JD Greear Says Women Can Teach, Well Sort of, So Long As They Don’t Mimic the Authority of an Elder. Come Again?

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“When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.” CS Lewis


JD Greear recently wrote Can Women Teach in the Church? There is no question that the role of women in the conservative church(read: complementarian) is a difficult one. What can a woman do and what can a woman not do? As time passes, and we see women assume roles on society that were unthinkable for women even 50 years ago, it should come as no surprise that the roles of women in the church are being reassessed.

The problem with bright,theologically adept women in the church.

As time has progressed, it has become apparent that many in conservative churches are unable to define role restrictions to be anything beyond a woman can’t be a pastor or an elder. However, it is becoming apparent that even the *only male* elder rule is being challenged by some in conservative churches.

One of the most difficult things to define, utilizing Scripture alone, is whether or not a woman can teach in the church. It has become quite evident that many women are far more capable of teaching than some elders who are supposed to be the repository of all wisdom and teaching in the church.

Right now, it appears that Greear desperately wants to find more roles for women in his church. He wants the SBC to appear to be a kinder and gentler sort of SBC with male leaders who *get women.* He does not accomplish his goal in this treatise.

In the coming weeks, our elders plan to roll out our official position paper regarding women in ministry. I have long been eager to share that document, and I am praying it inspires many more of our women to use the gifts God has given them for the work of the ministry. In the meantime, below is our placeholder statement, originally written after we invited Elyse Fitzpatrick for an interview during weekend services in 2015.

The problem he has is that he believes that only men can carry an authoritative role in the church. He cannot  cede that *authority* to women. But, what happens when a woman is a good, really good teacher? In fact, she is so good, that many men actually listen to her and believe that she is better at teaching Scripture, in an authoritative manner, than the local elders?

If she sounds authoritative then people might think she is authoritative and that is a real problem when only men can be authoritative in Greear’s paradigm.

We see a conflicted Greear in the following statement. How does he define what God has forbidden?

Can a woman teach a large Sunday School class or an evening Bible study?

In this answer he is speaking as the pastor of The Summit Church. Before I post his answer, let me ask a few question.

  • What does he mean by a *large* Sunday school class? Does he have a different answer for a moderately or smallish sized class? Does size matter when it involves gender?
  • What does he mean by an *evening* Bible study? Is that different than a Bible study at noon? Does time matter when it come to gender?

Yes, she can teach at these unless she *mimics the teaching authority of an elder* because perception is everything.

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.

Now that really clears things up… He expands on this.

She can’t mimc pastoral shepherding in a mixed gender group unless the co-leader is a man, maybe…

Thus, where small groups and Sunday School classes mimic the pastoral functions of the church (responsibility for shepherding, the beginning stages of discipline), we believed mixed-gender groups should be led (or at least co-led) by men.

So, let’s ask a few questions…

  • If a man asks a woman teacher if he should have a daily quiet time, would her answer constitute shepherding?
  • If a woman is a far better teacher than the man in the co-led class, should she pretend that she is stupid in order to make the man look more authoritative?
  • If Matthew 18 is applied to church discipline, the first step is found in verse 15.
    15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over (NIV),”
    Does this mean that a woman cannot confront a person one on one? Does she need a man to be present to make it official?

Greear attempt to clear things up by quoting John Piper which only makes things worse.

Piper *helpfully* tells Elizabeth Elliot to *sock it to them.* He also appears to say that explaining *gospel content* and *exhortation to believe and obey* does not fall under the admonition for women to abstain from mimicking authority. Again, confusion reins.

One is allowed to explain gospel content. What exactly does that mean? Can one discuss only verses that deal with the gospel but not discuss verses that deal with spiritual gifts? Can women *exhort* people to believe and obey but not be allowed to discuss the meaning of the book of Revelation? Where is this discussed in the Bible?

Thus, almost all complementarians concede that women can and should “teach” in the church in some way—that is, if “teach” is defined as the explanation of gospel content or exhortations to believe and obey it. It is only a certain kind of teaching that is forbidden to women. For example, John Piper, who is among the most conservative of complementarians, says, “In context, I think [1 Tim 2:12] means that women shouldn’t be the authoritative teachers of the church, i.e. they shouldn’t be elders.” Piper goes on to say, however, that women like Beth Moore and Elisabeth Elliot should be free to write, speak and teach publicly, and that men can and should learn from them—he himself has. About the ministry of Elisabeth Elliot, whom he calls the “Beth Moore” of his generation, he says, “I love it! Sock it to them Elisabeth! She was so in your face about laying your life down and being radically obedient and totally committed.”

Greear wants to champion the role of mother.

I am a mother. I know this sounds nice but it doesn’t clear things up, whatsoever. I know at least 20 Christian women who never had children, either due to infertility or singleness. One cannot make the case that God means for women to be mothers as a solution to the problem of the role of women in the church. Such an explanation appears to do an end run around the problem.

Finally, we want to champion the importance of the role that God has given only to women: mother.

Greear points out that only women can be mothers. So what? Only men can be fathers. This does not solve his problem.

A woman can’t preach a sermon but can speak during the sermon so long as a man is there to *officialize.”

Once again, Greear’s explanation is confusing to me.

My recent interview of Elyse Fitzpatrick is a good example of how we attempt to accomplish this. I (as a teaching elder) set the context, invited Elyse up to ask her a series of questions, and then wrapped up the service by applying her words specifically to The Summit Church. My 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 an elder of our church. She explained some incredible Christian truths, but we, the Summit elders, bore the weight of responsibility for her teaching.

Think about it. Greear said that as long as he was present on the stage, that means this was a safe activity. First of all, I smiled that he called the *pulpit* the *stage.* It has become a bit of a performance, hasn’t it?

Even though Greear claims that she presented some incredible truths, they were not sufficient. The elders *bore the weight* of her teaching. Huh? What exactly did the elder do? Most of them were probably sitting in the *audience* (in keeping with the entertainment on the stage), doing nothing. How were they bearing the *weight?*  as she was speaking. It sounds horrible. All that weight on their weary shoulders….

Were they breathlessly waiting for her to sound authoritative? What would that sound like? Would they leap onto the stage and drag her off if she was mimicking their authority? Did they have a 30 second delay on the microphone so they could cut it off and carry her away from the *stage* for mimicking? For sure, that would be entertaining.

What exactly does mimicking authority look like? is it wearing tight pants and shirts, showing off one’s tattoos and biceps? Does it mean using the same mannerisms as the pastor? I once saw a women give a talk. I knew she loved Anne Graham Lotz. I was startled to see her use the exact same gestures as Lotz. In fact, at one point, I suddenly giggled out loud because it seemed so extreme. Is that what Greear means?

The SBC has a woman problem as well as a serious sex abuse problem and is that what this is really all about?

Greear has a mess on his hands. The men were in charge and presided over a sex abuse problem that has attracted the attention of the world. Since the SBC does not allow women in leadership, the male leadership is to blame. Greear is desperately trying to portray a *nice* SBC which now *gets it.* Think about what he has offered.

  • Women should not teach a mixed group of women and men.
  • Women should not give a sermon from *the stage*unless men are present to *officialize.*
  • Men must bear the weight of women who are allowed to say anything from *the stage* unless they can sing it and then it’s OK.
  • Men should push the role of *mother* because being a *mom* is something only women can do. Except, all women cannot be mothers so this does not take care of the underlying female problem. Also, isn’t being a dad something that only men can do? This only confuses the issue.
  • How does one mimic authority? Could the SBC do some You Tube videos demonstrating this sinful mimicking? We need examples.
  • Why can’t a church appoint a group of female leaders who can provide input into the all male elder board?  Remember, it’s been the men who have been in charge and produced the horrific sex abuse problem as well as helping to promote segregation. Maybe it’s time to listen to some suggestions from the non mimicking, authoritative women. In fact it was women who spoke the truth into Greear’s life about the mess at Sovereign Grace Ministries years ago. He chose to ignore their pleadings. I wonder if he regrets his choice.

I think this mimicking authority and *officializing* stuff does not come from the Bible. It comes from some men who woke up one day and realized that they had a mess on their hands and are trying to come up with sort of an explanation, any sort of explanation, that will calm things down while they figure out what to do. This is just one more poorly thought out fail.

JD Greear admits that his church is made up of mostly women and that the majority of those are single.

Greear is getting woke.

As a dad of three very capable daughters, and as a pastor of a church where the majority are women (and the single largest demographic breakdown is single women), I long to see women raised up to serve in the body of Christ

A true story:

I will not confirm the identities of those people mentioned in this story. but most you would recognize them all.

About a decade ago, some women visited a well known SBC mega church with a celebrity pastor. They noted that the church attendees were mostly women and that many of them were young-college age and therefor unmarried. Think back to those days, folks. That was the time of Mark Driscoll, dearly beloved of this pastor and his tribe. In those days, having more women than men in the church was an anathema to this crowd.

The word got back to said celebrity pastor that these women estimated far more women than men and that most of those women were college age. Well, a recorded sermon commenced in which this assessment was roundly condemned by the pastor who claimed that there were plenty of men in that church and that this assessment was bordering on slander.

These women were puzzled. “What’s wrong with having more women than men?” Are women less valued?” “How could he speak in such a derogatory manner about having lots of women in the church? ” The women stood by their assessment. Anyone with a pair of *woke* eyes could see that the women were correct.

End of story

I am glad that it appears JD Greear believes that it is good to have lots of women in his church, including single women. i wonder what he might say to that pastor from 10 years ago?

I’m looking forward to hearing from you what it looks like to mimic the authority of the male elders. This should be interesting.


Comments

JD Greear Says Women Can Teach, Well Sort of, So Long As They Don’t Mimic the Authority of an Elder. Come Again? — 394 Comments

  1. Re:
    “JD Greear Says Women Can Teach, Well Sort of, So Long As They Don’t Mimic the Authority of an Elder.”

    What if I, a woman, did so while lowering my speaking voice a pitch and while wearing a fake mustache?

    I’d also be willing to wear Old Spice aftershave / cologne while doing so.

    Would that be considered “mimicking an elder?”
    Or would that make me pass as a man, so it would be permitted?

    Complementarians sure have a lot of weird, stupid, arbitrary, contradictory, or senseless rules about women.

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  2. Regarding:
    “JD Greear admits that his church is made up of mostly women and that the majority of those are single.”

    The Southern Baptists, and Christians in general, have already lost un-married women.

    That ship has sailed.

    They’ve spent too much time ignoring us singles, and for the churches that don’t ignore us, they shame us for being single (they have revered marriage too much for too long).

    Their founder, Jesus, was never married, never had kids, and 1 Cor. 7 says it’s better to stay single than to be married.
    But do they ever mention that or consider any of that? No.

    That complementarians teach married women married to abusers that they must stay married to their abuser, keep placating the abuser,
    and they never tell these women they can divorce their abusers,

    -is just one reason I’d never step foot into a Southern Baptist/ Comp church again, or take dating advice from them.

    As to the Greear suggestion about honoring women as mothers.

    I’ve never married and have remained celibate this long.

    Is Greear suggesting I commit fornication all in order to get pregnant and have a kid out of wedlock, so I can become a mother?
    And is he going to send me checks every month to raise that kid?

    BTW, most of Christian culture already reveres motherhood enough as it is (as they do with marriage).

    A lot of us childless / childfree women, (or women with dead or abusive mothers), make it an intentional point to avoid attending churches that celebrate or mention Mother’s Day.

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  3. They really are stuck in this theological hole they’ve dug for themselves. In the end, it’s really very simple. It’s about power and control. These men can’t stand the though of losing power and control in the last two places available – the home and the church.

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  4. The safe subject women can teach about: “laying your life down and being radically obedient and totally committed.” I.e., encouraging other women to follow their gender role?

    Can a woman exposit the Bible?

    I think they want to have the positive optic of happy women taking part, yet not lose any bit of their own control over everything.

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  5. If you ask me, Baptists need nuns. I mean, it’s hard to get much more authoritative than Sister Margaret Eulalia (Mammy Yokum in a Habit), my 9th-grade Latin, English, home-room, and study-hall nun. She would put the fear of God into JD Greear in a New York minute!

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  6. Recently saw what I thought looked like an attempt at fancy footwork by him on the marriage issue, with readings of Scripture that didn’t seem to hold.

    Growing tired of needle threading, by which I don’t mean a straightforward effort to affirm one’s spiritual and doctrinal perspective but perhaps trying to dudebro one’s way out of blowback and — perish the thought — resistance.

    It’d be amazingly remarkable to hear someone of influence who reads 1 Cor. 14 and 1 Tim. 2 regarding restrictions in the church age say that straight out, and accept the consequences. Then again, those who take over churches by stealth and hiding their beliefs tend not to lead with transparency in other areas, one would think.

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  7. Daisy: What if I, a woman, did so while lowering my speaking voice a pitch and while wearing a fake mustache?

    I’d also be willing to wear Old Spice aftershave / cologne while doing so.

    If I were a woman, I might try the false beard and the lowering my voice pitch, but I’d draw the line at the Old Spice.

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  8. Helen Reddy gets my vote for women stepping up in the church…

    “I am woman, hear me roar
    In numbers too big to ignore
    And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
    ‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
    And I’ve been down there on the floor
    No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

    Oh yes, I am wise
    But it’s wisdom born of pain
    Yes, I’ve paid the price
    But look how much I gained
    If I have to, I can do anything
    I am strong
    I am invincible
    I am woman

    I am woman watch me grow
    See me standing toe to toe
    As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
    But I’m still an embryo
    With a long, long way to go
    Until I make my brother understand”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rptW7zOPX2E

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  9. drstevej: * Women can have many rolls in the church as long as they are cinnamon.

    When we (we insisted that both of us should be there) interviewed at our current church the elders asked about “women’s roles.” My husband said, “I really like them. I also like their biscuits and cookies.”

    On Wednesdays I teach the women’s class and my husband teaches the men’s class, but we teach the exact same thing and share notes. One week he was really busy, so I wrote the class. I did the exegesis, decided on how to present it, and wrote the discussion questions. Well, it was a low attendance that night and one of the elder’s suggested we combine the class. My husband said, “well, is it okay if Lady Preacher helps out with the teaching, especially since she did most of the work?” The elder said, “Sure, I don’t mind if she teaches the whole thing.” So I did. And it was a great class. At the end of class the elder turned to my husband and said, “she’s a really good teacher.” Well, there was one man there who did not approve and never came back to church. A month later, and after several emails and texts, he finally called my husband and said he just didn’t think “women should teach mixed classes.” He didn’t want to discuss it, he just cited 1 Timothy and ran away.

    What really bothers me about it is this: if we had split the classes my husband would have been reading and discussing my work and presumably that would be okay with this man. So, it was simply a matter of my voice and appearance that made this man incapable of learning from me. So, he can only receive religious instruction from a man? What? That’s dehumanizing. Instead of looking at me and seeing a sister in Christ who loves God, the Bible, and the church, and who spent hours studying the material, not to mention the years in seminary, he just saw a girl who was speaking out of turn.

    Happy ending: we’re about to teach a class on women’s roles and will probably be fully and openly egalitarian by the end of the year.

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  10. This authority they keep talking about is directly opposed to what God assigns any human. It is evil. These men are trying to usurp the authority of God.

    “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” -Matt. 28:18

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  11. Gus: And they do not realise there is a serious connection between the two.

    I think some of them are realizing this, maybe even Greear, but they are not willing to give up their status with those that don’t, nor are they willing to give up the benefits they get from patriarchy.

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  12. Dee, I will be at the SBC in Birmingham next month,
    We disagree on some theology, but I respect what you do, and would like to meet you if I get the chance.

    Also there is a rumor floating around of a tee shirt that may be available for purchase
    From what I gather it says, words to the effect:

    I AM NOT WOKE
    CUZ
    I NEVER WAS
    NAPPING

    It would be a hoot to get a pic of you in one……

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  13. kathi:
    They really are stuck in this theological hole they’ve dug for themselves. In the end, it’s really very simple. It’s about power and control. These men can’t stand the though of losing power and control in the last two places available – the home and the church.

    I really think they picked the wrong theological system for promoting hierarchy. If nothing anyone can do can change who God elects and who doesn’t, then there’s no reason for anyone to be above anyone else. The New Calvinists’ entire theology is a mess of contradictions, from “no one can know if they are elected” to “preaching is primary” (for what? what exactly does preaching do?”), “only men are made in the image of God” to “women have the most important job of mothers (to sons)”, and “Jesus is God” to “only women should be like Jesus and submissive to God the Father”.

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  14. And Yentl found a way to study scripture when women were forbidden to study.

    “Yentl, a young Jewish girl, wants to be a scholar. But girls are not permitted to study books. So she disguises herself as a boy, and is accepted by a community of scholars.”

    She disguises herself as a male.

    (Establishing the customs against women scholars (an itinerant book salesman actually shouts, “Serious books for men … picture books for women”)

    3-min. trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUUILOhBRCw

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  15. The theological hoops these people have to go through to defend women being under men is staggering.

    Read the BEST Twitter thread about this this week, where momnixon posed a whole series of questions about women teaching, like:

    “Is a woman allowed to tell her adult son things she has learned about scripture? Is her adult son allowed to listen? Is she MORE allowed to do it if she phrases it as a question? What about her adult son’s male friend? What if they’re standing in church on Sunday?”

    Seriously, read the whole thing:

    https://twitter.com/momnixon/status/1128017197044064258

    What I would add is, “If a man is listening to a woman who is mimicking an elder, and he learns something insightful from her, is that wrong? Is it a sin for him to put it into practice? Would he be better off forgetting it?”

    Reminds me of the Southern Baptist seminary professors who leave the room when the female students are giving their sermons and send their secretaries or wives in instead.

    To me, it’s simply the “women have cooties” doctrine. It honestly sounds like a grade 2 playground.

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  16. Perhaps since these men are so intent on focusing on selective literalism to prove their agenda, they should be confronted with Paul’s focus on everyone participating.

    When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 1Cor. 14:26

    Each one….each one…each with no reference to gender.

