“The worldly man treats certain people kindly because he ‘likes’ them: the Christian, trying to treat everyone kindly, finds him liking more and more people as he goes on—including people he could not even have imagined himself liking at the beginning.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
Questions remain: Can a woman be a pastor so long as she is not a lead pastor?
Christianity Today posted Saddleback Female Pastors Debate Raises Bigger Questions for the SBC. This was posted in 2021, before the ouster of the churches with a female lead pastor.
The Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M), the statement of faith adopted by the SBC in 2000, addresses gender roles in church leadership: “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”
But the credentials committee concluded that it wasn’t clear if the statement restricted women from any position doing pastoral work or holding a pastoral title, or if it just applied to the senior pastor, chair Linda Cooper told the 2022 convention.
And that wasn’t the only issue where things aren’t currently clear. Even if Saddleback violated this principle, SBC-affiliated congregations don’t have to follow everything in the BF&M. They’re only required to “closely identify” with it.
Virginia pastor Adam Blosser, in a Twitter thread. “To this point, churches have been given a great deal of latitude on a number of issues in the BF&M2K. Disfellowshipping Saddleback would certainly be a move away from such latitude. Maybe tightening our boundaries is needed. But if so, it’s worth studying. It’s not an emergency.
Then, it became an emergency.
Obviously, the SBC thought it was an emergency in 2023, ousting five churches with women lead or senior pastors, leaving everyone involved with many questions. This is long after the Houston Chronicle documented many churches and pastors with a sex abuse history.
- Are women being allowed to preach once in a while from the pulpit?
- Does the title “minister” mean “not a pastor?”
- What about the title of “Reverend?” Is that different than “pastor?” I went to a church in which the pastor was called Reverend.
- What about women who “fulfill pastoral duties but are not ‘called’ pastors?
Is “the woman as pastor” situation more important than “churches credibly accused of sex abuse?” Yep
This conclusion is most reached on social media. Yes, we all know about the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force. It sounds good, but the SBC ousted churches with female pastors without a “task force.” Sometimes it seems to me that having a task force is one way of stalling having to do something. It should be embarrassing for the SBC leadership to declare that CJ Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Louisville is still a member in good standing of the SBC but the church with a solid female pastor is not. No wonder people are suspicious about the SBC.
So, given that I have been following this since 2009, I would have to say, “Yes, female pastors cause much more concern in the SBC than sex abuse.”
Do members of the Executive Committee attend churches with women in lead roles?
Dr. Willie McLauriin
It appears so. TWW received information from someone who knows lots of things. We are grateful.
DR Willie McLaurin is thought to be a member of Simeon Baptist Church which is part of the SBC. McLaurin was interim President & CEO of the SBC Executive Committee). He is now Chairman of the Southern Baptist Foundation. I quickly scanned some recent posts and found two addresses by the incredibly well-spoken Rev. Belva Weathersby. I have embedded them here. Go to minute mark 30.49 in the first and 45.40 in the second.
The Reverend Belva Weathersby preached an excellent sermon on Mother’s Day.
What does this mean for the SBC?
It appears McLaurin believes women can preach from the pulpit but can’t be the lead pastor. Does this mean the Executive Committee and SBC leadership will overlook a woman taking over the pulpit here and there? Wasn’t Beth Moore criticized for doing this in some SBC churches?
Howe is the vice president of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee link and link. His wife, Beth Howe, has accepted a call to Woodmont Baptist Church as Minister of Students & Discipleship. This church is SBC and is dually affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Her title may be “Minister,” but the search committee defined the job position here.
Here are some interesting guidelines for the person who will fulfill this role
- The Minister of Students and Discipleship will be responsible for Student Ministry and church-wide discipleship while carrying on general pastoral duties as outlined below
- A man or woman whose life embodies the qualities of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 & Titus 1:6-9
- The candidate should have a desire for pastoral ministry within the church
- They must be able to recruit, train, and encourage leaders.
- They must also be theologically and biblically competent, able to “rightly handle the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15)
- Women serve in all levels of leadership according to their gifts and calling.
- Oversee groups and Bible studies by recruiting and training leaders, helping to choose curriculum, etc.
- The candidate must be qualified with spiritual gifts of shepherding, leadership, teaching, and discipling.
- Women serve in all levels of leadership according to their gifts and calling.
- Develop and lead our church in a gospel-centered discipleship strategy
- Teach and preach in accordance with gifting
Is it simple or confusing?
The convictions of the Baptist Faith & Message — all of them — describe the doctrinal basis for our Convention and for our cooperation together. Any use of the term “pastor” for women in church leadership is, at best, unwise and confusing. In an increasing number of cases, it is now clear that some churches, including quite large and well-known churches, are placing women in the office of pastor in direct violation of our confession of faith. Further, a number of churches that are at least listed as Southern Baptist welcomed and advertised women preaching in the morning service.
The Southern Baptist Convention must not be unclear about our theological convictions and the ground of our cooperation. We cannot afford to be. Attempts to deny the issue will not work. Right now, Southern Baptists will decide if we will redefine the doctrine of the Southern Baptist Convention. I do not believe that Southern Baptists will allow this to happen. I do not believe that Southern Baptists will retreat from the truth.
I think it’s a distraction from the sex abuse issue. I think the same tactics are used in our political sphere. Find a topic that will make a bunch of people mad and they will focus on that and ignore the egregious things being done elsewhere.
I agree with ishy. 100%.
I’d also like to point out that the EC went a bit “above and beyond the call of duty”: one of the churches they “ousted” was not an SBC church.
I wonder if the clock is ticking down on the time when the SBC will require all church pastors and all members to sign a contractual, uh a covenant, stating they they agree wIth the BF&M 2000……
I wondered that for a while, and these expulsions coming down from the EC seems like a big red flag.
i.e. Chewbacca Defense.
