Let Freedom Ring – Part 4

In continuing this series on Freedom, I have to get into a subject that I have constantly sought to stay away from.  That is homosexuality. So today, I am going to jump right in and talk about the elephant in the room.  

The Apostle Paul did not say, “I do not permit a woman to speak because if she does, your next pastor will be a lesbian.” But he may as well have said that.

Years ago, I heard about subliminal messages in magazines and advertisements. In fact, a recent review of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies shows that subliminal stimuli activate specific regions of the brain despite participants being unaware (wikipedia).  So, yes, I am sure that messages get across to our brains without us consciously being aware of it.  That is what has happened with women’s equality being equated with homosexuality.

They want us to connect the two and we do.

A rational person would tell you that the Bible shows absolutely no connection with women and homosexuality, whether they are being allowed to serve God fully in the church or not.  However, these same people would tell you that they don’t want a woman preacher because churches that have women preachers have opened their hearts to all people and accept homosexuality.  We talked about that yesterday.

But, look at the Catholic Church. They do not accept women as priests, and yet we have been made aware that there are many priests who are homosexual. What is the connection there? They officially do not accept homosexuality.  Evangelicals completely ignore what they do because in our minds, Catholics worship graven images, and eat the flesh of Christ and drink his blood, and do other strange things. So is it just the Protestant denominations that accept women pastors that will have women lesbians as pastors? Why does that reasoning apply only to women? Why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to men and make it a possibility that we would have male homosexuals as pastors? In other words, if you allow women to preach and it opens the doors to women homosexual preachers, wouldn’t it stand to reason that it would also open the door to male homosexual preachers?

 Because if evangelicals taught that, there would be NO pastors.  See previous post.

The subliminal message is that once we open our hearts to women pastors, we will also open our hearts to homosexuality.

That, my dear friends, is the crux of the matter.

“Hate the sin, but love the sinner” applies only to homosexuals.  The word that enters our brain first is hate. We actually hate the sinner.  We forbid women to preach by tagging women with homosexuality, we wage wars against homosexuals, we send out emails, we tell them they are going to hell, and in all ways show a hateful attitude. The love part of that little ditty gets lost.

 Does anyone really believe that gossips will go to hell if they don’t quit gossiping? It is in the same list.

Read Romans 1:24-32 and tell me where it connects women’s equality with homosexuality. We know Jimmy Carter did when he said last November “we’re not talking about the hot button topics of women and homosexuality.”

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

I don’t know what the above scriptures means, but it covers a lot of people who go to church, and not just homosexuals. 

This blog is not about whether or not homosexuality is a sin. It is about the message our brains have received and that many have bought into it, and accept it as fact, that women preachers equate homosexuality.

You can thank the Southern Baptist Convention for propagating this.  In order to purify the Southern Baptist Convention of homosexuals and women pastors, they set about disfellowshipping churches because they were impure to the gospel of the SBC. The only churches they disfellowship are churches that they believe are soft on homosexuality and/or have women pastors.

This is a subliminal message that the two go together. This is what I know about that they have done:

  • They tarred Baptist General Convention of Texas with being soft on homosexuals because of something that happened in the 1980s that BGCT did not have control over, and many churches left BGCT to go to the newly formed Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in 1998.
  • They tarred Cooperative Baptist Fellowship with being soft on homosexuals “after some opposition leaders declared the CBF to be ‘soft on homosexuality.’ The CBF has in its founding documents the equality of women. (The Fundamentalist Takeover in the Southern Baptist Convention.)
  • They disfellowshipped a Dallas church because they allowed a gay couple to have their picture together in the church directory.
  • They disfellowshipped several churches that have women as pastors.

In the book “The Fundamentalist Takeover in the Southern Baptist Convention” they say that the church teaches on a wide variety of subjects. Among them:

  • The nature of God, the person of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • The nature of the Bible – its authorship, styles of study and interpretation.
  • Marriage, divorce, sexuality, abortion, prayer in public schools, separation of church and state.
  • The place of women in the workplace and the church.

 The fundamentalists pulled out sexuality in line 3 and combined it with line 4 to make sexuality and the place of women fit together.  Women’s place in the church was moving along with everything else, even though it was a holdover of the Middle East culture, and to the early days of the 20th century where men still asked the father for the daughter’s hand in marriage and the father still ruled his daughter’s lives. 

Women’s place in those days was based on the fact they were women, and was not linked to homosexuality. That was then.

I am going to go out on a limb, and many of you have quit reading by this time. But for those of you are still here, this is my prediction.  The rights of gays and lesbians will be the pulling power that finally gives women equality in the church and home. Same-sex marriage will become common. The people in the pew will begin to accept homosexuality (like they do with black/white marriages). Once homosexuality is accepted, the SBC has no leg to stand on.

The real message is that once we open our hearts to homosexuals, we will also open our hearts to women pastors.