     

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  17. Victorious,

    I enjoyed hearing this again! And it reminded me of Isabella Baumfree this time:

    “Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

    That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

    Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

    Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

    If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

    Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say. [1]

    https://www.nps.gov/articles/sojourner-truth.htm

    I also think of Mary Magdalene.

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  18. I like JD Greear. He is an infinitely better President of the SBC than we’ve had in the past.

    That said, “male (elder) authority” is the fault line in JD’s theology. One of two things will happen with JD. He will either personally change his view of “authority” (which is currently unbiblical, un-Christian, and anti-Kingdom) and become biblically consistent with the New Covenant (Testament or Agreement) teaching that leadership is always gifted based and Spirit-led, not gender-based and status quo. Or, he will double down on male (elder) authority and find his ministry and church fractured because there is a reformation of lay people (men and women) who are finally waking up to the differences between Old Covenant Israel and the New Covenant Church. “Behold,” Jesus said, “I am making all things NEW!” He did indeed. Prayers for JD.

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  19. As the SBC Complementarians have been coming out of the woodwork lately there have been some anecdotal doozies in social media on how congregations have tried to accommodate women in ministry without crossing that “authority” line. My favorite, so far, was the church that allowed a woman to be the choir director but she could never turn around and face the congregation.

    It is clear that these folks are making it up as they go, just like they made the word itself. The ambiguity of the phrase “mimics the teaching authority of an elder” alone indicates they are on unstable theological ground.

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  20. a (somewhat snarky) proposal: “possession of authority” be acknowledged (following Jesus’ pattern in the incident of the paralytic) only in those who can prove that they “have authority” by working the kinds of signs that Jesus worked, and that He promised the apostles that they would work in even greater abundance.

    Failing that, acknowledge “possession of authority” only in those who can prove that they are true successors of the apostles by showing that they are able, as Jesus promised to the first apostles, to “pray to the Father in Jesus’ name” have have done for them whatever they ask.

    Failing that, suggest (following Wade’s proposal) that “authority” be viewed as inhering in demonstrably sound function within the churches; sound teaching is authoritative, regardless of the identity or attributes of the teacher. In this case, the authority is in the teaching, not the teacher.

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  21. drstevej: * Women can have many rolls in the church as long as they are cinnamon.

    * Women can preach/teach and keep silent by using sign language and a chalk board.

    Thank you for demonstrating the absolute absurdity of everything Greear said. Without logic, or the eensiest of biblical support, he just pulled a bunch of gunk out of his arse and set it forth. All are supposed to bow down in submissive admiration and pretend like anything he said has legitimacy. Because a MAN said it.

    Yessir master, being silent now means speaking with a man on the stage. How could we have missed it? Being submissive will now be made to mean something entirely different than what we said thirty years ago. Is that really the best they can do?

    Since they made up the first definition, they think they can declare truth by fiat anyway. These dudes are so toast.

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  22. SiteSeer: I think they want to have the positive optic of happy women taking part, yet not lose any bit of their own control over everything.

    Absolutely. They need to tweak their Stepford system a bit so no one catches on to their mind erasures.

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  23. JDV: It’d be amazingly remarkable to hear someone of influence who reads 1 Cor. 14 and 1 Tim. 2 regarding restrictions in the church age say that straight out, and accept the consequences.

    Been there, done that. The world in which one could do that safely has passed. They are now scrambling to escape from complete obsolescence, as the christian micro-world catches up to the truth that slavery and oppression is evil.

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  24. ishy: I think some of them are realizing this, maybe even Greear, but they are not willing to give up their status with those that don’t, nor are they willing to give up the benefits they get from patriarchy.

    Those who have asserted authoritarian control must only cede authentic freedom one tiny step at a time, lest those under them see how illegitimate their authority always was. They have had all of their teachings rejected by right-thinking men and women, and are now trying to retain power and legitimacy. They deserve neither, and we all need to loudly laugh them off the stage.

    Seriously, women should show up at their conferences, perhaps every Sunday at such churches, with false beards. It is a fitting symbol of their false authority. Anyone want to start an elder beard company?

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  25. ishy: I really think they picked the wrong theological system for promoting hierarchy. If nothing anyone can do can change who God elects and who doesn’t, then there’s no reason for anyone to be above anyone else. The New Calvinists’ entire theology is a mess of contradictions

    This is where the rubber meets the road. Their entire system is based on lies and distortions. Like Capone being toppled with tax fraud, will the contradictory, illogical, unbiblical system of Calvinism at long last be exposed (as it has been so many times in the past) for what it is due to their oppression of women? May it be so.

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  26. TS00,

    The absurd thought occurs that, given the value that is placed on “toughness”, testosterone is not a controlled substance. Don’t need to wear fakes. Of course, it may be difficult to get a prescription.

    But it would really freak out the guys.

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  27. emily honey,

    So glad I attended Seminaries that were open to women as preachers. Union Theological in Richmond and Gordon-Conwell. I attended these back in the 80’s. It is shocking that SB are still slogging along with this issue…???

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  28. Could “mimic the authority of an elder” be referring to a natural childlike response to an inappropriate treatment(disrespect) by a “parent”? Did I hear they want to replicate themselves? Direct clarification would be nice.

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  29. Wade Burleson: “Behold,” Jesus said, “I am making all things NEW!” He did indeed. Prayers for JD.

    The curse of sin is broken; seems to this simple mind that the subjugation of women conforms to an operational belief that the curse of sin is not broken. Whatever is not of faith is sin.

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  30. JDV: ecently saw what I thought looked like an attempt at fancy footwork by him on the marriage issue, with readings of Scripture that didn’t seem to hold.

    He adores John Piper who has appeared at his church. If that is so, we can assume that, deep down inside, he agrees with PiPer on a number of issues.

    Recently, I’ve seen some discussions by men who claim that JD is NOT a Calvinist. The first time I heard it, I almost choked on my coffee. He is a Calvinist but he uses optics on that issue as well. These people need to do what I do. Read his stuff. I have and I do.

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  31. I think JD Greear and his church are struggling with the complementarian equivalent of US Supreme Court Justice Stewart Potter’s test for whether a film depicts hard-core pornography, as he wrote in Jacobellis v Ohio (378 US 184, 197 (1964)): It is the famous “I know it when I see it” test.

    Here, I see it going like this:
    Question: How can we all know when a particular woman at a particular time in a particular venue is mimicking the authority of men in the church?

    Answer from Pastor Greear (paraphrasing Justice Stewart): “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of [situations] I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“women’s roles in the church”], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.”

    It all falls apart as time goes by.

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  32. Lady Preacher,

    I love your comment. The same thing happened to me at my former church. I taught the class with my husband and another man. I did the work and my husband and friend acknowledged that. But, some women came to me because they only listed my husband and my friend as teachers. They wanted to make the pastors out my name on the class. I told them not to do that because I knew what would happen. I said that we need to keep things they way they are and everyone who comes to the class knows what’s going on.

    That was the church that I left due to the mishandling of a pedophile situation.

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  33. Benn: Dee, I will be at the SBC in Birmingham next month,
    We disagree on some theology, but I respect what you do, and would like to meet you if I get the chance.

    I will be there at the rally and will speak to the people present that evening. I would be happy to get a T-shirt and get a picture of me in one. Please come and meet me. Jules will be there as well.We can do group pics.

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  34. Sheila Wray Gregoire: Is a woman allowed to tell her adult son things she has learned about scripture? Is her adult son allowed to listen? Is she MORE allowed to do it if she phrases it as a question? What about her adult son’s male friend? What if they’re standing in church on Sunday?”
    Seriously, read the whole thing:
    https://twitter.com/momnixon/status/1128017197044064258

    Thank you. It might be worth posting some of those comments in a post.

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  35. dee,

    Actually, for many, many years, there are women who have played important leadership roles in SBC churches who resemble Catholic nuns in all but name and habit. These women share remarkably similar characteristics: They are often unmarried (whether by choice or by circumstance), modest in appearance and dress, diligent in ministry, dedicated to serving God and his church, and often well and sometimes highly educated. I have met these women in SBC churches and seminaries across the country. I have often thought that their spiritual template is captured in the life and ministry of Lottie Moon.

    SBC folks recoil when I draw the analogy between these Lottie-Moon-type female SBC ministers and Catholic nuns. But to me, it is a very close analogy. One of these “SBC nuns” I know personally even talks of her relationship with Jesus as a “marriage.”

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  36. At the end of the day, this is really all about power and control. By adhering to the principles of complimentarianism, Greear instantly subjugates over 50% of the church population under the “authority” of elders. The rest of the church’s ‘beta-males’ (pew-peon-giving-units) will then be bullied and threatened into submission as well. Elder-ruled churches just don’t work where each church is considered autonomous, and the SBC needs to get back to congregationalism where EVERY member equally has a voice and a vote. Last time I checked, there wasn’t ANYONE between me and the throne of grace…not even an elder!

    I believe this entire ‘elder-led’ polity system is primarily embraced by petty little men with extremely fragile egos who feel insecure about women (and laymen) who can teach better than they can, and this is the only way they can maintain the illusion of control.

    But to answer the question of what “mimicking authority” might look like…I really couldn’t hazard a guess! But perhaps it might entail a woman speaking to a group wearing a black leather jacket and skinny jeans?!? I’ve really got nothing on this, folks… 🙂
    I think Greear is merely throwing anything at the wall to see what’ll stick at this point.

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  37. If women are not appointed as elders, then there should be no confusion as to whether they teach with the authority of an elder. I don’t understand the paranoia.

    Do they do the same thing when men who are not elders speak from the stage? Do they “bear the weight” and “legitimize” the teaching? Because the true issue is not gender, but the specific authority entrusted to the elders. (I do believe that the elder/pastor function has an extra layer or responsibility to guard and guide the doctrine of the body. Though I don’t believe that this authority is to unqualified or unquiestioned.) If they are concerned about communicating that they approve of what is being said from the platform, they will be responsible for and take steps to “legitimize” the words of ANY non-elder, male or female.

    The three men who teach my Sunday school class are not elders. I don’t confuse them with elders EVEN THOUGH they do sometimes “mimic” the authority and teaching style of my pastors. They open the Bible and teach/preach. But they’re not the pastors, and we all know it. So yeah, it’s a problem with women, not with guarding elderish authority.

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  38. From Greear: My introduction, presence on stage, and application at the end “officialized” the explanation and exhortation given by her

    Dee you missed this point, even though you nailed a hundred and one others…

    A woman might be able to qualify to teach from the “stage” if she jumps through all the right hoops, and then deliver an outstanding Biblical message. But all for naught UNLESS Greear concedes to summarize her message, choosing whatever he views as the main things, and make it all official.

    Female words need qualifying by a male voice.

    Her words are mud without his stamp of approval. She should save her efforts and not even bother.

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  39. If women are not appointed as elders, then there should be no confusion as to whether they teach with the authority of an elder. I don’t understand the paranoia.

    Do they do the same thing when men who are not elders speak from the stage? Do they “bear the weight” and “legitimize” the teaching? Because the true issue is not gender, but the specific authority entrusted to the elders. (I do believe that the elder/pastor function has an extra layer or responsibility to guard and guide the doctrine of the body. Though I don’t believe that this authority is to unqualified or unquiestioned.) If they are concerned about communicating that they approve of what is being said from the platform, they will be responsible for and take steps to “legitimize” the words of ANY non-elder, male or female.

    The three men who teach my Sunday school class are not elders. I don’t confuse them with elders EVEN THOUGH they do sometimes “mimic” the authority and teaching style of my pastors. They open the Bible and teach/preach. But they’re not the pastors, and we all know it. So yeah, it’s a problem with women, not with guarding elderish authority.

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  40. Friend: The cafe up the street from us is advertising plant-based salads. Thought everyone would want to know about this new trend.

    Plant. Based. Salads.

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in quite a while! It appears that your local cafe has a rather acute sense of the obvious, don’t they?

    However, it’s not much different than many church’s “gospel-centered” and “biblical” descriptors they throw onto everything…as well as “organic worship”–whatever the heck that is!

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  41. “Finally, we want to champion the importance of the role that God has given only to women: mother.”–JD Greear
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    God has given only to men the ability to pee standing up and hit a target. I think we should champion the importance of that.

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  42. I am so very ashamed, seriously.

    I once taught a mixed class the Gospels.

    I did not write the material, but wrote an extensive student handbook, based on Fruchtenbaum’s work: Life of Messiah from a First Century Jewish Perspective The effort took me three years. And as I was nearing the completion, my church offered the class on a week night, for 6 weeks, to correspond with other classes offered.

    The class was wildly successful, with over 20 people attending each and every week for 10 straight months, with only 2 skipped weeks (snow storms). The church had no problem with the class extending the term.

    Each and every class, I had a male sitting at the head table with me. I made sure the good folk knew that the material was not original to me, a mere female, but that a man had written it. I was not only hoping to make clear that I did not plagiarize, Fruchtenbaum’s name was a footer on every page, but to legitimize my standing before men.

    That must be 15 years ago. A Jewish attorney got saved during the portion of the gospels when many of the disciples left Jesus because His message was too difficult. I gave an altar call, so to speak, and asked if anyone wanted to follow and not leave…and after class the lawyer came forward and pronounced faith in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. That very week, he testified to his whole extended family, which isn’t easy being Jewish. I hid my faith in Jesus for quite awhile when I first believed.

    I so glad (read with sarcasm) that I made it abundantly clear that men were in authority over me, because without it, I held no legitimacy. I really bought the lie.

    SMH at my former self. I’m sorry I gave the impression that the Hand upon me which compelled me to that season was not sufficient without male authority.

    BTW, the male authority thing was all on me, not the church leadership who never once mentioned it.

    Oh to have a do-over.

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  43. Samuel Conner,

    “The absurd thought occurs that, given the value that is placed on “toughness”, testosterone is not a controlled substance.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    toughness… ha

    a woman is the toughest person in the room.

    anyone who doubts this is ignorant of the fact that for around 2,400 days of her life she goes to work and keeps on working ignoring the extreme pain and inconvenience she is enduring. Simply because there is work to be done.

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  44. emily honey:
    Ironically, I credit my experience at SEBTS, the Summit, and my college SBC church for driving me straight to egalitarianism.

    Me too. Well, minus the Summit because FBC Durham was all the rage when I went to SEBTS. Of course, FBCD is even worse in many ways (I know dee has written about that several times).

    Wade Burleson,
    I am hoping Emily will also answer, too, but I studied Greek at UGA, from NOBTS extension, and for 2 1/2 years at SEBTS. One thing SEBTS was famous for was an excellent Greek department. And found a lot of problems with how passages on women and marriage were translated into English and then interpreted by SBC pastors, particularly after SEBTS was “taken over” by Akin halfway through while I was there.

    My former church there was another one taken over and turned to elder rule by force and through deception.

    I have been hugely disappointed with the New Calvinists and the fact that they do not properly exegete Scripture using original texts, only ESV. Some of these men I am sure know they are intentionally changing the meaning and connotation from the original text. At best, a good scholar of Scripture will admit there are things that are unclear. What the New Calvinists do is start with many assumptions and force certain translated passages to fit and create absolutes, then ignore the rest.

    I am an egalitarian, but I also believe that anyone who claims authority over another, and who claims to have absolutely true theology, is a wolf.

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  45. Root 66: Noevangelical: So much better than an SBC word salad…

    “Man does not live by bread alone, but he needs some SBC word salad every once in a while, too!” Isn’t that in Deuteronomy somewhere?!?

    I am totally cracking up at this!

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  46. Sheila Wray Gregoire,

    ““If a man is listening to a woman who is mimicking an elder, and he learns something insightful from her, is that wrong? Is it a sin for him to put it into practice? Would he be better off forgetting it?

    Reminds me of the Southern Baptist seminary professors who leave the room when the female students are giving their sermons and send their secretaries or wives in instead.””
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    what’s going to happen? is his name going to be scratched out of the Lamb’s Book of Life? If not, then a smaller crown with smaller jewels?

    What is the risk? Seriously — what could possibly be the risk?

    it’s so unreasonable. i think these scaredy-cat people are simply afraid of fear itself.

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  47. A little biology 101 (primarily from Wikipedia) provides some important insight for this male spiritual authority discussion. The human genome consists of more than 20000 genes, each of which has some function in our performance as a specific individual of our species. Our genome consists of 23 chromosome pairs, one from each parent thst collectively contain all our genes. The smallest of these is #23 which consists of either two X chromosomes determining a female or an XY pair where the Y chromosome result in a male. The X has approximately 200 functional genes and the Y about 70. All the obvious physical differences between male and female are due to the small number of genes that determine our respective roles in the propagation of our species primarily from the Y chromosome as the X is functional in both genders. Thus it appears very clear to me that the assertion of male authority in the church is based on only the very small biological differences between genders just needed for reproduction.

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  48. ishy,

    “I think some of them are realizing this, maybe even Greear, but they are not willing to give up their status with those that don’t, nor are they willing to give up the benefits they get from patriarchy.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    so, maybe they have convictions.

    courage, anyone?

    no courage.

    no courage required to take the easy way out.

    courage means being willing to giving something up (safety, comfort, status, means, etc) for a greater good, a higher principle.

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  49. elastigirl:
    Samuel Conner,

    “The absurd thought occurs that, given the value that is placed on “toughness”, testosterone is not a controlled substance.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    toughness…ha

    a woman is the toughest person in the room.

    anyone who doubts this is ignorant of the fact that for around 2,400 days of her life she goes to work and keeps on working ignoring the extreme pain and inconvenience she is enduring.Simply because there is work to be done.

    BUT, my daughter has a friend who was having a casual/ light hearted discussion with her Farther about the cost of being a child bearing female, told his daughter to try to keep everything in perspective, and he advised his daughter to next month take a personal day, stay at home and watch saving private Ryan all day, and get back to him.

    I’m not sure how great a home life the aforementioned girl had, ugh

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  50. Sheila Wray Gregoire: “Is a woman allowed to tell her adult son things she has learned about scripture? Is her adult son allowed to listen? Is she MORE allowed to do it if she phrases it as a question? What about her adult son’s male friend? What if they’re standing in church on Sunday?”

