Answering the call

(youtube video added to previous post of Dogs Barking)

It was August 24 2008 that I felt the call to do something.  I didn’t know what it was.  All I knew was that for several months I had a sense of urgency in finding some way to spread the word that women are equal.

I was sitting in church one Sunday and distinctly heard that my ministry there was through.  I had no idea what that meant.  The next Sunday I went back to church because I didn’t know what else to do. Again the feeling was so strong that I had to leave this church where Don and I had worshipped for over eleven years.

This church was also affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, but the SBC DNA took over, and the church showed no characteristics of the CBF.

I told Don that we had to start visiting other BGCT Baptist churches and he said he was thinking the same thing.  So we started visiting other Baptist churches.  

Baptists in Texas generally fall into three groups:

  • Those that are more moderate (BGCT – Baptist General Convention of Texas – now Texas Baptists).  Baptist General Convention of Texas churches stick with the Baptist Faith and Message 1963.  This is the largest group and oldest group.
  • Some churches align with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), which is more fundamental and is an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.  They formed as a protest state convention in 1998. Every one of their churches sign the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. 
  •  Churches that are distinctly Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (there are very few). Most are also aligned with BGCT.

 However, many churches align with both state conventions – the BGCT and the SBTC.  The DNA of the Southern Baptist Convention prevails in all those churches.  Generally they remain aligned with BGCT and give just a few dollars so they can have a sayso in what is being done. But their heart is not with BGCT.

This doesn’t explain it fully as there are hybrids of each group. Each group is fully autonomous.

This may be more than you want to know about the SBC in Texas.  

The Baptist General Convention of Texas is holding their annual meeting in November.  I received a notice of it, like thousands of other people. They are hurting for money, like the Southern Baptist Convention and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are.

I wrote back to them and told them that I knew that they needed money and that they are afraid that if they bring up anything that the churches don’t like – then those churches will go to the other convention and BGCT will lose the money. 

I said that I know that you don’t want to bring up the equality issue. I ended it with these words: “But I am not an issue. I am a woman.”

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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 Baptist Faith and Message 2000, Equality for women in Southern Baptist churches and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Answering the call

  1. Paula says:

    Let them run out of money. Let them ALL run out of money. Any organization or movement that can’s survive without money is not of God.

    Of course some will take what I just said and put words in my mouth: “She thinks all Christians should quit their jobs and just believe God for everything!” But I’m not talking about families, I’m talking about The Institution that long ago replaced The Body. The Body gets its life from The Head, Jesus… not from us or our money.

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  2. chaidrinkingfool says:

    To that last paragraph, I have nothing to say but, “Amen!”

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    • Mabel says:

      “Let them run out of money” will never happen. In earth sense, who was richer? Jesus or the Pharisees? Can’t compare the John Piper conference with the Seneca Conference or CBE conference. But, the road leading to you know what is wide.

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  3. Lydia says:

    I agree with Paula. We do not need more fake Body’s of Christ. The real thing would not dare be unequal because the real thing would understand what happened at Pentecost.

    Let them all go out and get real jobs in the real world. Let the big masculinist pastors work for a woman in the private sector to pay their mortgage instead of in their insular bubble.

    The early church gave money to HELP ONE ANOTHER who were needy or going out to share the gospel not to pay “pastors” to be “professionals” or build buildings.

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  4. Mrs. P says:

    Shirley, I hope you and your readers will go to the following blog and lend me some moral support. I am trying to answer the call. But I am new at this. In this instance, I think I may be in over my head.

    http://fullofgraceseasonedwithsalt.blogspot.com

    This particular blog’s participants bash women continually. I do not think the Holy Mother herself is entirely safe from their ridicule and hate speech. The blog is run by a woman too.

    A few days ago I left a comment there. I talked about Christian women and the valuable work they do in today’s churches, how women do the bulk of the work in the churches, and how, if it were not for their involvement, many churches would have to close their doors. I told the folks there that they should be thanking God.

    Women make up close to two-thirds of the adult membership in today’s Christian churches. Pastors across the country and elsewhere are painfully aware of the fact that they are not attracting men in equal numbers to women. They do not know why. They do not know what exactly to do about it. However, some people have decided that it is the fault of women that men are not going to church. They are saying that women have taken over the churches and this is driving men away. Women are such easy scapegoats for anything that goes wrong in the world.