Do you know why we will not be successful before then? Because we are not hungry enough! We don’t fight for it. Oh, we discuss it, and discuss it, and discuss it.  But we are not hungry enough. We don’t fight for equality.

We will continue this discussion next week.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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6 Responses to Let Freedom Ring – Part 4

  1. Michelle says:

    You have done, with this series, some of the best writing I have seen on the topic of women in the church and, yes, on the demonization of gay people by the church. Arrogance is in that list, too, and some churches are filled with folks who sit in the pews (and stand in the pulpit) so proud that, whatever sins they may commit, at least they *aren’t* *like* “them”.

    It’s the teaching of gender roles as prescriptive and God-ordained that permits them to easily link the idea of women preaching and of them likely being lesbian. (Putting aside whether I have an issue with a preacher who is a lesbian, or not.) A woman who desires to preach, who “believes” or “thinks” she’s being led to God to preach, well, she must be mistaken. God put women here on earth to follow: not to lead. To have such a desire is…well, it’s downright unnatural.

    So you see where that’s going. One unnatural desire–to be a woman who teaches about God and who tends his flock–may well mean that there’s another unnatural desire going on there. She wants to be in charge–she must be romantically and sexually attracted to women.

    Keep it up. You are making me think of ways to open conversations with people I’ve been wanting badly to have conversations with for years, yet do it in a way that is not unloving, which is my challenge: to be loving. AND to bring up the difficult topics. Specifically, at some point in time, there will be a conversation going on about someone or another, and I will throw in, “Aren’t we supposed to hate the sin, and love the sinner?” Now, see, the thing is that the conversation won’t involve anyone who is gay, so I’m thinking it might, might throw them off for a second, at least. Seed planting. Still not sure how to talk with them about women, but I imagine God will bring that out naturally at some point. :)

    Thank you for your work.

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    • Thank you. That means a lot to me. For a long time I have felt that in the minds of fundamentalists, women are the cork in the bottle, and if you let the women out, then you let the homosexuals out. So they have to keep us corked. Not only keep us corked, but put out hateful information on the gays and lesbians, too. We are all having to learn a new approach to women’s equality. When I read my second book on equality – I don’t remember the name of it now – it gave first the complementarian view and then the egalitarian view. I got so mixed up that I wasn’t sure what I thought. That is when I realized that we must have a new way of speaking the truth. We needed a new way to present the message, that the old way wasn’t working. I try to make people think outside the box. As many have noted, I don’t use a whole lot of scripture, and this blog post was 3 times longer than most, but I couldn’t break it up, and keep the thought. We’ve all read the Bible, we’re all Christians. We all need our eyes opened to the practical side of what is happening. I try to shine a light in the dark corners. And I call to action. Words in a blog are not enough. Thank you for wanting to speak out and searching for ways to do so. God bless.

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  2. Barney says:

    Re: LET FREEDOM RING – PART 4

    I have set some time aside to think over the post by bWe Baptist Women for Equality’s Blog, which is evidently very much PRO WOMEN’S ORDINATION!
    I have written on this subject before and have either been misunderstood or misinterpreted when [IMHO] I espouse and expound the Biblical side of “WHO CAN BE ORDAINED”
    The Authoress of this blog makes a number of theologically critical points.
    1. “The [Holy] Bible shows absolutely no connection between women and homosexuality.”
    2. Catholics worship graven images, and eat the flesh of Christ and drink his blood, and do other strange things.”
    3. “The subliminal message is that once we open our hearts to women Pastors, we will also open our hearts to homosexuality.” Ending with Ï don’t know what the ‘above’ Scriptures means [referring to Romans 1:24-32], but it covers a lot of people who go to church, and not just homosexuals.”
    4. “The rights of gays and lesbians will be the pulling power that finally gives women equality in the church and home. Same sex marriage will become common.”
    Let us take these points one by one.
    1. “The [Holy] Bible shows absolutely no connection between women and homosexuality.” I fully agree, the abomination of unnatural sexual relations is NOT gender dependant. Homosexuality is and remains a sin as St. Paul clearly preaches in his Epistles.
    2. Catholics worship graven images, and eat the flesh of Christ and drink his blood, and do other strange things.” Not being a Roman Catholic, I only know that they pray before iconic images as the Eastern Orthodox do. On the second sub-point, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Lutherans believe in the “Real Presence” of Christ during the Sacrament of the Altar [Luth.]. Christ Jesus quite clearly said; “This is My body … . This is My blood.” during the Last Supper. Christ Jesus does not [cannot] lie. Christ Jesus also said where two or three are gathered in My name there I will be amongst them. St. Paul emphasizes this in his Epistles. Yes we do eat the body of Christ and drink His blood if we truly believe in Him and His Word. On the third sub-point, no strange things are mentioned.
    3. “The subliminal message is that once we open our hearts to women Pastors, we will also open our hearts to homosexuality.” I have earlier separated the connection [but not the result] between opening, NOT our hearts, but our communion of believers, to the error of allowing females to be ordained and hence, ipso facto, disobey a command from Christ Jesus given through His chosen servant St. Paul, through 1 Corinthians 14:37 and 1 Timothy 2:12.
    4. “The rights of gays and lesbians will be the pulling power that finally gives women equality in the church and home. Same sex marriage will become common.” Whilst I have previously not addressed the junction between the two disobediences, I now feel that an explanation is in order. What rights do gays and lesbians have before the Lord? St. Paul clearly instructs us not to have any fellowship with them, he does not zero in on them alone, but he includes them among many other sins which are preventing a person from inheriting the Kingdom of God. History has proven time and time again that where, first females were ordained the denomination or local church either merged with vanilla Protestants or ended up in ordaining those who practise an abomination. If the ordination of females in a Parish, Congregation or Synod is based upon the permission of sexual deviants to publicly serve in Church then the ordination of females is based on even a greater sin. Same sex “marriages” are not supported by Holy Scriptures and no Christian [minister or official] should be forced to conduct a ceremony that may be interpretated as a marriage before God or indeed in the secular world. Many social ‘cohabitations’ have been sanctioned by secular law, as ‘marriages’ or for social security reasons as ‘de-factos’ but this does NOT mean that they have the Blessing of our God.

