Look carefully. That tiny black dot is Mercury in transit across the sun. NASA
“Laws become fragile under the influence of dictators.” ― Wayne Gerard Trotman
My daughter who is a pediatric critical care nurse and I had a discussion this past weekend on what constitutes egalitarianism. I told her we were using the wrong words. We should be discussing giftedness. Take me. I cannot carry a tune or a beat. In an egalitarian world, I should be equally sought out to sing a solo or getting the congregation to clap along with the hot new song.
The Founders appear to trade the importance of giftedness for the more important (in their theological world) gender identity. I truly believe that the church has so focused on gender that it has successfully isolated women from positions of leadership. This mean that the church is rarely listening to well over 50 % of their congregations. Their isolation of women may have led to dire consequences in the church. If one does not hear over 50%+ of their congregation, they are likely overlooking 50+% of gifted input. Could this have led to the sex abuse of children and domestic violence of women being overlooked by male leadership which did not have the benefit of the input of over 50%+ of their membership?
Law and Grace
I have developed a deeper awareness of law and grace since joining the Lutheran church. There are two parts to the law. The first involves following the law because it is good. Secondly, we are also condemned by the Law since we cannot perfectly follow that which is good.
However, although we are no longer condemned by the Law, the Law still continues to teach us. For example, adultery is wrong and harmful to a marriage. That hasn’t changed. Jesus also took the law which spoke against adultery and carried it deeper and wider. He told us that our inner thoughts are as bad as committing the act of adultery itself.
So, without grace we were (and are) condemned on top of condemned. With grace, we are fully forgiven. In Jesus we are simultaneously sinners as well as those justified. Jesus has fulfilled the Law and has offered us forgiveness in Him.
The following is a post written by Wade Burleson on the documentary released by The Founders.
I believe, like those who lead the Founders Ministries, that Scripture is God’s infallible, revealed word to mankind. I believe, like they, that Scripture is the sole guide of faith and practice for followers of Jesus Christ.
However, I have a fundamental disagreement with Tom Ascol and others in the Founders Ministries. They hold to a Reformed Presbyterian view of covenant theology which teaches that God established a Covenant of Works in the Garden of Eden with the first Adam, and then entered into a Covenant of Grace with the last Adam (Jesus Christ).
Without getting into the technicalities of Reformed Covenant theology, those who hold to it believe that the Hebrew Scriptures are as binding on followers of Jesus in terms of “faith and practice” as they are to the Jews of ancient days and to orthodox Jews today.
But followers of Jesus have a New Lawgiver, and His name isn’t Moses.
While Peter was speaking to the other disciples (about Moses and Elijah), a cloud enveloped them, and they were afraid to enter the cloud. And a voice from the cloud came, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him.” Luke 9:35.
The authors of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message understood the clear and present distinction between the Law of the Old Covenant and the Law of Christ.
“The sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is Jesus Christ whose will is revealed in the Holy Scriptures…the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.” (Introduction and Section I: The Scriptures, 1963 BFM)
The above two statements were strangely and sadly removed from the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.
There is a clear distinction and separation between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. There is a fundamental difference between the faith and practice of a Jew in ancient Israel (Old Testament days) and the faith and practice of a follower of Jesus since the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who fulfilled the Law and then abrogated it.
All the promises of God made to His people in the Old Covenant were conditional upon the obedience of the Jews, but all the promises of God made to His people in the New Covenant are “YES in Christ, and Amen (it is so!)” because Christ is the fulfillment of the Law (II Corinthians 1:20).
In Christ, everything changes.
Whereas only male priests served in the Old Testament Temple, in the church, both males and females ARE the Temple of the Living God (I Corinthians 3:16).
Christ builds His church (us), and He gifts His people (us) with specific gifts, never using “gender” as a prerequisite for His gifting. In the New Testament, the gifting of service (deacon), teaching (teacher), pastoring (pastor), elder (wisdom), evangelizing (evangelist), or any other Christ-bestowed gift is never restricted to only those with male genitalia, or to only those who are rich, or to only those of a certain ethnicity.
“For there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28).
We are one body, gifted as Christ the Authority pleases.
But the Founders flounder over spiritual authority.Like good Orthodox Jews who believe in the Hebrew Scriptures, those books that we Christians call The Old Testament, but Jews call The Tanakh, Tom Ascol and the Founders seemingly join with Orthodox Jews and pray at least two of the three Jewish blessings for themselves every morning:
“Blessed are you O God, King of the Universe, Who has not made me a goy [Gentile], a slave, and a woman.”
Jesus ended that Old Covenant with the Jews and made all things new – radically new.
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).
There is only one Teacher with authority in the church: Jesus Christ. Listen to Him.
But Tom Ascol and the Founders believe that men possess spiritual authority over women and children. They believe that male pastors have spiritual authority in the church and that they are called to spiritually rule over people. This “ruling over” other people is fulfilled by declaring God’s will to others, for they alone (male pastors) have this so-called spiritual authority. Thus, according to these authority addicts, any Christian woman who is teaching, preaching, shepherding, evangelizing, (e.g. fulfilling the call of God by exercising her gifts) is breaking God’s Rules in God’s World (the subtitle of the film), for only men are to have spiritual authority over others.
