Mabel sent me a link this week to the Associated Baptist Press story about the church in Mayberry that was disfellowshiped from their Baptist association in North Carolina.
Flat Rock Baptist Church was expelled from the Surry Baptist Association simply because they had hired a woman as a pastor. Two weeks after Bailey Nelson began her service at Flat Rock Baptist Church, the whole church was held accountable by her peers and the church was denied continued fellowship with these holy guys.
A Baptist association is made up of local SBC churches, with each pastor in that group of churches (anywhere from 10 to 1000 or more) having a vote. They stood up when asked if they voted for disfellowship. Big men standing on their principles. Big men forgetting the principles of Christ.
For your information the pyramid goes like this: the local Baptist church is separately affiliated with the local Baptist association, and are also separately affiliated with the State convention, and separately affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. They can join either or, or neither one, but the normal situation is that they affiliate with all three. (Some states such as Texas have two state conventions).
I was sent a link to a discussion of “whether or not a church can be a Southern Baptist and have a woman pastor”, and clicked on it and got involved in something that I rarely do. For five hours we went back and forth on the subject.
One of the men made this absurd statement: “It is my duty as her husband to sacrificially provide for her spiritual development as a fellow servant of Christ. B) It is her duty as my wife to assist me in the work that God gives me to do.”
I couldn’t let that stupidity go unchallenged so I wrote again: I was chastised for not sticking to the subject of can a church be SBC and have a woman pastor, but here I go again.
I would be ashamed to say such things as Jim P did. If your wife is a fellow servant of Christ, she doesn’t need your “sacrificial sacrifice.” Besides that, you can’t sacrificially provide for her spiritual development. Just what do you have in mind? To sacrifice means to give up something. What are you giving up?
What hogwash! She is a grown adult woman and can make decisions of her own. Do you read the Bible to her? Did you marry a child or did you marry a woman? If she is so spiritually immature, how can she assist you in the work God has called “you” to do?
I have to admit that the person who sent the link to me suggested that women speak to this group with Greek scriptures and be intellectual. Not having the ability for either, I failed on both accounts.
But I found something that I think you will find interesting. I googled one of the participants and found his website. I would like for you to read what SBC pastor Howell Scott had to say about this in response to the question of what was his most surprising thing to come of his post:
I was most surprised about the complete unwillingness of most people who are against female pastors to at least acknowledge that what Surry Baptist Association did was less than grace-filled. Some have tried to bend over backwards (both here and at Voices) to defend the Association’s actions. That is surprising, but I guess it shouldn’t be since this issue is one that is so black-and-white for so many people that they can’t even see the shades of gray. (Howell Scott)
I recommend you read his post. He is a Baptist speaking out against injustices. He is not egalitarian (yet) but we need to know that some pastors are looking at this situation with an open mind.
Will you join me in speaking out for women’s equality with all nitwits who think they know what God “intended for women?”