Beth Allison Barr wrote an article with good insight on this issue back in 2021.
I agree with that. Plus the problem we have is not really male/female but rather that pastors have way too much authority and power and expectations on them are way too high. Stick a man or woman into that position and watch them either get abused by the congregation, the board, the elders or turn around and find a way to abuse them all. A pastor is a team member, not the CEO. Pastors tend to burn out fast because the yoke they carry is simply not Jesus’ one. And this is the real problem. When they abuse they really abuse without much of a conscience. When they are abused they burn out.
The real problem of the SBC and most other churches is this promotion of one of the 18 to king status. Make them your king and they will abuse you. Make them your slave and they will burn out and fail everyone. Jesus is King not the pastor, rather head or any other kind.
Nancy, in the Al Mohler article, from May 2021 and shortly after Saddleback Church installed women as pastors, Mohler explains,
It has taken nearly two years, but the SBC has finally kicked Saddleback out. At least they have become more consistent about it. Based on Mohler’s statement that all seminary professors and all missionaries must adhere to the BF&M 2000, it stands to reason that all pastors must as well. The recent Saddleback ouster demonstrates that, no more shots across the bow.
Here is an excerpt from Beth Allison Barr’s article:
How will the SBC respond? Now we know.
Yep. I read that a while back.
codify: to arrange laws or rules into a systematic code. According to good ol’ Al, the BF&M 2000 is no longer considered to be a confessional statement. It even goes beyond a creed. It is a requirement.
In that last sentence, he comes oh-so-close to saying that any organization, church, or individual who doesn’t march lockstep in line with the BF&M is not part of the SBC.
Ishy has it right, it’s yet another distraction from the sexual abuse scandal. And as Nancy2(aka Kevlar)notes, it appears that BF&M is a requirement, and those who disagree are not part of the SBC. I wonder how many churches will leave the SBC once this requirement is enforced. Then again, SBC churches are losing both members and credibility.
Which is worse for mainline (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptists … allowing women to preach ‘the’ Gospel or allowing NeoCal pastors to preach another gospel?
Mohler was a prominent voice on the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 revision committee. It could more aptly be called “Mohler’s Faith & Message.”
Thanks for linking that, it’s a really interesting piece.
It seems to me that the louder a conservative Christian group talks about how “countercultural” they are, the more likely it is that they are merely performing “counterculturalness” by vehemently condemning a few specific trends. While, ironically, accommodating the broader culture’s ugliest traits (such as patriarchy, xenophobia, authoritarianism, consumerism and abuse of power).
Yeah, if all the noise about the woman-pastor thing doesn’t distract enough from the sex abuse scandal, the ole boys will probably bring up the sins of drinking and dancing again (there are plenty of Southern Baptists doing that these days).
Not allowing a child of God who is called to pastor the Body of Christ to assume that role because of her gender is a form of sex abuse.
And it wasn’t all that long ago that their forefathers believed that it was perfectly ‘Biblical’ to own slaves.
Pastor = shepherd
In fact, in Spanish, “pastor” means shepherd, herdsman.
A certain Rachel was identified as a shepherd (Genesis 29:9). Yes, THAT Rachel.
Also, while Rebecca is not identified as a shepherd, she did the work of a shepherd by watering the camels of Abraham’s servant who was tasked to find a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24). It was this work which identified her as the woman the servant was supposed to seek.
Throughout history girls have gone out to pastures with the family sheep. In fact, a number of famous Marian apparitions were seen by shepherd children: Our Lady of La Salette, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima. (I’m not mentioning this for the truth or falsity of the visions, but rather for the fact that every one of these apparitions was reported by girls and boys out tending sheep.)
So yeah, it absolutely would not surprise me to learn that some of the shepherds out keeping watch with their flocks by night were girls. Because that was a thing. Instead, today we have guys taking the “shepherd” title for themselves. *shakes head*
I Timothy 2:12 makes it clear that no woman is called to pastor the Body of Christ. The fact that someone like Max can’t get this is why I resigned from the Southern Baptists in 2010. Many of you need to learn what right division, as shown II Timothy 2:15, means. BF&M 2000 is irrelevant.
I think we know the answer to this- it’s far worse for these modern day scribes and Pharisees when a woman leads the church than for a “calvinist affirming man” to mislead God’s people.
A lead pastor of a church which has supported us 30 years told me how terrible it was that women were leading house churches in China. “Pastor,” I told him, “A few years back I taught at a meeting for a whole network of these house churches. The network was led by an amazing, godly person whom everyone looked up to- a woman.”
His response? She was sinning and so was everyone else in her network by allowing her to lead.
I sometimes wonder, is this the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? You know, calling unholy what is clearly a work of God. If not it’s sure close.
So, branding, for marketing’s sake, for money. Denoms can be a business, driven by money.
And after reeling in paying subscribers via the branding of a superficial moral stance with lots of anger about our so-called pagan culture of equality of women, then tolerate the trifecta of abuse of power, resources, and sex … again to reel in paying subscribers.
The shallow hypocrisy, like “patriots” that vandalize public property as they attack peace officers and civil servants, is astounding yet predictable.
Those who executed Jesus also held up or marketed their branding of high pious values … as they executed Jesus. The real reason was their “power”, position, and profits were threatened by Jesus’ power, position, and provision, as the Son of God, aka, as God.
Jesus didn’t need the pious hypocrites, their power, position and profits. He rose above them. He is God.
We, likewise, as Jesus’ followers, don’t need the pious violence-inciting hypocrites. We, too, can rise above, and live separate from the profits, power, and perversion of branded, marketed Christianity. It may not look like much, like Hollywood. But following Jesus is never a Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s Hebrews’ Hall of Faith. Abraham was looking for a city yet to be, that had not yet arrived.