    Do they think is is better to burn in you-know-where than to be led to Jesus by a woman?

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  51. FW Rez: As the SBC Complementarians have been coming out of the woodwork lately there have been some anecdotal doozies in social media on how congregations have tried to accommodate women in ministry without crossing that “authority” line. My favorite, so far, was the church that allowed a woman to be the choir director but she could never turn around and face the congregation.

    I’ve thought about suggesting that all the wimmenfolk wear cute little vests that say “Service Animal”, but I believe my comments would be deleted.

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  52. elastigirl: no courage required to take the easy way out.

    courage means being willing to giving something up (safety, comfort, status, means, etc) for a greater good, a higher principle.

    Yeah, well, their theology requires lots of assumptions and mental gymnastics, so I think telling themselves they are doing the right thing is not that hard for them.

    I also think courage is not really a value for them because they are so concerned about having and keeping authority. I mean, these are guys that clearly don’t believe they can continue to be in charge without tricking people into signing contracts and church disciplining people who ask basic questions.

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  53. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): I’ve thought about suggesting that all the wimmenfolk wear cute little vests that say “Service Animal”, but I believe my comments would be deleted.

    Well, you’re nearly there. The cute wee vests whereof you spake should be sported by the servant leaders, to identify those whose example others should follow (by word and deed both).

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  54. ishy,

    If the SBC is not forced to make a decision on this issue, but only goes somewhere in between, won’t they just resort to pursuing the equivalent of process crimes against women who break the nebulous “thou shalt not mimic and elder” rule?

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  55. Noevangelical:
    If the SBC is not forced to make a decision on this issue, but only goes somewhere in between, won’t they just resort to pursuing the equivalent of process crimes against women who break the nebulous “thou shalt not mimic and elder” rule?

    That’s a good question. Historically, churches have been “autonomous”, but the moment they think about letting a woman preach, they are kicked out. I’m guessing much of the SBC voting bloc would disagree with Greear even in having a woman speak in front of a church “under the authority of an elder”. But I also suspect women are walking out of the SBC in droves and know from friends that their churches have a lot of single men, unlike Greear’s church.

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  56. ishy: I’m guessing much of the SBC voting bloc would disagree with Greear even in having a woman speak in front of a church “under the authority of an elder”

    Especially those who don’t have an elder structure known as such, especially not me of the 9Marks variety.

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  57. Friend: I’m thinking “Emotional Support Animal,” since it’s closer to the Biblical role, and there is less official recognition and guaranteed access.

    Friend,

    I think adding cheerleading pom poms would be a nice touch that would be much appreciated, just to be sure, that is, an energetic joyful supporter of all their strrategies.

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  58. Sòpwith,

    Wow! I’m shocked! Really?? Who would’ve thunk it? Poor Dee is so stupid she didn’t check Wikipedia before joining the LCMS.

    Good night, Sopy! I don’t know what you think your are accomplishing here. I’ve discussed the LCMS many, many times. I’ve even written about how my pastors handle this issue in my church. Since I know you read all of my posts before you comment (don’t you?) I don’t understand why you feel the need to “inform” me with the authoritative Wikipedia reference.

    I get the feeling, given some of your comments, that you are itching for a fight. You even fight when it comes to EChurch, not respecting the intent of that unique weekly post. You’ve accused me of being a *Catholic*- a horror in your world. I find your theory ill informed and insulting towards me and towards Catholic readers whom I respect greatly.

    I find some of your comment offensive but I’m sure you think you are confronting people for the glory of God in order to make them into a shining example of you form of faith. Half the time I don’t even get your comments.

    This is a warning. If this silliness continues, I just won’t approve your comments. You are in permanent moderation anyway.

    Besides, why did you even return TWW? A couple of years back you insisted that I remove all of your comments because you no longer *agreed* with this blog. I don’t have the time to babysit you or your comments. No, I’m not spending my precious time deleting everything you ever wrote. How narcissistic is that?

    Then suddenly you return and start it all over again. I am now officially tired. I’ve tried to be nice but you somehow manage to irritate me. I bet this happens in your private life as well.

    Let me explain my answer to those new to this blog. I love my LCMS church. I love the pastors and the ordained DCE. When I joined, I knew that there would never be women pastors in my lifetime and I accept that. However, my pastors do so much more to encourage women in the life of the church; far more than my former SBC church by a long shot.

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  59. dee: I would be happy to get a T-shirt and get a picture of me in one. Please come and meet me. Jules will be there as well.We can do group pics.

    Who is in charge of t-shirts? I have another proposal:

    I’m Keto;
    I reject
    unhealthy roles

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  60. Benn: BUT, my daughter has a friend who was having a casual/ light hearted discussion with her Farther about the cost of being a child bearing female, told his daughter to try to keep everything in perspective, and he advised his daughter to next month take a personal day, stay at home and watch saving private Ryan all day, and get back to him.
    I’m not sure how great a home life the aforementioned girl had, ugh

    I almost wrote a pretty critical reply, but then remembered when I was encouraged in the midst of my self-critical parenting mistakes. And this dad, not sure where he is in terms of putting himself out there in regard to presenting himself as speaking for God, along with ruling over his children.

    The truth is I wish this dad and others like him that were so wowed about that movie and use it to elevate favoritism and unconditional deserved respect for men, as opposed to women, could wrap their minds around Isabella Baumfree and the Quakers who helped her. But, if it had been a top tier TGC pusher, I would probably would have posted my original reply.

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  61. elastigirl:
    Samuel Conner,

    “The absurd thought occurs that, given the value that is placed on “toughness”, testosterone is not a controlled substance.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    toughness…ha

    a woman is the toughest person in the room.

    anyone who doubts this is ignorant of the fact that for around 2,400 days of her life she goes to work and keeps on working ignoring the extreme pain and inconvenience she is enduring.Simply because there is work to be done.

    I had similar thoughts after clicking “post”; probably a better word would have been “aggressiveness”. My understanding is that medically, physiologically, females are more robust than males. It’s well known that they live longer. Perhaps it’s “built in” to accommodate the rigors of gestation.

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  62. elastigirl: courage means being willing to giving something up (safety, comfort, status, means, etc) for a greater good, a higher principle.

    They can’t. They simply cannot. To give up the authoritarian, hierarchical distortion would be to let the cat out of the bag: God is no respecter of persons. He loves all human beings exactly alike, male, female and anything in between. He desires that none perish. He has no favorites, no predestined elect, no chosen race, no favored gender, nothing. God is love, and we are all the object of his desires, if only we knew it.

    That is what is at stake. Calvinism, and its gravy train of power and control.

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  63. dee: Good night, Sopy! I don’t know what you think your are accomplishing here.

    I never figured it out, either.
    I always thought Sopy was doing some sort of Theater of the Absurd.
    And/or Just Being Weird.

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  64. Friend: I’m thinking “Emotional Support Animal,” since it’s closer to the Biblical role, and there is less official recognition and guaranteed access.

    “Emotional Support Animal” WITH BENEFITS (nudge nudge wink wink know what I mean know what I mean…)

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  65. elastigirl: what’s going to happen? is his name going to be scratched out of the Lamb’s Book of Life? If not, then a smaller crown with smaller jewels?

    Or that Look of Disapproval from the Great White Throne when you squeak in under the wire.

    During my time in-country, it was a common belief that even when Saved(TM), your position in Heaven (i.e. Crown of Glory) was going to be entirely determined by “How Many Souls Did YOU Lead to Christ?” This is just a different metric for pass/fail/promotion.

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  66. Headless Unicorn Guy: Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Do they think is is better to burn in you-know-where than to be led to Jesus by a woman?

    They don’t think you can be led to Jesus. You have to be chosen. Then God will use the means of the authoritarian, super-duper male gender to give himself all that glory he so desperately wants (that’s how we know he is a male). The women are just there to keep all these supermen happy. And have babies. Service animal.

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  67. ishy,

    “One thing SEBTS was famous for was an excellent Greek department. And found a lot of problems with how passages on women and marriage were translated into English and then interpreted by SBC pastors, particularly after SEBTS was “taken over” by Akin halfway through while I was there.”
    +++++++++++++++

    the professors themselves found these problems? How vocal were they in expressing them? are they still employed at SEBTS?

    i want to contact them and ask them to tell me all about it.

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  68. kathi:
    They really are stuck in this theological hole they’ve dug for themselves. In the end, it’s really very simple. It’s about power and control. These men can’t stand the though of losing power and control in the last two places available – the home and the church.

    Yes, “power” and “control” are the two words that come to mind every time I read this stuff. It’s never about serving, but always about holding onto as much control as possible over the message, resources, and people. Limiting the role of women is one of their preferred tactics. (“Church discipline” is the other.)

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  69. Root 66:
    At the end of the day, this is really all about power and control.By adhering to the principles of complimentarianism, Greear instantly subjugates over 50% of the church population under the “authority” of elders.The rest of the church’s ‘beta-males’ (pew-peon-giving-units) will then be bullied and threatened into submission as well….

    Yes, excellent point. And don’t forget that the pew peon men are kept in line by promises that they can increase their own sphere of power. Each man, of course, gets to control his own family. But those who toe the party line can move up and control more people – as small group leaders, Sunday School teachers, deacons, and maybe someday the penultimate power position – elder.

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  70. Headless Unicorn Guy: Probably.
    At least you’ll burn uncontaminated by estrogens.

    Actually, scientifically, I don’t think this is accurate. According to wiki their estrogen is very important.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estrogen

    But if they think it makes them female they should just relax and go with the flow/”their truth” that they’re becoming more and more female as they age. And if they want to avoid estrogen dominance, early or later in life, they should learn good stress management, like good manners and practicing respect, and eat healthy food.

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  71. Ella: And if they want to avoid estrogen dominance, early or later in life, they should learn good stress management, like good manners and practicing respect, and eat healthy food.

    But that’s UNMANLY(TM)!

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  72. Root 66: The rest of the church’s ‘beta-males’ (pew-peon-giving-units) will then be bullied and threatened into submission as well.

    i.e. Alpha Males are so Manly they make Women out of Beta Males.

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  73. elastigirl: the professors themselves found these problems? How vocal were they in expressing them? are they still employed at SEBTS?

    I did, through learning Greek. Some of the biggest clobber passages are clearly translated and edited with a complementarian bias, like Ephesians 5, and in a way that is untrue to the text. A good article with examples is https://margmowczko.com/gender-bias-in-the-nlt/ She’s a go-to on issues like this.

    I did go to one of the Greek professors about this, one who was a translator on a major translation. I asked why the English translations were fairly faithful to the Greek until there was a passage on women. He responded, “There’s a lot of politics in Bible translation.” So he did know, and I think he agreed with me. But I don’t think he felt like he could stand up for it. Maybe he did while acting as a translator and it was ignored by publishers or translation committees, I don’t know.

    The end of the story is that I became egalitarian just seeing how hard men pushed the comp agenda in a false way.

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  74. GC: Yes, excellent point. And don’t forget that the pew peon men are kept in line by promises that they can increase their own sphere of power. Each man, of course, gets to control his own family.

    Like the white trash rank-and-file of the Third Klan:
    NOBODY IS AS ZEALOUS TO KEEP THOSE ON THE BOTTOM ON THE BOTTOM THAN THOSE WHO ARE SECOND FRMO THE BOTTOM.

    (But that goes with seeing anything as Power Struggle.)

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  75. dee,

    My wife and I have been going to an LCMS church for about 9 months now. Our story is similar to yours, Dee (having been a number of places in the evangelical world), except we got out way sooner, as we are in our early 30s.

    If I had my way, the LCMS would have women pastors. However, this is not their tradition and I accept that. When I had a conversation about this with my pastor, he basically said he believes the office of pastor was instituted in scripture to be occupied by men. However, he doesn’t see the office as that important and that occupying the office is the ONLY thing women can’t do in the church. He has fought the church council on hiring more pastors because he just doesn’t think the role is that important. He visits the sick, plans his short Sunday sermon, and helps people out. He’s clearly not someone interested in puffing up his own authority.

    I believe this is a healthy way to maintain that conservative line, even if I wouldn’t maintain it myself.

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  76. TS00: They don’t think you can be led to Jesus. You have to be chosen. Then God will use the means of the authoritarian, super-duper male gender to give himself all that glory he so desperately wants (that’s how we know he is a male). The women are just there to keep all these supermen happy. And have babies. Service animal.

    “Service” can also have a sexual meaning, as in a sex slave servicing her owner.

    Being a super-duper alpha male has a lot of perqs. You get to beat up on all your inferiors (i.e. anybody weaker than you) and dip your wick anytime you wanna.

    Just these guys have added “DEUS VULT!” for Cosmic-level justification of What I Wanna.

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  77. “24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 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.” Matthew 20:24-28

    I’ve never heard these super Biblical ™ guys ever preach on or try to explain this verse. More than their idea of male authority, I think their idea of authority as such is way off. What is pastoral “authority” for in their view. I have gained a lot by attending a liturgical church for almost a year because, among other things, the pastor’s role in the sermon is minimized. The sermon is only about 10-12 minutes long, and he doesn’t even get to pick the topic. The readings are pre-determined, the liturgy is already written. Very significantly, the pastor doesn’t preach from in front of the cross, but off to the side.

    All the folks talking about authority need to consider what (if any) is the limiting principal on this “authority.” The denial of “authority” to women seems like a way to distract people from challenging their authority claims directly. If pastors have too much authority, the solution isn’t to just give that same authority to women (even thought I’m fine with female pastors) so they can abuse it. It is to pull back the control they have taken over people’s lives altogether.

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  78. Noevangelical:
    ishy,

    If the SBC is not forced to make a decision on this issue, but only goes somewhere in between, won’t they just resort to pursuing the equivalent of process crimes against women who break the nebulous “thou shalt not mimic and elder” rule?

    Keeping women in our place is obviously far more crucial to the “gospel” than preventing/reporting/fighting abuse.

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  79. Ricco,
    I don’t believe that authority in the church was ever intended to be invested in the pastor but in Jesus, primarily, and in His Word. The very structure they have set up thwarts that.

    I share your observations regarding the liturgical church. It truly is a safe haven for people who have been run thru the wringer in evangelicalism to re calibrate their spiritual lives. The whole focus is different. Instead of Jesus being off to the side, the pastor is, and the focus naturally returns to where it belongs, helped along by the liturgy and the message. I have seen much more servant leadership here in the last two years than I had in my entire adult life in the evangelical church.

    I wish more people could experience that.

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  80. Ummm… at the risk of adding fuel to the fire…

    In googling just now, I found a recent article from Pulpit & Pen that deals with this very issue, and references JD Greear’s and John Piper’s opinions. The author comes to different conclusions than Dee. I think Dee avoided the word “sludge,” as did Greear and Piper, to their credit.

    https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/05/15/women-should-be-silent-in-the-church-assembly/

    Final paragraph in that article:
    “People sometimes ask, “Who are the good female preachers?” There aren’t any. The godly women who can responsibly handle God’s word know they don’t belong behind a pulpit, but are to serve the Kingdom in equally important but different ways. This means that those who do dare to stand behind the pulpit are not the cream of the crop, but the sludge at the bottom of the barrel.”

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  81. Noevangelical,

    Ricco, and Noevangelical,

    The crowd that’s making the biggest stink about “authority,” and whether women are usurping it, are supposed to hold scripture alone as their authority—not church tradition, not personal experience or revelation, not human reason—so what are they even talking about? If they’re worried that a woman can usurp a man’s “authority” then it looks like they’re being inconsistent with Sola Scriptura, and allowing a man to usurp the authority of scripture. Best to make him preach off to one side to humble him up a bit. And shorten that idol of a sermon from 50 minutes down to 10 or 12, as you suggest. I might go as high as 20.

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  82. Ricco: he doesn’t see the office as that important and that occupying the office is the ONLY thing women can’t do in the church. … He visits the sick, plans his short Sunday sermon, and helps people out. He’s clearly not someone interested in puffing up his own authority.

    I believe this is a healthy way to maintain that conservative line, even if I wouldn’t maintain it myself.
    […]
    I have gained a lot by attending a liturgical church for almost a year because, among other things, the pastor’s role in the sermon is minimized. The sermon is only about 10-12 minutes long, and he doesn’t even get to pick the topic. The readings are pre-determined, the liturgy is already written.

    Such great comments, thank you very much. I would only add that some liturgical churches ordain women, and liturgical is not synonymous with conservative. There is wonderful variety in the Kingdom. You seem really happy where you are, and I’m happy for you!

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  83. dee: Oh great. Pulpit and Pen at their finest.

    I wasn’t even trying to find them. I googled something about women “speaking from a music stand” instead of “preaching from a pulpit.” And that’s what came up. Apparently there’s a legal distinction, but not to this guy at Pulpit & Pen. He’s too smart for that. But I think there was a church a while back that made Elisabeth Elliot submit to that little protocol.

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  84. Samuel Conner: My understanding is that medically, physiologically, females are more robust than males.

    In my early Old School D&D days, the rule-of-thumb when rolling up a character was if Strength > Constitution (and both were 3D6) the character was male; if Str < Con, female.

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  85. Ted,

    JD Hall and I know each other and have even helped each other out in some really weird ways. Wade Burleson had something to do with this. I have begged JD, behind the scenes, to reconsider his ways. Julie Anne Smith has done so as well. Alas, it is not to be but hope springs eternal.

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  86. dee: Actually, another Catholic friend said the same thing to me a few years ago. Maybe I could start a new order in the evangelical church. Sister Dee and her merry band of nuns….

    Lol! Be sure to arm them with rulers. Gotta have the rulers.

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  87. It took me until the age of 50 to realize that somethings I thought were wrong, weren’t. They just appeared to me that way because I had never seen them. Sometimes I wonder if all this delving into the Bible looking for this verse or that verse, when really they are just trying to find a way to prove a point about something that is not wrong, but for lack of having seen it before, just seems that way.
    Isn’t truth TRUTH no matter WHO presents it?

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  88. ishy: What the New Calvinists do is start with many assumptions and force certain translated passages to fit and create absolutes, then ignore the rest.