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    • Paula says:

      That place claims to be about “grace” but I’m pretty sure they have no clue what that means. “Grace” has nothing to do with lording over.

      But when we know that even the mildest “comps” won’t budge regardless of the reams of scripture we present, what hope is there of throwing pearls to swine and them not trampling us to pieces with their “gracy, salty” hooves?

      Even when I focus on “not so among you”, the Last Supper, and Phil. 2:5-11, comps will ignore those over-arching principles of the faith and invent their own worldly religion of hierarchy. I say, Let them have their little boys’ clubs, I’m following Jesus.

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    • territippins says:

      I tried to post something there. I don’t know if she will allow it but, I am already familiar with this site. Some of adherants can be misogynistic to say the least. But, most often people that are in this deep cannot and will not listen to anything that you say. They just label anyone who disagrees as a liberal feminist. They are not looking for respectful dialogue but for people to totally agree with them (that women cause all the woes and troubles of men.)

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      • territippins says:

        I also noticed they link to John MacArthur, Vison Forum and The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, just to name a few. Trying to interact with them you will encounter fundamentalist dogmatism at it’s best.

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  5. Kristen says:

    Mrs. P, the church has nearly always attracted more women than men. The reasons for this are not certain, but I believe they have something to do with the character of Christ as the One who values the lowly. The 1st-century Romans used to ridicule Christianity as being “the religion of women and slaves.” I think that the nature of our society makes it harder for males to humble themselves, and that those who are used to being in humble positions already, find it easier to come to Christ.

    But the modern church is very little interested in Christian history and doesn’t know that women-as-majority is not a new phenomenon. So they blame feminism, just as they blame it for everything else that’s wrong nowadays, and insist that if women would just meekly go back to their traditional places, all would be heaven on earth. Bah.

    Interestingly (though I can’t prove this statistically), it’s been my personal experience that churches that empower women more, tend to attract both men and women more equally. I’m not sure why this would be so, either.

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  6. Kristen says:

    PS. I went over there and read the post you referred to, and posted an answer, though I don’t know if they’ll approve it. It’s really hard to read such women-bashing.

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  7. Lydia says:

    Look at the women who followed Jesus around! Pure scandal for that day and time for a Jewish man to allow that. Joanna left her household and husband to follow Jesus around and even supported him out of her resources.

    MrsP, there are times you cannot change how people view things even with pure truth. If they are not willing to dialogue, I have found it profitable to go to places where that is valued.

    The problem I see is that many of these people have what I call “sound bite Christianity”. They parrot sound bites such as “plain reading of scripture”, “You just don’t like what the bible says”, etc. It is childish and pedantic.

    They are not equipped to look deeper at the whole. One thing I always ask folks is to show me where in the OT there is a prohibition for women teaching or leading men. There isn’t one. And they will usally focus on the Levite Priests being all men. But we do not have Levite Priests in the NC. And the Levite priests were not always the Prophets or Leaders! Deborah is a good example.

    So, if there is no prohibition that can be found in the OT, then why would Jesus Christ make a new law for women in the New Covenant? He didn’t! It is just that there have been very bad translations of the Word for centuries.

    As Jon Zens encourages people: It is better to read the NT from the filter of Pentecost than the filter of 1 Tim 2 when thinking about women in the Body.

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  8. mrs. P says:

    I am struggling with a laptop keyboard so will keep this short.

    Thanks to all who lent their support to me at Full Of Grace blog.

    It is true that some of the more outspoken folks at this blog are not truth seekers and not interested in having an honest discussion,still there is that silent audience that I am thinking want to hear our side of the issue. These are the ones who may be sitting on the fence who we may be able to reach.

    Also due to your input, others have shown up there in support of our view or at least representing a moderate view. This has caused Laura to back off a little. This is good.

    In dealing with these folks, I believe you have to be stealth and catch them off guard.

    Maybe this laptop isn’t that bad after all.

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  9. Kristen says:

    I thought I might re-print over here a post which I made over there on the previous topic, which was about Christian book publishers capitulating to feminism because women are their main demographic. I chose not to address the issue that the books being cited were all by complementarians, and wrote the following, which the author was gracious enough to post, though I’m sure she disagreed with it:

    ***

    It would really be a good idea if Debi Pearl would actually do some research and read some church history before writing things like this:

    “Would you have me believe that only in these last few decades as the world shifted to a “women’s liberation” philosophy, that suddenly a few preachers who “studied Greek” in college for three years should discover that the world is right after all?”

