Why We Are No Longer Southern Baptist-Part 3

I believe these leaders are some sort of Baptist but I am not sure if they are Christians.” Moi


“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” C. S. Lewis http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/c/c_s_lewis_2.html



I have a confession. I am theological and historical nerd. I love to discuss the Bible and enjoy finding answers to seemingly difficult passages. I always tell my friends if they can ask me a question about the faith that I can’t answer in a reasonable amount of time, I will buy them dinner. So far, my money has been safe.


A former pastor, Pete Briscoe of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, asked me to teach a class on the Reformation. At the time, I was startled. I expressed concern that some might say that a woman shouldn’t teach. Pete explained to me that he believed that, not only could women teach, but also thought they could be pastors. In fact, he now has an associate pastor, Joanne Hummel, who subs for him when he is out of town.


Some might think that she is a liberal but they would be wrong. She holds to a very high view of Scripture and is a careful expositor. My daughter recently heard her preach and told me that she is one of the best preachers she has ever heard.


I believe Pete developed his view because Jill Briscoe, a strong, Godly woman and major speaker in her own right, raised him. One would be hard pressed to call her a liberal. But what happened to her at a local seminary also happened to her good friend, Ann Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham and a much beloved speaker. She also is a theological conservative. However, she also believes that women can be ordained. Here follows the story in Lotz’s own words. You may read more at the website of the Council of Biblical (so they say) Manhood and Womanhood.


“CBMW relates a story told by Anne Graham Lotz in the Washington Post where Mrs Lotz writes:
What legitimate, Biblical role do women have within the church? That question demanded an answer early in my ministry when I accepted an invitation to address a large convention of pastors.


‘When I stood in the lectern at the convention center, many of the 800 church leaders present turned their chairs around and put their backs to me. When I concluded my message, I was shaking. I was hurt and surprised that godly men would find what I was doing so offensive that they would stage such a demonstration, especially when I was an invited guest. And I was confused. Had I stepped out of the Biblical role for a woman? While all agree that women are free to help in the kitchen, or in the nursery, or in a secretary’s chair, is it unacceptable for a woman to take a leadership or teaching position?’


Brent Nelson of the CBMW, while denouncing the unkind act, said, “I grieve that someone in a decision-making role, did not wisely preclude a woman from speaking to a large group of pastors who chose to express their biblically sound concerns in such a shameful fashion.  The commands to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), are equally as important to obey as the command for a woman not take spiritual authority over men.”(By the way- I doubt Nelson “grieved.” This is Christianese for “miffed off.”)


So not only do they think a woman shouldn’t preach, they feel smug enough to turn their backs on her. This same thing also happened to Jill Briscoe. During a sermon, in which I was present, Pete Briscoe commented on this incident. He started to cry as he related that his Godly and intelligent mother could run rings around many of those who turned their backs on her. He spoke movingly of Jill’s life and her acts of service all over the world. Everyone around me was crying as well. In my never to be humble opinion, these acts were shameful! What kind of pastors are the seminaries turning out? The certainly aren’t acting like Jesus, whom they purport to emulate.


Lifeway Stores (a subsidiary of the SBC) was recently embroiled in a controversy. The following excerpt is from the excellent Stop Baptist Predators web site.


“The Southern Baptist Convention pulled the latest issue of Gospel Today from the shelves of its bookstores. Why? Because the magazine has a picture of women pastors on the cover, and women pastors go against the SBC’s beliefs.


So they put it behind the counter and refused to display it in over 100 of the SBC’s Lifeway bookstores all over the country.


“They basically treated it like pornography,” said the magazine’s publisher, who emphasized that Gospel Today wasn’t advocating for women pastors but simply reporting on a trend.


Gospel Today is one of the largest and most widely distributed Christian publications in the country. It’s a far cry from any sort of fringe rag.


Yet, SBC honchos decided to protect people against it by removing the magazine from the shelves. I guess they thought the very sight of that cover, or the article within, might somehow corrupt people’s thoughts.”


