTS backed her up.
This is repulsive. There are reasons why women don’t report their sexual assaults, and this is one of them. I hope I’m not out of line here, but I’m going to say that the women supporting what Sharayah Colter did, and Colter herself, they’re all idol worshipers. They don’t worship God or Jesus, they worship Paige Patterson.
I am completely disgusted. This is in this larger article about why Patterson was canned, which was released late this afternoon.
For the record, just because I won’t enter a church doesn’t mean I won’t be standing on the sidewalk. But I’m not going into a church ever again, because this is horrible.
I used to think it was Satan’s agenda to keep people out of church; I am more and more beginning to think it is actually God’s.
I was born and raised in the Southern Baptist Convention and learned that if a woman or little girl whispered anything about rape or wife beating she was considered a feminist, Jezebel, and unsubmissive ****.
The Southern Baptist Convention is a hellish place for a sexually abused little girl to be.
Thank you for caring. Caring people heal hurt.
As a summary statement for all that followed the opening in this guest post, Reverend Wade Burleson says that an elder can be either a man or a woman who is above reproach (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:7).
That’s because it’s run by men who have more in common with Ahab and Sisera than they do with Jesus of Nazareth.
Absolutely true! What a shame!!!
Patterson has sown the wind and now he will reap the whirlwind for his deeds of malice and cruelty to others.
I am absolutely SICKENED by this! Was this Patterson’s modus operandi for decades as a seminary president? If so, how many other rape victims have been intimidated, shamed, and silenced by Patterson?
The Southern Baptist Convention has made it crystal clear for decades that it does not believe wife beating or rape should be against the law.
‘Reformed Baptist Plus’ is apparently Greear’s credo, according to this Sojourn Network interview with him posted late last year.
Greear: “You kind of start with the reformed Baptist base and then learn from these other sources”
The Patterson brigade tried to protect him and SWBTS went nuclear. Good on them.
But your point is well made. How many more. How long. How much rot.
Yes, this is disgusting. Add to this the fact that Patterson has been teaching, leading, and exposing young men to this attitude for decades . . .
In the house/simple churches we are a part of (and teach others to start) no one has to kick anyone out because people “living in sin” leave on their own. Why? Because every week we the believers ask one another at the beginning of the meeting, “How did it go this week putting into practice what you committed to do based on the Bible reading last week?”
In 20 years, across multiple cultures and countries I have seen people leave a church like this because they aren’t ready to be accountable or to stop sinning. Some came back too when they were ready to change. Back to the loving, non-judgemental but lovingly accountable community of believers.
Abolitionism is doing quite a masterful and subtle job of convincing more and negroes that happiness and fulfillment can only be obtained outside of the role and boundaries that an all-wise and all-knowing God has established for them. It is nothing more than a continuation of the serpent’s lie to Adam and Eve.
They keep getting better!
Obviously, TandT’s original comment was intended as parody, but I think it’s started something rather entertaining.
…at least, I assume it was.
According to Megan Fox there are eight more women who have contacted her. Expect more stories to come out.
Doggone it, I meant Megan Lively, not the actress.
What does this really mean? All the harsh, legalistic, overbearing sin-sniffing ministries use exactly the same words.
This is a third rail topic in Baptistville, but divinization and theosis are a part of other christian traditions.
In the genesis story one has to ask why the serpent was there in the first place, why Even did not ‘drop dead on the spot’, where was God while all this was going down, and if all this was a total surprise to God why was the Lamb slain before (Before!) the foundations of the world, if of course this was not all part of a larger plan/destiny for humanity. And why did God warn Eve/Adam in the first place? Why did He allow this all to happen? Did God lose control of the situation, and if He did lose control did He know that would happen? Is this a story of the inadequacies of God Himself to mange His own creation? If not, then how come he apparently knew about it from before he created and still continued to create humanity in the face of the tragedy which He knew about, and had prepared for, from the get go?
Or perhaps we just evolved from natural causes without any God or any divine purpose. Perhaps made in the image of God is just poetic nonsense. Don’t laugh. That is, in my opinion, the only other reasonable proposition.
Or are we looking at something and not seeing it? Perhaps this is how God creates beings who share His image. The hard way. Through struggle with failure and success both very real possibilities. Through a very real potential for both good and evil and the imperative to choose the good. How could one choose good if evil were not a possible choice? Why would it matter if one chose good or evil if the person were supposed to merely operate on the level of the other animals who do not know good and evil? Which sort of being is God; what does the image of god imply, the ability to know and enact good–or not? Maybe those who advocate for a theological idea that for there to be good there must be evil are correct, that for there to be those who are saved/elect there must be those who are not or else none of it would have any meaning at all.
I don’t know, and I don’t even know what I think about this. But this is a part of Christian thinking and needs examined and considered. What are we, and what are we becoming, and what is the end result as it impacts humanity? I do think that when we create for ourselves simplistic and stripped bare religious and philosophical and ethical ideas/concepts/laws then we have missed the point and failed to see the larger patterns.
That’s sad. But I know you’re right because I’ve experienced it myself. I completely understand those who leave the organized church and never go back.
By contrast, the house churches I’ve experienced, which are part of church planting movements, are so different from any traditional church you have to see it to believe it. No senior pastor. No building. No sound system. No budget. No salaries. No sermons, just group discovery bible studies. No one controlling anyone else. It’s really as free as it sounds. And contrary to what theologians from seminaries have said, church planting movements don’t result in heresy. Heresy happens when an elite clergy set themselves up as THE authorities and don’t allow anyone to question them.
Mr. Patterson harped against church planting movements and “declared war” (his words) on the IMB workers who were a part of them. He couldn’t control them nor the movements they launched. I’m not IMB, but lots of my friends are. Or were. Before they were driven out.
From the Ueckert statement:
“In addition, as previously disclosed, a female student at SWBTS reported to Dr. Patterson that she had been raped in 2015. Police were notified of that report. But in connection with that allegation of rape, Dr. Patterson sent an email (the contents of which were shared with the Board on May 22) to the Chief of Campus Security in which Dr. Patterson discussed meeting with the student alone so that he could “break her down” and that he preferred no officials be present. ”
Note the date: “…shared with the Board on May 22…..”
The SWBTS trustees knew about this and still gave PP his golden parachute!!! IMO, the final actions against PP had nothing to do with justice or rightousness and everything to do with public outcry and protecting SWBTS “Godly image”! Disgusting, infuriating…..
Was it intended as parody? If so, it was well done. It sounded so like what the misogynists teach, I took it as a sincere defense. Speak up, Tandt.
Church keeps people out of church. No devil required.
It seems that the southern Baptist church has only one preoccupation. The subjugation of 52% of the population.
It’s a non starter. No one is going to sign up for this.
This obsession with irrelevance drives people away. Whether it’s young earth creationism or homosexuality or just dull sermons that spew nothing but God focused pop psychology, it’s not worth the time.
Someone in another post said I should just leave people alone in their ‘restaurant’ and basically mind my own business. But as former Christian, I feel it is my business as much as it is anyone’s. I feel like a bit of a chump for falling for the whole shtick.
And don’t forget, these shenanigans are payed for tax free. We’re all subsidizing this nonsense.
Not being SBC, I had not heard this angle before. Sounds exactly like the Roman Church and the Protestant Reformers. They were equally opposed to allowing people to pursue their own beliefs outside of the controlled boundaries of the ‘Official Church’. The slaughter of the Anabaptists in an attempt to destroy religious freedom was the chief point of agreement between these two competing, power-hungry institutions. This used to mean something to Baptists, or so I thought.
“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” Rev 6:9-11
I feel as if I am wearing a white robe, begging God, ‘How long?’
Of course, if one wanted to get ‘political’ one might point to all of the ‘political’ ties between the CR and the rise of a certain ‘political’ party in the South and elsewhere. One might even dare suggest that these establishments are working hand in hand. But of course, we don’t want to get ‘political’. Besides, I’m sure it’s all just coincidence.
I can’t be certain, but we do get parodists here in Wartburg. One group are, if I understand this correctly, former Elevators from Mr Fur-trick’s public speaking business.
Excellent post. I am afraid the simplistic interpretation passed down through ‘The Church’ since first established by Constantine has ever sought to distort the understanding of just what sin and salvation are all about. Whichever ‘brand’ you buy, it is sure to turn it all into some sort of doctrinal issue, with an angry God ready to furiously destroy anyone who does not ‘believe’ the right things. Somehow the message of God’s abounding, limitless love, freely offered to all, which has always been kept alive by those who truly understand it, always gets stomped on by the gatekeepers of ‘orthodoxy’ in the Institutional Church.
As someone astutely mentioned, deification is something of a third rail for Baptists. This is because, like egalitarianism – or any other genuine scriptural understanding of God – it has been held forth as the purview of god-hating liberals who refuse to ‘bow to scripture’ (read: ‘bow to us’) – and probably eat their children for breakfast!
The article at BRnow.org: https://brnow.org/News/June-2018/Woman-hushed-by-Patterson-comes-forward-tells-of leaves me with a very uneasy pit in my stomach. It sounds very much as if this ‘situation’ has been bubbling under the surface for some time, and ‘some entity’ has sought desperately to control it and the surrounding conversation.
There is simply way too much talk of supporting complementarianism and the SBC, forgiveness, etc., to not see some official fingerprints all over it. Of course it would be far too conspiratorial to even suggest that those in power know exactly what has been going on all of these years under the mantle of subordination and complementarianism (Mahaney, anyone?) and are desperately seeking to control the fallout. Is it at all surprising that those who have so masterfully sought to reinvent Calvinism and soften its image into a more user-friendly one have been asked to do the same for complementarianism? The only things that change are the words.
The also tend to not result in highly elaborate dogmatic systems that serve as boundaries between “us” and “them” (which is perhaps the same thing as your statement above).
Paul’s dogmatic boundaries were, by contemporary standards, astonishingly few: the lordship of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and relaxation of the yoke of the Law that set boundary markers (especially things like circumcision and food laws) between Jew and Gentile. This isn’t to say that he didn’t hold the churches he had planted to high standards, but the standards seem to have been more of the character of “ethical” than “dogmatic” or “doctrinal”.
Perhaps the house church movement is a hope for the future of the Church.
Someone may want to get a screen shot.
“UPDATE: Paige Patterson has resigned from Cedarville University’s Board of Trustees, according to a university official. His name was removed from the school’s website Friday. Cedarville spokesperson Clem Boyd told WYSO Patterson’s resignation is effective immediately, but declined to comment further.”
‘Tandt’ tells Sharayah in the comments:
“I’ve said it before and I say it again: you are the feminine personification of wisdom as described in Proverbs. Dr. Patterson is incredibly blessed to have you as a friend and a defender. How amazing it is that in this case where a man of God is being accused of the mistreatment of women and prejudice against them, God is using a woman to exonerate him and putting her incredible wisdom and discernment on display.”
Not exactly. Firstly there are those who are not SBC who also subjugate women, so competition for those ‘like minded’ folks is one possibility also. Got to build the numbers. Then there is the issue of who else besides females can be subjugated. Do not forget that the scriptures identify children, including what appear to be adult children, to be answerable to paternal (and clerical) authority and traditions. And then there are the slave/servant classes, also mentioned in scripture. And do not forget that the rules of engagement are different when dealing with fellow believers than when dealing with the unbelieving masses. Do not forget the old ideas concerning race. And scripture can be understood to teach that God visibly blesses the righteous with wealth and earthly security as long as they do everything just right-except for persecution of course so how convenient that anything and everything can be seen as persecution. If that is not a win-win deal what is.
So, nope, the 52% of the population which is female is only the tip of the iceberg. If you are not one of them, then you yourself and your family belong to a target component of the population. And never think that this thinking is limited to SBC folks. SBC just happens to be identifiable right now.
What I absolutely do not understand is how come people don’t seem to know this? But they don’t-see it, realize it, or most like do not disagree with it. This is why I think that people will continue to buy into this. They already do.