    First of all, in teaching the subjegation and natural inferiority of women, the chuch has been right in line with the world since about the second century AD. It was Jesus who was countercultural in treating women as full human beings, and Paul who counterculturally followed suit. But within 50 years after Paul’s death the church began capitulating to the pagan Aristotle’s notion that women were inferior by nature to men. The church has recently discovered that this imbibing of Aristotelian ideas was unbiblical, that the Bible teaches that women are fully made in the image of God per Genesis 1. But it is in the subjegtation of women that the church has for long ages been capitulating to the world.

    As for egalitarian ideas being only a few decades old, let me quote Katherine Zell, who was part of Martin Luther’s Reformation(she was born in 1497):

    “You remind me that the Apostle Paul told women to be silent in church. I would remind you of the word of this same apostle that in Christ there is no longer male nor female and of the prophecy of Joel: ‘I will pour forth my Spirit on all flesh and your sons and your daughers will prophesy.” (emphasis in original)

    Margaret Fell wrote a book called “Womens Speaking Justified, Proved and Allow of the Scriptures” in 1697.

    Catherine Booth wrote “Female Ministry, Or, Women’s Right to Preach the Gospel” in the mid-1800s.

    Rev. A.B. Simpson, a Presbyterian minister and a man, established the Christian and Missionary Alliance in 1887. He wrote: “The heart of Christ is not only the heart of a man. . . He combined in Himself the nature both of man and woman even as the first man Adam had the woman within his own being before she was separately formed from his body.”

    Female equality was a very viable reading of the Scriptures for those in past centuries who were willing to be countercultural. What good is it, in wanting to be countercultural today, to simply go back and start capitulating to centuries-old cultures rather than our modern one?

    Isn’t the real issue not whether something is in line with culture, but whether or not it is true, and just, and holy?

    Did God really create women for no other purpose than to submit to men and have babies? What about 1 Cor. 7? It says an unmarried woman is blessed because she can be wholly devoted to the Lord.

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  10. Kristen says:

    Here’s another post I made over there, hoping it will at least make some people think:

    Yes, let’s look at the Proverbs 31 woman. The word used to describe her (often translated “virtuous”) means “valiant” or “courageous” in the original Hebrew. Here is a woman who commands servants in her household, who earns her own money, considers a field and buys it (apparently without her husband supervising or giving permission, or even feeling a need to supervise or give permission, because he “trusts in her”) with her own money, and plants a vineyard. She is not bound to the house, for she goes out to “bring her food from afar.” She gives to the poor and needy without needing her husband to tell her what to do. She clothes herself with silk and purple, apparently feeling no need for complete self-denial, but considering herself worth enjoying the good things she has worked for. She runs her own business among the merchants. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness– she apparently does not feel it encumbant on herself to be silent. Interestingly, though she rises early to give meat to her household and a portion to her maidens, the passage does not actually say she’s the one who does the cooking. I expect her servants do that, for this is a description of a ruling-class household.

    Today’s Christian woman should look at the industry of this woman, yes, but also at her independence and autonomy, and how her husband trusts her and does not rule her. Today’s Christian woman should look at how this woman also cares for herself and does good things for herself without shame, and that her husband and children want to “give her the fruit of her own hands” and do not expect her to give, give, give with nothing in return.

    Today’s Christian woman should also be aware that the description is of an upper-class woman with servants, and that as middle-class or lower-class women we should not beat ourselves over the heads at not being able to accomplish all this woman does.

    Most of all, today’s Christian woman should recognize the governing power of verse 30 over the rest of the passage– that what makes the Proverbs 31 woman strong is that she fears the Lord, not that she conforms to some externally imposed law of what she’s supposed to be, do and look like.

    Let’s let Proverbs 31 tell us what it was designed to tell us– that women are strong, can make decisions for themselves and have their own lives and autonomy, can be trusted to function as full adults, and are not meant to be sucked dry by constant demands that they give to others with nothing in return. Let us understand this woman’s strong relationship with God and not hold her to empty law. Most of all, let’s stop bashing women as a group, look at them as human beings, praise them for their accomplishments and stop blaming them for all the world’s woes.

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