    This is at heart a post-modern approach to the text, I think. Authorial intent is less important than the usefulness of the text in support of the agendas of the users of the text, typically power agendas.

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  89. “If a man asks a woman teacher if he should have a daily quiet time, would her answer constitute shepherding?”

    It depends on her answer. If she says “Yes” or “No”, then I would say it oversteps what she should do. I also think the same if a man would answer “Yes” or “No”. There is NOT A SINGLE ANSWER FOR ALL CHRISTIANS.

    The answer “WWJD” really is only good for those who are the only begotten Son of God. We don’t qualify.

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  90. Excerpt:

    …churches and church leaders did not bring this to the fore: activists on social media did. That alone cut a deep gash in church credibility.

    Third, this new study reported by Shellnutt demonstrates once again that sexual abuse is awful, it is too common, it victimizes innocent people, those people are further victimized by denials and spinning stories told by leaders and churches, and sexual abuse destroys the witness and credibility of gospel and church.

    Source:
    MeToo Turns into Leavers?
    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2019/05/23/metoo-turns-to-leavers/

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  91. Ah, the incoherence of complementarianism strikes again. When your whole argument is “women are equal in being (bear the image of God in full) but are permanently subordinate in role (ie. everything) due only to being (that is, female)”, an A is not-A logical fallacy, then incoherence in theology results in incoherence in practice. And depending on incoherence for your spiritual life and ministry is soul-destroying.

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  92. Muff Potter,

    I think women are in some ways psychologically stronger as well. Very few, if any, women shoot up schools or nightclubs, or commit mass murders because they were turn down for dates by men, or kill ex husbands/ boyfriends when they leave them. Not saying there hasn’t been a woman who has done these things, but very rare. Considering how women have been treated historically under patriarchy, it is saying a lot that more women haven’t committed more violent crimes, etc. Maybe it is because we are not conditioned from the cradle with male privilege,so we are more psychologically healthy to accept we don’t have the privilege men expect on account of sex. Just an observation, but there seems to be done truth to it.

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  93. Ordained leaders in SBC churches are composed of men who are to faithfully satisfy the qualifications as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. This time honored scriptural requirement is understood by all voting members. Your abrasion of the SBC (and its individuals) for following scripture is disconcerting. There are many other churches that do allow the ordination of women. Why not promote attendance and possibly encourage your many readers to attend one of them? I don’t understand. Each church establishment has the privilege in this nation to establish their own church polity. Are you possibly inadvertently morphing your social media blog into an hate aperture? Have you an ax to grind? Your logic implies that any church that does not permit ordained women in leadership is abusive. Are you satisfying a precedence? Am I reading your guest article correctly? I welcome your response.

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  94. me,
    “If a man asks a woman teacher if he should have a daily quiet time, would her answer constitute shepherding?”

    I would think her answer would be, “Well no kidding Columbo…” You still have to eat the food to get fed. Men and women shepherd one another all of the time in a healthy relationship. It’s only in the unhealthy ones where they suppress one another or do nothing.

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  95. Guest,

    You are new to this blog so will give you a pass. If you had done some reading, you would learn that I attend a church denomination which does not have women as pastors. However, unlike the SBC (and other groups like the PCA), they involve women in the leadership of the church in significant ways. I think there is something all of you could learn from them.

    Instead, I watch with dismay the silliness that goes on to include women in the church. For example, in the above post, Greear discussed how the men *bore the weight* of Elyse’s teaching. This is ridiculous.

    Hate aperture? LOL. And it’s no guest post. It’s mine.

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  96. Guest: Ordained leaders in SBC churches are composed of men who are to faithfully satisfy the qualifications as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.

    Ummmm, really? Let’s talk about segregation. Sure, they’ve changed but those faithfully ordained men promoted that for decades.

    Then, there is the despicable coverup of child sex abuse in the SBC. Those faithfully ordained men did that as well.

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  97. Guest: Why not promote attendance and possibly encourage your many readers to attend one of them? I

    You did not do your homework. We offer an EChurch for those who have dropped out of. the church scene due to the problems over seen by those faithfully ordained gentlemen. I do not tell people where to go to church. I believe that each person is smart enough to make their own decision. I am not their boss. However, they know how happy I am with my church.

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  98. me,

    My answer would be *What do you think you should do?* I agree with your assessment of WWJD. My pastor gave a great sermon on the temptation of Jesus. He was rather humorous in his presentation, pretending he was a booming voiced pastor. He disagrees with the possibility that we can respond just like Jesus in such a situation because we are not Jesus. Jesus’ response to Satan showed the difference between Jesus and Satan. Thankfully he protects us from such a trial.

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  99. Max: If these guys don’t lay their unBiblical complementarian swords down, they are going to end up in purgatory confined to hard oak pews, where they will be tormented daily by women preachers.

    To which my dear wife just added: “It’s for freedom that Christ set me free. I would sure rather be following Jesus than JD Greear.”

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  100. “Greear has a mess on his hands. The men were in charge and presided over a sex abuse problem that has attracted the attention of the world…. Greear is desperately trying to portray a *nice* SBC which now *gets it.*”

    Yes. On the sex abuse problem, it seems that, for most SBC officials, it’s all about appearances. Greear and others seem to want the image of caring without the institutional work of caring — the portrayal of caring without the actual doing of caring.

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  101. Lily Rose,

    You make some excellent points!
    When you (generic you) consider that Adam was assembled from mud, it follows that Eve was doubly refined (no mud stage).
    Google up Golem from Jewish lore and folk tales, and the metaphor is even more striking.

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  102. Christa Brown: Greear is desperately trying to portray a *nice* SBC which now *gets it.*”

    I spent 70 years in SBC. I realized slowly (obviously) that the SBC doesn’t get a lot! And it’s deeper in chaos now that the New Calvinists have taken over the denomination. The one thing Southern Baptists did get for 150 years was evangelism … it was their denominational gifting until they forfeited that call under the new reformation.

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  103. me: The answer “WWJD” really is only good for those who are the only begotten Son of God. We don’t qualify.

    When somebody lectures you about “What Would Jesus Do?”, remind him/her that flipping out and throwing tables around is an option.

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  104. ishy: What the New Calvinists do is start with many assumptions and force certain translated passages to fit and create absolutes, then ignore the rest.

    i.e. Reality (even their own WORD! OF! GOD!) must always bend the knee to “I SAY SO!” Ideology.

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  105. Christa Brown:
    “Greear has a mess on his hands. The men were in charge and presided over a sex abuse problem that has attracted the attention of the world…. Greear is desperately trying to portray a *nice* SBC which now *gets it.*”

    Yes. On the sex abuse problem, it seems that, for most SBC officials, it’s all about appearances. Greear and others seem to want the image of caring without the institutional work of caring — the portrayal of caring without the actual doing of caring.

    I wish the SBC leaders would tell the truth that they do not care about women and the abuse they have suffered. IMO their lack of actions show they do not care.

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  106. Guest: Why not promote attendance and possibly encourage your many readers to attend one of them?

    I really like the SBC church down the street. If I were looking for a new church, I’m not sure that Wartburg Watch would keep me from trying out that church, nor would the lack of female clergy.

    However, I was baptized as an infant and confirmed as a teenager, like countless other Christians. My understanding is that the SBC does not fully accept the legitimacy of this type of baptism. I would not feel right about redoing my baptism, any more than I would feel right about having to remarry my beloved spouse.

    It is good that the choice of full-immersion baptism is offered to new SBC members, but I wish that other baptismal practices were offered equal standing. Most other traditions will accept either form of baptism when people want to join.

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  107. Guest: Are you saying that the qualifications as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 no longer apply?

    The better question is, “did those qualifications ever apply?” There is good evidence that those verses have been incorrectly translated and interpreted. If so, that is a very serious problem.

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  108. Max:
    If these guys don’t lay their unBiblical complementarian swords down, they are going to end up in purgatory confined to hard oak pews, where they will be tormented daily by women preachers.

    They’ll just have to “endure it for a season…”

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  109. dee,

    I can not speak for those you speak of who are unfaithful and fall short of the qualifications as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, I can only examine the elders of my church which I have found to be true to scripture so far to my knowledge. They possess an ardent zeal to follow Christ, abide by God’s word, and possess a desire to faithfully serve our congregants with what they have skillfully acquired, gleaned, and learned from their seminary experience, and extensive training there. I have found it to be an excellent church community. Not only is the teaching solidly based on Scripture, but grounded in the fruits of being Christ’s disciples. I have found it to be a faithful, gospel-preaching church and a friendly, loving, welcoming community. Your e-church from what appears looks inviting.

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  110. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Our church mostly follows the ESV bible reading for those important qualifications. I am not familiar with the translation argument you speak of. We do however follow I am told the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 28th Edition, with Critical Apparatus and The Greek New Testament, 5th Edition (UBS5), which I understand are said to to underline the ESV bible.

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  111. Guest: Our church follows immersion for those who desire/require baptism.

    It does sound like your particular church is a good place (although I hope you are not denying the existence of bad churches in your denomination… none of us should). Does your church fully accept the infant baptism of new members who grew up Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, Coptic, etc.? Would your church allow a man baptized in one of those traditions to go to seminary or serve as a missionary? Would such a member have voting rights and an ability to hold all lay positions in the church? Or would that new member first have to have a full-immersion baptism?

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  112. Ken F (aka Tweed): They’ll just have to “endure it for a season…”

    “What’s that distant sound I hear coming from the Earth?”

    “It’s the precious voices of SBC women on foreign fields preaching the Gospel to every tribe, tongue and nation … my dear daughters who you would not allow to preach in American pulpits.”

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  113. Guest,

    Just curious. Does the SBC require both baptism of the Spirit and water salvation to be considered “born again”?

    Or is being considered “born again” baptism of the Spirit only, water baptism only considered an ordinance, like communion? 🙂

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  114. dee,

    There has been no conversation that I am aware of at my church of having XX pastors. There has also been no discussion that I am aware of about having any another type of pastor other than the traditional scriptural New Testament qualified XY/SRY gene pool proof.

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  115. Guest: Our church mostly follows the ESV bible reading for those important qualifications.

    In the ESV, elders must be male, married, fathers of multiple children (not childless or fathers of only one child), and live in houses (not apartments, condos, RVs, or any other non-house). Do all of your elders meets these qualifications? Note that Jesus did not qualify to be an elder based on this list.

    The same list appears to apply to deacons, with the exception that deacons must be addicted to a little wine (cannot be addicted to “much” wine, but apparently have to be addicted to an amount less than “much”).

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  116. Brian: Does the SBC require both baptism of the Spirit and water salvation to be considered “born again”?

    Neither. Salvation to mainline (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptist hold to a free-will soteriology as stated in Romans 10:9-10 “If you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” They believe at that point that the Holy Spirit comes into your soul to teach and equip you for ministry (all believers are in the ministry) … you are “born again.”

    New Calvinist Southern Baptists (who are taking over the denomination) believe that only the elect can be saved and that they were predestined to be so before the foundation of the world. But that’s another story beyond my response to your essential question …

    “Baptism of the Spirit” is a phrase commonly used in pentecostal/charismatic ranks … a second experience which comes after a confession of belief in Christ. Southern Baptists do not hold to that expression of faith. Additionally, water baptism to a Southern Baptist is a follow-up sacrament as a first step of obedience in Christian faith. To a Southern Baptist, water baptism has no saving merit in itself, as believed by some groups of Christians.

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  117. Exing,

    Not necessarily. In ancient Egypt women peed standing up
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    but could they hit a target from a distance…

    well, in case you’re not sure,…. no.

    I really think JD Greear should champion the importance of the role that God has given only to men: peeing while hitting a target from a distance

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  118. Guest: We do however follow I am told the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 28th Edition, with Critical Apparatus and The Greek New Testament, 5th Edition (UBS5), which I understand are said to to underline the ESV bible.

    Too bad Jesus and Paul didnt know about these.

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  119. elastigirl: I really think JD Greear should champion the importance of the role that God has given only to men: peeing while hitting a target from a distance

    He really should, even God’s Word tells him he should:

    “Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.”
    — 1 Kings 14:10 —

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  120. Bridget,

    Jesus I believe quoted also from the Greek Septuagint or LXX, and of course Paul the Apostle penned many of the the New Testament epistles. “The New Testament contains 27 different books written by nine different authors. Every author of the New Testament was Jewish except for Luke. Three of the writers: Matthew, Peter, and John were among the 12 disciples who walked with Christ during his earthly ministry. Jesus promised his disciples that the Holy Spirit would bring all things to remembrance of what Jesus said and did.” https://www.bible-history.com/new-testament/authors.html
    The latest Greek New Testament information can be found here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novum_Testamentum_Graece

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  121. Bridget: Too bad Jesus and Paul didnt know about these.

    I’ve heard they adhered strictly to KJV. 😉

    If there was one and only one point well-meaning believers of all stripes could get, it should be that, whatever bible you use – unless you happen to have an original manuscript – you are reading a translation drafted by a committee of men. Which doesn’t even begin to touch the important fact that they you are still required to interpret what these man-translated words meant and mean. They cannot go from paper to brain, no thinking required.

    If I could shout anything from the housetops it would be :
    ‘Don’t ever say you simple believe what the bible teaches!’

    There is no such thing, my friends; there really isn’t.

    Honest scholars and students of the word must grapple with so many variables, including what the author might have been doing in a particular letter or passage. Was he quoting back something written to him in a prior letter? Was he using the scholastic method and posing an argument which he then proceeds to deconstruct or dispute?

    This was a very common method in his world and day. To be ignorant, of such things, or to ignore them – as most of us do when we listen attentively to whatever our chosen authority declares to be scriptural truth – is unwise.

    I have no desire to condemn or annoy anyone, but I simply wish people could humbly understand that there is so much we cannot be sure about. And anyone who tells you differently, who asserts that their church teaches the ‘clear meaning’ of scripture is a liar or a fool. There is no ‘clear meaning’ of scripture. Much requires serious study, prayerful contemplation and, at long last, humble acknowledgement that we can, at best, see through a glass darkly.

    So if your church states that they do their best to proclaim to the best of their understanding what scripture seems to teach – you are in a good place. If they allow members the freedom to hold a variety of opinions, you are in an even better place. And if you can honestly say, ‘I’m listening, tell me what you think it means, and why’, you are a mature believer worth talking to.

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  122. Guest: All of our elders I believe are happily married with children, and reside in moderate single family dwellings in established neighborhoods.

    What is your point? Is this socio-economic status required or some evidence that they are super spiritual men? Are you kidding?

    Those things are meaningless. So some SBC churches are good and so some elders are good and so some congregations are good. So what? None of that has anything to do with the subject, with the problem of child abuse in the SBC, with mega church shenanigans, financial malfeasance, mistreatment of women, or a whole host of issues in the church of the U.S., many of which originate in the SBC. Good grief!

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  123. Noevangelical: Those things are meaningless. So some SBC churches are good and so some elders are good and so some congregations are good. So what?

    To quote a Christianese putdown from my time in-country “I’m sure some Satanists are good people BUT…”

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  124. TS00: If I could shout anything from the housetops it would be :
    ‘Don’t ever say you simple believe what the bible teaches!’

    Every time you hear that, remember the Bible once clearly taught that the Demon Locusts of Revelation were simply and clearly helicopter gunships packing chemical-weapon “stingers” and piloted by long-haired bearded Hippies. After experiencing that Plain Meaning of Scripture(TM), you will never look at “simply believe what the Bible clearly teaches” the same way again.
    (Like watching The Muppet Show AFTER Meet the Feebles.)

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  125. Guest: All of our elders I believe are happily married with children, and reside in moderate single family dwellings in established neighborhoods.

    I don’t think I would fit in because I associate with so many people who don’t fit that mold. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus would not be qualified to be an elder in your church? And probably Paul would not qualify either, depending on how one interprets the Bible as clearly showing Paul is single or clearly showing that he is/was married. John the Baptist would likewise be unqualified. So would the Ethiopian Eunuch.

    My point, which you seem to have missed, is that wooden literalism creates more problems than it solves. I would argue that wooden literalists don’t take the Bible seriously becase the only way to make it work is to pick and choose which verses to take literally based on preconceived conclusions.

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  126. TS00: And anyone who tells you differently, who asserts that their church teaches the ‘clear meaning’ of scripture is a liar or a fool. There is no ‘clear meaning’ of scripture.

    Even those who say that

    For example, “Guest” talked about Titus. In the Greek, it references female elders. The word is specifically in the feminine. The ESV translates in the masculine as “elders” and when it’s feminine “older women”.

    There are some pretty clear meanings that these churches and church leaders and “scholars” are just flat out lying about to maintain their patriarchal position.

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  127. Guest: I was answering the referenced person’s question.

    You must be new to comments, Mr. Poe. Did you notice Max’s very kind effort to explain traditional SBC beliefs about baptism, when you could not be bothered? Here we try to help one another, add insight, maybe discuss dogs, pie recipes, sports. We live in different sizes and types of dwellings, were born in different years and different countries. Some of us are married, some not. Some Christians, some not. Some churchgoers, some not. Goodness me, what dizzying variety!

    Honestly, I hope you are having a good chuckle at our expense. If you are on the level, the church you initially described as loving makes Stepford look like the third day of Woodstock.

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  128. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    For example, each of the store purchased cake mixes come with a recipe and directions on the side of the package. We here at our house follow the instructions to the letter (because we are not bakers) giving the altitude, temperature, and time consideration, the baked confectioner pastry comes out delicious. I find following God’s word is kind of like that. We have great fellowship in-home bible studies, and the elders always are willing to help, and direct our concerns, something I find very positive. It is always nice to have someone educated in these matters.

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  129. Friend,

    The person you refer to, Max’s very kind effort to explain traditional SBC beliefs was not addressed specifically to me so I thought he must be speaking to someone else’s concern. It was a very informed comment.

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  130. dee: Ummmm, really? Let’s talk about segregation. Sure, they’ve changed but those faithfully ordained men promoted that for decades.

    Then, there is the despicable coverup of child sex abuse in the SBC. Those faithfully ordained men did that as well.

    I am almost beginning to thing Guest is a troll.