    Barney

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    • If you read what I said, you would know that I did not say that I agree with same-sex marriage. I simply said that it would be the pulling power to bring women’s equality in the church. That is a fact, as I see it. It being a fact does not make it right. It simply is a fact. The rightness or wrongness of homosexuality was not and is not and will not be the topic here.

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    • krwordgazer says:

      To Barney:

      1. Shirley is the author of this blog. A term like “authoress” is not standard modern English and makes an unnecessary distinction of the author as female, as if being a female author was somehow a different thing than being a male author. An author is an author. And when you comment on someone else’s blog, you should treat them with respect as the blog owner, whether they are male or female.

      2. To say that if we truly believe Christ and His word we will believe that the communion elements literally become the body and blood of the Lord, rather than figuratively/metaphorically, is to privilege your interpretation in a very exclusionist manner. The phrase “A is B” can be understood either as a literal statement or as a metaphorical one. The Bible says that Jesus is the Lamb of God. Does that mean He has wool? Yes, we too eat His body and drink His blood– but by faith that eating the representative elements means we are partaking in the Spirit, of His sacrifice. Jesus said in the same passage, “My words are spirit and they are life.”

      3. I am certain that you are aware that we don’t interpret 1 Cor 14:37 and 1 Tim 2:12 as you do. But you insist on coming over here like you were in some kind of authority and telling us, “I have earlier separated the connection [but not the result] between opening, NOT our hearts, but our communion of believers, to the error of allowing females to be ordained and hence, ipso facto, disobey a command from Christ Jesus.” Who gave you the power or right to dictate our doctrinal beliefs? This is not your church. This is Shirley’s blog. She’s in charge here. If this were my blog, I would not permit you to teach or assume authority here, but would require you to learn in submission and quietness. Your job here is not to set people straight or teach them the supposed error of their ways. It’s to either have a respectful dialogue, or find somewhere else where you are able to do that.

      4a. You asked, “What rights do gays and lesbians have before the Lord?” What rights do any of us have before the Lord? None. We are sinners saved only by his grace. What business do we have distinguishing one group of sinners as somehow less worthy of Christ? Jesus on earth ate with sinners– even Pharisees! I am not addressing the issue of gay marriage here, but only of how we treat fellow sinners made in the image of God. We need to stop treating gays and lesbians like pariahs. Period.

      4b. There are a number of denominations (Pentecostals, for instance) who have always ordained women but never ordained gays. So your blanket statement “history has proven” doesn’t actually hold water. I would instead consider it much more likely that a tendency towards moderate-to-liberal Bible interpretation has led to many denominations ordaining both– but one doesn’t need to have a moderate-to-liberal view of the Bible to consider the traditional interpretation that women have a lower status in the Kingdom, to be incorrect.

      In short, it’s my belief that you are being a troll, Barney. If you don’t want to be considered a troll, stop throwing your weight around and start showing some respect for people (even women!) who have views different from yours.

      Like

  3. Mabel says:

    Bravo, bravo, bravo, krwordgazer. I am so proud of my fellow egalitarians I am just about to burst. They are some of the smartest people I know. I have been away for 3 weeks and just now catching up on Shirley’s July posts. I am so proud of Shirley. I have been following her blog from day one and she sure is commanding more and more credibility and respect, and rightly so. However, she cannot do it alone without her readers coming together to support her whenever she is unfairly attacked. Kristen, I am so gratified for what you have done.

    Like

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