In summary, Tom Ascol and the Founders say that women who teach, preach, or evangelize men are violating God’s “chain of command.” And any denomination or convention that allows women in leadership are “sinning” by breaking “God’s rules.”
But many Bible-believing, Christ-honoring, gifted teachers in the body of Christ disagree with Tom and the Founders.
Read what Ray Steadman had to say about authority among Christians.
There is no command structure in Christianity.
Authority among Christians is not derived from the same source as worldly authority, nor is it to be exercised in the same manner. The world’s view of authority places men over one another, as in a military command structure, a business executive hierarchy, or a governmental system. This is as it should be. Urged by the competitiveness created by the Fall of the human race, and faced with the rebelliousness and ruthlessness of sinful human nature, the world could not function without the use of command structures and executive decision making.
But as Jesus carefully and clearly stated, “it shall not be so among you.” Disciples are always in a different relationship to one another than are the “worldlings,” those who are outside of the church. Christians are brothers and sisters, children of one Father and members of one another in the body of Christ. Jesus put it clearly in Matthew 23:8, “You have one teacher, and you are all brethren.”
Throughout twenty centuries, the church has virtually ignored these words. Probably with the best of intentions, it has repeatedly borrowed the authority structures of the world, changed the names of executives from kings, generals, captains, presidents, governors, secretaries, heads and chiefs to popes, patriarchs, bishops, stewards, deacons, pastors and elders, and gone merrily on its way, lording it over the brethren and destroying the model of servanthood which our Lord intended.
In most churches today, an unthinking acceptance has been given to the idea that the pastor is the final voice of authority in both doctrine and practice, and that he is the executive officer of the church with respect to administration. But surely, if a pope over the whole church is bad, a pope in every church is no better!
According to Tom Ascol and the Founders, God forbidding women to teach, to preach, to evangelize, to shepherd men “is not unclear, it’s just unpopular” (13:10 in the video).
Sorry, Tom. It may be clear in your mind, but it’s just as clear in my mind that you are mishandling the Scriptures. You and the Founders flounder over authority.
My friend Dwight McKissic is in the video at minute fifteen. Dwight speaks about the inconsistency of the Southern Baptist Convention sending Lottie Moon to China to preach, teach, and evangelize men and women overseas, but now the SBC is seeking to prevent women like Beth Moore preaching to “white men” in America.
Dwight McKissic makes a valid point.
Tom Ascol comes in with his rebuttal to Dwight McKissic. Read carefully what Tom says (minute 16).
“I sat down with the Vice-President for Global Training of the International Mission Board and asked him about the policies of the IMB with regard to women serving as missionaries. I asked him specifically if we send women overseas to preach to men... and he said, ‘Absolutely not….’ The International Mission Board is operating on the basis of the Baptist Faith and Message which says, “The role of pastor is limited to qualified men.”
That is a classic “bait and switch” by Tom Ascol.
Tom starts talking about Dwight McKissic’s illustration of Lottie Moon going to China to evangelize the Chinese – men, women, and children – by preaching (proclaiming) the gospel. That’s the function of the missionary and the purpose for which Lottie Moon was sent as a missionary to China.
But Tom switches to talking about “the role of pastor.”
Tom and the Founders are attempting to frame the debate around “pastors” and “pastoral authority” by defining the role or function of a pastor as being something “reserved for males.” A member of the Founders also made a (failed) motion at the Southern Baptist Convention this year that “the function of a pastor is to be reserved for males.”
When I heard that motion at the 2019 SBC, I tweeted my response:
When all you care about is protecting authority, you must specifically define the function and role of the person in “authority” so guardians of the galaxy of authority will know when someone without “authority” gets too close to “authority.”
It’s a crazy game.
Tom Ascol proceeds in the film to call Dwight McKissic “dishonest” and says he is being “sinful” by talking about Lottie Moon preaching to men on the mission field. She never did, says Tom.
Tom needs to catch up on some reading. I realize that revisionists have pressured the IMB to say Lottie Moon went to evangelize only women and children…
But anyone who’s read anything about Lottie Moon’s ministry understands that she led men to Jesus Christ by preaching and proclaiming the gospel to men, women, and children.
Lottie Moon was gifted by Christ to teach others about the Kingdom.
But she’s a woman. The Founders flounder over “spiritual authority,” so Lottie Moon doesn’t fit neatly into their narrative.
Tom Ascol and the Founders are on the losing end of this debate. They are unbiblical and illogical in their arguments, as well as infatuated with authority in their misjudgments.
If someone asks me, “Can women be in an office of pastoral authority over men?” I answer, “No.” But I also point out that neither can men be in an office of pastoral authority over women.
The entire problem is fraudulent authority of the pastor.
The only authority in the church is Jesus Christ and He dispenses gifts to His people, building His church, as He sees fit. He is the Head; we are His body.
At the eight minute, ten-second mark, Josh Buice makes this statement:
“When we talk about the abuse of women, I would go on the record stating that if we ask a woman to do something spiritually that God did not intend her to do, that’s abuse.”
Tom responded to Josh:
“That’s abuse. That’s a great point.”
Gentlemen, you might want to consider this statement:
“When we talk about the abuse of women, if we prevent a woman from doing something spiritually that God has gifted her to do, that’s abuse.”
As my great-grandfather used to say, “Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”