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  131. Guest,

    TS00: but I simply wish people could humbly understand that there is so much we cannot be sure about. And anyone who tells you differently, who asserts that their church teaches the ‘clear meaning’ of scripture is a liar or a fool. There is no ‘clear meaning’ of scripture. Much requires serious study, prayerful contemplation and, at long last, humble acknowledgement that we can, at best, see through a glass darkly.

    So if your church states that they do their best to proclaim to the best of their understanding what scripture seems to teach – you are in a good place. If they allow members the freedom to hold a variety of opinions, you are in an even better place. And if you can honestly say, ‘I’m listening, tell me what you think it means, and why’, you are a mature believer worth talking to.

    TS00 – completely agree.

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  132. Friend,

    The 1975 Stepford Wives movie/1969 Woodstock concert analogy comment gave me a chuckle. No I don’t think the women in our church consider themselves mindless robots. But I am sure they would chuckle as well. The Stepford husbands came out in 1996, adding to your very humorous point. I don’t think your point is lost upon the necessity of a healthy church climate. We seem to thankfully strive for that here.

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  133. Guest: maybe you can address the body of my initial question: the qualifications as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, do they, in your opinion, still apply?

    I think the reason you are not getting your question answered is because you are asking a binary question for a non-binary topic. There is no simple yes/no answer to that question. There is a list of standards in those passages that have a context that none of us fully understand. This leaves room for different valid interpretations. But you appear to come at the issue with a settled dogmatism that is unsupported by the evidence. And you appear to focus very heavily on the male standard without addressing the validity of the others. I remain interested in your thoughts on Jesus not being qualified to be an elder according to those passages. Why do you think Paul established a standard that Jesus (and possibly Paul himself) did not meet?

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  134. Guest,

    Due to your email address, I am going to assume that your are either Matt or David. I took a look at your covenant. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c78593f34c4e2da1c313de9/t/5c7d8275a4222fbd945d47c7/1551729269386/TCL+Covenant+Final.docx.pdf

    Did both of you (or your pastors) complete you internships at Capitol Hill Baptist Church? You both claim to have done an internship in DC and you reference CHBC in your covenant. Why didn’t you mention the name of the church? Could it be due to their well known negative discipline stories.

    You claim everything is hunky dory at your church. However, given your covenant, I wonder if that is because you have a pastorcentric approach. I will make a prediction. There will be conflict in your church if you covenant stands as is.

    Let’s take a look at something. How do you define gossip and slander? Do you know exactly how it is defined in Scripture? Or, do you have your own ideas like “Don’t ask too many questions.”

    It mentions discipline. I find it interesting that you do not define what you will discipline. I know enough about the discipline procedures at CHBC. They disciplined one guy who left one of their churches because he disagreed with them selling CJ Mahaney books. They put him on a discipline list. You can reead his story on this blog. My. My Dubai. or do they teach about it in their internship program.

    Speaking of CJ Mahaney, Dever has yet to do anything but slobber over Mahaney when even Papa Bear Mohler has backed away, quite publicly. You should know about the many emails we have received from people harmed by the discipline standards of 9 Marks including those who were hurt at CHBC.

    So, my guess is that you will have unhappy people in the future, if not already, if you intend on going down the 9 Marks discipline road. I’ve made a note of the name of your church and will keep an eye out for the inevitable emails. I beg you to reconsider your paradigm.

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  135. Noevangelical: Guest: Your abrasion of the SBC (and its individuals) for following scripture is disconcerting.
    Were they “following scripture” when they allowed hundreds of children to be abused?

    I do believe the SBC also used the Scripture in the 19th century to defend white Americans owning black people as property – they said it was God’s design and oh so “biblical”?

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  136. Christa Brown: Yes. On the sex abuse problem, it seems that, for most SBC officials, it’s all about appearances. Greear and others seem to want the image of caring without the institutional work of caring — the portrayal of caring without the actual doing of caring.

    Oooh. Oooh. This nicely sums up one big problem I’ve had with many Christians or Christianity in general in the last several years,
    particularly in the context of being brushed off or receiving platitudes and shaming by self-professing Christians at my time of grieving after my mother died years ago.

    They want to be thought of as caring, good Christian people, but none of them wanted to actually sit with me once a month or so and hold my hand while I cried.

    (That would’ve eaten into their schedule of watching “Bonanza” tv show repeats on television and such.)

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  137. Max,

    The Southern Baptists are in decline. Again.
    I guess Gender Complementarianism and cover up of wife and child abuse isn’t such a draw for them.

    One article said not only are they failing to get new converts, but about half of the children of the adults already in the SBC are leaving.

    They sure cannot point to “liberal theology” and “allowing women preachers” and such for their decline, as they’ve done to the Mainline churches for years now.

    Southern Baptists report membership decline, plan Birmingham meeting
    https://www.al.com/life/2019/05/southern-baptists-report-membership-decline-before-birmingham-meeting.html

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  138. Guest: Our church doesn’t seem to be having the concerns you discuss.

    If you’re in a Southern Baptist Church, and I think you said you are, then yes, your church absolutely has those concerns he discussed.

    I’ve never yet seen a Southern Baptist Church that does not adhere to a very literal and wooden interpretation of the Bible.

    Overcoming the Misuse of Male Privilege and Power
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-games/201711/overcoming-the-misuse-male-privilege-and-power

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  139. Guest: For example, each of the store purchased cake mixes come with a recipe and directions on the side of the package. We here at our house follow the instructions to the letter (because we are not bakers) giving the altitude, temperature, and time consideration, the baked confectioner pastry comes out delicious. I find following God’s word is kind of like that

    I was engaged to a guy once who knew I liked Chinese take out food, so one evening, I visit him at his apartment, where he had fixed me a Chinese dinner.

    He misunderstood the recipe and put in way more salt than he should have in the main course, and it was inedible.

    Sometimes the Bible, like recipes, can be misunderstood, misused, taken out of context, or changed suited to taste based on the person’s personal preferences.

    Nobody approaches the Bible with a 100% unbiased view, which means nobody’s interpretation of the Bible is 100% correct at all times on every subject.

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  140. dee,

    dee,

    Nice work, Dee!

    Adding to my list of things to avoid if one dares to look for a church: pastors who spend their days trolling the comments on Christian blogs. Of course, no legitimate clergy member has that kind of time on his or her hands. Maybe one of the elders did it.

    For shame.

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  141. Guest: maybe you can address the body of my initial question…

    Your initial comment on this thread contained 5 questions, none of which concerned the fragments of scripture you’re referenced, so I’m not sure what you mean by “the body of” in this context. In fact, your initial body of questions itself raises numerous questions about what you really want to know.

    If you were to ask, “Do you believe that 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 are the dominant scripture-fragments applicable here, and that they set the context against which many other apparently applicable scripture-fragments should be interpreted?”, that would be one thing. But any question along the lines of “do you believe [xyz scripture fragment] still applies?” is strongly redolent of the question “Is it right to pay taxes to Caeser?”.

    Mara has, in my opinion, clearly and succinctly answered your scripture-fragment question, without falling for the trap inherent in it. To emphasise: the trap is inherent in the question. I don’t have a window into your reasons for phrasing it that way, and it remains possible that you did so quite inadvertently.

    Both Ken F (we have several Ken’s) and TS00 (we have only one TS to my knowledge, so I don’t think the 00 is an identifier) have made important observations on the use of scripture-fragments that certainly pertain to a discussion as important as this one. You will undoubtedly have found them helpful in moving beyond the single binary question.

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  142. TS00: If there was one and only one point well-meaning believers of all stripes could get, it should be that, whatever bible you use – unless you happen to have an original manuscript – you are reading a translation drafted by a committee of men. Which doesn’t even begin to touch the important fact that they you are still required to interpret what these man-translated words meant and mean. They cannot go from paper to brain, no thinking required.

    If I could shout anything from the housetops it would be :
    ‘Don’t ever say you simple believe what the bible teaches!’

    There is no such thing, my friends; there really isn’t.

    Honest scholars and students of the word must grapple with so many variables, including what the author might have been doing in a particular letter or passage. Was he quoting back something written to him in a prior letter? Was he using the scholastic method and posing an argument which he then proceeds to deconstruct or dispute?

    This was a very common method in his world and day. To be ignorant, of such things, or to ignore them – as most of us do when we listen attentively to whatever our chosen authority declares to be scriptural truth – is unwise.

    I have no desire to condemn or annoy anyone, but I simply wish people could humbly understand that there is so much we cannot be sure about. And anyone who tells you differently, who asserts that their church teaches the ‘clear meaning’ of scripture is a liar or a fool. There is no ‘clear meaning’ of scripture. Much requires serious study, prayerful contemplation and, at long last, humble acknowledgement that we can, at best, see through a glass darkly.

    So if your church states that they do their best to proclaim to the best of their understanding what scripture seems to teach – you are in a good place. If they allow members the freedom to hold a variety of opinions, you are in an even better place. And if you can honestly say, ‘I’m listening, tell me what you think it means, and why’, you are a mature believer worth talking to.

    I really feel like you summed it all up in this post. Maybe some are not so much fools or liars but just misinformed and perhaps young and haven’t figured it out yet.

    Church makes people so brittle. We can’t just say, ‘I’m listening, tell me what you think it means, and why’ because we’ve had it drummed into us that we are supposed to 1. know all the answers and 2. correct everyone who disagrees lest they DIE TONIGHT AND GO TO you-know-where. Things would be so much more fruitful if we were all free to believe as we are personally convinced to, without anyone feeling threatened by others who believe differently, and if we were able to freely discuss without pressure to conform.

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  143. Guest: Each church establishment has the privilege in this nation to establish their own church polity. Are you possibly inadvertently morphing your social media blog into an hate aperture? Have you an ax to grind? Your logic implies that any church that does not permit ordained women in leadership is abusive. Are you satisfying a precedence? Am I reading your guest article correctly? I welcome your response.

    You can’t blame people for pointing out how absurd it is and the convoluted reasoning required to support it. No hate involved.

    I can only examine the elders of my church which I have found to be true to scripture so far to my knowledge.

    I like how you were honest and said “I have found” and “so far to my knowledge.”

    Our church mostly follows the ESV bible reading for those important qualifications. I am not familiar with the translation argument you speak of.

    This ESV, guest? https://baptiststoday.org/translating-with-an-agenda/

    All of our elders I believe are happily married with children, and reside in moderate single family dwellings in established neighborhoods.

    I like how you honestly stipulated “I believe” are happily married.

    Our church doesn’t seem to be having the concerns you discuss.

    I like how you honestly said it “doesn’t seem” to be having the concerns.

    For example, each of the store purchased cake mixes come with a recipe and directions on the side of the package. We here at our house follow the instructions to the letter (because we are not bakers)

    Got to leave those important decisions to the real bakers, right?

    So, is the analogy that you see the Bible as a recipe book that you must follow precisely in order for your life to come out successfully?

    Maybe if you start with that preconception you run the risk of reading statements as though they are precise measurements of ingredients when that was not how they were intended to be understood.

    I don’t think your point is lost upon the necessity of a healthy church climate. We seem to thankfully strive for that here.

    I like how you were honest to say you “seem” to strive for that. Because every church I’ve gotten involved with initially “seemed” that way, too. At first.

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  144. SiteSeer,

    “we’ve had it drummed into us that we are supposed to 1. know all the answers and 2. correct everyone who disagrees lest they DIE TONIGHT AND GO TO you-know-where. Things would be so much more fruitful if we were all free to believe as we are personally convinced to, without anyone feeling threatened by others who believe differently,”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    if we all did an honest appraisal, i think very few of us truly believe that only those who “believe just like me” are truly saved and making it to heaven. it’s curtains for everyone else.

    heaven will be a very lonely place, for sure.

    if we truly don’t believe that, then why do we get so uptight? why is the arguing and debate amongst christians over theological points so dire?

    to the point where theological principle trumps people? to the point where theology is more important than the human lives it harms / twists / contorts / and yes, destroys by degrees? to the point where theology is cruel?

    if christians (people of all religions, really) truly don’t believe that “we” are the only ones who are right, if religious people truly do not believe that “we” espouse the only true and correct interpretation of scripture, then why can’t we take the next logical step:

    admit that we’re all part right, and we’re all part wrong.

    do we or do we not see through a glass darkly? (seems to me any honest person would say, well, yes)

    if that is the case, why not reject conclusions that are cruel, inhumane, abusive, and just plain stupid?

    i truly don’t see how anyone could go wrong making their guiding principle treating others the way oneself would want to be treated.

    i’m echoing the thoughts of others, here.

    …and certainly repeating myself, too. i’ve asked these questions elsewhere here at TWW.

    it’s really bothering me.

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  145. elastigirl: i truly don’t see how anyone could go wrong making their guiding principle treating others the way oneself would want to be treated.

    Just because some guy a long time ago said something along thr lines of “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them,” does not mean we have to follow it literally today. Times have changed. But we do have to literally follow questionable interpretations of fragments of letters written nearly 2000 years ago, provided they are twisted out of context, in order to control half of the world’s population. (/sarcasm)

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  146. I am still in the early chapters of Richard Tour’s “The Universal Christ” and found this nugget this morning:

    Instead of embracing God’s master plan for humanity and creation – what we Franciscans still call the “Primacy of Christ” – Christians shrunk our image of both Jesus and Christ, and our “Savior” became a mere Johnny-come-lately “answer” to the problem of sin, a problem we had largely created ourselves. That’s a very limited role for Jesus. His death instead of his life was defined as saving us! This is no small point. This shift in what we valued often allowed us to avoid Jesus’s actual life and teaching because all we needed was the sacrificial event of his death. Jesus became a mere mop-up exercise for sin, and sin management has dominated the entire religious story line and agenda to this day.

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  147. Muff Potter,

    “and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall”
    +++++++++++++++++

    did you search bible gateway for “piss”?!!

    you are so funny! the KJV was the right choice, of course. why simply piss when you can “pisseth”?

    good to hear from you.

    …sounds funny, but you all, my TWW friends, are a unique source of encouragement for me.

    i’m just in a challenging spot at the moment —

    my elderly father was exploited by a gutter guard manufacturer.

    extreme price gouging, he was tricked, lied to, not given opportunity for 3-day recission period, charged full price while only doing minimal work on contract, did crappy job, refusing to adjust price, gutter guards screwed in place without cleaning out gutters first, downspouts not cleaned out, ignoring us…

    i’m contemplating my options — but it’s killing me inside.

    advice, anyone? any attorneys in the house?

    anyway, your reply, muff, brought some levity to the weight of the world on my shoulders. (pisseth was a bonus!)

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  148. Daisy,

    Exactly. Saying “we believe the Bible” or “we just follow the Bible” or even “the Bible is the only authority” says nothing. And when I hear that I like to say, “Congrats, so did Jim Jones.”

    Even taking proof texts and waving them at people is useless and says nothing.

    We Confessional Lutheran types will point people to the Bible and the Book of Concord for an explanation of what we believe, teach, and confess, (but not to Luther’s writings) and even that does not address many modern issues.

    Things are still decided by church councils, conventions, boards, and other meetings and proceedings.

    And church bodies are still capable of veering off into heresy like many in the SBC have done in following the New Calvinist pogrom.

    The arrogance of these people is truly astounding.

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  149. SiteSeer,

    At our church, we are quite happy to follow and maintain the traditions Apostle Paul wrote about in the New Testament epistles. As the Holy Spirit was Apostle Paul’s guide, we strive for the same continuity. His words, like the Savior’s are precious to us.

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  150. Guest: No I don’t think the women in our church consider themselves mindless robots.

    And they are not. But you apparently try to restrict their thoughts, and perhaps their clothing and the use of their own money, in ways more Orwellian than Christlike.

    People are just not that uniform, dude. Jesus came to set us free.

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  151. Guest: At our church, we are quite happy to follow and maintain the traditions Apostle Paul wrote about in the New Testament epistles. As the Holy Spirit was Apostle Paul’s guide, we strive for the same continuity. His words, like the Savior’s are precious to us.

    How does your church follow Paul’s instruction in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 – “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”

    Which “spoken word” traditions of Paul does your church follow and how does your church determine what are the authentic unwritten traditions of Paul?

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  152. Daisy: They sure cannot point to “liberal theology” and “allowing women preachers” and such for their decline, as they’ve done to the Mainline churches for years now.

    Novel thought this morning. IMO the FUNDAMENTALIST are the reason for the decline of the SBC. The religious leaders of the SBC would never admit this.

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  153. Daisy: Southern Baptists report membership decline, plan Birmingham meeting
    https://www.al.com/life/2019/05/southern-baptists-report-membership-decline-before-birmingham-meeting.html

    SBC membership statistics have never reflected boots on the ground accurately. For decades, they have reported a total membership of 16 million. I can tell you from a 70-year snapshot of SBC life, that the real numbers look something like this: out of 16 million members reported from local congregations, 8 million just ain’t there (dead, moved from area, changed denominations, done, etc.) … of the 8 million remaining, only half – 4 million or so – bother to show up on a given Sunday. The report in your link essentially confirms my observation – 15 million members in 47,000 churches, but only 5 million in worship attendance. Last year alone, another 200,000 members left according to the report. Lots of reasons, but running folks off with the New Calvinist takeover of SBC traditional churches certainly isn’t helping the matter.

    Yep, SBC leaders have a lot of soul-searching to do as they approach their annual meeting in Birmingham (June 11-12) … “Are we ‘really’ preaching the Gospel?”; “Is the Main Thing the main thing?”; “Do we ‘really’ love people as we ought?” should be some of the heart-wrenching questions they explore. Someone who has some spiritual sense needs to call for a solemn assembly across the denomination to pray until they get God’s attention and know His will … but, I don’t see those sort of leaders in the ranks these days.

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  154. Ken F (aka Tweed): Instead of embracing God’s master plan for humanity and creation – what we Franciscans still call the “Primacy of Christ” – Christians shrunk our image of both Jesus and Christ, and our “Savior” became a mere Johnny-come-lately “answer” to the problem of sin, a problem we had largely created ourselves. That’s a very limited role for Jesus. His death instead of his life was defined as saving us! This is no small point. This shift in what we valued often allowed us to avoid Jesus’s actual life and teaching because all we needed was the sacrificial event of his death. Jesus became a mere mop-up exercise for sin, and sin management has dominated the entire religious story line and agenda to this day.