Meaning one of those who think in a certain way. Not meaning if you are not female.
Sharayah Colter is the wife of Patterson’s chief of staff. She stepped on my last church nerve and that’s it, I am done.
Then again, read this old article https://sbcissues.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/dr-paige-patterson-responds-to-calvinist-tension/ and you might begin to see just why Calvinists might have fanned the flames of this controversy.
Don’t get me wrong – I have no love lost for either side, but it is difficult to not suspect that this whole spectacle has been fabricated by those with an interest in shooting down Patterson. These guys all have enough on one another to take them all down – it remains to be seen how much will spill out. What seems clear is that somewhere along the line the mission for spreading the gospel seems to have gotten lost under the goal of controlling all those lives and dollars.
As many have said, the root of the problem is not complementarianism – that is just one of its ugly branches. The root of the problem is self interest. Which is the root of all sin. Seems like Baptist ministers ought to get that.
An open letter to Paige Patterson by Nancy Carol
Let me see here, now: Since Patterson lost his job (income), does that mean Sharayah Colter’s hubby has lost his job (income) as well? Hmmmmm……..
“Like-minded” was the term my ex pastor used a lot. NOW I understand it didn’t mean being a Christian. Glad I’m gone from there.
Yeah, he may have to get out and work for a living….
Scott Colter is also on the pastoral staff at the Pattersons’ church, Birchman Baptist:
He did recently tweet that:
“my @swbts address was disabled by trustee action”
Nothing wrong with self interest.
So long as we tame it, just as we did with fire all those eons ago.
I suspect that Jonathan Edwards will not be too popular among readers and commenters of this forum, but some of his ideas may be found helpful. The core idea of his “The Nature of True Virtue” is that large-heartedness (valuing the good of others beyond oneself) is more virtuous than “small-heartedness” (valuing only one’s own good). Edwards took this idea to its logical conclusion, that the “others beyond oneself” should include God, so that true virtue values God’s glory above all.
Self-interest has its place, in amongst the interests of all the others we are called to love.
I agree. And so did E.W. Bullinger almost a century ago:
From E.W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible p-1799:
To Timothy were given the earliest instructions for orderly arrangement in the church, these instructions being of the simplest nature, and, as Dean Alford well observes with regard to the Pastoral Epistles as a whole, the directions given “are altogether of an ethical, not of an hierarchical kind”. These directions afford no warrant whatsoever for the widespread organizations of the “churches” as carried on today.
An excellent analysis. Nothing is as simple as it seems.
I was just thinking that if we truly loved ourselves, we’d not allow ourselves to become prideful or greedy, because it turns humans ugly and evil. I think loving others as much as ourselves is more beneficial to our consciences, our souls and maybe even our physical constitution.
Two sayings attributed to Hillel the Elder, 110 BCE(?) to 10 CE:
(1) If I am not for myself who is (will be?) for me? And being for my own self, what am ? And if not now, when?
(2) That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.
I’m wondering if it occurs to Ms. Colter that everything the alleged victim wrote to PP could be a result of being convinced that what happened to her was a result of her “breaking the rules.” I can totally see something like this happening because of the environment she was in. I can totally see her being told to pray, repent, and be thankful for the “discipline if the Lord.” Oh, and follow up with thank you notes for not being kicked out of school for breaking the rules . . . by this time you have been totally convinced that inviting a man into your dorm room is the same as inviting him to rape you. Sick!
Ms. Colter might be a bit naive.
I would have stronger words for ‘Tandt.’
Yes! Jesus is beautiful and a truly “enlightened” understanding of self-interest will desire that kind of beauty to be manifested in one’s own character.
1 Jn 3:16
I think that this, rather than fear of post-mortem punishments, might be a much better way to think about evangelism.
In my opinion, Judaism has a much better handle on the concept of ‘sin’ and its ramifications in the real world of the here and now.
I don’t think the issue is whether the church is organized or unorganized, large or small, denominational or non-denominational, or high or low. Rather, I believe it is more about the spirit in the church and the norms that are esteemed. Any size of group can be toxic if that kind of behavior is allowed/rewarded.
My worst church experiences were all related to small groups, which makes me reluctant to dive into a small house church. House churches can work, but are no guarantee against abuse. And if they are successful they have a risk of becoming organized because we humans like to copy success.
I quit my SBC church a couple weeks ago and am not yet sure where I will land. For now I am trying out a very large UMC nearby because they have a chill mentality.
To follow up a bit on that idea, I am wondering if some of the current ‘drop the OT’ craze may not be about law so much as about wanting to get rid of some really sensible things that are in the OT and subsequently in rabbinic tradition. Far be it for christians to listen to anybody except each other; how ya gonna achieve and keep total control of the flock if other ideas are allowed in.
If you have inherited CocaCola stock why allow Pepsi on the menu.
Absolutely. Is this what Patterson referred to in another instance as the need to ‘break her down’? This is exactly what manipulators and abusers do. Many who are sexually abused by pastors and those in ‘authority’ over them are groomed and led to believe that it is a genuine, loving, consensual relationship, when it is merely one in a pattern of many. Only later, often after discovering that they are one among many, do naive women realize how they were used and abused. And yet the abuser will continue to insist that it was, at most, a case of adultery, of consensual activity. And it is doubtless that when a young woman reports a case of rape in these settings, if she was in a relationship with the man, or even involved in hugging and kissing, that any resulting rape was ‘her fault’ or by invitation. Naive, innocent young girls can be made to take the blame, guiltily believing that their own innocent part in the relationship makes them guilty when the ‘friend’ forces himself beyond what is desired.
The author’s full name Nancy Carol Hastings Sehested, of the open letter.
Just curious, has implying that differences from your opinion are simply due to lack of understanding or education ever been effective at winning over anyone?
Philosophy has grappled with the poles of individualism vs collectivism for multiple millennia. The problem is many, from Plato on have wrongly attributed selfishness with individualism and altruism with the collective. My understanding tells me that is backward.
And it is ironic that what’s happening in the SBC seems to mirror what is happening in our country.
Finally. We’ll see if and how the culture there changes for the better. I’m also glad to see Cedarville become the first college in Ohio to allow concealed carry on campus.
That’s because the world is in the church.
Loving your darkly comedic input! That said, I’ve always had a subversive sense of humour…
I followed that conversation with interest (I was part of it, to some extent). I think there’s much more to come on it. TBH, to say “Why on earth would anyone walk away from our wonderful restaurant just to go to a terrible one”, and then to say “leave us in peace to enjoy our restaurant and don’t judge us” is kind of (forgive the mixed metaphor) wanting to have one’s cake and eat it.
We both understand that there are many reasons why people come to faith, and that many people do so for reasons that are neither shallow nor infantile. And that stick points both ways: people also discard faith for many reasons, and those reasons also may be neither shallow nor infantile.
Praise God. Finally some clear thinking.
Have we seen this yet?
Southern Baptist leader told alleged victim it was ‘good’ she was raped, lawyer says
I read the post by Sharaya Colter. While I do think that PP needed to answer these accusations and apologize, and I believe the allegations need unbiased investigating…. I do not find fault with her post. That is her up close perspective and she seems to have some facts to back up what she is saying.
That being said, I think I read in the comments here that there are more accusations from more women. So, we shall see. I still take issue with the comments about the 16-year old girl. PP, in his position, should have a lot more discernment than that. I think he was aiming for shock value and it was stupid.
I will read Sharaya’s post again and see if anything rubs me the wrong way. I think a big part of the issue is “leader worship”. Plus that big retirement package just seems “off”. Speaking for myself…. I have learned a big lesson these last few years. I too have some favorite Christian leaders and authors, and I was unwise for putting them on such a pedestal.
Good job on the website here ladies, and I enjoy reading the comments as well.
Well…. I just read the link in the post above mine. Perhaps Ms Colter will find herself in hot water herself. Let’s see how long her post stays up.
If Sharaya Coulter did get those files from Megan’s student file, it’s more than just defending someone. Releasing files without a student’s consent is a federal crime. If she stole them to do so, that’s also a crime. If they were given to her by Patterson or her husband, they could be implicated in the crime. It’s a lot bigger deal than just her investigating and defending someone.
Something is definitely very wrong there. She shouldn’t even have access to those files.
Geisler has it on his website:
What’s happening has always been with us. People are just finally listening and justice is finally coming for people who have been abuse by those with power.
Who is Geisler?
Dr. Norman Geisler: Norman Geisler is a Christian systematic theologian and philosopher. He is the co-founder of two non-denominational Evangelical seminaries.
Does this make him party to the FERPA violation?
Ken F (aka Tweed),
Don’t know the law’s details.
Just retweeted by Craig Blaising… https://swbts.edu/news/releases/first-person-reflections-past-10-days/
I guess he will find out soon enough…
What does this say about those who seize authority God has not given them and lord it over their equals, placing burdens on their shoulders God has not placed there and limits on them that God has not authored? I suggest more study, much more study, lest you find yourself guilty of the very thing you are describing.
Thanks. It’s interesting that he would repost the blog article of Ms. Colter.
Thanks for your encouraging comment. I, too, read Sharaya Colter’s post. Perhaps we’ll be weighing in on this confidential information she has made public soon.
Sharayah Colter wrote: “The first fact I’d like to offer in full disclosure is that I have had a front row seat to observing Paige Patterson during my time at Southwestern as a student and most recently as wife to his chief of staff, Scott Colter. I have been in his home, ridden in his car, passed him on the sidewalk, been a student in his class, sat through his chapel sermons, emailed with him and shared meals with him. I’ve observed him in large groups and small family gatherings.”
Yes, but have you ever gone to him for help after being raped or abused?
Another matter that appears to go beyond a Matthew 18/1 Cor. 6 situation between brothers.
Dorothy Patterson suddenly no longer a CBMW Council Member:
Google cache from a week ago:
Mrs. Patterson had been on the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood since the beginning:
“CBMW has been in operation since 1987, when a meeting in Dallas, Texas, brought together a number of evangelical leaders and scholars, including John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Wayne House, Dorothy Patterson, James Borland, Susan Foh, and Ken Sarles.”
Piper, Grudem, House, and Borland remain on the Council. Sarles died several years ago. Susan Foh is still alive, but disassociated with the group years ago.
If they had that email the 22nd and kept him, what changed to make him get fired now? I have never struggled with language in my whole life but I am sure struggling to find appropriate words these days after reading about the behavior of “christians” and leaders.
Your research skills are amazing!
I hope this victim was or will be able to get some excellent trauma therapy. I could hear typical trauma responses in a couple of the statements. Early focus on forgiveness can derail the trauma recovery process. These things are true even without a wolf seeking to tear you down in one of the most vulnerable points possible. I say this as a rape survivor myself. His response infuriates me. Yes, my rapist was my “godly” husband and the pastor declared my divorce unbiblical. It isn’t possible for a married man to rape his wife. Even if she is screaming and crying…Damn these arrogant men misusing power and Scripture.
I have NO idea, and I don’t get it.
It’s totally gross that they would have to face mounting public pressure in order to make that decision when they had the smoking gun a full week beforehand.
No spitting here. I read it and was shocked. You inadvertently repudiated the entire premise behind the Conservative Resurgence.
Most comments focus on treatment of women. My focus is on the doctrinal basis, of the CR. As a minor issue, the CR is also misogynistic.
So. How did you reject the CR?
You let slip that…YES….The original Hebrew has “ambiguity.”
Ambiguity = Fallibility and Errant, in the original text.
Go back and read your comment.
Is it possible that they needed to wait until he was out of country so that they could recover records and property? It would be a shrewd move if they did it on purpose.
Ken F (aka Tweed),
I suspect that this was indeed their strategy. It’s the only thing that makes any sense.
It’s getting more and more difficult these days, it seems.
That person has NEVER been a member of the CBMW council. In fact, this person has never even existed, as far as we know.
(HUG does this so much better!)
