Barking dogs – or literally scripturally

Ok – I just liked that title – may as well have some fun.  I talked about this lady in my speech at the Seneca Falls 2 Christian Women’s Rights Convention which you can see and hear on my website (we are all over youtube, Tangle, and vimeo now).

She is the one who said I am loved, I am honored, I am respected!  You can see her exact words titled Her retort at the end of my letter to her.  She claimed I didn’t use any scripture to back up what I said.   And she also told me that if Jesus had wanted women as deacons and pastors he would have chosen some women as disciples instead of 12 men. And she said that if Paul said “I” he meant God was speaking.

This is my letter to her:

Thank you for your reply.  I did not back up every letter or thought with scripture because I am talking to Baptist pastors and secretaries and staff who know those scriptures by heart. I am sure you do, too.  However, they are all backed up on my website.  Look under Links and see the reference material written by Southern Baptist pastors, and Teachers of the Scripture. (I have since changed my website, but continue to use the explanation of Scripture by Dr Todd Still and Dr. James Dennison)

Why did Jesus chose only men to be his apostles?  Why did he chose 12? There seems to be some significance in the fact that the there were 12 tribes of Judah, and 12 apostles, and certainly these tribes were not named after women.  It is commonly thought that Judas was the treasurer of the monies collected.  If we stick to a strict interpretation of the 12 men apostles, then we would not allow women to be the treasurers or financial secretaries in our churches.

Jesus chose those men, but look at what privileges he gave the women.  The first evangelist was a woman.  John 4:1-42 tells the story of a Samaritan woman .28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. ould this be the Christ?”.. 39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”  In Luke 9:51-56 we find that the messengers who sent ahead went into a Samaritan village were not well received and they then wanted to call down fire and destroy the people.  The woman was a better witness than the men Jesus sent. If there is any doubt, then we have to look no further than Matthew 28:10 “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”  This scripture tells the women to
go tell the men where they can find Jesus.  Doesn’t that sum up the gospel?

Any time a woman sings a gospel song before a congregation, she is preaching the gospel, did you know that?  If the songs lyrics are gospel, then the pulpit has been compromised by her presence.

Paul said “I” do not permit a woman to speak.  When we hold the scriptures to a literal interpretation of when it says “men,” then we must hold it to a literal interpretation when it says “I.” 

 As for the “but“, it is there.  After they said women are equal, they explain how her husband is her leader. Women are equal-but.  Do you know that whenever your church puts the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 on its website or a link to it, that it is a slap in the face to every woman?   They are putting the BF&M 2000 right up front to show they believe 2 things; women can’t be pastors, and the Family Section that makes equality “subordinate” in actuality.

Her retort:
One last reply and I do not care to hear from you again.  I am a woman—a very equal woman within my church and my home.  My husband is the head of my home and I have no trouble submitting to his authority “as he submits to Christ.” I also have no trouble submitting to the authority of the pastor/elders of this church “as they submit to Christ.” 

I am loved! I am honored! I am respected! My gender makes me no less a person, follower, or servant of Christ. I am so sorry that you feel inferior to those in authority over you. 

Honey, as long as you stay in your pen, you will be respected.  Get out, and the dogs start barking.



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?, Seneca Falls 2 Christian Conference and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Barking dogs – or literally scripturally

  1. Mara says:

    I don’t stay in my pen very well.

    At Sunday School yesterday we are studying Peter.
    We came upon the verse about women submitting.
    In commenting, people just sort of tip toed around it.

    You see, my church is somewhat Comp, not the least bit baptist, and very into people using their gifts. I don’t say much about the comp part to them because they do so many other things so well.
    This is the first church I’ve been in, comp, egal or otherwise that has honored my voice. The pastor there defends my voice even when I say uncomfortable (for them) things or don’t color inside the lines like the rest used to doing.

    Anyway. Back to Peter’s Epistle and Sunday School.
    Everyone just sort of tip-toed around the word “Submit” and would hardly deal with it directly.
    So after waiting a bit, I jumped in.
    No, I didn’t give the big “egal” speech. But here is what I did in a nutshell. I said, basically, that this word submission in the Bible is something women have to deal with and figure out how to obey without men telling them what it means. That men defining submission for women has cause a great deal of heart-ache. That women need to work out their submission with fear and trembling, not of men, but of God.
    Unfortunately the class was ending so I’m sure some thought that the fear of God had to do with women submitting to men (as men want) out of fear of God. But what I meant and said to some degree it that women need to fear God more than men and submit according to God’s definition of submission, which has little to nothing to do with how men define it.