    Wow, that’s good. I am increasingly convinced that the penal substitutionary atonement theory is key to much of the corruption of christianity. Thanks to this faulty theory we do not properly understand who God is, what sin is, what love is, who Jesus was and what he came to do or what salvation really means.

    Penal substitution turns God into an angry pagan deity who demands his ounce of flesh – or blood as the case may be. It turns the most beautiful message of love and hope ever into a mere hideous blood sacrifice. This ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’ is the foundational message of the gospel of Calvinism, and has led to great harm to the true message of the gospel, which is love.

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  155. SiteSeer: Got to leave those important decisions to the real bakers, right?
    So, is the analogy that you see the Bible as a recipe book that you must follow precisely in order for your life to come out successfully?
    Maybe if you start with that preconception you run the risk of reading statements as though they are precise measurements of ingredients when that was not how they were intended to be understood.

    What would have happended to that cake if the recipe had to be translated into different languages 5 or 6 times by several different men with preconceived notions of how a cake should be baked????

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  156. elastigirl,

    I really like what you have to say. I really enjoy theology, but I’ve stopped seeing as a quest to get the “one right answer.” It’s so much more about asking the right questions and learning different ways of approaching the same problem. There is no one way of solving the problem of evil, for instance, but it is really interesting and life giving for me to learn how people have been dealing with this issue across the millennia

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  157. PRAYER REQUEST

    Wartburgers, I would appreciate your prayers. Going through some health issues right now and facing a series of tests/procedures. Pray that the Lord would heal me – I have grandsons who need me and assorted other in-laws and out-laws who depend on me for wit and wisdom. I may be done, but not ready to quit yet. Thanks for remembering me in your prayers.

    Your Brother Max

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  158. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): What would have happended to that cake if the recipe had to be translated into different languages 5 or 6 times by several different men with preconceived notions of how a cake should be baked????

    Well, quite. The analogy was as frivolous as it was condescending.

    I’ve been consistently surprised in recent years at the disrespect shown among biblians for their sacred book. They, like me, believe exactly what they want to. But they co-opt “the word of god” – or the bits of it they agree with – to legitimise their many conflicting ideologies.

    I do not believe in the sufficiency of scripture, nor do I believe it has replaced any person of the trinity; indeed I believe it is a created thing that – if its own testimony is remotely true – will eventually pass away. I don’t believe it is the “perfection” Paul spake of unto Corinth that causes the imperfect to disappear – quite the reverse. But even I have more respect for the bible than biblians do. There’s no contempt like affected respect.

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  159. dee,

    One the of the basic problem is of “authoritarian pastors”. This I think leads to many of the other problems. Pastors who think they are the “King” of the church, rather than a servant of it. Then they say that women aren’t qualified for that role. They aren’t. Neither are men. That is not a role that we should have in a church.

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  160. Guest: At our church, we are quite happy to follow and maintain the traditions Apostle Paul wrote about in the New Testament epistles. As the Holy Spirit was Apostle Paul’s guide, we strive for the same continuity. His words, like the Savior’s are precious to us.

    Ah, it’s nice to hear that. I assume, then, that you follow Paul’s practice of ministry as noted throughout his Epistles – for example, Romans 16 has Phoebe as diakonon (deacon) of the church of Chenchrea, a church office. It has the same woman as prostatis, or patron, of Paul himself, someone who gave her resources for his ministry and in return commanded his loyalty to her personally.

    There are a number of women in that same chapter that are called “synergoi” or fellow-workers, the same title Paul gives to himself, Timothy, Titus, Barnabas . . so I assume you have a significant number (almost equal in number to the men) of women that hold similar ranking to the highest ranked people in your church.

    Junia is an apostle (yes, I know that the ESV translates as “well known to the apostles” – but when the very same phrase is invariable translated “well known AMONG the apostles” when the name is rendered masculine, one has to look with suspicious eyes on the translators), alongside her brother or husband Andronicus.

    In Philippi, another two women, Euodia and Syntyche, are also Paul’s favorite word for his colleagues, “fellow-worker”.

    In Titus and Timothy, the Greek uses “presbuteros” and “presbuteras” both – it has been a translators choice as to whether to translate that as “elder – male” and “elder – female” or “old man” and “old woman”. Somehow whenever it can be assumed that the “office” is in view, the translation is “elder” . . unless there’s the “must be female” presbuteras used, in which case it’s somehow always translated “old woman”.

    So, it’s great that you’re following Paul’s tradition – of female deacons, apostles, fellow-workers, patrons and presbuteras “old women or female elders” and the order of widows who are supported by the church . . and making sure that around half of your “mentionable” people and more than half of your “praise-able” people are female, just like Paul did in Romans 16.

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  161. Daisy,

    Daisy, thanks for that link. That’s exactly what I’d heard. Elisabeth Elliot was herself a complementarian though, before comp was cool. I’ve heard her speak, and she could be a little stiff and legalistic, about watching television, or having too much fun on a short-term mission, things that really didn’t need to preached against.

    After a lecture, during which she had warned against women working outside the home, someone questioned her on her own career, which was hardly in-the-home-traditional. She did have an answer, but I can’t remember what. She was also asked why she still used the name “Elliot” instead of her current and third husband (she had been widowed twice). She answered that her current husband Lars had graciously allowed her to keep the name (Lars was also her business partner, and the Elliot name may have been good for business). But I got the impression from her that it was a damn good thing Lars graciously allowed it, or else. She had a very firm demeanor.

    I did benefit from some of her books, however. She was a great lady, whether we agreed on everything or not.

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  162. Max,

    Just read the prayer request. Wish I could attach a photo Get-well card here.
    Yes, I pray for God’s Spirit to be very full in you – body and spirit for healing and more.
    May He lighten your burden on this journey and increase your joy.

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  163. Max,

    Max, I’m so sorry to hear that. Please know that I’m thinking of you and wishing you well. Although I’ve never met you, I almost feel like I “know” you from the wisdom you share in your comments, they are so encouraging to me. You will be in my prayers.

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  164. Guest: At our church, we are quite happy to follow and maintain the traditions Apostle Paul wrote about in the New Testament epistles. As the Holy Spirit was Apostle Paul’s guide, we strive for the same continuity. His words, like the Savior’s are precious to us.

    I think I’m talking to Alexa.

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  165. Max,

    A prayer for you Max. Be strong.

    O Lord Jesus Christ, my Watchman and Keeper, take me to thy care; grant that while my body is sleeping my mind may watch in thee, and be made joyful by some sight of that celestial and heavenly life wherein thou art the King and Prince, together with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Thy angels and holy souls are most happy citizens. Oh! purify my soul, keep clean my body, that in both I may please thee, sleeping and waking, for ever. Amen.
    (John Bradford)

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  166. SiteSeer,

    “Lodge a complaint against the contractor with Labor & Industries or any other local agencies that govern contractors. Do you have a local news channel that goes to bat for people?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    thank you, Siteseer. I’ve contacted a local news channel through an electronic form. i may go down to the ‘studio’ / ‘tv station’ (not sure what you call it anymore) in person and plead, beg to talk to a live human being.

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  167. Guest,

    Hmmmmmm …..

    You forgot to mention 1Tim 3:11 where Paul is describing female church leaders.

    Why did Paul say to the church “help these women who labored with me in the Gospel.” Phil 4:3

    Why did Paul specifically name a woman as a church Apostle and another woman as a deacon?

    Why do Bible translators try to change the meaning of Apostle and deacon when the Bible describes women but have no problem recognizing the position when it describe men with those exact same words?

    You need to do a word study on every time the NT says Apostle or deacon and how the Bible has no problem with women having that church authority.

    Is the church helping or hindering the call of God for women to teach?

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  168. Ken F (aka Tweed), Our church happily embraces The 2000 Baptist Faith & Message. We have found that the Holy Spirit‘s presence in the Christian is the true guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. We tend as a body of Christ believers, and Christ followers towards those things which foster the eternal things; faith, hope, love, and the righteousness found in Christ. We are encouraged to spiritually run the race as to win, letting our light so shine before others, so that they may see the goodness of our faithful endeavors and give glory to our Father who is in heaven. Apostle Paul’s epistles help and aid us as a church to do that. Blessings upon, and prayers for, the poor in spirit who venture to this blog. May the “kingdom of heaven, and it’s eternal realities, in this life, and the life to come, be theirs. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

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  169. Guest,

    You did not answer my question, so I will repeat it:

    How does your church follow Paul’s instruction in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 – “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”

    Which “spoken word” traditions of Paul does your church follow and how does your church determine what are the authentic unwritten traditions of Paul?

    I’ll add another question: why do you always answer questions with vague platitudes rather than answering specific questions?

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  170. Max, HE is able.
    may favorite passage during the storms of life, from TLB the living bible

    2 Corinthians 1:8-10

    I think you ought to know, dear brothers, about the hard time we went through in Asia.
    We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would not live through it.
    We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us, for he can even raise the dead. And he did help us and saved us from a terrible death; yes and we expect him to do it again and again…..

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  171. Ken F (aka Tweed), We, as a church, are admonished to use our words to build up one another, and glorify God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, in the process. We are encouraged to pray for and seek to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace with one another. We are keen in the use of the scriptures, as we proceed in honoring the holiness requested by these texts.

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  172. Max–praying for you!

    Otherwise re the thread and responses, I will never understand all the heat I suppose. Baptists who believe only men can be pastors can remain in SBC and most independent fundamentalist churches. Those that understand the Bible differently have the ABCUSA, CBF, and some independents. Lutherans that believe women cannot pastor can be LCMS, WELS, and some others. Those that believe women can could join the ELCA, LCMC, I think NALC, possibly some others. I assume the same hold fairly true for other theological families, although top of my head I can’t think of any Wesleyans that do not ordain women, but there may be.

    I will admit what I believe personally is absolutely dead wrong is to be a member of a group that states their beliefs are “a, b, and c” and then fighting tooth and nail to undermine that and change it. You might be totally correct in your beliefs but are being dishonest. Leave already, join where you agree or start your own church. But whether it is stealth Calvinists, or insisting on “leading a church” by imposing your own musical preference, or being in the SBC while constantly teaching against its clear teaching is simply stealing (IMHO.) Quit it already.

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  173. There is, of course, always an elephant in the room when it comes to whether a given woman can fulfil a given function in a given fragment of the church. That elephant is much bigger than the question of what is or is not the single correct interpretation of the fact that the bible contains a reference to Paul saying For lo, this I suffer ye not: that an woman shouldst beareth an teaching upon an man, nor partake unto the direction like unto the ruleth thereof.

    Consider (Wartburgers will recognise the snippet from John’s gospel account):

    Jesus said to [Mary Magdalene], “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

    Mary goes off and brings a point of immense theological significance to the apostles. And what heretic put it into her deluded head to “announce” this to them? Oh… right. There remains a question: is Jesus authorised to do what he/the Holy Spirit/God did in the early church, and radically revise his followers’ understanding of the scriptures? Can he appoint a woman in the same way as he did the gentiles?

    This, then, is the elephant: the “Jesus” of mainstream christianity is not real. He doesn’t really live to intercede and he isn’t really coming back to raise anybody from the dead to live with him forever. (How could he possibly do so without straying into the nonsensical world of extra-biblical revelation, which we know cannot exist?) “God” doesn’t really call anyone, whether male or female, because he is fictional. He is a made-up concept, like [spoiler alert] Father Christmas, and christians find a certain help and comfort in maintaining this fiction and insisting that they “believe in” him. But, just like Father Christmas, the only things “god” does are things that christians have already done for themselves and want to legitimise in some way.

    All that being said, I’ve always been a dreamer. And I can’t drop the question: what if that weren’t true? What if Jesus really is alive? (In other words, what if the claims recorded in the Bible were true?) That would change everything.

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  174. Guest:
    Ken F (aka Tweed), We, as a church, know no plausible way of changing the words of Jesus, nor of his disciples. In fact we are scripturally cautioned against doing so.

    There are a very diverse mix of people that follow this blog. With a vast array of characteristics. Many are highly knowledgable.

    You are struggling. There is a sense coming from your comments that you have trouble with your identity as an individual. You keep referencing church in some sort of monolithic way. You struggle to interact on a personal level with commenters.

    You pose questions but you cant answer well, and return to the monolithic stance.

    If this is a result of Nine Mark’s affiliation, other people are picking up on it.

    It’s Sunday. Your church would require attendance to avoid discipline. Why is your focus returning to the thread? Your Church is superior to the eclectic mix of commenters here.

    Can you tell us why you want to talk? Avoiding us because we are not part of your church would be understandable. That’s not what you are doing.

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  175. Guest:
    Ken F (aka Tweed), We, as a church, know no plausible way of changing the words of Jesus, nor of his disciples. In fact we are scripturally cautioned against doing so.

    You still did mot answer my question. In that passage Paul very clearly commands holding to both written and spoken tradition. I assume you believe in an inerrent Bible. If you believe that, you are compelled to do what Paul said to do, which is to hold to unwritten tradition (also to written tradition). I am asking how you and your church does that when you keep implying that you only follow the written tradition? How do you justify such blantant disobedience from the written word?

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  176. Guest:
    Ken F (aka Tweed), We, as a church, have the words of scripture to guide us. Are you saying more is required? Tradition for us is following the scriptures.We have no other tradition that I am aware of.

    You are missing my point. The scripture says to hold to unwritten traditions in the same way we are to hold to written tradition. I am asking you, as someone who claims to follow scripture, how do you obey that one since he bible itself says that scripture alone is insufficient. This is not an opinion I am stating, it’s clearly written in the NT, and even the ESV translation says this.

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  177. Guest,

    This is simple not true. Your church changes the meaning of Jesus’ own words all of the time, and especially with respect to the Lord’s supper and Baptism. You do this to fit your preferred doctrinal system.

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  178. Max:
    PRAYER REQUESTWartburgers, I would appreciate your prayers.Going through some health issues right now and facing a series of tests/procedures.Pray that the Lord would heal me – I have grandsons who need me and assorted other in-laws and out-laws who depend on me for wit and wisdom.I may be done, but not ready to quit yet.Thanks for remembering me in your prayers.

    Max, I am praying for you. If there is any help that my husband and I can be of for you, send me an email with Max in the subject line. You are so wonderful and I want you around us for many years to come.

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  179. dee,

    Thanks Dee. You and the TWW community feel like family to me. I sincerely appreciate all of your prayers. I’ll keep you posted as I proceed through medical tests in June. Getting old ain’t for sissies! So glad I have the Lord with me and in me! He is using you and TWW – thank you for being faithful.

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  180. Max,

    I’m praying for you, too, Max. And I trust that it is, has been and will be, a precious thing for anyone that has/will encounter your wit and wisdom and words that model the valuing of all humanity, not just half. I have prayed/pray, too, for my children, of both genders, and the next generations, (and whosoever will/longs for), that the credibility and hope of Christianity (Christian concepts anywhere, Love) shines brightly for them. Fred Rogers’ example, words and ministry, and his mother’s wisdom for him that he shared with us all, “Look for the helpers” has helped me look for, pray for, notice, and find them in my own life. And I want to be, pray to be, hope I’ve been, a help for my own family and others as well.

    Thinking of you, Max, and the helper you’ve been/are/will be, and your heart’s desire to be there for your family.

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  181. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Ken, I think you know that the verse you quoted refers to Paul encouraging the Thessalonians to follow the teachings he had explained to them in person or by letter in the face of false teaching. To try to suggest that his spoken words would or could be different from the written letters is at best disingenuous and misleading.

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  182. linda: I will admit what I believe personally is absolutely dead wrong is to be a member of a group that states their beliefs are “a, b, and c” and then fighting tooth and nail to undermine that and change it. You might be totally correct in your beliefs but are being dishonest. Leave already, join where you agree or start your own church.

    Overall, I agree with you, but in the case of female subordination, it tends to keep getting worse if there is no pushback.

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  183. Guest: We, as a church, know no plausible way of changing the words of Jesus, nor of his disciples. In fact we are scripturally cautioned against doing so.

    If you are using the ESV, you can are already doing so, guest. But I believe I’m speaking to a robot that spits out predetermined snippets in response to recognized key words or phrases.

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  184. Lowlandseer: To try to suggest that his spoken words would or could be different from the written letters is at best disingenuous and misleading.

    It is also misleading to suggest that Paul’s letters completely capture absolutely everything that Paul ever taught without exception. We know from John 21:25 that the NT captures only a small fraction of what Jesus taught. It is similar with the works of all humans. I’ve had university courses taught by the professors who wrote the books we were using. If all we needed were the written words there would have been no need to attend the class. But the in every case the professors expanded upon and explained what they had written in the book. Why should we think it would be different with Paul or any other NT author?

    Here is what John Chrysostom wrote about this verse:

    Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all things by Epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit.”

    The context of my dialogue with Guest is his claim that his church strictly follows the written word. I offered an example of a passage that cannot be strictly followed without some kind of intrepretation or explanation for why it cannot be applied literally, and for which different believers throughout history have held opposite interpretations.

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  185. siteseer—-the only effective pushback, the only honest one, is to walk away. The people who agree with whatever it is teaching do after all have the right to believe and teach well, what they believe and teach.

    Or have we reached the point of Nazism where only one side is even allowed to propagate its opinion?

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  186. Ken F (aka Tweed): Lowlandseer: To try to suggest that his spoken words would or could be different from the written letters is at best disingenuous and misleading.

    Ken: It is also misleading to suggest that Paul’s letters completely capture absolutely everything that Paul ever taught without exception.

    Reminds me of an old comic strip, in which a wife was pleading with her husband to say “I love you” more often. The husband said, “Can I just write it down, and you can read it whenever you want?”

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  187. The pejorative exspoliation is pushing the envelope quite hard. Hearing Jesus’ words and doing what they say has served us well as a church thus far. We and our families have his blessing as a wonderful result. We wait patiently for his glorious coming. Naturally we wish you all his abundant blessings as well.