Ha. I like that phrasing ‘last church nerve’
That lady is terrible. Patterson is terrible. The board was terrible for seeing stuff on the 22 and not realizing how terrible it was. The whole convention is terrible for buying Patterson and pressler and deifying them for decades.
I’m not a done, but I’m done with this kind.
Ooh. Well yes. Ethics are clearly lacking in the whole family and since I’m not comp, I’m not giving his wife a pass for doing things her husband clearly wanted. With documents he clearly obtained for her probably illegally.
What sold it to me was a combination of two things:
The first comment was self-contained and slightly off-topic, but a stereotypical example of what a certain type of commentator might say
The second comment was just a set of quotes from academic sources that, as Mr Priddis observed, actually contradict the central BiblicalBiblical claims of patriarchy
It was the second I really liked; to coin a phrase, it kind of takes Poe-ing to the next level.
This is exactly my position. I am not anywhere close to being ‘done’ much less ‘none’, but I have been done with so many actual things for so long that I don’t even remember how it was before I was too fed up to continue. I think Baptistville even before the CR was to me just like some of the old smallpox vaccinations-it did not ‘take’.
I used to have some disquiet about that, thinking there could be something wrong with me since so many people seemed happy with it. But the more mess that surfaces the more I see how the situation was ripe for stuff to happen badly, so I am developing a real sense of peace with the fact that I packed up and left back when. I and mine were spared a lot of grief when I threw our suitcases in the car and took off when I did.
I do hope for the best for those who stay. No, hope requires some expectation of possible good outcome. I should say I wish for the best. I do not hope because I think that SBC was ‘conceived in sin’ over the slavery issue and no amount of corporate repentance has changed much of anything; only the race and gender of the identified downtrodden class has changed. I don’t see corporate broken hearts.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
Is that a direct quote form Doug Wilson?? Years ago I read something very similar to that in a book of his and I thought “what??”.
Apologies for getting a little behind on my cricket reporting lately; I realise that Wartburgers will be keenly awaiting new of the Second Test between England and Pakistan at Headingley, and it’s now lunch on day 3.
Pakistan won the toss and batted, but were dismissed for just 174 on the first day
England batted throughout a rain-affected second day to be all out this morning for 363
Pakistan are faltering somewhat in their second innings, having slipped to 48-3
Simple arithmetic therefore shows that Pakistan need 142 more runs to make England bat again, with 7 wickets remaining.
Overall, it’s been a vastly improved England performance as compared with the shambles at Lords. Interestingly, top scorer so far is Jos Buttler with a fine unbeaten 80. Batting at number 7, Buttler reached his half-century when England were 332-8. This is the highest team score reached before any player scored 50 since 1965 (when RW Barber reached his half-ton when New Zealand were 335-6) at Edgbaston.
You’re right Ken, human nature is to organize and control. This whole debacle proves without a doubt what a mess humankind is in. On bad days I despair from all the sin in the world, mine included. On better days I remember kindnesses received from believers and grace I’ve passed on to others.
Hope you can find other followers of Jesus in your area who encourage you and whom you can encourage in the Lord. Blessings to you.
I keep wondering about my oncologist as to when he is being serious and when he is being a smart-a. It helps to know a little something about the subject, of course, but I think I do know a tad about the subject, and still I could not take a red pen to a transcript of what he says and determine if he is serious or if he is burned out and is running on an empty tank. Now if that is not a disturbing situation what is.
At the same time I have heard so much religious craziness, most of which makes little if any sense, that I would not know a parody if it came with a disclaimer.
I think the only thing that changed on the 22nd was their loss of plausible deniability due to now having hard evidence. There is no way that they could have been completely unaware of stuff like this for all those years. The delay was for them to pull together a workable plan. The establishment will not change until they are backed into a corner.
You are not going to get much traction with your Cricket Resurgence with honest reporting like this. You need to get a high tech team, fog machines, skinny jeans, and some histrionic spokesmen to make this work. Just saying.
These men were fired exactly as they had done others when the “takeover” began. I saw it first hand. Not saying it’s right, but…
Yes, only a slight deviation of Scripture “”Do unto them as they have done to others”, but Southern Baptist leaders have been twisting the Word a lot these days. I bet God would like to fire a bunch more!
Okay, wow. Then that was good.
Maybe someone will clarify at some point.
Previous SWBTS President Russell Dilday wasn’t treated any better:
“As they voted to fire Dilday, they locked the doors of his office, escorted him to the president’s house with armed guards, and prohibited him from walking anywhere on campus. They treated him as a criminal whose crime was not being conservative enough in their eyes.”
I did notice t and t is a reference to dynamite…
Ken F (aka Tweed),
Shrewd in a positive sense is hard for me to imagine with this crew. If that were the case why “demote (promote) him and defend it so publicly? They could have said they would continue to consider the matter. Is secular media (truth tellers/fact checkers) the only way anything will happen with churches these days? Imagine all we are not aware of at this point! Still praying that the Lord will keep the heat on.
Well, sounds like there was some confusion in our prior conversation. Of course everyone should speak up and get involved when the “restaurant” is serving spoiled food. No one was saying that you should mind your own business. That’s not what was said at all.
What we were discussing was the line of reasoning that goes something like this:
Lots of different philosophies on life exist.
Therefore the mere existence of all these other philosophies must prove that they are somewhat right.
Therefore Christians should look outside of Christ for truth since it can’t possibly exist only in Christ.
Here’s the logical fallacy:
The mere existance of the flat earth society doesn’t prove that the earth is flat.
It just proves that some people refuse to believe that the earth is round.
The mere existance of lots of other philosophies doesn’t change the reality of Christ.
It just proves the existance of unbelief.
Either Jesus really is the Way/Truth/Life or He’s not. Either He was lying when He said that or He was telling the truth.
There’s only three possibilities:
1) Jesus was lying
2) Jesus was mentally ill
3) Jesus was telling the Truth that He really is the only pathway to God
It’s really that simple. Refusal to believe in Christ doesn’t change the reality of Christ. It just proves the existance of unbelief.
This is a dichotomy I ran into a lot, particularly at my wife’s evangelical church. We can take potshots at you but then get deeply ‘offended’ when you state that you don’t believe the same way they do. In this series of posts, I see a lot of the same attitudes.
It’s ironic that these clowns need to hide what they do from a world they disparage. It’s doubly ironic that in the u.s. the majority of that horrible world is Christian.
Kindness and grace are not characteristics of believers alone.
ION: Cricket latest
Just back from a wee walk, and Pakistan have collapsed to 124-9 – in fact I was originally going to say 124-8 but the 9th wicket fell as I was typing. Pakistan still trail by 65 with just 1 wicket remaining so, barring a near-miraculous 10th-wicket stand, the Second Test looks set to be an innings victory for England. (The First Test was, you will all recall, an innings victory for Pakistan).
I missed that! Though, strictly speaking, the active ingredient in dynamite is nitroglycerine.
I could, but that really isn’t cricket. Also just saying.
Abbas has just been caught by Root off Stuart Broad, and Pakistan are all out for 134. England have won by an innings and 55 runs.
Or wackiness. A friend of mine got really involved in a house Church that grew to about 100 weekly. (It was a big house.) Apparently, it was really good, until it wasn’t. The main leader startrd being influenced by IHOP (the church in Kansas City, not the pancake restaurant). The atmosphere changed, and he quietly backed away.
House Churches are usually small and nimble, which means they can change much more quickly than institutional Church. Sometimes that’s a good thing, other times, not so much.
5harp eye!! LOL.
Meant to say sharp eye. Mmmhhhhh.
I’ll admit this makes other suspicions arise. Like, were the file what they were after all along? Who knows how many people he could take down with his files?
I’ve heard that the Israelis have developed a new type of plastique (highly classified) that is much more potent than the current stuff (c-4 and semtex).
It’s not code-named “red mercury”, by any chance?
“Red Mercury” was a substance whose existence was put about by some agency or other during the Cold War – naebdy’s entirely sure where the name originated – as a smokescreen. It was rumoured to be a preternaturally powerful explosive, but in fact, it never existed.
I agree – I did not intend to imply that their actions were noble. I suspect their delay was calculated, perhaps because they knew what the fallout would be if they did it earlier.
So similar to the real CR, it really isn’t Christian.
Dee checking in from London. I met TWW’s good friend Ian at the London Eye today and shared an ice-cream. What great guy! I felt I have known him for years!!
Sharayah – Sharia?
Welcome to Blighty! It’s a compelling thought that I’m on the same landmass as a Blog Queen.
5harp eye is a pretty entertaining typo.
I think they should keep the stained glass windows of Patterson, Pressler and ilk – as bad examples. Just like king Ahab is in the Old Testament.
They should teach the young folks, what they have done wrong, how to do it better and – very important – that if anyone wants to have stained glass windows like that, one should be very suspicious of those people who want such windows.
Hopefully people will be eager to learn such things instead of thinking, Patterson is a good example…
Don’t forget seahorses. The male gives birth. Or what about honey bees? The queen is in charge of the entire hive. 🙂
I’m not sure how relevant this will sound – maybe it’ll only really be meaningful to me – but I had a really thought-provoking dream one night about a year ago. Long story short, I was watching a magician performing a close-up magic trick, of the sort you might expect Penn and Teller or whoever to do in a small, close-up setting. The lassie doing the trick then said that, after the interval, she’d explain to us how it was done. Which I was really interested in, because I’d no idea how she’d done it. But after the interval, when she began her “explanation”, she just said a load of silly clichéd stuff about nothing in particular. Then I woke up, with a big sense of let-down and disappointment, because I really wanted to know how the trick was done.
Of course, it’ll be obvious why the magician couldn’t explain the trick: she didn’t exist. Both she and the trick were figments of my imagination. I know what a well-performed trick looks like, but I don’t know how it’s done, and therefore a figment of my imagination can’t explain how it’s done either.
Since then, I’ve been looking at a lot of conversations (both prior and subsequent) in a different light. I’ve noted how often people of a religious bent have responded to specific difficulties with generic clichés that, when you look behind the paper-thin façade, don’t actually mean anything. There’s always an excuse. And I’ve started to grapple with the question: when you look behind the grand and undoubtedly beautiful claims of the gospel, to what actually happens in real experience, does “god” really do any better than chance? “He” has an answer to “sin” which can’t be seen, but does “he” have an answer to poverty or unemployment, which can? Can he actually rule his church? Am I a better person – am I kinder, more patient and loving towards others, for instance – for my following of him?
I can imagine the standard responses of christians to these questions, and I’m sure you can as well. But I retain this one bedrock of respect for the “god” I used to have confidence in: he is (if he is more than a figment of my imagination) not afraid of these questions.
The abrupt and scandalous fall of Patterson and Pressler signals an end to SBC’s Conservative Resurgence; they were the architects of the CR. The Calvinist Resurgence now moves to front and center; election of J.D. Greear will send a signal to the YRR army that “We have arrived!”
Those are some powerful questions. I wonder if we are discovering that, at least in part, the problem is that ‘The Church’ is not the Body of Christ we have long been led to believe?
Too true. Maybe we could see what Patterson has on Mohler and friends in his files? 😉
In far too many places, those are two distinctly different things.
I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to say such a thing, and not be treated like a nutcase. It is very difficult, almost impossible to escape the ‘Church’ brainwashing. I know. But it gets lonely.
It may very well be scuttlebutt and nothing more.
But on the other hand, and given the Israeli genius for doing the impossible, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it were true.
And another walks away from Omelas.
the honesty is a breath of fresh air. i think these are the questions that many christians have — they’re just covered up with busy-ness and distractions. and fear to actually face them.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
P.S. There’s an urban legend in SF litfandom that Ursula LeGuin wrote her award-winning story in 1973 as a parable of a pedophile coverup going down in the SF authors’ community at the time. The peodphile coverup scandal that centered around author Marion Zimmer Bradley, who was enough of a Big Name with Important Friends and Fans that LeGuin could not speak or write of it directly.
(Sound like any of the churches exposed here on TWW?)
My source who informed me of this said there was lots of speculation as to who knew and how far the coverup went.
