Hope dispelled by President of SBC

I wrote to the newly elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Bryant Wright, a month ago, and got a reply from him yesterday.

I had hopes that he would hear our plea.  But he fell into the old mantra of roles and from this I know that only a Damascus Road experience will be able to penetrate this darkness.

“But there are specific roles that God has ordained for men alone – the positions of pastors and elders/overseers (1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-7). It’s not a matter of male domination but simply God’s plan for leadership in the church. Though this teaching may be countercultural in today’s society, we will be the most effective in fulfilling Christ’s mission for the church when we adhere to His design for our lives and our churches.”

This is an educated man.  He is a pastor, a preacher, he has a doctorate. 

How is it that I know that 1Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus is about this:

  • Sets forth a standard of morality and responsibility for the person chosen to be an elder or deacon
  • Sets a standard for compassion by not allowing them to call men who had 3 or 4 wives and a houseful of kids to take care of

Do they really think that these scriptures are all about being male?  Their birth as a male is not something they can control – but the way they handle their lives and their obedience to scripture is something they can control and this is what those scriptures are all about.

Just as Jesus was all about the decisions and choices people make, Paul and Titus were, too. Jesus never recognized qualifications by birth as far I know.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
This entry was posted in Do Baptists Really Believe That?, Equality for women in Southern Baptist churches, Scriptures explained and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Hope dispelled by President of SBC

  1. chaidrinkingfool says:

    I will note that in my previous church that followed the same sort of logic when determining who was eligible to serve as an elder, there was one married man who served as an elder despite the fact that he and his wife had no children.

    A literal reading of the text (as translated into English, at least) would indicate that he was ineligible to serve as an elder.

    I certainly hope that the SBC is better about consistently following the literal text, which indicates that elders must be 1) male 2) married 3) have more than one child.



    • Get them on a technicality? lol. I never heard that about needing to have a child or more than one child – wonder what they would say to that? I have known several deacons who had been married. I think this whole thing is beneath Christians and something Jesus would never approve of. All you have to do is read Matthew 23 and you see what Jesus thought of following the ridiculous letter of the law and choosing that over people. Thanks for the laugh.


  2. Kristen says:

    To quote a certain US President from long ago. . .

    “Let me say this about that.” (grin)

    When 1 Tim. 3 says, “If any man desires to be an overseer, he desires a good work,” the words “any man” there are in the neutral gender– literally, “if anyONE desires.” The other thing to remember is that even though the ancient Greek has a neutral gender, the masculine gender is inclusive (just as English used to be). Deacons (“diakonos”) are also mentioned in 1 Tim 3 as needing to be “husbands of one wife,” but Paul also calls Pheobe a “diakonos.” So unless Phoebe was a man, “husband of one wife” has to be gender-inclusive. The best idiomatic English for it today would be “faithful spouse.”

    To insist that “husband of one wife” has to mean “must be male” is to go against the most basic understanding of Greek construction– construction that even a non-Greek-scholar like myself can understand.


    • I think we are in need of a REFORMATION! I cannot believe that these learned men don’t know these things. So if they know these things, then it is their desire to keep women as inferiors that is the prevailing factor. And that is a sin. Thank you, all of you who write, for your knowledge.


  3. Kristen says:

    PS. Have you ever noticed that in many churches, whenever a particular reading of Scripture (like “must be married and have more than one child”) would be overly restrictive to males, it is interpreted liberally and non-literally? Whereas whenever a reading of Scripture would restrict females (“must be male”), it is read as literally and restrictively as possible?

    And they do this right there within the very same set of verses. Hypocrisy.


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