    (Whew. Take a deep breath.)

    My church gets some things wrong. But some of the things they get right is that my pastor DOES NOT cut verse 21 of of the Ephesians 5 section on husbands and wives. He teaches that he submits to his wife.
    Also, he teaches about Jesus saying if you want to be great, then serve. Not servant leader. Serve. He encourages men to serve their wives.
    They still get things wrong. But as I mentioned, they get so much right and allow for me to express myself that I’m staying there for now and looking for more opportunities to plant seeds.

    in other words, I didn’t stay in my CBMW pen in Sunday School yesterday and no one barked at me.
    I apologized for not realizing how soon to the end of class it was so that my instructor could not close it properly. I even went and explained to the pastor my feeling bad about the timing. But I was not sorry for what I said, and no one there thought I should be.


    • We have to speak up and things don’t always come out of our mouth the way we want them to, due to time restraints, or loss of train of thought, or lots of things. Good for you for speaking up. Sometimes the dogs don’t bark outloud. I have ventured to speak up, and found frozen silence. But I can tell you that the dogs are barking right now. They know that there is an equality movement afoot, and they don’t know just how strong it is, and they don’t know what is pushing it, and they don’t know if they will be the losers for it. So they are barking. They brought out the Danvers Statement after 22 years and adopted it at Southwestern Seminary – why? because they are fearful that equality needs to be squashed. That was how they chose to fight it last year. They will bring out something else – I don’t know what it will be, but they will find something. We need to be prepared for it. They have money at stake and careers and they don’t want to lose those. Continue to speak up because that is how the crack in the ice grows.

      Thank you for your courage, your spirit, and your Christian knowledge.


  2. Sonnet says:

    re: My husband is the head of my home and I have no trouble submitting to his authority “as he submits to Christ.”

    I wonder…
    Does this mean she ONLY needs to submit to his “authority” when he IS SUBMITTING himself to Christ by loving her as he loves himself, honoring her thoughts, views and opinions as completely equal to his own, making sure that she is in full agreement with any final decisions that affect them both? If, in her opinion, he is not submitting to Christ, can she then choose to not submit to her husband? It does seem to imply that he is abdicating his “authority” when he is not submitting to Christ. I wish she would have clarified this more. It leaves a huge amount of gray area.

    If SHE gets to make the call on whether or not he is submitting properly to Christ, wouldn’t that make her an authority over him? And, if she really believes her husband has authority over her because he is her head, how does she still see herself as his equal? Again, I wish she would have clarified more. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Perhaps her husband has always treated her as an equal and in a very Christ-like manner, so she has never had to experience submitting to an unsubmissive husband. Maybe he has loved her enough that he never placed her into a pen, so she is unable to relate to those with different experiences.

    I’ve heard some parents share that child #2 opened their eyes to a whole new perspective on parenting. If child #1 was very easy-going, eager to please, rarely ever gets into any trouble, is crushed by just a gentle, but firm, “no” — they became very smug as parents thinking that their parenting skills were top-notch. And when they saw other parents with a misbehaving child, they automatically assumed that those parents were just doing it wrong. But when child #2 came along, with a completely different personality from child #1, the parents quickly became humbled. Parenting the same way as before did not produce the exact same results.

    And for some parents with a very challenging 1st child, who wondered what they were doing wrong to produce such a strong-willed, “difficult” child, often times have a much easier-going, eager to please 2nd child. They could also see that their parenting skills were not the cause of each child’s personality. Some things are out of our control. Some women can never submit enough to produce loving and considerate husbands. In real life, Beauty doesn’t always tame the Beast.


  3. EricW says:

    One last reply and I do not care to hear from you again.

    Image in my mind of a dog in a cage holding its paws over its ears and saying (woofing): “I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!”


  4. Kristen says:

    With regards to the calling of the 12 apostles: It is significant to understand that the culture of that day did not consider a woman’s testimony valid. The witness of women was simply not respected. This is one of the reasons why, when the women came and said “He is risen!” Luke says the others didn’t believe them.

    But it is significant that Jesus sent His angels to tell the women of His resurrection first, and that the first person He appeared to was Mary Magdalene. Think about it. Peter and John run to the tomb on Mary’s word that the body is missing. Do they see angels? No. Then they leave. And THEN Jesus appears to Mary.

