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Complementarianism Gender Scripture

The Moderate Position on ‘Women Pastors’ in the Southern Baptist Convention

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:8-15)

The passage above is often at the center of discussion and debate regarding the roles of men and women in the church. Southern Baptists have collectively decided that the aforementioned passage (cited as 1 Timothy 2:9-14 in the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, VI: The Church) teaches, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” This use of 1 Timothy 2:12 as pertaining to the office of pastor implies that the title of pastor follows the function (teaching/authority) of pastor in the local church. Insofar as the BFM2000 cites 1 Timothy 2:12 as a proof text for limiting the office of pastor to men, the confessional statement ties the title of pastor back to the function of pastor. A woman should not teach or exercise authority over a man. It follows that a woman cannot be a pastor. Unfortunately, some within the Southern Baptist Church are calling this confessional claim into question.

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History Missions Pastoring SBC Author

Steve Gaines on Episode 35 of Pastor Well

Steve Gaines talks about pastoral ministry and preaching, the Southern Baptist Convention, and what it was like to follow Adrian Rogers.

Categories
Complementarianism Controversy Ecclesiology Gender SBC Author Scripture

Al Mohler is Mistaken about “Women Pastors” in the Southern Baptist Convention

Like R. Albert Mohler, Jr., I’m not a moderate, or an egalitarian, or an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist.

I’m a conservative, complementarian, Southern Baptist.

I agree with the Bible when it says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” in 1 Timothy 2:12.

I agree with the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 when it says, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

I agree with Dr. Mohler when he says, “So what did ‘pastor’ mean here? It basically means the same thing as ‘elder.'”

That last claim is significant. The BFM2000 posits only two offices in the church, “Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons,” such that Southern Baptists view pastors, elders, and overseers (bishops) as different descriptors for the one office of pastor, distinct from the only other office of deacon.

Senior Pastors, Associate Pastors, Youth Pastors, Children’s Pastors, and the like aren’t separate offices from the office of pastor. The Bible doesn’t recognize such a distinction, the BFM2000 doesn’t recognize such a distinction, and Dr. Mohler doesn’t recognize such a distinction. I don’t either.

That’s why a tweet from Denny Burk that does appear to recognize such a distinction caught my attention:

Dr. Burk qualifies his claim with “senior.” Burk leaves open the possibility women are serving as “pastors” in the Southern Baptist Convention, they just aren’t senior pastors. But the Bible and BFM2000 know of no such distinction.

And Burk is wrong anyway.

Categories
Complementarianism Scripture

The Blindspot in Vision 2025

In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Theoden remarks to Aragorn, “The old alliances are dead.” That phrase sticks in the back of my mind as I write this post because it is not my intention to end or strain any alliances. These are not the days for conservative Christians to make enemies within their own ranks!

We are few in number as it is. May the old alliances remain alive, and may my brothers and sisters in Christ hear me out on why you won’t see me personally endorse Ronnie Floyd’s Vision 2025. It’s not that I necessarily disagree with everything. Instead, I see a glaring blind spot.

To me, the vision says we need to replace the tires, detail the car, and repair the windshield. But we’ll leave the failing transmission untouched. New tires are always great. But not if the vehicle can’t shift.

A Book of Numbers

Recently, I wrote about the 2019 SBC Annual Church Profile at ThingsAbove.Us. There I wrote,

Based on these 2019 numbers, 36.1% of Southern Baptists are in church on any given Sunday. And that’s if the 5,250,230 [attending] people were all members. Of course, some of them are guests, and children, so 36.1% is actually high, but we’ll use that number anyway.

This means that on any given Lord’s day 63.9% of those professing allegiance to Christ are missing. And this isn’t a Sunday here or there but the telling story of the entire year.

Furthermore, the trend is going in the wrong direction. Based on the numbers presented, in 2018 the percentage was at 36.5%. That means in 2019 fewer members are attending church percentage-wise than they were in 2018.

As Southern Baptist pastor, Jim Elliff, once wrote, the SBC is largely an unregenerate denomination. That is, if we take the New Testament’s admonitions about the local church seriously.

Categories
Gender Scripture

The Strange Phenomenon of Women Pastors in the SBC with Nate Schlomann

On this episode of the new CR:V Podcast contributor Nate Schlomann sits down with Jeff Wright to talk about the presence of women pastors in SBC churches.

Reminder: Article V of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 reads, in part:

“[The church’s] scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture” (relevant point emphasized).

Find it on Apple Podcasts or by clicking here.

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Gender

Female ‘Pastors’ and Gay ‘Marriage’

The office of pastor is limited to men. Some people disagree. Those who do sometimes complain that we are more focused on pastors being men than we are on pastors being qualified. But this argument appears to commit some form of the fallacy of false equivalence. The Scriptural definition of pastors is distinct from the discussion of whether or not particular men are qualified for the office of pastor.

Categories
Gender History SBC Author Scripture

Is the BFM 2000 View of Women in Ministry an Innovation? (Tom Nettles)

In this article, Tom Nettles responds to a post wherein, “Oklahoma Baptist Pastor Wade Burleson has attacked (again) the idea the Bible prohibits women from holding the New Testament position of pastor-bishop- elder.”

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Complementarianism Gender SBC Author

Concerns raised over SBC Pastors’ Conference lineup

In this article, the Texan addresses concerns over the 2020 SBC Pastors’ Conference, reporting that, “Mike Stone, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, Georgia, and current chairman of the SBC Executive Committee, told the TEXAN, ‘Southern Baptists have spoken clearly through the BF&M about female pastors. The inclusion of a female pastor is in direct contradiction to our own doctrinal statement and has been officially for 20 years. There are other concerns but this one garnered the most attention.'”

Categories
Methodology SBC Author

‘Discernment’ Social Media (Richard Caldwell)

In this Twitter thread, Richard Caldwell addresses ‘discernment’ social media, writing, “They claim it’s all about the Bible, but in truth it’s often about them. It often involves taking the worst possible angle on their opponent’s words or decisions.”

Categories
Critical Race Theory Intersectionality

Intention to Nominate CH (MAJ) Stephen Michael Feinstein 2nd Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention

On December 31, 2019, I announced my intention to nominate CH (MAJ) Stephen Feinstein for 2nd Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention at the 2020 meeting in Orlando, Florida, if the Lord allows.