And a lot of famous authors had problems:
* Isaac Asimov had a reputation as an Intellectual Snob and a heavy-duty womanizer — cruising cons to get laid, groping women in elevators, etc. Predator behavior justified by his Superior Intellect not being bound by mundane prudishness.
* Robert Heinlien’s SF novels were said to have gotten kinkier and kinkier as he got older. (I’m most familiar with his early stuff, not his later.) The group sex stuff in Stranger in a Strange Land spawned a RL sex cult in Nineties litfandom; calling themselves “Live the Dream”, they used his novel as Scripture(TM).
* Philip Jose Farmer’s reputation was the all-time master of Weird Sex angles in SF. (I think he did it partially to weird out his fans and tweak his critics.)
* L Ron Hubbard. Nuff said. (Word around LASFS circa 1980 was that Scientology was just a continuation of his Pulp SF.)
And that “Calvin is LORD!”
Tomorrow Belongs To ME!”
House churches also don’t have a Reality Check if things start going into Cult Country.
Very prone to what Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies for Dummies calls “Ten guys in socks chanting in someone’s living room” syndrome.
Or a story from a historian of SF fandom about some Forties SF club in one city who never had more than five members and were always schismed three-to-two in some sort of internal blood feud.
P.S. Ever notice how many overripe Preacher Boys with delusions of grandeur have a thing for “armed guards”?
“This whole debacle proves without a doubt what a mess humankind is in. On bad days I despair from all the sin in the world, mine included.”
the way I see it, it proves how corrupt the SBC leadership is.
I see magnificent things in my fellow human beings of all faiths and no faith. things like kindness to strangers, generosity with no strings attached, honesty at personal cost.
i see kindness, generosity and honesty all for their own sakes every day in people everywhere.
Remmeber the French Revolution, Reign of Terror period?
When the Dantonists denounced and guillotined all the Hebertists?
Then the Jacobins denounced and guillotined all the Dantonists?
And finally the Thermidorians denounced and guillotined all the Jacobins?
With lotsa collateral damage filling the quicklime pits outside Paris with each step?
(And with the Thermidorians, Le Grand Terreur burned itself out.)
In short, YES.
Probably the Jerk with his Kirk’s most famous quote.
On the “express” service to Waverley this morning, but since it’s held up behind the late-running stopping train that precedes it, we’ve been stuck at 20mph for the last 3 miles, having already been stuck in a long series of cautionary signals all the way into Linlithgow.
The scheduling would be better with a longer gap between the two trains, since the stopping train is always delayed and the “express” catches up with it far to early. Finally a green signal and we’re picking up speed towards the crossing of the M9, though it didn’t last long – another cautionary signal and we’re braking again.
What’s frustrating is that display data is not properly updated, so we’re showing as expected on time at Haymarket despite the fact that the train in front of us, which we cannot possibly overtake and will be at least 3 minutes behind, is showing as arriving there after we’re due in. The delay on our train is showing as “1 minute” even though the system already knows that we cannot be less than 6 minutes late.
I have the same intuitions, though as you note in a later comment, it can be risky to express them. One doesn’t want to be dumped into the same box with “Brother Camping” in his later “month and year” mode.
My intuition is that we should not think of the current North American religious corporations (have to incorporate to get that 501(c)3 status) as being proper New Testament churches in themselves. Sometimes these entities are like clothing that local instances of “the body of Christ” wear.
What does it mean to gather “in Jesus name?” I’m not sure that we know this — we certainly don’t know what means to “ask the Father in Jesus’ name?” I have never met someone who was able to get “whatever he asked” by this means.
My private guess is that is has something to do with Jesus long discourse after the Supper, i.e., with “love one another” and the presence and working of the Holy Spirit.
The story of the long sorry aftermath (“the sword shall never leave your house”) of David’s transgressions in the matter of Bathsheba and Uriah suggest that YHWH does not take kindly to “representational blasphemy” — when people who bear His Name act in ways that are incompatible with His character.
What has happened at SWBTS might be an instance of the conclusion of Psalm 62 “You [YHWH] reward everyone according to what they have done”. (Which is not necessarily to suggest that the human agents of this “reward” acted with unmixed motives. In the OT narratives sometimes YHWH employed one unrighteous nation to chastise another.)
Perhaps it would be valid to say that groups that aspire to be “the body of Christ” ought to be groups within which it is possible to “taste and see that YHWH is good.” The “taste” that too many today are getting from too many of these groups suggests that perhaps YHWH is not good.
It sure does not mean that you HAVE to sign a membership covenant with a autocratic preacher/“leader”!
Agreed. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. We ought not to embrace again a yoke of bondage.
To the extent these “covenants” exist for the sake of enforcing “leader” control over the “led” and protecting the “leader” by mandating lop-sided (biased in favor of the powerful) alternative dispute resolution procedures, I think that they are examples of “walking by sight, not faith” on the part of the leadership. And when that is happening at the very top of a religious corporation that calls itself a “church”, I think one is justified in wondering whether this really is an instance of “the body of Christ”.
Perhaps instead this is what Eric Hoffer famously described, that great causes start as movements, become businesses, and eventually degenerate into rackets.
I don’t know if this sort of thing really bothers you all this much, or if you are just entertaining yourself with the details in order to have something to think about.
However, and None The Less, I am going to take the opportunity to tell the general reading public something I learned from those who went before me. Folks may want to tolerate this from me, since I have a huge and raging urge to pass on everything I can before I die-people do that as we know.
Use the found time. There is a lot of found time in life, and developing systems to use it well is amazingly productive.
I first heard it from my grandmother. She used to say ‘never sit down with empty hands.’ So she was either snapping beans, or sewing quilting pieces or crocheting doilies or such whenever she actually sat down. Later in med school introduction lectures the prof who had the task of ‘orienting’ us to the massive amount of work we were supposed to do/learn gave us easy ways to redeem the bits and pieces of time available. His thing was 3X5 cards on which one make notes and carried along everywhere. In that day the boys were wearing dress shirts without ties, and there was this little pocket over the left side of the chest in which a 3X5 card fit perfectly. So the advice was whip out the card and use the found minutes to memorize from the cards. And I do mean minutes. He mentioned the time wasted just waiting for the elevator-litterally bits of minutes.
Reminds me of riding the train. Waiting for the bus. Sitting in the waiting room while the annual auto safety inspection is done. Waiting for the order at the restaurant. Riding in the car while somebody else drives. Agonizing through the ridiculous music portion of some religious nightmare (aka worship). Standing in line at grocery store checkout. Waiting at the hair salon. The list morphs into an enormous amount of wasted time once one starts the procedure and adjusts it to one’s own life. One of my g’kids, the artist, carries a tiny sketch pad in her purse, never waste an idea sort of thing.
It can also be a good time to pray, if the ‘without ceasing’ can be partially defined as this. Especially, and I have to get in a plug, if one utilizes some short repetitive and memorized prayers. Like the Lord’s Prayer if one must be totally biblical. Or for some us David’s mea culpa and prayer for forgiveness and restoration from the psalm. Somebody set it to music and I kind of ‘sing’ it mentally a lot. This repetition also calms one, since we know that repetition of something familiar does tend to give one a false sense of security- there is some old research to that effect IIRC. (The Baptists are wrong in their opposition to repetition. Not all repetition is vain.)
So: found time like found money can be turned into a squirt of happy juice in the brain. Literally.
11h11 hours ago
Yes, praying for God to provide in both areas. One is already accomplished; @Karinconlee will be promoted to the Teaching Team. I know what your thinking, what took me so long to promote my wife? My bad, she’s definitely proven and gifted. Her message on Mother’s Day was awesome.
Yeah, and it’s not because they are in danger for preaching the gospel!
Very few church folks have a grasp of the Kingdom of God (in the here and now). They live in the “church”, not the Kingdom; their citizenship is in an institution, not the Body of Christ. The “church” and the Kingdom of God are not synonymous in most cases. There is a Heaven on Earth, but sadly it is seldom experienced in the institutional church.
Or like the one in the neighborhood next door that only allows couples. No singles or any married individual whose spouse can’t or won’t go to church. Clearly they would lead to the downfall of society.
“And if you research Ephesians 5:22-24 “ head “ means head as in authority, I’m sorry. that is what is means.”
how broad and comprehensive was your research? Did you research both sides of the argument?
If not, here are 2 articles presenting the other side. Since they are authored by women, you will have to be ok with being taught by them, though.
You mentioned in another comment that “when I stand before “HIM” to be judged, that I will be judged by the the book says”. I think you mean by your interpretation of what the book says.
To what degree does common sense get sifted out by such a process?
Happy juice! I like that. I think podcasts have been nice for learning during found moments in the car/commuting/etc. I used to read when I took the metro daily, of course.
I do make a place for rest, though. I am not so good at not being idle as your grandmother.
How do you even justify that, as any kind of church? So Niche. And do they kick kids out when they hit adulthood, or do they count if they are in the family?
The nepotism in churches drives me crazy. No one should be making sole decisions on promoting their spouse, I think. Or son in law. Or kid. Sheesh.
The fact that it was a sole “me” decision is a huge problem. Conlee is obviously king.
They don’t understand the Kingdom of God at all.
The guy didn’t even give me enough time to ask questions. But he was clearly extremely proud of the fact that they only allowed couples.
Something like that ought not use the word ‘church’. If Jesus said He was going to build something then the things that people want to pass off as something He was talking about surely must bear a resemblance to what He said/did/described as something He was building. He did not, to our knowledge, form any group restricted to married people. And He clearly said that people needed to choose following Him over family, so spouse or no spouse, and church going spouse or not if there even is one, is clearly not biblical. He also did not restrict follower-ship to males, nor did He say keep the children away, nor did He say you got to be either rich or poor, either educated or illiterate, either employed or not, either skilled labor or not, either this or that place of origin or mother tongue or race, none of the above.
Once people get into legislating unbiblical restrictions then they have become both unbiblical and are not following Jesus. That is not a church. That is a club.
We have run into race/ country of origin bias, and a family we know has also adopted from elsewhere (not China) and they have run into the same thing-two different churches but same attitude. I want to just grab them by their goatee and say listen dummee, what exactly do you think Jesus was? White privilege maybe? Native English speaker perhaps? Married with kids? Drove a high end vehicle? Worked with only a select segment of the population? Well, there I would be mistaken because he did work with a selected segment of the population-by His own selection-those who need a physician.
Not everybody who names the name of Jesus is all that great at being a follower in this matter. Their little selective groups can be like Petri dishes of pathogens, just a little time and they are hideously dangerous. Maybe I should care, but I think they deserve what they get-back to the issue of justice. Back to the issue of you reap what you sow. Back to actions have consequences.
So somebody tell me what it means that the school, the grocery store, the hospital, the pool, the movie theater and the garden center not to mention the farmer’s market and even the plain old sidewalk are often better places than the so-called church?
Actually, control issues were solved via the work of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit gives, we receive, if we so choose to be God’s children.
In the family of God, however, we collaborate with each other. No hierarchy among adult humankind. Report to a job, yes, but then we choose to work there. (Which is why Weinstein et al are in trouble – they overstepped their employer “authority”.)
with the evidence coming out to exonerate Bro Patterson maybe some will retract their harsh comments.“The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.”
Proverbs 18:17 (NASB)
I find their choice of title Interesting.
(Especially when you think of the position of women under Biblical Manhood(TM) and Christian Complelmentarianism(TM).)
I can’t explain it, but I do wonder if Jesus prefers us to be in any place other than the so-called church.
i.e. “If You’re Not Doing Somebody, YOU’RE A NOBODY!”
He did mention he was a big Piper fan…
Everyone knows that Jesus looks just like Barry Gibb from the BeeGees.
You’re comment made me laugh! I have seen so many paintings where Jesus really does look like that image! In reality, he probably would have been closer in looks to a Palestinian than a northern European.