That is my thought as well….
Also, I have seen for years a duality ( nice word being a hypocrite) when they “officially” hold a specific theological position, but there actual day to day practice, at its most fundamental level, is the opposite….. but then, I get accused of “thinking to much”, and just being to “negative”..
IMO, there are many SBC leaders who go with the theo-flow at the time to keep their retirement annuity. If required, non-Calvinist SBC pastors will sign BFM2000 … even though they might not agree with the trend toward Calvinism (and rigid complementarianism) that it poses.
Well, that was at the very least an impious utterance concerning the things of God. IMO, there is much going on in institutional church which is called holy that is unholy.
… which included slave-holding founders of the Southern Baptist Convention. They believed sovereign God was on their side during the Civil War, until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. After the War, Southern Baptists distanced themselves from the Founders theology (Calvinism) and remained distinctly non-Calvinist in belief and practice for 150 years … until Al Mohler launched his New Calvinist revolution to return the SBC to its theological roots.
Just to keep things clear: churches in the SBC ARE completely autonomous and yet CAN be disfellowshipped. The SBC is NOT a denomination no matter how much some leaders, like Mohler, try to make it be a denomination. It is ONLY a group of independent churches agreeing to some boundaries and agreeing to work together on some goals.
Its like this: I am an independent voter. If I choose to do so I can register as a member of a whole plethora of parties. If one of those parties chooses to make a parameter of membership “must wear tats and a nose ring” and I refuse to do so, they can toss me on my can. I have freedom to do as I please, but SO DO THEY.
The only place it gets dicey is if churches WILLINGLY signed a document with one of those reversion clauses. Then they might lose the building if they pull out or are tossed out of the SBC. NEVER EVER should they have agreed to a reversion clause.
Independent churches can do as they please. So can independent associations or conventions of churches.
They are not a denomination, not at all organized like the LCMS which would absolutely toss out any church with a woman pastor and likely take the building also.
Independent believers are free to attend any church they choose to attend. Those disagreeing with what churches that choose to associate with the SBC do or don’t do to be in friendly fellowship with SBC churches are free to attend elsewhere. And truth be told, ONLY those who attend or belong to those churches have a dog in this hunt. It is nobody else’s business. Sort of like how I don’t get to tell the pope how to be Catholic.
I continue to be amazed that so many church leaders/theologians give such weight to the 1 Timothy 2 passage in view of the whole of New Testament teaching. When you prayerfully read all of Paul’s letters and the book of Acts in their entirety (preferably at one sitting), rather than taking single verse text out of context, it’s apparent that Paul supported the leadership of women.
If they want to be transparent they could release the votes for and against disfellowship. I read on twitter that it was suggested that it might have been a close vote and disfellowship didn’t win by a large margin.
Max, I think I’ll follow Troy’s lead, and make a claim that women should not even be allowed to enter in to a church. In I Cor. 11:7, Paul said that man is made is the image and glory of God, but women was made in the glory of man. Church is not for the glory of man, but for the glory of God! And, of course that would exclude women from the Marriage Supper of the Lamb,too.
Does that make sense, as long as I take this verse out of context?
There are those who would take the whole Bible out of context to defend the jots and tittles of their choice. To some, female believers should just sit down, shut up, don’t move in church. Fact of the matter is, in SBC life, women have long been their best evangelists! How many SBC pastors as children were led to faith in Jesus by their mothers (not their fathers)? … how many Vacation Bible School kids were converted by female teachers/preachers of the Gospel? … how many tribes on foreign fields responded to the message of Christ delivered by women missionaries? … how many inner city down & outers found the Lord when a Southern Baptist woman preached Truth to them? … etc. etc. Yes, women have held a central role in SBC life for generations – countless souls have entered Heaven because of them – but if you let them “man” a pulpit, all hell will break loose!
Women still do the hard labor…….relentless, exhausting dedication….. the dirty, mundane work to keep projects, plans, and operations not only functional, but successful. But, all the credit and recognition goes to the men who are “in charge”. When giving presentations, making announcements, making requests at business meetings, etc., these men have to be quietly corrected …..with a quickly scribble note, because women aren’t allowed to speak…….. because they have no clue what’s going on.
I know. I’ve seen it, over and over. I’ve lived it. I’m sick of it. I’ve seen a few too many things rescheduled or cancelled because the men are clueless…… everything’s from special events for the kids to major appliance breakdowns in the church kitchen to transportation issues…..
SBC women have been going undercover for generations to “preach” the Gospel in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, summer camp, and mission outreach. Countless thousands have been brought to Christ through their faithfulness and dedication in spite of the brethren trying to silence them. I dare say that they have converted more souls to Jesus than the ole boys who want them to sit down and shut up.
And I say it’s the ole’ boys who need to sit down and shut-up.
Sorry Max but I think you’re overstepping the mark with such a statement. God has ordained that all things be done decently and in order in the church, and to that end he appointed various roles to both male and female. The same is true in the family.
Similarly, in your reply to Troy, you seem to overlook the fact that the verse was not taken out of context and that in other letters of Paul, he uses the same language and makes the same analogies to make the same point.
Heresy or adjacent.
When will Troy become biblical enough to remember Acts 18:26
“When Aquila and Priscilla heard him (Apollos), THEY took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”
Maybe Troy should become biblically clear about James 2:9
“If you are good to some people but hard on other people, you are doing the wrong thing.” (PEV)
Troy should see if discrimination is okay with Paul:
“Because of all that God has done, we now have a new perspective. We used to show regard for people based on worldly standards and interests. No longer.” 2 Cor. 5:16 (The Voice)
If Troy enjoys discriminating based on human appearance, who else does he discriminate against?
Well stated and not just the SBC. Anywhere a religious leader is elevated.
