Sparring with an SBC Pastor

I received this letter from a SBC Pastor in Texas this past year.  I am reprinting it here, because it gives insights on several levels to many people.  This is like hearing only one side of the conversation, because I am answering his questions and objections, and crude observations.  Regular readers have read parts of it before.  I think you will get the full picture.

 

Pastor,

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to further communicate with you.

First, let me say that I do not forward correspondence from any pastor or staff member who has written me.

Second, each person at BGCT answers for themselves.  I have no idea what they think today other than what I see and read.

Why on earth would I make the case for homosexuals “being recognized in the church as human beings capable of hearing the call of God in their lives and responding to that call?”  My website is about WOMEN.  Homosexuality has nothing to do with it.  Nowhere will you find anything anywhere on my website that even hints at such a ridiculous notion.  That is a SBC tactic that is used against women, and you were true to that tactic.  I am disappointed, but not surprised.

You have one brush to tar women with and that is the brush of homosexuality.  Do you also tar men with the same brush of sexual impurity?

  • What if I said that experience teaches me that male pastors are guilty of incest?  My former pastor is in prison right now for molesting his granddaughters. 
  • What if I said that male pastors are adulterers?  A pastor of a large church near Houston was caught by the deacons in an inappropriate relationship with a woman he was counseling.
  • What if I said that male pastors are guilty of pedophilia?  Many pastors of Catholic churches have been accused of that. 
  • What if I said that male pastors kill their wives?  A Baptist pastor was sentenced in Waco for killing his wife. 
  • What if I said that male pastors molest females?  A male Baptist pastor I knew “touched” two girls at Astroworld. 
  • What if I said that male pastors are homosexuals?  A pastor of a large Baptist church in Houston made advances at one of his male church members. 
  • What if I said that male pastors are addicted to pornography?  This is a subject talked about as a problem right now. (Added today.  See Randy Robertson and his strippers, pastor of FBC Anardarka, Oklahoma).

I reread your sentence “What about men who some churches say are not above reproach, the husband of one wife, or cannot teach? What about those guys?”  I have no idea what you are talking about.

Submission IS giving headship or lordship over the total of women’s lives.  If everything she does has to be filtered through the lens of “am I submitting to my husband” then it doesn’t make any difference what the SBC theologians and Confessions confirm or deny.  It is just a fact.  Her husband is in control of her life.

Now come on, Pastor.  Your scripture reference about weak women is beneath you.  That scripture also goes on to say that women are “burdened by sins and led astray by various passions.”  Surely you can call me misguided but calling me a woman burdened by sin is a bit much, don’t you think?

Multiple wives.  Anything you and I know comes from what we have read about the past because we weren’t there.  So we have to take someone’s word for it.  I lean on what Dr. James Denison says in the following paragraph.  Many Mormons have multiple wives, according to what I read and see in the news.  Missionaries encounter this in African countries.  Muslims can have 4 wives at a time.

(Dr. James Denison writes – How can a woman be the “husband of one wife”?
At the heart of the issue is the phrase, “the husband of but one wife.” When Park Cities
discussed whether or not to ordain divorced men as deacons, you considered this phrase
in depth. As you may recall, the Greek is best translated literally, “a one-wife-at-a-time
man,” speaking to the issue of polygamy rather than divorce.
Paul was concerned here about the public witness of deacons. In his day, divorce was
tragically common and not typically seen as damaging to one’s witness. But polygamy,
while also common, was very destructive to Christian witness and example. And so Paul
condemned polygamy for deacons, not divorce.
Given that this phrase refers to polygamy, it is clear that Paul would need to apply it only
to male deacons. Women were not permitted to marry more than one husband. Thus,
there would be no reason for the apostle to forbid women deacons from polygamy. And
so he addressed only male deacons in this regard.

Yes, they are literalists when it comes to women, and you know that.  They read every scripture literally English word for English word when it suits them.  The Danvers Statement even addresses this in #9 when they say “the consequent threat to Biblical authority as the clarity of Scripture is jeopardized and the accessibility of its meaning to ordinary people is withdrawn into the restricted realm of technical ingenuity;  In other words, an ordinary person sitting in the pews must pick up their Bible and read it English word for English word and get the English meaning from those words. 

Pastor, I am as honest as I can be about the Scripture.  You and I disagree with the position on women and I don’t think for a moment you will change your mind.  But I do ask you to understand that it is not with hatred that I write.  If my position and writing is hatred, what do you think I see in yours and others who write against women?  Surely you must know that that is “hatred” to me.

I think I will pass on the entry level book on how to read scripture because I am one of those ordinary people who is reading the Bible and don’t need the technical ingenuity that these books may present.  (See #9 of The Danvers Statement as above).

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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 Do Baptists Really Believe That?, The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Sparring with an SBC Pastor

  1. Most people at one time or another during their relationship quote those famous words, “I just don’t understand women/men!” Everyone giggles because it seems to be universal thought-out the world.

    I’m surprised the world hasn’t figured out all they have to do is go and see a SBC pastor, and others that follow this banter for their education.