I’ve experienced the same bias. My wife is of mixed culture, and I am of Irish/English/Welsh extraction. When I go out with the kids, I always get asked if they are mine, and as a family we always get asked if we’re together, even if we are sitting a the same table in a restaurant.
Were we made in God’s image, or do we make God in ours?
Well, learned more in school than I did in church, I’ve been healed in a hospital (not in a church – sorry folks, I’m not a believer in miracle healing), the pool and movie theater are definitely more fun than church, garden center and farmers market have been more useful to me than church, and I just replaced our sidewalk and must say it’s pretty dandy.
I don’t read any biblical Greek, but I do understand how any Greek translation might be not exactly what Jesus said in his own everyday language when He said it, but I don’t see any way to so mistranslate something which says ‘go into all the world’ and turn that sort of idea into ‘gather together behind closed doors’. There is noting either great or commission-y about restricted closed door huddling.
Let me pass on a delightful idea I heard in class once. I had gone over to the tech for an introductory course in Mandarin, for obvious reasons, and the retired Chinese physicist who was teaching the class first taught us some basic things like ‘thank you’ and such. Then he said this. Never again say that you do not speak Mandarin. Always say that you do speak Mandarin, but just not very much. We laughed of course, but he was right in that this is an excellent way to look at it.
So I do read some biblical Greek (well, some vocabulary) but just not very much.
I believe this comes from an “all or nothing” approach to religion that is not exclusively Christian.
You must take Scripture (or Hadith, or scroll) at face value, completely and totally. Any evidence to the contrary must be discarded, anyone who accepts that evidence is evil. In fact any evidence to the contrary must be eradicated.
This is why many fundamentalist faiths are distinctly anti-intellectual – including some that aren’t classically religious in nature (think National Socialism, Stalinism, Chinese cultural revolution and the Khmer Rouge)
I’ve been thinking so much of our reaction to things comes from who we are, our personalities, how we were raised etc. Some people are uncomfortable with not knowing and try to make everything into a system. Some people are better able to filter out all the harmful advice on things like relationships and/or fudge it into helpful things. If you are in the second group, you may not see the problems because the advice is so bad you have fixed it already in your mind.
Probably some stupid variation of the stupid Billy Graham Rule, I’d guess.
Such Christians don’t seem to notice a lot of married people have extra-marital affairs with other married people.
That’s a great way to further alienate single adults, such as myself who already have a quibble with Christianity, want to walk away from it, and who have noticed that Christians are already far too marriage-centric.
The marriage- obsessed Christians (and churches) who snub single adults are absolutely wonderful at churning out agnostics or atheists.
Having worked with the public most of my life, and having two grown children who combined have worked with the public about as much as I have, I could say a few words about ‘the public’ but it would not be nice. It might, however, be biblical. Enough said. Hang in there. A lot of us are on your side, so to speak.
“…SWBTS… I don’t know, maybe it was the group I was with, but I saw things occur that if I had done the same thing while teaching in public school, they would have asked for my resignation.”
things, like what?
Armed guards didn’t help Caligula and Nero one bit when Karma and her sister Comeuppance caught up with them.
“Everyone knows that Jesus looks just like Barry Gibb from the BeeGees.”
or Kenny Loggins.
I’ve been in a number of churches that claimed that mixing singles and marrieds would lead to affairs. One in particular became obsessed about separating everyone after a leader was caught having an affair… with another married person. Because clearly the influence of single people was at fault there!
There was also that singles ministry not attached to a church that claimed any Christian single refusing to do things with them all weekend was clearly “living in sin”. And they only did outdoor stuff, “because that’s the best way to be close to God”.
How can people invent such dumb associations?
You might enjoy Wendell Berry’s short story Pray Without Ceasing.
Back in the day, Papa Chuck (founder of Calvary Chapel) rarely missed an opportunity to launch a dig at liturgical Catholics for their ‘vain repetitions’.
If there’s anything I’ve learned during my vain life under the sun it’s this:
“Of all the commodities allotted to the children of men by the Almighty, time is the most precious.”
It depends in its entirety on what vantage point you (generic you) look from.
Married people are getting it on with married people and everybody knows it. I have no idea what the singles are doing, but perhaps the same sort of thing. It is easy to think that going round the merry go round with another married person may be safer because at least theoretically they both have situations which they may not want put at risk. A bit of stuff on the side and nobody the wiser is one thing; a single might tend to get serious and some married people just might not have that in mind.
I have heard it said by one lawyer who handles divorce (my divorce, for instance) that a married person may get in over their head before they know it and that was not what they intended in the first place. So, I am thinking, messing around between two marrieds might appear to be safer if one is not wanting to tear up a marriage and the kids lives and tear the finances all to pieces.
Also, some churches might be trying to throw the singles together to encourage marriage. Also, some parent may be saying to some single who is being friendly with some married man or married couple, why are you wasting your time on that when there is no future in it? Meaning marriage. Then too, when a married person gets friendly with a single of the other sex this quite possibly introduces a problem for the spouse and can be a catalyst for marriage problems. If, however, the spouse is friendly with another married person that is easier for the worried spouse at home to consider to be perhaps innocent. People want to think that stuff is innocent-sometimes until it is too late.
I see a lot of reasons for separation of the marrieds and the singles, but it is a shame to label everybody with the same label because that is unfair and untrue. But then I also see some reasons why sexually segregated schools as one option serve a purpose for some people, and also sexually segregated bible studies. Carried to the extreme everything gets ridiculous, but there is no use kidding ourselves that there is not a whole lot of messing going on.
Having been involved with singles ministry for ten years (we had 1000 singles in our church of 3000) it is my observation that singles wanted first to build friendships with other singles at church. Once that was well underway they wanted to build bonds with christian couples. Our singles leadership were very purposeful in making opportunities for singles to get involved in ministry in areas of the church that were not singles only.
This was 30 years ago an most of the folks are still actively involved in church and many of them are married.
Leadership needs to encourage and facilitate healthy relationships between adults whether married or single.
I think it’s interesting this idea that singles should be kept from marrieds because of potential relationship issues. Most of my girlfriends are married women. (and I have zero interest in any of their husbands, although they are all nice people just for the record). If I had not met them, I would not have many friends at all. This is not an issue for young singles, but the older you get the more your age group has married off.
There is more to life than romantic relationships! Although I also met current bf through a married friend.
“I think it’s interesting this idea that singles should be kept from marrieds because of potential relationship issues.”
i observe church leaders engineering relationships and human lives. the people corresponding to the human lives don’t always know they and their lives are being engineered. i haven’t observed you, drstevej, so this doesn’t necessarily apply to how you’ve done things.
one reason i’ve opted out of church can be boiled down to i wasn’t seen as a human being, a person. i was a religiously political item. my life was engineered based on woman + married + with kids.
because church required so much of my life and my time, i didn’t have opportunity to develop it outside of church. so there wasn’t much left that wasn’t engineered by someone else (professional christian) for the purposes of their careers, essentially.
11The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. H3brews 13
How many Apostles lived the ministry of reconcilation until retirement? How many leaders live their ministries unto retirement?
Elastigirl, To what degree does common sense get shifted out by such a process?
Fair question, is it not common sense to go back to the original sources ( the greek ) and see what it says, the original greek says it means head as in authority, as my post went on to say, in addition to the greek of N.T., look at secular, religious historians, from 200 bc 200.ad or so, and the culture confirms that head means head as in authority.
Take a quick look at Ephesians 1:22 same greek word head, talking about Christ head over all things to the Church….. SEC #2776, please give me your common sense view of this, I will look at your links tonight, if we no longer use the original greek as our anchor, it is open season on the bible..
Small minds have almost zero turning radii.
Where is your source for that? The original greek literally means ‘head’, so we are talking in metaphors. Many words mean many things.
From the Marg Mowczko article elastigirl cited: “One compelling piece of evidence that kephalē did not usually mean “leader” in Koine Greek is that the LSJ, one of the most exhaustive lexicons of Ancient Greek, does not include any definition of kephalē that approximates “leader” or “authority”. (https://margmowczko.com/lsj-definitions-of-kephale/)
In this one quote, there are many many options for head. How do you know, for certain with no doubt, you have the right metaphor when it is not even listed? This is original greek as an anchor, coming to different conclusions.
“All” is not the problem.
The problem is that ‘Certain Churches’ are not functioning as the Body of Christ.
IMHO It is ridiculous to state categorically that all churches are in this distressed condition.
If one is not willing to lōōk before they leap, they may very well be in for a surprise.
You may be right but it seems they haven’t had to fabricate anything, just make use of what’s there. Kind of the opposite of the story of Mordecai, whose enemies couldn’t find anything in his past to use against him.
There are no “original” sources.
Probably both, in different ways.
Of course Paul is talking about authority. That whole segment in Ephesians is about authority. Paul also talks about authority in various circumstances, some of which we no longer practice even like slavery. We certainly do not have to practice, let us say slavery, in order to admit that Paul talked about it. Just good grief. Regardless of whether he means authority by virtue of creation or authority by virtue of ‘source’ whatever that means in relation to authority, or authority based on the cultural expectations of his day, or authority left over from his background in Jewish law and custom, or authority as he said as Christ is authority in the church he is still talking about authority. Any way to look at it within the contexts of when he says he means authority. And of course he was a man of his time and place.
The arguments against that understanding of Paul’s comments make zero sense to me. What does make sense to me is that neither Jesus nor Paul acted like nor preached what some current fundamentalists teach that authority means. The abuses of the concept are staggering, and that by people who claim that they are being biblical. Hogwash. If one is going to exercise ‘authority’ and claim a biblical mandate to do so then one will have to do it within biblical limits. If Jesus is the model of authority and his authority as head of the church is the model, then some of these bullies have so missed the boat that they give themselves away as, very possibly, not remotely acting like christians are required to act. If one looks at ‘the whole counsel of scripture’ one does not arrive at the understanding of what authority looks like which the neo-cals and their fellow travelers say they see.
But to play with biblical meanings for the sake of political agendas is not being honest, regardless of which side of some argument one espouses.
I don’t know greek circa 50CE or so, so I can’t say that. I have read compelling arguments either way.
I agree with you, however, that the question of what these things actually *mean* is quite different. Paul had other words he could have used, but he used head. When speaking to husbands, he doesn’t tell them to ‘lead’ their wives, he doesn’t tell them to dictate to them. He specifically tells them to love their wives to the point of sacrifice, and not to treat them harshly.
His entire metaphor when using ‘head’ is about Jesus giving up his life for the church. He says “He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church” So is authority ‘feeding and caring’ here? Maybe that is authority, but that’s not the way most people think of it in English. Most definitions seem to be about giving orders and exercising control. Is that really what Paul meant? Because I don’t see that anywhere.
Bingo. They (the great generic they) wanted to hammer forge you into a die based solely on plumbing received at birth. All the Abrahamic religions do this, it can range from mild to genuinely life threatening, depending.
Excellent point. This is too often forgotten. There were also no historians alive in that day who foresaw the future and made sure to explain ‘that day’ to us in ways that would benefit us today. So we are patching together arguments based on cultures of very long ago and whose details we do not understand.
And, in my admittedly biased opinion, some brands of conservative protestantism have so elevated ‘the bible’ and so distorted the meaning and function of ‘the church’ that they are ham-stringed sometimes in attempting to apply scripture to the here and now.
Okay, I feel better now. Thanks for listening.
HA HA Haaaa, just occurred to me:
Jesus of Nazareth himself would not be welcome in that Christian home church (or Bible study, or whatever it was).
One of the main founders of the Christian faith, who never married, would not be permitted in that Christian guy’s “for couples only” study/class. The irony. The thick, thick irony.
I do sometimes work out, which involves jogging around the neighborhood or going on bike rides, but I don’t think I’d fit their particular singles group, as I am more of a couch potato.
When I’m not biking or jogging, I like to stay in doors and watch movies, zombie shows, or watch cat videos on You Tube. I must be living in horrible, horrible sin, oh no!
