Let Freedom Ring – Part 5

Before the fundamentalists takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention, Baptists believed in the priesthood of the believer.  Those words are not spoken in Baptist churches anymore. It was a foundational belief that Christians did not need any go-between to come before God.  It originally had to do with the Catholic Church and priests who acted as the mediator between the person and God.  Protestants said that no priest was needed, and in fact, did not have the power to be a go-between.

This is what Baptists believe, but do not talk about openly anymore:

Every believer takes part in the New Testament doctrine regarding priesthood.  Direct access to God, through Christ, was granted the moment the rebirth took place.  We need no intervention by any other human being on our behalf, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ (1st Timothy 2:5)?”  Although, all believers need and appreciate the prayers of others (intercessory prayer), being able to go to God in prayer and approach Him directly is assured by the Word of God. 

There are also contrasts to be seen in Scripture regarding how believers mirror their Old Testament counterparts who were priests.  We, like them, are set aside as, “A holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4).”  What we are to offer up is indeed ourselves.  That is the best sacrifice God wants of us.  Paul told the believers in first century Rome to, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1).”

You see, they can’t. Because SBC Baptists have decided that they will teach that the husband is his wife’s leader, her spiritual leader, and the spiritual head of his family, and she is under his authority.

You cannot believe or teach priesthood of the believer when you give a husband spiritual leadership, or headship, over his wife.

Remember what Dr. Dorothy Patterson, one of the founders of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, said “As a woman standing under the authority of Scripture, even when it comes to submitting to my husband when I know he’s wrong, I just have to do it and then HE stands accountable at the judgment.”   (Christianity Today 1998).

The Drs. Patterson (Paige and Dorothy) along with her brother, helped craft the Danver’s Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, and then in 1998, crafted the Baptist Faith and Message 1998 which inserted the section about a wife ‘graciously’ submitting to her husband, and then in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, told everybody that women can’t be senior pastors. 

Priesthood of the believer is not talked about in Baptist churches anymore.  Now you know why.

We will continue this Wednesday.

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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2 Responses to Let Freedom Ring – Part 5

  1. Michelle says:

    Hey,
    You see, what’s weird–and what annoys me even more, since it completely lacks logic–is that in my limited experience, the Presbyterian Church in America at the very least mentions the priesthood of all believers when creeds are recited. And I recently had a conversation with someone still in the denomination, about how attending a church where it’s recognized that when we are reborn in Christ, we give up our birthright, etc., and he was agreeing, and asked didn’t I believe that is what (his current, my former) church is like?

    Well, no, since only men are ordained there.

    “But, there’s church order!”

    Reserving certain positions of power for those who are, ahem, BORN male, and not seeing any conflict with what he had just agreed with not 5 minutes before. I might appreciate the consistency you mentioned, in a way. ;)

    Like

    • Michelle says:

      That will teach me to post when I first get up–sorry about that! Let me try again…

      I recently had a conversation with someone still in the denomination (the PCA, mentioned above), and at my old church, about the fact that it’s important to me to attend a church where it’s recognized that when we are reborn in Christ, we give up our birthright to claim a new one, etc. He agreed with me that it’s important to recognize that we are a new creation in Christ, and then asked me didn’t I believe that is what (his current, my former) church believes and practices?

      Well, no, since only men are ordained there.

      “But, there’s church order!”

      Reserving certain positions of power for those who are, ahem, BORN male, and not seeing any conflict with what he had just agreed with not 5 minutes before. I might appreciate the logical consistency you mentioned, in a way. ;)

      Like

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