    I believe Jesus’ message to the remaining 11 apostles was loudly and clearly understood by them, where it can be lost on us because of our cultural distance from the situation as it appeared to them. Here is what I believe they understood from Jesus’ and the angels’ actions:

    “I am sending you as My witnesses to a world which will not receive the witness of women. But I am insisting, even forcing, you yourselves to accept the witness of women. The Event on which My Church is founded comes to you by the witness (later validated by Me in Person to your faces)of your sisters. The world will not accept a women’s testimony. Not so among you. My Church will be different from the world.”


  5. Lydia says:

    We need to make something very clear to these people. We are not arguing about what scripture says. WE are arguing about INTERPRETATION of what it says. If we go with their interpretation then NT scripture contradicts itself.

    For example, why were women allowed to publicly pray and prophesy in front of men at Pentecost but then a “new law” is delivered later that says they cannot?

    Why is there no prohibition in the OT for women teaching or leading men but now there IS one for the New Covenant?

    A new slogan: It’s the interpretation, stupid. :o)


  6. Lydia says:

    Also, the 12 were Jews. So this means Gentiles are not represented, either.

    BTW: Has anyone noticed we only hear about 4 or so apostles ministry throughout the NT? We know more about the women’s ministry in the NT than we do the rest of the male apostles!


  7. From my viewpoint? Sounds like she is afraid of you Shirley.


  8. chaidrinkingfool says:

    This post is great! You use imagery that I don’t think I could get away with, and it works well.

    It’s true–start thinking for yourself, and you find all sorts of trouble without seeking it. I appreciate that you are not afraid of them. Me, neither: I no longer mind their opinion that I am “not *really* a Christian”.

    I’m trying to empathize with these women. They’ve given up…who knows what kinds of dreams and how much of themselves for years because that’s what they believe God has expected for them. Only to be told that no, they’ve misunderstood/been misinformed, they could have done [all the things they could have done which amount basically to living an entirely different life: after all, if they’re married, their life with their husband could have been very different, in addition to the other sorts of goals and dreams they relinquished to try to make God happy with them as a woman] after all. In fact, the things they set aside are the very things God wanted them to do–after all, God gifted them, right?

    So I can see where there would be resistance: even bitterness. Wouldn’t they want better for their daughters and granddaughters? Empathy seems to be in short supply in the church, which is ironic and sad.


    • Lydia says:

      I think they feel like what they have done by following mere human men somehow makes them holy. And being challenged that it is actually a “work” of salvation is scary for them. but that is what it is. Otherwise, Joanna was in sin. And women who cannot bear children cannot be saved. After all, that is the logical outcome to the interpretation they have chosen to believe.


      • I gave one of my Dethroning Male Headship – because it doesn’t have a leg to stand on” booklets to a a nurse in my doctor’s office who is a Baptist yesterday. She was thumbing through it. She said that she didn’t feel as strongly as I do about this. I told that I knew she didn’t, but I wanted her to have the booklet. She goes to one of the more fundamental Baptist churches (that may be an oxymoron). So she will be conflicted by what I say and what her church teaches. But she needs to see what we are saying because she will never hear the other side presented fairly in her church. It is for sure that her church library will not have any books on equality. What I am trying to say is that I don’t think most of the women even know exactly what it is that they are being taught. They just have a general idea that anybody who wants equality is a feminist, and someone who they don’t want to be like.


      • chaidrinkingfool says:

        Thanks for y’all’s help thinking through this. Yes, I think that prescribed, hierarchal gender roles being described as a form of legalism, which I do believe they are, is quite scary and would be rejected out of hand. I need to remember how *frightening* this all is for them. I can state things so strongly that I need to remember what it’s like to be afraid, and pray for grace to speak the truth *in love*.

        I also agree that there are no other options taught in many churches. And in my opinion, the hierarchal complementarian side, when left unexamined from a differing perspective, seems to have scripture all sewn up. As a newbie Christian, even though I observed that prescribed, hierarchal gender roles seemed to contradict many of the messages found elsewhere in scripture, I did not know how to contradict the specific verses to which the hierarchal complementarians pointed to put women and girls in their places. That came only after I sought out and read materials, including scholarship, from those who have a non-hierarchal complementarian perspective. If all someone reads is materials from those who agree with her perspective, how will she ever gain perspective? 😉 (Sorry–couldn’t resist the slight joke about a serious topic.)

        Thank y’all again.


    • Thanks for the compliment. I didn’t use to be this way, but it is either laugh about it or cry. So I decided to use humor to get my message across.


  9. Cindy K says:

    Just Made for You and YouTube’s Newest Video:


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