Agree, with basically everything you Just said, but that is the dilemma that we now face, it is so sad, I can totally understand women believers wanting to, or actually unhooking from the formal Church. It is that bad, I get it.
But I guess what I am saying, in light of all the fundamentallist failures going on, does that leave us no other choice than to embrace egalitarianism? I am constantly asked by my Sunday school class my “opinion on a verse, and I sometime tell them that Christ did not leave room for me to have an opinion, I either accept what it says, or I don’t. But I have since added a third option, we can now play ecclesiastical gymnastics, and come up with a cultural get out of Church doctrine card.
The secular equivalent of this is the US constitution, conservative’s take it as written in stone, it is what it is.
Liberals say ( Al Gore 2000 flashback) that the constitution is a living and breathing document, pliable to reshape, for any modern quirk… I hear where both sides are coming from in the theological and secular worlds..
The SBC of 2018 needs the wisdom of Solomon to get us back on track….
In a lot of churches, no, they just think and hope that marriage just magically happens, and they are scared to pair singles up, or to encourage single on single mixers, because they don’t want to turn church into a “meat market.”
Which some singles are fine with, but others, no, not so much.
Marriage does not just happen by magic. It usually takes human effort, so when churches refuse to help (and they usually refuse to help in this area), the adult single is left to going to bars or joining dating sites.
And I have no idea why churches which are usually so prim, proper, and into “Equally Yoked” are fine with pushing single adults into mate hunting in venues such as bars or night clubs, where they may meet and marry Mr. Atheist.
Bridget, Sure there are original sources, actually as I type we have at least 105- 107% of the New Testament….
Lea, what does Ephesians 1:22 say then, same Greek word,
Would you please tell Christ that he actually isn’t the head of the Church, that’s above my pay grade, me thinks…
Lea, what does Ephesians 1:22 say then, same Greek word,
Would you please tell Christ that he actually isn’t the head of the Church, that’s above my pay grade, me thinks…
Paul also tells wives to submit to their husbands. So what does ‘submit’ mean to us today? We all mostly agree that we should submit to most of the secular law. But we mostly do not think we should submit to an unjust employer who wants us to break the law in some way. So submit means what?
A husband wants to work at a certain job but we would rather he chose another job, should we submit to his job decision all else being equal? I think we should. But a husband want to have our teenage daughter as a sexual partner, should we submit to this? No way. I am trying to say that ‘submit’ cannot possibly be a blanket statement. It depends on what one is talking about, not just who one is talking about.
But Paul did us the word in the context of husband/wife and in the context of relationship. Also, I think that Paul was neither a misogynist or a dunce. There are things we have yet to figure out about this.
You aren’t listening, because this is obviously not what I said. Do you have any concept of what arguments are for the egalitarian side of things, or have just rejected them out of hand because your friends did?
What does head *mean* is the question here. metaphor.
What is submission is a good question. Maybe it was elsewhere, but in context I believe it means something more like preferring each other in love and listening to what they have to say. So in this example, if it is a job in the same town that doesn’t adversely affect the family I would say he should chose the job he wishes, because he is the one who has to work it and I want him to be happy. And I would expect the same.
Now, if it is a job that would affect me majorly, possibly requires significant travel, lower pay, or a big move, that is something we would have to talk extensively about before deciding. I would not be happy with a husband who said ‘we’re moving because I said so end of discussion’. That is not a nice way to treat someone.
Now, I also think he uses the word submission because of cultural/legal things having to do with the era, and I would say more on that but I have to run!
This question is above my pay grade too, but Lea’s point is very valid that we should be concerned to understand what the Greek term rendered “head” meant to the writer and readers of Ephesians. Translation is inexact and the semantic/denotational/connotational range of English “head” does not perfectly overlap that of Greek “kephale”, and that’s even before we get to the question of metaphorical uses.
Kruppe over at Wade Burleson’s ‘blog linked to this helpful item recently:
Cervin makes a case that “kephale” does not generally signify “authority” in its ancient uses. When “authority” is implicitly or explicity in view in NT verses containing “kephale”, that meaning is supplied by other words in the context.
…. at least 105-107% of the New Testament. Really? So, we have the entire New Testament, plus another 5-7% ????
I’m a computer programmer. I like computer gaming, Korean dramas, and making Youtube videos of my cats. Plus I make sure my elderly father doesn’t burn down the house! I don’t mind going camping occasionally, but I certainly don’t have the time or inclination to do it every weekend. Not to mention that they expected everyone to have expensive gear and no pets at home.
Most singles over the age of 30 have real jobs, pets, real responsibilities, and often take care of other family members like I do. It was ridiculous!
Of course it was, but what I think is the worst part is not what they wanted you to do but their thinking that you owed them your free time to be at their disposal. Your life belongs to you, not to some church recreational program.
I basically lived outdoors every minute I could before I got sick. I worked hours on end in the back forty turning the back of the property into a wonderful little park area. I cut brush and carried landscape timbers and sprayed herbicide and planted this and cut down that and it was wonderful. I basically created a rather wild looking garden of sorts. I even left areas where wee critters and those who fed on wee critters could hide and do what came naturally to them, one hopes. I also bought a small little ‘this old house’ and worked on it mostly with paint. I do not do plumbing or electricity. I did not participate in any book clubs and I did not make little finger foods for social gatherings or play bridge like little old ladies who are retired sometimes do.
Nobody and no church or other organization has the right to control people’s personal lives to the extent that you describe. I think the church has the right to require a certain level of ethical behavior consistent with basic christian values, but camping? Nah. That was intrusive and thoughtless.
In complementarian 501c3 churches, Women have become no more than doctrinally slaves, both in their time in the church building , and forced to be so in the home as well. Is business next as well? Sink, sank, sunk; Women are toast in these toxic 501c3 environments. BREAK OUT! Theses are CULTS PRACTICES who take your money and use it to force you to comply. They are destroying whole families by their toxic practices. Buyer Beware!
Does not directly discuss the koine Greek word “head” but is relevant to your posts:
The Handmaidens Conspiracy: How Erroneous Bible Translations Obscured the Women’s Empowerment Movement STARTED by JESUS CHRIST by D. L. Howell
(collection of videos on page, links to podcasts with the same or similar material)
There was a 4 or 5 part series about “head” and “headship” on CBE’s site.
Here is part 1:
Headship Madness: An Introduction to “Headship”
What do complementarians do with divorced, widowed, or never married women, who do not have “male heads”?
Red flag regarding religious leaders of NT and today. In the NT, Jesus called them out. Today, the Holy Spirit would seemingly do the same – yesterday, today, forever.
Lea, not being argumentative, ( I hope it doesn’t appear that way). Please give me a overview from 10,000 feet on egalitarianism, and I am being sincere, I have tried to nail down Calvinism soteriology from some guys I’ve taking classes with, and they are all over the ball park on soteriology. What is the jumping off point, in your view, does it pertain to marriage? I have read some egalitarian people say women can’t be senior Pastor, but they can hold all other positions then some say they can hold any biblical office. My wife and I are 50/50 in marriage, it hasn’t come down to a tie breaking vote in almost 40 years of marriage. Is Marriage as in is same sex marriage viewed ok from an egalitarian belief?
And penguin fathers keep the eggs warm for months while the females traipse off to hunt for food quite a ways away in the ocean… so your point was…?
Not trying to be snarky. I just don’t see the relevance.
Oh, I think they were definitely bordering on cult. They just aimed at a vastly underreached group in the church who often hear messages that they are not wanted at all. It wasn’t so much the going camping as that they made it a main sign of being close to God. They were also very aggressive about recruiting. And I can’t help but wonder, if like so many other ministries and churches we see on TWW, if the leader’s claim that if you weren’t spending time with them, then you were living in sin (whatever that meant, but I think it meant having sex), if that was his own proclivity that he projected onto others.
Either that, or like so many singles ministries that I’ve joined and left with single leaders (not all male, I might note), he was desperate for a spouse and was forcing women to hang out with him.
Good point! Would that mean that men should be restricted to the roles of carpenters, shepherds, tent makers, magicians, publicans, lawyers and doctors, priests, and rulers (but only the last one if they are rich and young, I suppose). I guess they can also dance and sing and play music.
But computer programmers are not in the bible, or pilots or submariners or astronauts or CPAs, so I guess those guys had better quit being so unbiblical.
Such ridiculous things for people to build entire theological houses of cards from.
Yep, most likely we ended up with a little extra through all the years of scribes making copies, when they came to a textual variant, and they had to make a choice they would go with more rather than less, e.g. the expansion of Jesus name, one text may say The Lord Jesus, and another may say The Lord Jesus Christ, the scribe most of the time would do what they call the exspansion of piety, and go with more , from fear of leaving something out.
The study of textual criticism is the most rewarding and fascinating thing ever, I’ve just started it.
When you watch debates on it, it is fascinating James white, bart earhman, bruce metzger. What people went through to protect the sacred text is unbelievable….
Really, we have 105-107% of the original NT transcripts? Written by the authors themselves? I don’t think so. Plus your percentages create a bit of a problem.
Think about it, God would never let anyone have the original letters/text, they could change it, but rest assured we have the enerant text. And yes the best way to describe what we have is to say 105 – 107 % ( see above response to Nancy) Byzantine, Alexandrian, majority text, and wait until the latest “CBGM kicks in, wow Coherence -Based Genealogical Method, what they are researching in Germany is going to be something….
So be it. The term is no longer egalitarian… it is now penguintarian.
Oh, my goodness, I guess you know the mind of God on this then?
So you admit that we do not have the original texts of the New Testament.
Yup. Males go to church to serve and worship God. Females go to church to serve and worship the males who go to church to serve and worship God – and to learn how to serve and worship those males better.
“Elastigirl, To what degree does common sense get shifted out by such a process? Fair question, is it not common sense to go back to the original sources ( the greek ) and see what it says,…”
i didn’t phrase my question well.
all harm done to people at the hands of christians has been based on “going by the book”. christians have destroyed the lives of others by degrees through the desire for power/control as well as naive adherence to code — and both motives have found their justification in “the book”.
my observation is that using the bible as a text book with answers for how to do this & that in life easily snuffs out God-given common sense and capacity for empathy. one errs on relying on code at the expense of other senses.
not unlike how in israel & judaea circa 7 bc – 33 ce the jewish leaders missed Jesus. no amount of preoccupation with “the code” (jewish laws = instructions for how to do the this & that of life) enabled them to recognize Jesus.
you say “I struggle to see any grounds for egalitarianism”. gender roles are cruel (not to mention impractical and foolish). they take away half the world’s agency and voice. do you really need “grounds” reject cruelty and nonsense?
regarding kephale = head = authority: you seem so 100% certain about that, yet it appears you’ve only informed yourself of one side of the argument. I look forward to hearing your thoughts after a more comprehensive approach.
Okay. I thought about it. Someone might change the original letters/text, but no one would dare be brazen enough to change the letters/text in the copies! Got it.
I know exactly what you mean. A good friend, hearing that I was ‘Done’ with church suggested that I might be surprised how many ‘nice’ people there are outside of the church. She was right; it is kinda nice to not feel like one is always being examined to see if you measure up. Non-church folks tend to accept people as they are.
You would have made a great Kibbutznik back in the day when the Israelis transformed swamp and desert into the lovely habitat it is today.
That sounds lovely.
I was young and now am old. I’ve lived long enough to witness the waning authority of Christ in the American church. Men are on the throne; Jesus has little authority in groups that call themselves by His name. Men are making the decisions, not Christ. Men are charting the moral standards of the 21st century church, not Christ. A fresh-out-of-seminary young man can plant a church and set up an authority structure without ever engaging the authority of Christ over His Church. “Missed the boat” is putting it mildly … this is apostasy!
That makes no sense at all. He obviously let the original authors and recipients have the original texts. If no one ever had the originals we would have no copies. And if the original recipients changed them then the copies are all wrong. I think a better explanation for why we don’t have the originals is because they were written on decomposible materials that would not be expected to survive all the shipping and handling over the years.