The 18 gifts of the HS hold each other in check, if all are followers of Jesus.
Leaders or pastors who don’t acknowledge all 18 gifts (Rom 12, 1 Cor 12, Eph 4) have already over reached.
The Body of Christ is all 18 gifts under/following Jesus and in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Nothing more, nothing less.
If I don’t have a family, which various role should I be appointed to?
According to Al Mohler, anyone over the age of 25 without a family is living in sin. And because I know that crowd is very big on all sins being equal, then being single is as bad as murder.
I’ll be honest here, after years of watching these people in Christian college and SBC seminary – I don’t think they really care what Scripture says. It’s much more about what they want it to say and why.
What happened to what I learned in SBC Sunday School in the 40s and 50s—-The very proud statement ” No creed but the Bible!”
I understand that most scholars today contend that I and Ii Timothy and Titus were NOT written by Paul
And some would argue, with it seems valid reasoning, that in 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 Paul is quoting the letter sent to him where the senders are saying women should be silent and Paul refutes this in the following verses.
That was before Mohler took over SBC, Calvinized the BFM, and decided Southern Baptists should be creedal. For 150 years pre-Mohler, they had an aversion to creeds.
Exactly. They tortured poor Paul to make him say what they wanted to hear.
Oh, haven’t you heard? The NeoCals have even subordinated Jesus! They have a whole theology about that called “Eternal Subordination of the Son.” If they can get away with subordinating Jesus, they can darn near subordinate anyone. Within SBC, female believers have become their first target to dominate.
So, Ol’ Al agrees with the Apostle Paul when it suits him, and he disagrees when it doesn’t suit him.
1 Corinthians 7:8 Now to the unmarried and widows I say this: It is good for them to remain unmarried, as I am. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.
Looks like there is another big SBC church headed straight to the bankruptcy court: https://julieroys.com/controversial-florida-baptist-pastor-fbftl-resigns-church-ecfa-suspension/
I wish more people understood what we do. In the church we have the same problem that Israel did. They wanted a king, just like the pagans around them. We want our strongmen and even, here, strongwomen. Yet all of the same kinds of abuse goes on, just on a smaller scale because the kingdoms are much smaller that a nation of 12 tribes.
And others here are distracted about women pastors and petty bickering over what lines Paul did or did not draw. I just want to see the abuse and power struggles end. Let each one hold each other accountable and use what gifts God gave them. A pastor should be a facilitator in the body instead of the CEO dictating what is done. They do not have to be teachers automatically, that is a different gift. Many times you have one or the other but no one gets the title “Teacher” anymore. Team leadership is just not the way the West is wired.
Woodmont is an anomaly. Years ago under Bill Sherman it was a MAJOR CBF church which affirmed women in ministry. Currently there are other women “ministers” on staff, but they are not ordained, thus, it is okay in Middle Tennessee to have a female as long as she does not have “Rev.” in front of their name.
The current Woodmont pastor is a NeoCal who does not challenge the past but has eyes on teh church’s future.
What happened to Troy?
In studying the 18 gifts, what the Bible teaches about each one (in a class at a church that in no way practiced what they taught), it seems that the administrator organizes everyone, teachers teach, pastors mentor or shepherd, discerners expose the predators, healers pray for healing, evangelists evangelize, etc.
I’ve seen some of this happen, gifts in action. It’s quite amazing. Truly gifts from the Holy Spirit beyond human fabrication or conjuring.
Whenever someone offers their “gift” with a pricetag or as a salaried job, it’s not from God, not a gift of the Holy Spirit and not a function of the Body of Christ. Jesus doesn’t charge for the GIFTS of the Holy Spirit. Not sales of the Holy Spirit but GIFTS. Not salaried positions but GIFTS.
Uhmmmmm . A bunch of soldiers jumped out of the Trojan horse??? ; )
Do they really think about what they come out with when they speak for God?
Should jay-walkers get the same penalty as murderers?
They don’t need to think about it. As long as all of the ones who are in control are in agreement, no one else matters. For many people, the Bible is little more than a Christian fashion statement.
I used to teach a SS class, ages 12-14 —- kids that were being raised in “Christian” homes. The kids were familiar with the 10 Commandments, and we’re fairly well versed in the 4 gospels. But, the only books they could find without serious difficulty were Genesis and the Gospels. They knew almost nothing about the rest of the Bible……. not even the typical “Bible stories”.
…… Maybe a teensy bit about Adam and Eve (first people….. they sinned), but nothing about the creation story, fuzzy info on the flood, no Abraham, no Issac, no Jacob and Esau, no Pharaoh, no plagues, no burning bush, no Battle of Jericho….
So, with that class, I began with “In the beginning”. I didn’t just hit the high points…… it took us two years to get to King David. We didn’t use the Sunday school books. And to their credit, I can happily say that the kids were interested in learning.
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I understand it, the LCMS has a completely different ordination process from the SBC, with educational requirements and whatnot. I don’t think a local congregation could surprise the denomination by ordaining a woman.
The structure and daily workings of a church can promote hypocrisy, unanswerable leadership, legal and illegal forms of abuse, and financial shenanigans. Nosy outsiders revealed shocking truths about the Roman Catholic Church in the Boston Globe. I also seem to recall articles about certain churches appearing in the Houston Chronicle.
TWW covers a lot of different traditions and denominations, not just the two main bloggers’ local congregations. Folks here comment freely about things like church salaries, buildings, and book sales.
When I was in SBC ranks, I served on pastor search committees. When a candidate’s first question was “What are the salary and benefits?”, I moved his resume to the bottom of the pile.