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  188. Guest:
    The pejorative exspoliation is pushing the envelope quite hard. Hearing Jesus’ words and doing what they say has served us well as a church thus far. We and our families have his blessing as a wonderful result.We wait patiently for his glorious coming. Naturally we wish you all his abundant blessings as well.

    This is a very disappointing answer for someone who came to this site for a discussion. You have made accusations to the host and various commenters, but you have not engaged in dialogue in any meaningful way. By that I mean you make vague statements but skip all the details, and you seem to imply that all who disagree with you are unbiblical. This is very 9Marksist. What it tells me is that you have not researched this topic outside of your 9Marks complementarian bubble. Perhaps you are afraid of where such research could lead?

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  189. And Now: serious matters

    AWWBA, perhaps the most significant event in the Wartburg calendar begins on Thursday. I speak, of course, of the Cricket World Cup.

    Wartburgers may rest assured that I will keep them posted.

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  190. Guest,

    This is perhaps the most sophisticated chatbot I’ve seen at Wartburg (unless one of our regulars is a chatbot and has successfully Turing’d us).

    Though, in the interweb age, the Turing test may need re-versioning. As chatbots inevitably become more sophisticated, what do we call the hypothetical human who fails the Turing test?

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  191. Quick update fae the French Open:

    Serena took a set to get back into the groove, dropping it 6-2; but the new(ish) mum and widely-acknowledged GOAT won the next two 6-0 6-1. Rafa (the undisputed clay-court GOAT) is through, so no surprises there. Former world no. 1 and fellow-Liverpool-fan Caroline Wozniacki is out, though, and if I’m being ruthlessly honest, I was a little disappointed at how she referred to her opponent as being lucky.

    Currently, local favourite Jeremy Chardy and English laddie Kyle Edmund are fighting it out on Court 1 in a terrific match; 2 hours in and they’re only midway through the third set. One set all, with Edmund just having broken for 4-2 in the third.

    IHTIH

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  192. SiteSeer,

    They appear to be a 9 Marx church which means that they are doing it right because they interpret the Bible expertly. So, when they beat up on people like Todd Wilhelm and the rest of the folks that we have written about, it doesn’t matter. They deserved it.You cannot leave their church unless you get their position and go onto an approved church within seconds of the door slamming.

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  193. linda,

    “siteseer—-the only effective pushback, the only honest one, is to walk away. The people who agree with whatever it is teaching do after all have the right to believe and teach well, what they believe and teach.

    Or have we reached the point of Nazism where only one side is even allowed to propagate its opinion?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    your approach is pretty passive and enabling.

    i’ve walked away. I suspect siteseer has, too (although not certain). many of us have walked away. we do have the right to push back through protest, through education, through helping those who are stuck in a destructive ideology,…

    have you reached the point of some kind of spiritual Nazism in which God looks down on protest and active & direct pushback as being dishonest, sinful, morally wrong, etc?

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  194. Nick Bulbeck,

    I think machine learning is fascinating.
    My concern, or perhaps paranoia, is that the Church is tomorrows online battleground for political influence. Bots would have a force multiplying effect, if factions cant get enough live bodies to vocalize a specific cause.

    I look at Patheos as just a creepster site since the Fall of 2016.

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  195. Nick Bulbeck: Though, in the interweb age, the Turing test may need re-versioning. As chatbots inevitably become more sophisticated, what do we call the hypothetical human who fails the Turing test?

    From some of what I’ve seen in comment threads, it isn’t “hypothetical”.

    Think about it: How messed-up do you have to be to fail a Turing Test?

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  196. Headless Unicorn Guy: From some of what I’ve seen in comment threads, it isn’t “hypothetical”.

    Think about it: How messed-up do you have to be to fail a Turing Test?

    Here is my presupposition when looking at a post.

    -There is little difference between an algorithm and a substantial percentage of congregants online-

    That is not the case in real life of course. But analyzing a commenter’s thought process alone, a person can be a bot when personality traits are filtered out in the text medium.

    Guest could very likely be a real person. But, if not, what is the algorithm using to decide what commenter to engage?

    Maybe my comments are like the FBI trying to decipher lyrics to Lou Lou. It’ll never happen.

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  197. dee: You cannot leave their church unless you get their position and go onto an approved church within seconds of the door slamming.

    Manipulation, intimidation, domination … none of which are fruit of the Holy Spirit. Religious bondage. Those who have been ensnared by this madness need to know that Christ has set you free … use that freedom and find the nearest exit for your spiritual well-being.

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  198. dee,

    If you are right about the human identity of our chattery chatbot, he preaches from a music stand. Presumably there would have to be a separate music stand if one of the ladies were permitted to make an announcement.

    Catty, I know. Meow.

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  199. A new page of religious history gets written every day. You have monitored so many years of questionable church behavior that you and your commenters may have unfortunately lost focus on the wonderful things God is doing. Miracles still happen. Faith is still the substance of things hoped for. Our church is happy to be a part of these divine hope deployments of God taking place every day. We and our children don’t want to miss them.

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  200. Guest,

    “Divine hope deployments,” eh? Is hope some kind of weapon that God issues? What happens when the troops of the Smiling Infantry fire that hope at crying children and the people who worry about them?

    I’ll tell you what happens. The Wartburg Watch.

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  201. Guest,

    “the wonderful things God is doing…”

    You mean things like pulling His children out of abusive churches? Like the prosecution of criminals disguised as pastors? Like liberating His people from oppressive religious systems? Like rescuing wandering sheep?

    Yes, Jesus is still doing wonderful things like that.

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  202. Guest: Our church is happy to be a part of these divine hope deployments of God taking place every day. We and our children don’t want to miss them.

    I genuinely hope that your bubble does not get too tragically burst. Our ‘perfect’ church felt similarly, but it could only uphold the illusion by running out anyone with serious trouble. Instead of helping people with serious problems, like pornography addiction, alcohol addiction and other painful struggles, such churches often value the illusion of their godliness more than the souls that are in need of help and support. If a church disciplines and excommunicates the needy individuals from their midst, they can deceive themselves as to how righteous and happy they all are.

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  203. TS00,
    “If a church disciplines and excommunicates the needy individuals from their midst, they can deceive themselves as to how righteous and happy they all are.”

    This is true. And it’s not just needy people, but anyone who asks questions. This is the playbook outlined by the Purpose Driven Church and copied by a number of authoritarian churches that are not necessarily seeker sensitive. Assimilate or eliminate. There is no middle ground, and it’s probably already in effect at this guy’s church. He just doesn’t know it.

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  204. TS00: I have heard there are a growing number of Nickeists.

    Nickeism is a separate philosophy. (Extra “e”, you see.)

    Weakly supervenient Nickeism is something Nickists can peacefully coexist with. But Nickeists who lean towards a more macroplexological supervenience can’t; theirs is a misunderstanding of Nickism.

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  205. elastigirl, I think you miss my point entirely. What I am saying is far from passive. Let’s make up a hypothetical situation: happily dispy SBC church hires pastor who fails to reveal his Calvinism. Person A realizes after a few months what is happening and actively seeks the deposing of said king, aka fire the dude bro. However, it becomes apparent over the next few weeks that not only will that not happen, but that the majority of the church agree with the dudebro preacher. AT THAT POINT you can stay and strive endlessly, and miserably, or simply walk out the door and find a church that teaches and behaves in ways consistent with your faith.

    I do think it wrong for a person who believes as the ELCA does on open communion to join an LCMS congregation AND THEN begin to try to force open communion. Or for that matter women’s ordination. Just go be ELCA already.

    I will admit to having lost much of my trust in what Wade Burleson teaches. Case in point is knowing the SBC does not accept the idea of women’s ordination so getting around that by pushing for a non ordaining type ministry for all so women can then function as pastors and preachers since no one really is seems like wanting the cake of coolness without being willing to pay the piper of being ousted. I would respect him far more if he approached Emmanuel Enid with the idea that either it accepts women’s ordination, even if the SBC dumps them all, or he leaves for a denomination that does ordain women. The SBC was not all that open to women being ordained before the CR or the new Calvinists showed up. That it happened in a few places does not make it common practice.

    I am definitely not saying no one can speak their mind. I AM saying if all can speak freely, then ALL can speak freely. To denigrate those opposed to women’s ordination the way it sometimes happens–bigots, or into subordination of women, or accusing women who do not accept women’s ordination of being somehow brainless twits afraid of being fully adult, is wrong.

    We can get stuck in the teeny bopper role of being against authority, into rebellion, and generally cynical. I find it far more adult to figure out what you believe and live it.

    Case in point, and somebody please correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t the late Okrapod one who left the Baptists behind and became an Episcopalian? Or was it someone else? At any rate, that was far more adult, far more courageous, and far more to be respected in my book that it would have been to remain among the Baptists and try to make them behave like Episcopalians.

    Besides, when dealing with narcissists who act the way some of these abusive “leaders” behave,know you will never change them. But you CAN defund them and remove their power by taking away their audience.

    I’ve known folks who feel (often rightly!) someone abused them and stole their power. The sad truth is some get stuck there. (NOT blaming the VICTIM here, but it can be a consequence of abuse which is why abuse is so horrific.) But I’ve known other people who (and I have no clue what is the difference) are somehow able to move past the abuse and have good lives.

    So I am saying that since church is voluntary, if you ARE being abused get the heck out.

    And if it is not abusive but you just disagree with it, do yourself a favor, reduce your own stress and that of all in the church with you, and go find one you agree with.

    I say that because it applies to all. If I don’t want a dudebro stealth Calvinist to take over a church then I don’t get to impose even my own most ardently held beliefs that I a dead certain the Bible teaches. We can BOTH honestly and openly state our views, with respect for those opposed. And if the church teaches contrary to our opinion, we should leave.

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  206. elastigirl: we do have the right to push back through protest, through education, through helping those who are stuck in a destructive ideology,…

    Agreed, elastigirl. We are to accurately handle the word of truth and when it is being presented falsely to achieve an intended agenda, we should challenge the meaning. And we need not be ashamed for doing so but rather encouraged to further study.

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  207. linda: I do think it wrong for a person who believes as the ELCA does on open communion to join an LCMS congregation AND THEN begin to try to force open communion. Or for that matter women’s ordination. Just go be ELCA already.

    Just in recent decades, nobody was ordaining women. Divorce was reviled, remarriage in the church impossible. Women could not even be church ushers in moderate mainline churches. I grew up in a church that was all white largely due to redlining. We actually had an exchange program with a church that was all black largely due to redlining. (The participating families liked their new churches so much that they stayed, by the way.)

    It’s nice we have more choices now, but a lot of those choices exist because people worked within institutions that were precious to them.

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  208. linda,

    “I am definitely not saying no one can speak their mind. I AM saying if all can speak freely, then ALL can speak freely. To denigrate those opposed to women’s ordination the way it sometimes happens–bigots, or into subordination of women, or accusing women who do not accept women’s ordination of being somehow brainless twits afraid of being fully adult, is wrong.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    as i see it, bigot is as bigot does; sexist is as sexist does. if you discriminate based on gender or race, well… doesn’t matter how benign the intentions.

    and there are surely more diplomatic ways to convey the idea of losing the ability to think objectively than “brainless twit”.

    but let me ask — are you ok with faith and faith culture in an organization clouding the judgement of its adherents to the point of subjugating people groups and losing objectivity (among other things)?

    i’m not.

    if you really believe that “ALL can speak freely”, then that includes me, right? whether within an organization or outside it. and others can disagree and respond accordingly, whether within an organization or outside it.

    you’re making up your own rule about it being wrong to do so within an organization.

    have you considered the enabling consequences of your rule when an organization is harmful, destructive, dangerous, immoral….?

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  209. Pingback: Wednesday Connect | Thinking Out Loud

  210. linda,

    Linda, we are in a deep dive study of 1 Corinthians in our Sunday School class as we speak, and I think you may be alluding to what Paul calls the liberty of the believer.

    If something is not a primary doctrine, we have freedom to interpret as we wish ( but would suggest diligent study)

    Secondary and tertiary doctrines leave us room to debate, and sadly freedom to associate or disassociate as the spirit leads.

    Hebrews 6:1 ( Luke says,yes I believe Luke wrote Hebrews) leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us move on… ( some don’t want to move on, cuz that’s we get to fight about.)

    Sad to see believers going at it over tertiary doctrines.

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  211. Benn,

    “Sad to see believers going at it over tertiary doctrines.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    i don’t disagree. but what if those ‘tertiary doctrines’ are harmful and destructive? wouldn’t you go at it, too?

    (if they aren’t harmful and destructive to you personally [thus not making it one’s radar], they will impact you eventually.)

    (like, when a diet which is deficient in what might seem like unimportant nutrients, the body simply will not thrive, and doors are opened to disease which can bring the whole body down.)

    (or a small wound on one’s smallest toe if untreated can fester and bring your whole body down.)

    (but if these arguments aren’t enough, what’s wrong is wrong. it is wrong to treat people in a manner that you would not want to be treated. it is wrong to treat people differently based on their DNA or assumptions of their DNA.)

    (and now i’m just rattling on, stating the obvious)

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  212. elastigirl,

    I agree, it is sad that it does goes on, and I’m not saying I not guilty of planting flags.
    When I say it is sad that we ( whoever the We is, and what ever the it is) have our family squabbles, I don’t mean that we shouldn’t have them..
    To me this/these are the most important issues that people face, and as Dee shows us through this blog, that tertiary issues/ disagreements can have a ripple effect that does indeed do damage, and cause pain.

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  213. Benn: tertiary issues/ disagreements can have a ripple effect that does indeed do damage, and cause pain.

    An astute point, and evidence that churches change all the time, regardless of what we tend to assume or claim.

    Tertiary issues can also lead to joyous breakthroughs. I’ve been to Sunday morning services led almost entirely by children. It was revealing to hear the Bible read by a little girl, and the prayers for the sick led by a young boy. Who am I to say they are not called to serve God in new ways? To me this experience was a little bit of Pentecost and a little bit of Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”

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  214. Benn: Secondary and tertiary doctrines leave us room to debate … Sad to see believers going at it over tertiary doctrines

    Several years ago, the infamous Al Mohler proposed approaching SBC’s Non-Calvinist vs. New Calvinist debate via a “theological triage.” Comparing theological differences to a disaster scene medical triage, he reduced God’s plan of salvation (whosoever-will may come vs. predestined elect) to a secondary essential not worth fussing about. I disagreed with the good doctor (as I do on most of his pontifications) … if we don’t get this right, we are not truly on the Great Commission.

    Sometimes Christian organizations divide over primary, rather than secondary/tertiary doctrines … I believe the SBC is at that point. How can two distinctly different plans of God’s salvation coexist in a single denomination going forward? Southern Baptist identity has been distinctly non-Calvinist in belief and practice for the last 150 years (despite its Calvinist beginnings prior to the Civil War) … Mohler et al. have been out and about to change that, even though mainline Southern Baptists are not asking to go back to theological roots that characterize less than 10% of Christendom worldwide.

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  215. Benn: Yes Dr.mohler did the triage analogy, if memory serves me well, in 2005, I reviewed the pod cast in my prep work for starting our journey through 1 Corinthians in Sunday School….

    Was the Mohler podcast on theological triage a recommended resource by the Sunday School leader? Is this an SBC church? Are you using LifeWay study material?

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  216. linda,

    Linda, I had some friends, years ago, who joined a church specifically with the idea to change it. They knew it did not teach the doctrine they believed and they seemed to see themselves as some sort of benefactors to the benighted. I don’t think they ever achieved their goal (I lost track of them) but I do know they caused a lot of division and hard feelings in that church. I think this may be the kind of thing you are referring to, and I agree with you. I agree that it is dishonest to join a church knowing you do not agree with what it teaches (though, to be honest, people do this every day because they join for other reasons than doctrine).

    What I have experienced is, joining a church with the understanding that it has affirmed a certain doctrinal stance and then having it changed radically by the pastor and being made to feel like the bad guy for not wanting to go along with it.

    With several bad church experiences under my belt at this point in life, if I were to be in another church and have this happen again, I would shake the dust off my feet and leave right away. BUT- I continue to speak out about what I believe is wrong and why.

    In years past, I believed that women were to be subservient to men and I lived that way. I was fine with it because I thought it was what the Bible taught and because I was married to an excellent man who did not have one abusive impulse in his heart. And most of the other women I knew functioned likewise. But I also knew women whose husbands were strange characters who further and further circumscribed their lives with control and oppression, to the point they could barely leave their homes or associate with persons they wanted to. It is when I think of them, I feel the need to speak out. I no longer believe the Bible teaches this stance and I believe it is harmful not only to both women and men, but to the church, as a whole.

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  217. SiteSeer,

    I also agree that it is dishonest to join a church with the intent to change it, knowing that you do not hold to their doctrine. And I have had multiple bad experiences with churches who started out one way, but switched doctrines along the way.

    In my experience there has never been a point in arguing with people who want the new way. I and others have tried, but I have yet to see a church reverse course.

    Like some other’s here, I am in my last church. If the church body (denomination) decides to go off course, I will just be practicing my faith on my own, in my own way. My spouse is in agreement with this.

    The sad thing is, I believe that the course will change in the future. When? I don’t know. But I think that history tells us that all institutions become corrupt over time and need to be replaced. While we often experience periods of relative peace and maintain a status quo, the general trend of all institutions is to become corrupt.

    Thankfully Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church, which differs greatly from the various American religious brands we see in our day.

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  218. Max: Was the Mohler podcast on theological triage a recommended resource by the Sunday School leader?Is this an SBC church?Are you using LifeWay study material?

    Max, no on life way materials, and no on the S/S superintendent dictating a church wide s/s program or literature.
    We are a SBC church, but don’t support CP, and only give a minuscule amount of $$$, to stay a part of the SBC.
    When I’m asked the question about where I attend, or about my faith or beliefs, I don’t say baptist, I say I’m a Christian, or a follower of Christ or Jesus.

    This primary secondary, tertiary approach started after I predicted that J D Greear would be elected president last year, and I told my class that his election would not even be close, and sadly he got north of 66% of the vote.

