Egalitarians base their argument for indifference with respect to gender in society, the home, and the pulpit on the idea that men and women are created equally. This post series has argued that when it comes to creation order and its implication for ‘gender roles’ in the church, Southern Baptists do not all differ from the world or from egalitarians. Recent rhetoric regarding women teaching, and even preaching, to men in the SBC, is of some concern. It seems like everywhere we turn, we find ourselves covered up in egalitarian patterns of thought.
There’s a common misconception going around in some circles that anyone who professes Christ yet believes women can be called to the pastorate or preach to men cannot be a true Christian. This is demonstrably untrue. When people believe that women can be preachers called by God it doesn’t necessarily mean those people aren’t Christian, it just means they’re wrong.
But what do the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention think? Southern Baptists reached an agreement about this issue a long time ago and they believe it’s not only theologically incorrect to have women preach, but sinful for women to take up the role of preaching as it goes against explicit commands given in God’s word. This is why women preaching in the Southern Baptist Convention is such an obviously divisive issue.
In this second part of my critique of Jen Wilkin’s talk given at the Acts29 Regional Conference, I will focus on the feminist agenda behind much of Wilkin’s words. Wilkin starts off by listing:
“What do we need from women as a church?”
- We need women’s unique perspective.
- We need women’s relational capital.
- We need women in visible leadership. (Here Wilkin qualifies her statement to say as visible as your church’s complementarianism will allow.)
I’m not going to cover the first two points of this question because I think it’s fairly obvious that what Wilkin has to say about women in these is not only true, but helpful. We do need female perspective in the Church and we do very much need their relational capital. Women tend to have very special relational skills which are evident if you’ve spent any amount of time around groups of women. Instead, I’m going to focus on her third and most hyperbolic statement so far.
Our culture hates humility and femininity, so you can imagine what the culture thinks of humble and feminine women. I personally have suffered from the consequences of my own sinful desires to be in control of my marriage, and to be constantly thought strong and proud. I gave into the desire to see myself as the head of the family, I bought cultural lies about feminism and shed many tears over the constant tug-a-war my heart and spirit played concerning my longing to sin versus personal conviction about that sin. In eight years of marriage, my husband and I have fought endlessly over this struggle. Looking back, I am thankful God created him with a gentle and calm spirit, that our warring was mostly me in sin, with him graciously and mercifully standing in the way to keep me from further sin and leading me back to truth. In those years, I wore myself down spiritually and emotionally day after day engaging in things that wreaked havoc on me as a Christian and as a woman. It was only in the last year that I realized God was using all of those moments to painfully strip layer after layer of pride, resentment, and doubt surrounding my heart. The good news is God sanctifies His people despite our depravity. He will not allow any of His children to remain in sin, and He will use our faithlessness to point us back to His perfect faithfulness.
As in all the churches of the saints, the [complementarians] should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their [entity heads] at home. For it is shameful for a [complementarian] to speak in church. (1 Corinthians 14:33-35)
This brief post addresses five objections to complementarians speaking up about their position on such topics as women teaching men in the church.
In this article, SBC author Bart Barber makes plain the contours of the complementarian discussion in relation to the issues of Scripture and abuse, writing, “Beth Moore asserted in her remarks that certain corruptions of complementarianism lead to or exacerbate the abuse problem that the Southern Baptist Convention faces. I think that perhaps I agree in part and that I disagree in part.”
In this article, Denny Burk writes in response to Sam Storms, “to defend the Baptist Faith & Message 2000—in particular, its teaching about the pastorate.”
In this video, Stephen Michael Feinstein explains how his California Southern Baptist Convention failed to guard against the threat of Critical Theory.
This post is the fourth in a series addressing New Liberalism and the Southern Baptist Convention. “New Liberalism” is a catch-all term for what some see as a theological threat similar to the liberalism of the previous century. This series does not assume that New Liberalism is in the SBC, but is intended to more clearly delineate the concept of New Liberalism in relation to the SBC.
The progenitors of the new progressivist tendency in Christianity might truly believe that they believe the Bible, might earnestly desire others to believe the Bible, and at the very least want others to believe that they believe the Bible. Thus sociological theories are read back into the text of Scripture in much the same way that scientific theories were read back into the text of Scripture, and especially Genesis 1-11, in the old liberalism. Terms are lifted from their texts to create a new Christianity commensurate with and thus subordinate to the spirit of the age.
This post is the third in a series addressing New Liberalism and the Southern Baptist Convention. “New Liberalism” is a catch-all term for what some see as a theological threat similar to the liberalism of the previous century. This series does not assume that New Liberalism is in the SBC, but is intended to more clearly delineate the concept of New Liberalism in relation to the SBC.
If secondary, tertiary, and social matters of the Christian faith have come to the center of theological discourse within the SBC, then one cannot escape discussing them. The New Liberalism forces itself upon us. With it comes the exaltation of psychology and sociology in relation to the tenets of a strictly biblical Christian worldview. The idea is that ‘all truth is God’s truth,’ which is true enough in and of itself. However, the approach of the New Liberalism is prone to place parity between the authority of what we derive from nature and the authority of what we derive from Scripture such that the mind of man becomes the measure of all things, including Scripture. In such a system, the word of God is no longer the normative interpretive tool of the word of God, but the word of man, divorced from all but the ethical imperatives of Scripture. Works-righteousness is emphasized, and grace is de-emphasized, soteriologically and hermeneutically, as it were.