Lutheran congregations have done a lot of things that are unexpected…like vote to leave their synod. My point stands: in the SBC each church sets its own rules. The SBC sets its own rules. Churches can choose to obey the SBC rules, or choose to leave. Those that affiliate but do not abide by the decisions of the SBC can be disfellowshipped from the SBC. Which has absolutely no clout over the church, unless they foolishly took a loan with a reversion clause. Its messy, may not be the best system, but it is how their system works.
Yes, churches can be abusive or otherwise be doing wrong. Calling that out is fine and dandy. But to appoint oneself judge and jury over what rules another set of believers can set for their group is dangerous.
Imagine someone trying to stop the Catholics from saying the Hail Mary or force them to ordain women. Or forbidding the Assembly of God folks from speaking in tongues. Or raising a ruckus because Episcopalians hold with apostolic succession.
A whole heap of denominations disagree with the SBC about the role of women. So why not let them run their group their way, and if you disagree, go elsewhere.
But then, our LCMS pastor runs the congregation through a portion of Luther’s Smaller Catechism weekly. Part of that teaches us to look for ways to think and speak the best of our neighbor rather than pointing out their flaws. Guess that is a Lutheran thing?
TWW informs and warns the Body of Christ to steer clear of abusive church leaders, aberrant theology, and unhealthy churches. We are all in this hunt together and need to watch out for each other. Those who have had bad experiences need to share those with others to prevent them from falling in the same ditch. The Church (the real one) is hard to find in the sea of churches in America.
Whoops, that was Linda’s comment, not Friend’s
Separately, because I’m curious: was the salary a living wage, or were pastors supposed to be bivocational? Did the congregation expect the pastor to be married? Did pastors’ wives earn money by working outside the home?
I served in SBC churches, ranging from small rural congregations with less than 100 members to city churches with 1,000+ members. Some pastors were bivocational, others were full time. Most rural SBC churches have bivocational pastors. Churches paid what they could to both bivocational and full time pastors. The wives of some pastors worked, others didn’t.
I attended several SBC churches over a 70 year period. All senior pastors were married.
What a joke. Leader? Jokester. Laughable. Ps. 2: God sits in His heavens laughing at the jokester self-appointed leaders and experts in our world.
So I’m guessing the Pope would not agree with this jokester.
And Gladys Aylward’s legacy would be … sin? Her story is dramatized in “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”. Amazing woman. Single. Even Hollywood was so impressed with Gladys Aylward that they made a movie about her legacy.
And Saint Jean Baptiste de la Salle? La Salle dedicated his life to the education of poor children in France; he established many lasting educational practices. Amazing man. Single.
Let the jokesters keep sharing their laughable ridiculous “expertise” while the real workerbees in God’s Kingdom go about their business in the Kingdom with Eternal win-win. Single people and Otherwise. Busy for God.
Sharing experiences, IMHO, is also a good plan.
We learn a great deal from sharing our experiences. God bless all who share here.
I write about unintended consequences of “no dog in this fight” in a novel: “Legal Grounds”. So I guess my opinion is different from your opinion.
On any case, thanks for sharing. I appreciate what you have to say. God bless.
Troy posted a comment on today’s TWW e-church.
Go check it out. Whew!
This isn’t the same as LCMS or more mainline denominations though. The churches and the members are supposed to be the decision-makers at the convention, not leaders. The churches are set up in the exact same way. That is how the SBC has always been set up.
I grew up LCMS, so I agree, LCMS is a denomination and the SBC is a convention, but you can’t really use the LCMS to argue they should have the power to disfellowship churches. That’s not how the SBC is set up.
I’m going to give you a little back history that shows why this is such a big deal to many Southern Baptists. At the 2001 convention in Atlanta (I was there and witnessed it), after nearly 30 years of seeding people to get the vote passed, they managed to rewrite the Baptist Faith and Message to kick out “liberals”. What people did not realize at this time, is that the changes to the BFM were also made to remove individual authority. And I can tell you that those changes were mostly made quietly at that convention as they argued about “liberals”. The moderate and liberal churches formed their own denomination, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the conservatives like Paige Patterson, SEBTS chancellor, imagined themselves now in charge of the SBC.
But the New Calvinists had done a better job of seeding people everywhere who pretended to be traditional conservatives, and they took over nearly all the institutions within 5 years. And those institutions suddenly became separate from convention accountability, which shouldn’t be possible by the SBC’s own bylaws. The New Calvinists also seeded the nominations committee, which chooses what shows up on the convention agendas. If they didn’t want to talk about something, like NAMB’s financial accountability, those topics were rejected.
As you know, the New Cals are very big on leader authority. But they also realized that autonomous churches have a lot of money and assets. Being independently governed means it’s not that hard to gain control of those assets, if you know how. And they actually teach people how to do exactly that. Seminaries have a class called “Church Revitalization”, which they claim to the public is just about revitalizing old and dying churches, but it’s really about claiming churches that aren’t New Calvinist and force turning them, hence gaining more messenger votes and creating little kingdoms for all these baby pastors who want that high authority they have been promised.
Technically, the bylaws still should leave convention messengers (church representatives) the power to eject the churches. But the leaders in the Executive Committee and at the institutions are handling many issues now, and the Execusive Committee doing so is very problematic.
However, I believe the whole issue is a distraction from their much bigger problems:
1) The sex abuse scandals
2) The fact that the New Calvinist leaders have no intention of following the wishes of the messengers or the bylaws.
And (lkke Singles Group Leaders) they all married at 18, no less?
His Majesty, The Baby?
Shades of The Twilight Zone!
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without…
— Tears for Fears 1985 —
So stealth? Opaque? Undercover?
And Liberal translates to transparent?
… stealth imbedded agents?
… stealth asset acquisition?
… stealth autocracy leadership?
… stealth cover-up of vice (clergy sexual abuse, violation of minors, pedophile protection)?
… political affiliation with corruption?
… bait and switch?