Thank you. All I could manage was “Oh, my goodness.”
That would be once text was available. I am reading ‘Jesus Before the Gospels’ by Ehrman right now. It is about the telling of the Jesus stories before stuff got written down. Of course, Ehrman says there is no way to claim that we have original manuscripts, but even if so the period of oral tradition is the time when the stories were told differently, just as we see in the gospels that the stories once written down were told differently by the time that the earliest available manuscripts were written. I think he doubts that the original manuscripts, if we had them, would be significantly different from what earliest manuscripts we do have, and he gives objective textual evidence for that, but he definitely sees that people told the stories differently. Those are two different ideas. One says that the texts were altered by scribal error or perhaps intent, but the other idea says that the stories were different long before the texts were written. The latter makes more sense.
I used to read Wright, but for some time now I have been absorbing Ehrman’s stuff, because he seems more committed to ‘facts’ while Wright is more committed to introducing his own interpretive ideas. They may both be correct, but I just really like ‘the text this’ and ‘historians that’ and Ehrman’s discussions of the other early ways of being ‘christian’. Next in line for reading is his book ‘Lost Christianities’ about the early days.
So, a personal word. One of the biggest issues for me when I was young were the evident differences in scripture, whether or not the differences altered any significant theological idea or not. They used to tell us all sorts of ridiculous ways to try to convince ourselves that there really were no differences, and it was the fact that the arguments seemed unrealistic (word modified for this site) that led me to the conclusion that christianity was nonsense. Somebody needed to help that child, but nobody did. It took a long time to move on from that disillusionment. They should not have had us memorizing scripture if they were not able to deal with this issue. They thought we were too dense to notice I suppose.
Wright thinks that ‘heaven’ is an intermediate state of being, not a final destination, and that the final destination is a new heavens and a new earth. I hope that is correct. This planet is incredible. My dentist says that in what he calls heaven he wants to cut the grass, just cut the grass. Amen to that. But I have a lovely and brave little flowering almond I would like to make cuttings of come that day.
It’s just a wag, but it is not that out of the norm, we have partial copies of New Testament that are possibly as early as 190-210 AD. John didn’t write the book of revelation until 92-95 AD, it that a huge difference in time, in the grand scheme of things, I say not really, but I guess you could say it huge difference.
If you don’t believe that we have the New Testament, what do you base your beliefs on?
This is a false dichotomy. The question is not whether or not we have a perfect copy of the originals (we don’t) but whether or not what we do have is close enough.
Okrapod, one of the reasons I like the alexandrian text type is they are much older, closer to the actual writings
We have more Byzantine text, but they don’t go back as far, I guess they were better preserved in the ariad dessert in Egypt.
Have you seen any of Gary Habermas and his minimalist theory work, to me they are interesting.
Sorry Gary habermas and his minimalist facts theory…
Exactly. And with that comment you could be channelling Ehrman who says that there is evidence enough in comparing texts that what we have is ‘close enough’ aka without significant difference to whatever came before.
I have read something about the possibility of an earlier gospel according to Matthew in Hebrew and how the analysis of the translation may indicate that it was earlier than the earliest Greek tests which are available. Apparently somebody quoted from portions of it but no actual text is available. It is iffy but interesting.
Ken F (aka Tweed),
I am not sure what we disagree on, I don’t think we have a perfect New Testament, and. Know to some that sounds like blasphemy, we have 95-97% intact, and the little we don’t have, we don’t loose any doctrine,
So let me ask to make sure I’m following you, do you think we have is in fact close enough?
I do not think there was such a thing as the ‘New Testament’ until over the years the canon was decided upon. There were various writings, some approved and some rejected, but the compilation of the approved writings to constitute what we call the NT was done by the church. No angel appeared with a list and no scroll came floating down from the sky. And while there is good evidence, they say, to think that the gospels were possibly written by those to whom they are attributed, or at least by people writing on behalf of those people, there is no iron clad proof and hence the titles of ‘the gospel according to…’
The only ‘by my own hand..in large letters’ is from Paul.
I think this is good. Some people already practically worship the NT. Think what would happen if we had original writings in Jesus’ own handwriting. The golden calf does not even approach what people would do with such a relic.
So why do I, why do people believe? Are the stories enough? Not really. Without grace we would not believe. It is a supernatural act of divine grace. One does not have to agree with all the doctrines of grace according to Calvin to acknowledge grace; that idea is found throughout christianity only with some variations as to how that works. And I am not a calvinist!
You could be channelling what Eusebius of Caesarea wrote in the early fourth century: “For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence.” It looks like this theory could more than just iffy.
I have not. That might be worth checking out.
Wow. I did not know that. What I read had an explanation for a difficult passage if it was originally in Hebrew, but alas I have forgotten what it was. I will see if I can find where I read that tomorrow. It was something which frankly makes no sense in English translated for the Greek.
What I did read seemed to show that Jesus defended the Mosaic law but objected to the changes and interpretations and additions done by the Pharisees. One ended up with a different idea of the law as seen by Jesus, and therefore possibly a different idea of what Paul meant when he talked about law. That would be big time stuff if correct
Very interesting. It would be great if some of it could be pieced together, but there probably are not be enough surviving texts to make a difference.
I’ve read all of Ehrman’s stuff. My favorite is “Forged”, how some scriptures were written in others names to further certain beliefs or even as a form of admiration.
I like his scholarship even if some works repeated the same ideas.
Maybe he means the original readings of the Autographa.
The autographa are no longer in existence, but the readings from them appear in the thousands of surviving NT manuscripts, and using lower textual criticism, those readings can be reconstructed.
I understand that the earliest Christian writings are the letters of Paul, or at least those letters of his that are actually his.
Paul wrote around 60ad. By the time the gospels showed up, Christianity was well under way. The earliest surviving gospel is Mark. None of the gospels is Aramaic in origin
I think that Josephus referenced Jesus. That may be an addition by later Christian scribes. I remember reading the first Roman reference to Christianity around was 100ad. Anyway the main ideas behind Christianity were around before the canonical gospels.
Benn, a “10,000 foot view” of egalitarianism, as you asked Lea, is a big subject – kinda like trying to explain hierarchical complementarianism is 10,000 words or less.
The major camps of evangelicalism break down into: patriarchy, hierarchical complementarianism (HC) and non-hierarchical complementarianism or mutuality. Most evangelicals don’t actually hold to “egalitarianism” but mutuality, however, the word that is easiest as shorthand is egalitarianism.
Patriarchy, the traditional position of the church from at least the 2nd century AD to present, states “women do not bear the image of God in full (lesser beings), therefore, they have lesser roles in family, church and state”. Basically, lesser roles due to ontological ineptness. Abhorrent, reasonably easily challenged (Genesis 1:26-28) but logical and with logical outworking – lesser beings, lesser roles. This is very much an import of Greek philosophy into Christianity.
The challenge to patriarchy began to arise with the English translations of the Bible, the Quakers, the Levellers, the First and Second Great Awakenings, the Salvation Army and Church of the Nazarene, John Wesley and the Methodists. Mutuality states “women bear the image of God in full and therefore are limited in family, church and state only as men are limited – by character, experience, ability, Gifting, etc.” This is also logical and has a logical outworking – equal in being, equal in role. The explosion of the church and missions under this teaching was comparable only to the church in the first and second centuries, before the Greek suspicion of women started to take over.
Until about WW II, these were the two major schools of gender theology. After WW II, the new kid on the block, hierarchical complementarianism, began to rise. It was not codified until the 1970s/80s. It states “women bear the image of God in full (are equal in being), yet are permanently subordinate in family, church (sometimes) and culture (sometimes) due only to their being (that is, woman).” This is illogical and incoherent. It is an A is non-A fallacy – equal in being but permanently subordinate due to being. HC, since the base is incoherent, has an incoherent application – every church “decides” what the flavor of the week is that their women are allowed to do and it can change on whatever male whim happens along the pike. It creates very timid women, who are never sure what is allowed and what will not be allowed next week – women who can never listen to God but must always be on the alert for the men’s next wishes.
To shore up the illogical/incoherentness of HC, the architects of this began to teach the heterodox Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS), changing a primary doctrine of the church to back up their gender theology. Why? Well, ESS is incoherent in the exact same way as HC – “equal being but permanently subordinate due to being”, so they could point to the Godhead and say “see, it works there so what are you complaining about”? (Of course, mapping the Trinity – three – to a human marriage fails at even the most basic level . . number of participants!) It was, in fact, the realization that the defenders and architects of HC could not defend it on its own merits, but had to change the doctrine of the Trinity to give it solid ground, that convinced me that HC is fundamentally flawed.
I found it quite interesting (my background, by the way, is not HC – hierarchical complementarianism) but patriarchy – Gothard, ATI, quiverful movement – very harsh) that the defenses for mutuality are not new. One of the best references I have is the work of BT Roberts “Ordaining Women”, published 1891 (he is one of the bishops of the Free Methodists). William Booth, of the Salvation Army, quite interestingly stated “my best men are women”.
I noticed that you were in a discussion of “head” as it shows up in Ephesians. Ephesians is an epistle, a letter. Each letter has a theme and that of Ephesians is “one-ness”. When we see KEPHALE (head) in Ephesians, it is always paired . . with body. This is a compound metaphor “head-body” and, given that Paul is quick to describe it every time he uses it, may well be an example of a “live” metaphor, one that the writer is using outside its normal range of meaning. Dr Cynthia Westfall, in her recent work “Paul and Gender”, spends quite a bit of time on Ephesians 5:18-6:9 (technically, the teaching unit is Ephesians 5:1 – 6:9) and shows clearly this “one-ness” teaching that Paul is trying to get across.
We have rather mangled this – making a metaphor “head”, into an office “headship”, yet pairing it with “submission” rather than the other half of the compound metaphor “body” and “bodyship”. The Greek man spent his entire fortune and all his time on ensuring that his body was cared for, was in tip-top physical shape, and that his mind (which was not considered to reside in the head) was clear and that his heart (where decisions were made) was not clouded with emotion.
Honestly, it was a very long, MUCH reading and studying, road from patriarchy to mutuality and my road ran through many, many resources.
One of your last questions to Lea was whether egalitarianism automatically accepts gay marriage. Some lines of theology that end in egalitarian practice do, yes. The line that gave rise to the Salvation Army, the Free Methodists, the Church of the Nazarene (for example) does not – instead, it believes that there is something incredibly special about the “male and female created He them” of Genesis 1 and that marriage (and any other human endeavour) is impoverished when both male and female are not present, or when one is trying to rule over the other. As all of us have discovered, if you want to be a controlling boss then you will get hands but not heart and head. Put another way, Jesus said “I could have called you slaves, but now I call you friends” – there is no boss friend. Friends get together, all put into the pot what they have and do things based on what each one is good at – no boss required or desired (and if someone is always wanting to be “boss friend” they usually get chucked in the pond).
Patricia Gundry’s “Heirs Together” is available for free online, if you’d like to peruse a mutualist practical marriage resource – or “how does this really work?” It sound though, from your description of your own marriage above, that you have a functionally mutualist marriage – to be able to describe your mate as “friend” is to have a happy marriage (empirically as well – your mate as “best friend” is associated with two or three times happier marriages per Gottman Institute research).
I think Timothy is one that scholars tend to think was not written by Paul, but sort of in the style of Paul, as you say. I might be interested in that book.
I think this is an excellent explanation. It’s simple and logical. Women are equal not just in some mystical ‘essence’, but really and truly so. Simple.
Everything else is limiting women either a little or a lot, based on their sex and not themselves.
I loved your comment and I wanted to pull this out too, because it describes one of the huge weaknesses to this system, it varies by whim.
“If I thought Beth Moore would accept the nomination or be agreeable to being nominated, because of her qualifications and the current context the SBC finds herself in … I would nominate her for SBC President.” (Dwight McKissic)
Bart Earhman has renounced his faith, and is now a self described agnostic leaning towards atheism.
Sad, mentored by the best textual critic (imo anyway), we have had, Bruce Metzger.