    I am of the opinion that most people ( at least the baptist I know ) kinda know what they believe, but in all honesty really have very little reasoning why they believe it.

    So getting back to Al Mohler and his triage podcast the levels of doctrines and importance, I viewed his lecture/ sermon so I could present all sides, to show my class the divergence of views, needless to say it has been eye opening….

    What most people find is how much tradition creeps in over time, and everyone is at a loss for how it got there

    Ask a practicing Jew why a hard boiled egg is on the seeder table at Passover, and just sit back and enjoy….

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  219. linda,
    SiteSeer,
    Noevangelical,

    “I also agree that it is dishonest to join a church with the intent to change it, knowing that you do not hold to their doctrine.”–Noevangelical
    ++++++++++++++++++

    Regarding Noevangelical’s statement above, for the record i am in agreement.

    However, a dry and innocuous statement of doctrine and how it is applied and experienced are two very different things.

    it would say it is not uncommon for people to join a church, get settled, build community, and then be surprised as to the experience of a doctrine(s) really is. gender roles, authoritarianism, church discipline can be worded in very sleek and spiritualized ways.

    their application can be devastating.

    If there is something inhumane, abusive, unjust happening, i cannot see that it isn’t morally right to speak out from within. (a double negative, but it seemed to convey my point)
    ———–

    My experience (and i would guess is not uncommon) is that ‘an idea’ is suddenly put in practice by church leaders that is contrary to the doctrine they hold.

    you notice it, something seems a little off, a little unusual, and with some discussion and research over the course of time you start to discover and understand where it came from.

    This happened at my former AOG church. AOG espouses doctrine that is very pro equality, very pro-woman — women pastors, etc.

    (although the male leadership in AOG are pretty blind and clueless to how their conduct and decisions treat their female colleagues very inequitably.

    One of their magazines devoted 2 issues of their magazine to gender roles, one devoted to Men and male gender roles, and the following issue devoted to Women and feminine gender roles.

    The Man issue of the magazine was full of articles written by men sort of congratulating themselves on their view of equality.

    The Woman issue had articles written by women pastors who made it clear how unequal things really are. and how hurtful and discouraging it is for them.)

    …but at this AOG church, I suddenly start noticing several things that seemed off. in essence, women were viewed not as individuals but in relation to their husband (if married).

    The sermons all of a sudden included statements straight out of CBMW’s website and “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood”. John Piper was quoted by name (in glowing terms) on the subject.

    i was no longer an individual, but my validation came from my husband’s existence and presence. my husband was a valid individual with or with out my existence and presence.

    it was shocking, really. it was unfair, unjust, hurtful, maddening, discriminatory.

    it was incumbent on me to speak out from within. i did. until my kids could no longer take the youth group and the pressure the youth pastor put on them (you have to do this, you have to do that, you cannot do this, you cannot do that, gays are going to hell,…)

    at that point, i evacuated.

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  220. Benn: I am of the opinion that most people ( at least the baptist I know ) kinda know what they believe, but in all honesty really have very little reasoning why they believe it.

    Southern Baptists are called a “People of the Word” … yet, in my 70 year snapshot of SBC life, I found that very few actually read it. The average Southern Baptist knows a few essentials and even has a couple of Bible verses memorized, but they aren’t very deep spiritually. Most don’t have the discipline to read Scripture and pray as they ought. They were easy targets for the New Calvinist movement for that reason – Al Mohler knew that.

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  221. elastigirl,

    I have shared your experience and concur with your opinion. We generally attended for a year as observers before committing to a church, but even then there were surprised sprung on us when we joined. We said something, were rebuffed, and left in all cases except one. But we were compelled to voice our objections. We did try to fight.

    In that one we left, then came back for a time, but then left again. Sadly, I have yet to see a church reverse course based on the objections of pew peons.

    Overall I think we (American Christians) have a badly flawed understanding of the New Testament church. So many of us seem to settle for “the cleanest dirty shirt”.

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  222. elastigirl: at this AOG church, I suddenly start noticing several things that seemed off … The sermons all of a sudden included statements straight out of CBMW’s website and “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood”. John Piper was quoted by name (in glowing terms) on the subject

    Much has been said about the New Calvinist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention on this blog and elsewhere. What has escaped the attention of the greater church is the stealth and deception at the hands of new reformers within the Assembly of God and Evangelical Free Church of America. The New Calvinists are making inroads in those denominations as well, with subtle (and not so subtle) indoctrination from the pulpit into reformed theology. A mega AOG church near me was instrumental in propping up Driscoll’s return to ministry.

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  223. Max: What has escaped the attention of the greater church is the stealth and deception at the hands of new reformers within the Assembly of God and Evangelical Free Church of America.

    I think Eagle (remember him?) is keeping an eye on this issue.

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  224. Max: What has escaped the attention of the greater church is the stealth and deception at the hands of new reformers within the Assembly of God and Evangelical Free Church of America.

    Saw it in action. Escaped from the Calvinist church to what I thought was a nice, safe EVFree church. Until the Sunday School material started talking creeds and solas, and the teaching became clearly Calvinist, with Grudem, Piper and Sproul quoted most often.

    The pastor did not even seem to get that he was being cleverly manipulated right into Calvinism by an elder mole who had been planted in the church, and had pretty much taken complete control over everthing.

    People who knew nothing of Calvinism – as most in the pew did not – would never know what was happening. They did not question changing the bylaws, giving the elders all authority, etc. because they trusted the pastor unconditionally. I debated trying to warn them, but it seemed as if they were too far gone for me, a newbie, to do much.

    One can only presume this is happening all over. There is even a blogger who originally focused on the issue of the Calvinist takeover of the EVFC.

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  225. Guest: Our church is happy to be a part of these divine hope deployments of God taking place every day. We and our children don’t want to miss them.

    You and yours are missing (and will continue to miss) at least half of what is possible.
    You do so by hamstringing half (or more than half) of your members with faulty and restrictive understanding of Scripture. You keep them from entering the fullness of the gifts that God has graciously given to His children, fellow heirs, male and female.

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  226. Mara, Our church does not have women or gender lettered individuals in the pulpit. Our church polity prevents it. No one here, that I am aware of, feels mislead or short-changed. Our church elders would welcome discomforted individuals attendance, but encouraged those discomforted by our polity, to prayerfully seek and attend another church more suitable to their religious persuasion over the long haul.

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  227. Guest: Our church elders would welcome discomforted individuals attendance, but encouraged those discomforted by our polity, to prayerfully seek and attend another church more suitable to their religious persuasion over the long haul.

    Wasn’t there a guy who a long time ago said something like, “come to me, all who believe just like we do, and everyone else can just go to hell”? But I could be wrong…

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  228. Guest: Our church does not have women … in the pulpit. Our church polity prevents it. No one here, that I am aware of, feels mislead or short-changed.

    Yes, you only confirm what I said. Due to your misinterpretation of scripture and polity, you hamstring at least half of you church body.

    In addition, your doctrine shames any woman away from expressing any feeling of being short-changed.
    If she has gifts and talents that don’t line up with your narrow and graceless interpretation of scripture, she is compelled by your doctrine to hide her light under a bushel and bury her talent in the ground. Woe to her for burying her talent. But doubly woe to those who make, defend, and enforce the doctrines-of-men that compel her to do so.

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  229. elastigirl–so you basically did just exactly what I said to do. If disagree with the doctrine and policies of a church, leave.

    The dudebros CANNOT function without pewpeons propping them up.

    But just as I do not believe Calvinists should invade the AoG, I also do not believe one holding to women’s ordination should invade the SBC, the LCMS, or the RCC for the purpose of enlightening them on how “wrong they are.”

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  230. Mara: Due to your misinterpretation of scripture and polity, you hamstring at least half of you church body.

    “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” (Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Propaganda Minister)

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  231. Guest:
    Ken F (aka Tweed), How would I have any reference to your state of mind?

    I have not felt comfortable in church (any church) for the last four years. But I go anyway. If what you wrote is true, it means I am not in my right frame of mind. Are you suggesting I should quit going to church?

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  232. Ken F (aka Tweed): Wasn’t there a guy who a long time ago said something like, “come to me, all who believe just like we do, and everyone else can just go to hell”? But I could be wrong…

    There are thousands of guys just like that, who fancy themselves as messiahs. The Original, though, is – or so I hope – building His church. There is no “other” church.

    If Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, that has implications for what he meant by “My Church”. There’s something spiritual that can’t be prevailed against by men building their churches. The earthbound chatbot would not understand this, though; indeed, I expect spiritual things would be nonsensical to it because it doesn’t have the software to process them.

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  233. Nick Bulbeck: The earthbound chatbot would not understand this, though; indeed, I expect spiritual things would be nonsensical to it because it doesn’t have the software to process them.

    The interesting thing about your statement here is how it does not force the chatbot to be non-human. Perhaps a human can dumb him/herself down enough to actually fail the Turing test, in which case it becomes irrelevant whether the person is a human or a machine. Could it be that the Christian Industrial Complex is equipping humans to be indistinguishable from machines?

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  234. Ken F (aka Tweed): The interesting thing about your statement here is how it does not force the chatbot to be non-human.

    I’m glad you picked up on that, because you’re absolutely right. This was kind of what I was trying to say, though it was the wee small hours of the morning and I was struggling to express it!

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  235. linda,

    Goodness, you make it sound like a military invasion! One’s freedom of conscience does not end the moment one enters a church door. One can accept the what is without stopping to wrestle with things inside one’s soul. I support my wonderful church. I accept how they function. I admire how they involve more women in leadership than any church that I attended except for Bent Tree. In fact, I believe that the SBC could take note of how they do things. They are much further along than the SBC and PCA.

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  236. Ken F (aka Tweed): The interesting thing about your statement here is how it does not force the chatbot to be non-human. Perhaps a human can dumb him/herself down enough to actually fail the Turing test, in which case it becomes irrelevant whether the person is a human or a machine. Could it be that the Christian Industrial Complex is equipping humans to be indistinguishable from machines?

    I absolutely think that it does so.

    I remember reading a study years ago of MBTI personality types in the church. I wish I could find it again, I’ve tried to look it up with no success. But according to this study, an overwhelming number of churchgoers tested as ESFJ, the type whose qualities are considered ideal in most churches. So, either churches are repelling the other 15 types or a lot of people are feeling pressured into being something they really aren’t.

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  237. linda: But just as I do not believe Calvinists should invade the AoG, I also do not believe one holding to women’s ordination should invade the SBC, the LCMS, or the RCC for the purpose of enlightening them on how “wrong they are.”

    Here’s another thing, though. People often begin at one church feeling their needs are being met but then outgrow it as they learn and mature as Christians. Perhaps they should just leave but they will have heard many disapproving sermons by that point that touch on the topic of “church-hopping,” so they may be conflicted on that point.

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  238. SiteSeer: “church-hopping”

    It’s interesting. Scripture talks about being members of the Body of Christ and citizens of the Kingdom of God, but deals very little with being bound to a local church. Indeed, with our citizenship in Heaven, we are aliens and strangers in this world. Believers should feel free to flow as the Holy Spirit leads them … to go, stay, or leave. I believe that “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” refers to linking with other believers in or outside of a church building to accomplish the Great Commission together, each with a unique gift, each with a ministry … rather than simply gathering with members of a local church for religious observance (most church members do not know the Lord, IMO).

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  239. SiteSeer,

    “…or a lot of people are feeling pressured into being something they really aren’t.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    …and that sums up my experience of what it means to be a part of the evangelical church in the last few decades.

    (but i’m free now. and it’s amazing… like an uncomfortable head ache that is suddenly gone, which you were ignoring for years and learned to live with.)

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  240. linda,

    “elastigirl–so you basically did just exactly what I said to do. If disagree with the doctrine and policies of a church, leave.”
    +++++++++++++++

    well, i left because of the pressure put on my kids, which they couldn’t take anymore.

    if it hadn’t been for that, i would have stayed and continued to challenge the decisions the leaders were making — for the sake of others, for the sake of what’s good and right and true, for the sake of integrity.

    (…until i couldn’t take it anymore)

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  241. SiteSeer: So, either churches are repelling the other 15 types or a lot of people are feeling pressured into being something they really aren’t.

    I finally left that mill about a year ago, after being conformed to it for more than 30 years. It takes a while to get one’s footing again after such a major shift. I am finally finding freedom, but almost no one to share it with here in the Bible belt, so it’s a bit of a lonely freedom. At least for now.

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  242. SiteSeer,

    “People often begin at one church feeling their needs are being met but then outgrow it as they learn and mature as Christians. Perhaps they should just leave but they will have heard many disapproving sermons by that point that touch on the topic of “church-hopping,” so they may be conflicted on that point.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    oh my goodness, you got that right. the persuasion on penalty of displeasing God is so thick regarding not leaving a church. the webs that pastors weave (perhaps without realizing it, because it’s just the done thing) are comprised of so many psychological traps.

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  243. __

    Stealth Calvinism: “Walk This Way, Talk This Way…, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    howdee!

    (grin)

    FWIW: The Calvinist stealth church planting network(s) SBC takeover is farther along than anyone would imagined.

    huh?

    Sample/Example:’ New City Network’, a church planting network of McLean Bible Church, (now an stealth calvinesta SBC church) is one of them. (there are certainly others)

    What?

    —->There is absolutely no mention of any form of Calvinism, (and it’s many names-incarnations) anywhere within their new church plants.

    No Dort, no TULIP.

    Get it?!?

    hey,

    Most of the members of the new church plants are under 25. They haven’t a clue. A keen bait and switch operation. Calvinism is simply spoon feed them a little bit over time. Soon Calvinism is all they know.

    Get out the butter.

    [snicker]

    Calvinism is the only gospel they will most likely ever know. There is no watchman on this proverbial wall?

    KRunch!

    If you were to ask one of the young members it they are attending a calvinist church, they would more than likely say they don’t know. Many don’t even know of religious false gospel trap organizations like TGC, or T4G.

    Duh?

    “…they steal you like a crook” – Steven Tyler, Aerosmith

    Children unknowingly drinkin’ this KoolAid?

    Zap!

    Remember only about three percent of all Christians in this marvelous land have ever read Calvin’s ‘Institutes Of The Christian Religion’ (ICR).

    Might wanna do some more research and possibly warn kind folk, huh? ATB ;~)§

    Cross over rock/rap, AKA deadly cross over stealth religion —get it? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jRXxmVAcLxw

    ***

    Intermission: RUN DMC – Walk This Way (Video) ft. Aerosmith
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4B_UYYPb-Gk

    Don’t thank me all at once…

    Too Late?

    Those who don’t get, won’t get it.

    Ut’O

    SKreeeeeeeeeeetch!

    Behold, a little bit of awareness has come. Soon ‘calvinesta religious locust bug famine’ ™ will replace it, and Calvinism will ravage the SBC church-land, and beyond!

    Zzzzzzzzzzzz!

    lull them to sleep.

    …and all the spiritual abundance of previous years will be forgotten.

    Beware of the calvinesta locoust.

    They are already here…

    In abundance.

    Walk this way, talk this way?

    I don’t think so.

    (sadface)

    Sòpy

    – –

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  244. Q. Will you be further warning your readers that Calvinist 501c3 church organizations are now extremely advanced in their efforts to hide their religious persuasion in a great effort to gain new young (18-24) members?

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  245. Sòpwith,

    And everybody shouted AMEN! (or should have)

    The Calvinist movement (both old and new) within SBC has always been about stealth and deception. The Founders Ministry (classical Calvinists) have been conducting their “Quiet Revolution” for decades within SBC. The New Calvinists are more in your face about it, but still elude their exact theological persuasion until they successfully takeover non-Calvinist congregations. No one asked the millions of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists if they wanted to go back to their denominational roots, even though they have rejected the tenets of reformed theology for the last 150 years.

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  246. Sòpwith: Q. Will you be further warning your readers that Calvinist 501c3 church organizations are now extremely advanced in their efforts to hide their religious persuasion in a great effort to gain new young (18-24) members?

    And the pew ain’t got a clue! Feeding our youth with aberrant theology is a form of spiritual abuse, IMO … and a worthy topic for TWW to continue to pursue.

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  247. Sòpwith: a great effort to gain new young (18-24) members

    The New Calvinists even came up with a term to describe church leaders targeting this age group: “NextGen Pastor.” The New Calvinist movement is all about “spiritwashing” the minds of the next generation, indoctrinating them while they are young so they won’t depart from it. They don’t really give a big whoop about 50+ folks. They know they can change the complexion of tomorrow’s church to a Calvinist mug if they target impressionable youth before they develop critical thinking skills. Groupthink is a characteristic of cults. New Calvinist leaders will stand before God in judgment for using such tactics.

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  248. __

    Monsièur Max,

    Yo!

    Their (the Calvinists) whole premise is predicated on ‘they’ having the ‘right’ gospel, which ‘they’ believe ‘they’ do. Yet, I have demonstrated, actually many of us have, that this is simply not the case. Those that have read the ICR get that.

    *Prayers for your health.

    Lov-ya, delightfully distinguish’d Bro. 🙂

    ‘His’ eyes are like flames of fire…

    (tears)

    Il déplace les montagnes…

    YaHoooo!

    ATB

    Sòpy

    A quiet rèfuge: (enjoy!)
    2 hours of great non stop praise and worship songs…
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7K_2ttdsNJw

    ;~)§

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  249. __

    “Redeemed 501c3 Clarity, Perhaps?

    hmmm…

    “God gave his life to protect the vulnerable, what greater lie could we ever tell about the Gospel than to turn a blind eye to people who are calling out for help?” -J.D. Greer [1]

    A profound answer: …exchange the gospel of Jesus Christ for a lie.

    John Calvin, His ICR, and his followers, plainly does/do this.

    Much today apparently by proverbial stealthy practices.

    The Southern Baptist Convention 501c3 organization is obviously clearly implicated.

    (sadface)

    ATB

    Sòpwith

    [1] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/us/southern-baptist-convention-sex-abuse.html

    Exit music:
    Jean Michel Jarre – “Equinoxe Infinity” /full album/ (2018)
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MOdQSZPj1kk

    ;~)§

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