This would make an interesting miniseries: instead of “Succession”, call it Acquisition. High drama in church.
Thanks for your responses. Congregations need to offer some flexibility so that families can feed themselves, one way or another.
A woman was pastor at my wedding. I first met an ordained woman, a young pastor at our family’s church, when LBJ was president. At the seminary near my home, about half of the seminarians are women. For a while our family belonged to a church with one pastor, a woman.
If you are writing off Max’s ideas, you’ll probably think I’m headed straight for the Hot Place to endure whatever eternal torment you vividly imagine I deserve.
Meanwhile, I will keep on living my life as a Christian.
The faith is far broader and richer than you want to believe.
The Righteous Gemstones has some New Cal flavor. I think they used Mars Hill Mark Driscoll as one of their inspirations. There might be a dose of James Macdonald and John Macarthur in there, too. It definitely does seem like the kind of stuff that would make great television.
And it’s been another 20 years and I still don’t think they’ve really defined “liberal” farther than “not doing what we want them to do”.
Another series that you wouldn’t guess is evangelical satire unless you’ve watched it is Teenage Bounty Hunters. And one point it makes very clearly is that just because people say they follow someone doesn’t mean they actually live that way.
That definition makes total sense in how it all plays out in living color or in real life or on reality TV, as some would say.
Similarly, the definitions of pagan, counterculture or culture, worldly, the flesh, etc.
There used to be a joke about seminaries being cemeteries, a slip of the tongue.
IMHO, I believe in studying, researching, writing about, and earning a living in the field of Theology. Beth Allison Barr and Kristin Kobes DuMez are successful in their fields. My book club friends all purchase, discuss, and value their works.
However, regarding the Gospel and faith formation? IMHO, pay-to-play is church corruption.
Last summer in a FREE Bible study we studied the anawim in the Bible and history. The anawim are the closest to God, by necessity. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were anawim. John the Baptist was not. All served God with whole heart.
God bless the anawim. God bless all who follow Jesus with whole heart.
Thinking these are not Neo-Cals…?
FWIW, all of the Neo-Cal leader stories, descriptions, and depictions are of one particular demographic, amiright?
And for further clarification and better understanding, do these Neo-Cal self-identify as “Neo-Cals”? Like, is it a real path to follow? There’s a code (written somewhere), a certificate, an org?
(We toss stuff around here at TWW, and I’m trying to get it straight.)
“…they managed to rewrite the Baptist Faith and Message to kick out “liberals”.
What people did not realize at this time, is that the changes to the BFM were also made to remove individual authority. And I can tell you that those changes were mostly made quietly at that convention as they argued about “liberals”.”
so… the take away for me:
if a christian entity (could be one person) is righteously campaigning for something tertiary as if it’s primary, look where they don’t want you to look.
like i do when watching a magician.
except the christian entity will be clumsy unlike the magician and something will be obervable.
The US is blessed with academically rigorous seminaries that have nothing at all to do with the SBC. Some are attached to universities, and others are connected with a denomination/tradition.
SBC NeoCal pastors don’t go around saying they are of that tribe … their modus operandi is stealth & deception … after all, they are in the business of taking over a rather large non-Calvinist denomination so they have to be sneaky about it. Recent graduation from an SBC seminary pretty well assures they are of the NeoCal persuasion. Participating in TGC & T4G certainly identify them, along with carrying an ESV and retweeting quotes by Piper, Keller, Mohler et al.
Honestly, I think it’s taken straight from politics, which says a lot about how they operate and whether their agendas are sincere.
So have I, but a long time ago now. I think I have been used in all of them at least once, but my fundamental personality is one of prophet, obviously. With that I get Christians upset without even trying. That includes Dee and others here. I likely have upset you at least once. Yet there is very little you have said that I would disagree with.
I am concerned that even a hot civil war in the US might not be enough to wake up the masses to how far churches have drifted away from Jesus Christ. Instead we have the insanity of people trying the same things over and over again that do not work. The professional priest model just does not work. We are all supposed to be priests which means that most will not earn a dime, ever, from using whatever gifts God gave to us.
Yes, indeed! What was billed as a “Conservative Resurgence” was a “Calvinist Resurgence” in disguise. Being conservative had very little to do with Mohler’s agenda to Calvinize the SBC … he tagged along with the non-Calvinist old boys just long enough to position the New Calvinist movement to take over all SBC entities, a mission which has been largely accomplished.
And somehow they justify this deception for the good of the NeoCal movement, I suppose – which they believe is the only one true faith. Under the guise of helping struggling churches, they takeover the church and run off non-Calvinist members who paid for it! Payday someday for these guys.
A good case can be made from a careful study of the New Testament that women served as pastors, teachers, evangelists and prophets. They boldly proclaimed Jesus as Savior. Reckon what their eternal destiny was?
And just what is a “struggling” church? It doesn’t have fog machines, skinny jeans, and mega screens?
Maybe that “struggling” church doesn’t want to be chollywood. Maybe they’re just fine without the accoutrements, without the big budget, without the big boy Neo-Cal dude with big plans.
Maybe they thrive on love not entertainment. Maybe they invest in soul life not showmanship.
Maybe leave them alone and they’ll be just fine doing their God thing but without the pricey gimmicks as well as a pastor plus his plane.
So what is “struggling”? What’s the profile of the churches that the revisionists target?
Yeah, and basically stuffing socks in women’s mouths because that’s what the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 says women should not preach is no way to face towards the future.
But I will just point out that Albert Mohler came out with this gem yesterday on Twitter:
There are two things that can be said about this–both valid observations. First, this has really been a radical Protestant position for about 500 years now. In the beginning, the first Reformers sought to decentralize the celebration of the Eucharist. Today, their spiritual heirs seek to hold up preaching as the most important thing done in church today.