You tube Gary Habermas and his minimalist theory, he did is doctorate at Michigan State on this, proving the writings of Paul, the gospel, the resurrection of Christ, and using only the facts, and writings of Paul that the critics, skeptics had/have accepted ( Bart Ehrman, and the rest of his tribe)
He did not use one of the disputed letters of Paul, or any of the gospels, Ehrman disregards all of the gospels
And it creates men with a bad case of “His Majesty the Baby” Syndrome, who are so used to being on top and having every whim indulged — “WOMAN, SUBMIT!”
In South Park terminology, a factory of Cartman clones.
With all women being Cartman’s Mom (with benefits).
See, this puts me off to start, because I don’t believe you can ‘prove’ these things anyways. That’s what faith is for.
The Great Chain of Being.
Kiss Up, Kick Down.
Over at Internet Monk, Chaplain Mike once commented that the one-two punch of the Age of Reason and Industrial Revolution caused a sea change in how we approached the Bible. From a collection of the Old Stories regarding God and man to a Spiritual Engineering Textbook of Axiom, Axiom, Axiom, Fact, Fact, Fact.
So you have faith in them, but are you saying we can’t know any of this for sure?
Or someone/something got Kinky somewhere along the line.
Anyone remember JMJ/Christian Monist?
His recurring thesis (both on blog and his book Butterflies in the Belfry, Serpents in the Cellar) was that Christian culture got cross-contaminated by Platonic Philosophy from the surrounding Hellenic culture and this syncretion caused major problems that continue to this day.
Not so much that it got blended into the mix as a lot of its ideas became badly overemphasized; JMJ tends to focus on the Spiritual/Physical Dichotomy from Plato (“Spiritual Good! Physical Baaaaaad!”), while you focus on the Male Supremacist attitude and inferiority of the female compared to the Male.
Interesting interaction between the above two….
Background: In my teens I read this historical novel set in ancient Greece, “Goat Song” by Frank Yerby. First story set in that time and place which went into the “frankly bisexual” angle of Hellenic Culture, and its subjugaton of women. (You don’t get that in the usual teen reading of Greece and Rome…)
Over the next couple years I came to the following conclusion:
Any Male-Supremacist Culture will have a strong pull towards Male Homosexuality. Since women are livestock, the only way to have sex with another person is with another male. As one such culture (possibly Hellenic) put it — “Women for Breeding Stock, Men for Love, Boys for Pleasure.”
Yet the same culture will also have a revulsion towards Male Homosexuality, as it requires that one man assume the position of the Woman — getting penetrated on the Bottom by the Stronger, More Manly Man on Top. i.e. Reduced to Livestock in an animal Forced Dominance Display. (Joke definition of Homophobia: the fear that a stronger, more powerful, more Manly Man can use you like you use a Woman.)
So a Male Supremacist culture will always have a Love/Hate relationship with Male Homosexuality. (Lesbianism doesn’t count — it’s only Women. Plus, “Hawt Lez Action” is a common shtick in male-targeted straight porn.) The usual workaround (from Turkish Sultans to Talibani Mullahs) is Cosmic-level Taboo yet tolerated/permitted for the Rich and Powerful on top who Make the Rules and Enforce the Taboo.
Same-sex Pedophilia (“Boys for Pleasure”) is related but kind of an aside. I’ve heard of studies that indicate same-sex pedos not only self-identify as straight but arouse as straight (don’t know how they measured that, and I don’t think I want to know). That it is the pre-pubescent boy’s lack of male secondary sexual characteristics (deep male voice, body & facial hair) that same-sex pedos target on. Like since the kid isn’t really male, it isn’t really homosexual.
With the above dynamics in action, things could get REAL interesting with Christian Complementarianism(TM); I would expect sex scandals with Forced Dominance Display, power-difference sexual abuse, and de facto tolerance of same-sex pedophilia and even “not really homosexuality” among the high-ranking rich, powerful, and Righteous.
We can’t prove them, is what I said.
What’s funny is when they got to mapping the trinity, they decided to map woman to son, and spirit to child.
HUG, I picked up and read Butterflies in the Belfry, Serpents in the Cellar on your recommendation – very thought provoking and WHAT a story! I wish I could say it was surprising and shocking . .
The “physical bad, spiritual good” is the kissing cousin, or maybe father of the ontological inferiority of the female neo-Platonic philosophy. Based on the chain of being of Plato (who based off Aristotle, et cetera), the male is more spiritual, less animal – the female is closer to the animal, less spiritual. (And this keeps going, of course – emperors are “higher” on the chain of human beings, slaves “lower”, “more animal”.) This, combined with the Greek’s horror of physical imperfection, was in part the basis for the female infanticide (the female was both less human and an imperfect male) that was a huge part of the civilization – it was so prevalent that the civil authorities eventually had to make a law that you had to keep your first daughter.
Into this civilization, Paul had to try to bring the concept of Genesis 2 marriage “for this cause shall a man leave . . cleave to his wife . . become one flesh” that was based on both male and female fully carrying the image of God – into a civilization where women a form of humanity necessary for procreation only and men were for love – hence the “head-body” metaphor, bringing the wife out of the cattle-market mentality and promoting her to the status he would give to his own (male) body. Odder than heck to us, but it was Paul’s culture, the one he had to birth the church into.
Evangelical Protestant ‘heaven’ is always someplace ‘other’, it’s never here, it’s a place ya’ wanna’ ‘get to’, a place with little if any connection to this world.
I think this probably stems from the Greek ideals of perfection, and because this world has imperfections, ‘heaven’ can only be someplace ‘other’.
I’m like your dentist, I hope that heaven is different for different folks. My hope is that ‘heaven’ is a continuation and an enhancement of the best this life has to offer
Lea, there is very little we can prove, but I agree at the end of the day it is faith….
But Paul was very confident in his faith…… which should help ours to grow, very very few people volunteer to die for a lie..
Chaplain Mike makes a good point, and I would also add that the Age of Reason and the Industrial Revolution also served to divest the Bible of much of its supernatural component and agency. To the point where any talk of the supernatural is gently (and not so gently) pooh-poohed in many ‘progressive’ ixtian circles.
Which of course triggered a Communism-begets-Objectivism backlash in the other side.
THEY pooh-pooh the supernatural, WE have to pooh-pooh everything but. “Spiritual Good! Physical Baaaaaaaaad!”
THEY have a Social Gospel without Personal Salvation, WE have to have a Gospel of Personal Salvation and ONLY Personal Salvation.
And like the half-white and half-black aliens from that Old Testament Star Trek episode, opposite on the surface, identical beneath, and at each others’ throats to the death.
It becomes Ethereal and Unreal. A fairy tale without any connection to reality.
I used to call this “Heaven that’s supposed to be better than Hell, but not by much.”
That is what I said..why are you quoting me someone ‘proving’ a whole bunch of stuff they can’t prove?
Not just progressives. Do you listen to some of the Baptists criticizing Beth Moore?
I grew up a bit bapticostal, so I get the lingo, but it’s interesting to watch.
If anything, they’re jealous and envious of Moore because she commands many more bucks than they do (my opinion).
Beth Moore is one of the few female teachers who has been blessed by the New Calvinists to allow their women to listen to. Her grace-grace-grace message is not a threat to them; she echos pretty much what they also teach “their girls” (as Matt Chandler likes to refer to female members of his church).
It also seems quite conceivable that getting the woman to see everything as her fault (to the point that inviting the man to step over her threshold—though I question whether she invited so much as he pushed and manipulated to come in, because I went on a date like that once—was presented to her as the same as seducing the “poor fellow”).
And because PP was a respected authority figure, and she had no one to support her or tell her differently, what else could she do but buy such a poisonous lie?
I suspect that’s the true meaning of PP’s “break her down” process. He may even have seen it as breaking her down so she could be built back up in “godliness”. Because these guys present as being evil, and they call good “evil” and evil “good”.
Two names come to mind: Ananias and Sapphira.
Here’s a film clip that describes exactly what these guys are and have always been:
Yes. There are many lovely people at the church some of my family attends. But when I say any of this stuff in conversation (I don’t attend the church but do go to the occasional small group social gathering), they look at me as if I have two heads, and attribute it to the spiritual abuse we suffered at the previous church.
I highly suspect that they began to emphasize comp a year after we started going there because of conflict in the head pastor’s household. I could be wrong, of course. And I’m sorry that this sounds so gossipy. But the guy was making jokes about his interactions with his wife in his sermons on an increasing basis, and they made me wince.
Remember the ending interpretation of the 1984 movie version of Nineteen Eighty-Four:
ONLY WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY BROKEN TO THE SYSTEM WILL YOU BE PERMITTED TO ADVANCE WITHIN THE SYSTEM.
What would be your personal opinion, from a egalitarianism view on SSM, in view of scripture?
In my view, asking for “an egalitarian view on SSM” is like asking for a “banana view on cars” – they’re not directly related. Egalitarians come to their practice via about three different theological lines – at least one of those is also amenable to approval of SSM, so there is correlation between SOME egalitarians and approval of SSM but definitely not all. Equally, though, there are theological lines that result in egalitarian practice but definitely do not result in approval of SSM. Egalitarianism is not causal of automatic approval of SSM.
One could actually make a better case of patriarchy/complementarian thought being more directly related to approval of same-sex attraction – the Greeks at the time of Paul were quite specific that the best romantic relationship was male/male, because females just were not human enough to meet the male need for companionship and lasting love.
One of the theological “lines” (the one I come from) holds that male and female, fully present and fully participating, are both needed to see the image of God in full flower. Each is fully in the image of God, yet there is something incredibly special about both together – something like 1+1 = 100. Each “1” is a whole number . . but they add up to so much more. One is not the boss of the other. All of us have had bosses or been a boss – to the extent you “take control” of another human, they check out mentally and you get “hands but no head or heart”. The best bosses are not controllers, but supporters and coaches, working toward making more people who are supporters and coaches – and the bosses do not have to be male or female, just the ones best suited to the job by character and ability and spirituality.
In business, Harvard has done studies of companies that have full participation at all power levels of male and female in 40:60 ratios (male/female and female/male – anywhere in that ratio of the two) and these companies are more profitable while AT THE SAME TIME being less risky and having greater employee satisfaction. This is not usually considered possible in business – yet the full, equal (no female better than male or male better than female, in practice) input of both male and female creates something wild, strange and awesome – as we would expect if God is so big that it takes male and female to contain the Image of God.
In this theological line, obviously, the amazing results come from male/female relationships (in all areas, not just marriage), not in single sex groupings (like all-male elders boards) and marriages AND singles are able to be accommodated in mixed, balanced working groups.
If you’re interested in detailed theological analysis in egalitarian thought from various traditional lines, look up the blog series on Non Sermoni Res called “On Women’s Ordination” – it deals with both Catholic and Protestant points of view and is book length. Much of the Catholic church, for example, finds Protestant complementarian argumentation quite odd – their divide is not male/female but clergy/laity. At the lay level, females are able to do anything males can do and marriages are egalitarian – celibate males can be priests, but non-celibate ones cannot, for example, so the power divide is not gendered at the lay and marriage level.
I’m sorry I can’t answer the question directly from all theological lines of thought, but I’m really not able to give a “banana view of cars”. My particular theological line is not in agreement with SSM, so I’m not familiar with the argumentation of egalitarian theological lines that are. Dr John Stackhouse’s book Partners In Christ (an updated edition of Finally Feminist) elucidates my view quite well.
Long ago, I came to the same conclusion through a roundabout path. That a Male-Supremacist culture will be pulled towards male/male homosexuality for the reason you stated above.
But such a culture will also be repulsed by it because it requires one of the men involved to take the bottom position as a woman. Especially if said culture also includes strong taboos against it from other sources such as Leviticus or the Koran.
The usual workaround is to permit it de facto for the rich and powerful Highborn and only enforce the divine taboo on the Lowborn.
Unwanted Competition – that Rabbi from Nazareth.