    It’s amazing how they seem to think they can peg the human race down the way they do. The bible says its a mystery (relationship between genders), but today we have SBC pastors doing the detective work for the world. They claim to have all the answers.

    Another amazing feat? They put words in people mouths, belief systems, and use their ‘spiritualist’ banter towards others. It need not apply to them. They always claim ‘that is not what I said’, and yet they can turn around and tell you what YOU said.

    They claim not to have all the answers, and yet they seem to ‘know’ what everyone else thinks, feels and believes.

    They are so busy telling people ‘how it is’ they never learned that gift about ‘listening’ that is quoted in the bible. The bible to me says this is a gift, and yet they also know when and where to use it.

    I don’t understand WHY they can’t seem to see the double standards. Do they think this double talk will work upstairs? I mean seriously?!

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    • I don’t think most pastors are ever questioned to their face about their beliefs. Most people are happy to get a few minutes time with a pastor and they are not going to spend that precious time talking about women’s equality. I was privileged to get this much discussion from this pastor. And many other pastors. These letters can be found on my website, but they are worth reprinting from time to time.

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  2. Lydia says:

    “My website is about WOMEN. Homosexuality has nothing to do with it. ”

    What a tired tactic they use. It is not even logical. And they love to accuse of us trajectory hermeneutics!

    Homosexuality is a sin. Being a woman is not a sin. In fact, patriarchal cultures have been rife with homosexuality and still are! So, his argument makes no sense if one is a thinking person. Egalitarian society does not make people more homosexual since we know that homosexuality is as old as the hills in Patriarchal cultures. Can you say, Sodom? Yeah, egalitariansim was a huge problem in Sodom. That is why they were willing to throw their daughters out to the perverts that wanted men.

    BTW: Another view than Dr. Denisons is that “husband of one wife” would be better translated as “Faithful Spouse” as has been seen on the graves of women in Ephesus from archeological digs. Problem is, this information never gets out there because it ruins their position.

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  3. Kristen says:

    The idea that if we accept that women may be called to ministry, we must also accept the practice of homosexuality as normative, is not logical. The scriptures that address homosexual acts are entirely different scriptures than the ones that relate to women in ministry. The issue of women as full-status, equal citizens of God’s kingdom is the same as the issue of slaves and Gentiles as full-status, equal citizens of God’s kingdom. Galatians 3:28-4:3. Too many people stop with verse 28. If we go on into Chapter 4, we see that slaves, women and Gentiles are all given the same status as freeborn Jewish males in God’s kingdom.

    Also, the Greek is gender inclusive, so if you wanted to refer to a group of men and women who were all faithful in marriage to one spouse, you would refer to the group as “husbands of one wife.” The only time you would say “wives of one husband” is if EVERY member of the group you were talking about was female. This idea that the phrase “husband of one wife” cannot include women is imposing the restrictions of the English language onto the Greek– when those restrictions do not apply.

    I did want to add, given the nature of this post on a public blog, that I don’t believe BWE is implying in the least that people who practice homosexuality are not full human beings for whom Christ died. There is an issue as to whether they could be called to the ministry while involved in certain practices, that is all.

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    • Thanks for that added paragraph. You said it well. I guess it wasn’t clear. I was just quoting him and asking him how did he find a link that was not there.

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    • chaidrinkingfool says:

      I am glad to see your last paragraph: You are more full of grace than I am. 🙂

      I think we forget that we are talking about homosexual *people*–they are indeed created in the image of God as any of the rest of us are. As well as being beings for whom Christ died. Along with murderers, robbers, and rapists, not to compare them: just to note that for some reason homosexuality seems to get separated out as though it is somehow the unforgivable sin. At least, that’s what many Christians sound like we believe. I think we usually err more in this direction than in the other.

      Yes, the Holy Spirit does make us more holy, yet *none* of us will be without sin until that day when Christ’s righteousness is counted as our own.

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  4. Lydia says:

    One reason I shied away from egals as a group is because of the vague teaching on homosexuality. Of course Christ died for them, too. My sins are no less but if we are saved, we are delivered from them at some point. We, at some point, hate the sin we once loved. And we grow in Holiness.

    We are “born again” and “new creatures” in Christ. We are not saved to continue in willful consistent sin while knowing the truth. (See Hebrews 10:26-31 and all of 1 John)

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  5. Mabel says:

    One reason I shied away from egals as a group is because of the vague teaching on homosexuality.
    Lydia, what do you mean? I thought it is quite clear that believing in the equality of women and men in ministry, leadership, etc. has nothing to do with being homosexuals. Where is the vague teaching here? Could you explain? Women are not homosexuals. Homosexuals can be either men or women. What has that got to do with egalitarians?

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  6. Lydia says:

    Mabel, I was responding to this:

    “I did want to add, given the nature of this post on a public blog, that I don’t believe BWE is implying in the least that people who practice homosexuality are not full human beings for whom Christ died. There is an issue as to whether they could be called to the ministry while involved in certain practices, that is all.”

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  7. Mabel says:

    Lydia, thanks.

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