Second, obviously, based on my earlier remark, Mohler is saying the quiet part out loud–the BF&M 2000 doesn’t allow women to preach, therefore women cannot lead this “central act of Christian worship.” So yeah, women are second class in the Southern Baptist world, which is no way to face towards the future.
As for my opinion, I do believe that the Eucharist/Communion is the central act of worship in Christianity. Jesus didn’t say “preach in memory of me.” He said “do this” (points to bread and wine) “in memory of me.”
Albert Mohler is supposed to be so well educated, but the fact that he’d go this wildly off the tracks is astonishing to me. Ideology has overcome any good sense he might have once had.
I’d rather endure a dose of the clap.
I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true. I pay more taxes so the three big megas within two miles of my house (and the several smaller churches and Mormon wardhouses as well) can be tax exempt. If y’all are teaching something that is harmful to my fellow human beings, I can and I will speak up. And we do know that far too many churches have covered up child sexual abuse–all of it tax free here in the USA.
So no, churches do not operate in a vacuum, they operate within the rest of society. And when the larger society says, UHM NOPE, there is a change. I’m old enough to remember when people of color were told to get out of white churches. That doesn’t happen anymore, in part because the IRS made it very clear in the 1970s that they would revoke the tax exemptions of organizations that discriminated (see Bob Jones University v. US, 1982).
Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
“the central act of Christian worship.”-Al Mohler
so, it’s not sex, then?
Non-Calvinist, church debt-free, a congregation that can be easily deceived (trusting souls), an aging membership that can easily be replaced with dudebros and their families.
Thanks for your encouragement.
Truth be told, with life’s ups and downs of personal and family finances, a paywall for following Jesus:
1. Doesn’t make sense.
2. Is not in the NT church model.
Local churches may or may not be able to afford this and that. IMHO, the purchasable accoutrements are not essential.
However, the Holy Spirit comprises the Body of Christ, with amazing fruit, generous gifts and all the good important stuff that is not available with all the money in the world. Can’t be bought.
God bless the Least of the Least anawim in our world who reach out to God from wherever they are.
God help those NOT the Least of the Least – may the Non-anawim or the Endowed with Resources not fog up the Good News with capitalistic material stuff (junk) that requires paywalls.
IMHO, God and His Good News have no paywall.
God requires a clean heart. God will not clean out our wallets.
Not everyone’s description of struggling.
In any case, Handmaid’s Tale?
Elevating a demographic of individuals and their brohood with power, position, profits, and privilege.
Tell this to the DOJ investigating the SBC. Abuse would be running more rampant than it already is in churches if this was reality.
Posted a bit there regarding his claims
Only if it (sex) is strictly regulated and fenced in with parameters that they define as ‘Scriptural’.
So in that regard, yeah, it is sex.
I’ll tell ya what. I surely am glad some people that didn’t have dogs in that hunt let their dogs loose. Those hounds hit the ground running and cornered some rabid wolves that deserve a lot worse than what their gettin’.
Actually churches are still free to discriminate on any grounds they want. Bob Jones University wanted to be a tax exempt school and still racially discriminate.
“Only if it (sex) is strictly regulated and fenced in with parameters that they define as ‘Scriptural’.
So in that regard, yeah, it is sex.”
now that’s a comedy waiting to be written.
oh, the plot ideas…
It’s actually a very funny show, though can be painful at times for those of us that lived it. The main writer said he based it off the church he grew up in. But Adam Devine said he based his character off Carl Lentz of Hillsong (and this was before all the stuff came out). Some of the situations, though, seem straight out of New Cal scandal land.
The DOJ is investigating crimes, not whether or not some churches have women serving as pastors or ministers or call them directors. Of course crimes are fair game. Personally I don’t believe I have any right to call out my Amish neighbors for oppressing the women by making them wear dresses and headcoverings. But I have every right to call out those engaging in child abuse. See the difference?
“What does the word “pastor” even mean?”
I can picture a shepherdess, or maybe even a shepherd. 🙂
“Well into the 2nd gen of a grand televangelist tradition, the world-famous Gemstone family is living proof that worship pays dividend$ in all sizes.
“Patriarch Eli, responsible for the tremendous success of the family’s megachurch, is in mourning over the loss of his wife.
“Jesse, the eldest of the three grown Gemstone kiddos, looks to lead in his father’s footsteps, but finds his past sins jeopardizing the family ministry.
“Middle sister Judy, who secretly lives with her fiancé and dreams of escaping the Gemstone compound.
“Pseudo-hipster Kelvin, the youngest of the preachers, is a thorn in Jesse’s side.
“The family battles threats to their empire, preaches the good word… and makes a solid buck doing so.”
$$$ from startup to bottomline. Church biz.
Find a mega averse to $$$ and there will be a whale averse to gobbling up all the krill in the sea. Not.
HBO. So that’s the paywall. However, much easier on the wallet than joining a megachurch. With many more entertainments to peruse.
“Brisk and funny, warm and wonderfully oddball, Teenage Bounty Hunters is a binge everyone — except maybe Old Testament God — can get behind.” – Kristen Baldwin, Entertainment Weekly
Apparently, churchlife makes for satires. Screenplay characters galore: little Pipe, wag Wilson, Drisc, cool dude Hagg, Paige & Mrs. Plump, Tulli Ravi Tammi Jimmy Copey Hinny Swaggy, Dugg clan, cute couple Jerry Becky, etc.
Never suitable for primetime, not family material. Adults only, with criminality in spades including violence in Christian marriages, violation of minors, corruption, extortion, deception, and vice of every kind. Mob themes. Pastor planes.
Each scene a pretty picture of Polite Society with a deadly underbelly that is destroying the church “disposables”. The show, the org must go on as the little people are consumed; then their ashes are swept under the church carpet.