The SBC leadership, who are hardly examples of virtue (see Wade Burleson’s Book, Hardball Religion), appears to think that the rank and file membership in the SBC is too stupid to think this one out for themselves. This appears to be the same sort of pattern of thinking that caused Martin Luther to rebel against the Catholic Church. Until this past century, the priests did not allow average Catholics to study the Bible on their own. They taught that the Bible could only be interpreted through the eyes of the Church. I think that they were just trying to keep the peasants in line. So is today’s SBC. Just like Martin Luther had access to the newfangled Gutenberg Press, today’s Christians have access to the Internet and blogs and it is causing a revolution in the church.



Finally, let’s take a look at one of our favorite whipping boys, Paige Patterson. Please see our post from last week, which called for his resignation due to his views on domestic abuse. This guy continues to give us unbelievable fodder for this blog. The information is offered at the following link:



“The president of Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary stands as a not-so-shining example of such white-washed misogyny. Ten years ago, when the Atlanta Journal Constitution asked Paige Patterson about women, he replied, “Everyone should own at least one.”


Perhaps he wasn’t joking. Patterson became the architect of the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention at the turn of the millennium. Under Patterson’s leadership, the conservatives succeeded in stripping ordained female chaplains of their endorsement. They sought to replace the “priesthood of the believer” doctrine with husbands being priests of their wives. They forced missionaries to agree to male-over-female marriages or else give up their funding.


After Paige Patterson became president of the Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), he fired a theology professor just for being female. Dr. Sheri Klouda, PhD, earned her degree at SWBTS and taught Hebrew there prior to Patterson’s gender discrimination. Patterson claims he has a right to discriminate against women, since SWBTS is a religious institution. Klouda responded by filing suit in federal court.”


Not only has Paige Patterson gone to the extreme of firing women professors, he put Mrs. Patterson in charge of a brand new BS program at SBTS….homemaking!!! Yep, that’s right. Hey Paige, if you think women need help with flower arranging, how about getting the boys a degree program in car maintenance and garbage removal? More can be found at:



The sad part of this whole story is that Patterson brought Klouda on right after his return to SMBTS from SEBTS(good riddance, I say).She knew of his views on women and was fearful that there would be a protest against her appointment. Old Paige told her not to worry. He had determined that she could teach Hebrew because it wasn’t theology. He changed his mind in a big way.I guess he has determined that the language of Hebrew is holy and therefor can only be taught by men. (egads)! He fired her, leaving her temporarily destitute with a sick husband at home. Is he a man of honor and above reproach? I don’t think so; yet the boys at the SBC loooove this guy.


Many of these ideas are being highlighted and promoted on the Council of (not so) Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. In the women’s section, one finds a book by the Botkin sisters, So Much More. This book advocates that females should stay home with daddy once they finish schooling (read homeschooling). They should practice the fine art of homemaking until daddy finds them a husband. I bet you think that I am exaggerating. WRONG! Read it yourself.


So, I leave you with these thoughts. Why shouldn’t I teach both men and women what I know about history and theology? Is this belief, women not allowed to teach men, based on more than a couple of Bible verses? Is there any possibility that the verses were speaking to a different issue? I have taught men and women for about 15 years. How have I harmed them? If God didn’t want me to teach church history and theology, why did he give me such a passion for it?


Tomorrow I will look more closely at the issues of complementarianism and egalitarianism. I will also take a look at the newest (or most ancient) theological teaching: the eternal subordination of women! Yep, ETERNAL. (Frankly, if it means that I am subordinate to the likes of Paige Patterson, it probably means that I am in hell)!


Finally, yesterday at the SBC the GCR task force was named.


“Johnny Hunt appointed the GCR Task Force that will meet over the next year to explore how the SBC can better carry out the Great Commission. The 18 members are (including Johnny Hunt): Ronnie Floyd (chairperson), Jim Richards, Frank Page, David Dockery, Simon Tsoi, Donna Gaines, Al Gilbert, J.D. Greear, Tom Biles, Danny Akin, R. Albert Mohler Jr., John Drummond, Harry Lewis, Mike Orr, Roger Spradlin, Bob White, Ken Whitten, and Ted Traylor”



If you think that this is all about the Great Commission, think again. Al Mohler, one of the members and President of Southern Seminary, strongly believes that the role of women in the church needs to addressed and dialed back. I predict that this task force will tie in the supposed “traditional” role of women to the Great Commission.

Stay tuned….


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