Lots of remains under the imported pricey plush Persian rug in the pastor’s study. Bibles line his bookshelves. Next to his own published works on the Good Life.
That’s my sad truth about life in evangelical-land. It definitely wasn’t PG-rated and couldn’t be navigated with the innocence that leaders expect you to at least pretend to have. It’s dark, dirty, incredibly complex, and literally ruins lives.
I wouldn’t let kids anywhere near it.
The words of an old children’s song can be applied to 21st century church:
O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little feet where you go
O be careful little heart whom you trust
BE CAREFUL WHOM YOU TRUST!
Bottom line cult entrapment prevention.
Back in the day, as one with a young family in a community, one would want to find a local church and raise the little ones in the church with all the youth accoutrements.
“I don’t think I ever really knew him. I don’t think anyone really knows him,” said the Murdaugh’s law firm CPA about alleged murderer and thief attorney Alex Murdaugh. The CPA grew up with the defendent from a young age and has her professional career in the Murdaugh family law firm to this day.
Though we’ve had decades in church, I feel we could say the same about what goes on in church… from way back (with respect for those who know like Christa Brown).
The Internet has allowed us to raise awareness of the Dark Side of church, what went on back then and now.
Thank God for TWW with posts and comments. God bless y’all.
When I was a kid, one time I complained mildly about a household chore. One of my dear family members bellowed at me, “Yeah, well, if you don’t like ironing a dozen shirts, you can just move to Cuba and cut sugar cane for Fidel Castro!”
This memory keeps crossing my mind as I read certain comments on this thread. Not one Christian group is hermetically sealed, providing everything for its own flock and never needing anything from the rest of the world. God gave us not just commandments but also minds. We are allowed to follow Jesus’ example, to observe the world around us, and even—gasp!!!—to express our opinions.
That would be a cult.
Though a lot of churches try. Hard.
CHRISTIAN bowling leagues, CHRISTIAN workout gyms, CHRISTIAN movies, CHRISTIAN fiction, CHRISTIAN media, CHRISTIAN lattes in the church itself, CHRISTIAN amusement parks (again, in the church itself), 24/7/365 CHRISTIAN everything. All hermetically sealed from HEATHEN contamination.
Like how in East Los Angeles you can go from birth to death without ever having to learn English, in a lot of these CHRISTIAN bubbles you can go from Altar Call to Homegoing without ever having to encounter a Heathen. Emerging only for drive-by Witnessing sallies.
Including an onsite Amusement Park complete with Pony Rides?
I’m not making that up. My writing partner’s (greying) church has a hard time competing with the area’s Mega for younger families. Pony Rides.
Successful Predators (serial killers, serial rapists, etc) are Masters of Camouflage, experts at hiding what they really are and presenting a deliberate artificial facade/persona to ALL others.
“But he was such a NICE boy!”
— interviews with neighbors & family of serial killer after serial killer
We only hear about the dumb ones who slipped up and got caught.
Definitely a lot of material there.
I remember some of the past-experiences stories of the original Intenet Monk and of my burned-out preacher writing partner. A LOT of crazy stuff that actually happened. Behind the scenes of a church should be a gold mine for sitcom material. Yet whenever a church setting gets tried for a sitcom, it’s as LAME as Christian Fiction. What gives?
Both WKRP Cincinatti and Slap Shot (Paul Newman movie) were drawn from real-life becoming legend.
WKRP</i's creators and writers came from radio, and wrote the scripts using "inside info" from their own experiences in the industry — hyping it up for laughs, but still grounded in experience.
Slap Shot was actually written from stories in actual minor-league hockey locker rooms; most of the truly crazy characters and situations came directly from those locker-room legends. Some of the minor roles were played by the actual minor-league hockey players who inspired them.
This gave both an authenticity that attempts at remakes (using Hollywookd treadmill writers) just colud NOT recapture.
According to Tony Campolo, that line really messed up his high school dating life.
Great comedy requires great talent. Not easy to be edgy.
We like Jim Gaffigan’s standup, including his jokes about religion. Gaffigan says he’ll never be reviewed as “edgy” ‘cuz reviewers only rate 4-letter words and obscenity as edgy. Not our definition of edgy.
Let me know the first time Beth Howe preaches and then I’ll get riled up.
Edgy for the sake of Edgy equals Velma.
As true as Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle (1906).
Like George Whit(e)field who was complicit when slavery was first brought in.
Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
Excellent good point pulling together the links among the 55 gifts of the HS.
I think you are citing a formal organisational argument. There comes a point where waters were meant (by muddiers of waters) to be muddied in heaven because they were muddied on earth. At that point, God and the true orphans and widows sit out and let them go down the pan. Interesting you should mention popes, with their militias they have for centuries (most of them) been undermining believers and legitimate carers for believers.
I value your work most when you cite sources as background knowledge. In the cases under discussion here,
i – In the surrounds of the churches which St Paul apostled, both Roman expectations and Jewish expectations held sway. Note all letters were read by strangers en route.
(In related points cited by some:
– “don’t cease meeting together” means don’t drop out of synagogue if you are already in one;
– communion bread being a Jewish custom “remember My Body” simply means don’t quash / grieve / blaspheme Holy Spirit by twisting the meanings of all Jesus’ instruction on belief and helping each other in living)
ii – Some women were expressing opinions in church on points not clear to them because their husbands weren’t talking to them at home – these were no 1 and no 2 Roman backstops so St Paul is urging lateral thinking: some husbands had been too used to their wives being cultic operatives and had probably been in “fraternities” themselves (like too many catholic & protestant married and single men to this day). All St Paul’s, Jesus’, Peter’s, James’, John’s, and the prophets’, teachings to believers stressed going beyond elementary starting points.
I had hope that you thought words have meanings because allusions intersect and that you were not what some call an “essentialist”.