Almost Persuaded – Part 1 of 4

This is a series of 4 letters and emails I had with a Pastor of a Baptist church  who thinks women should have more equality, but who has not crossed the line to full equality for Christian women.  This is a one-sided conversation, as I have not printed his part, but you will understand it.  It repeats much of what has already been said.  We will change his name and call him Thomas.

 

Thomas,

I found on your website that you had referenced my website bWe Baptist Women for Equality on June 23, 2009.  I could find no way to contact you, so I am reverting to the old-fashioned way and contacting you by letter.

You quoted me correctly, and I stand by what I said.  I would like to add to that as it seems clear to me that we have taken 1 Timothy 3: 8-13 and used it in a way that it was never intended to be used.

This scripture by Paul actually means this:

When you go to choosing deacons, chose a man who only has one wife.  You don’t need to add more to his plate of responsibilities by asking him to take on a widow woman and her children.  He has enough to do in taking care of his wives and many children.

We know this by reading all the passage regarding choosing an overseer, elder, and deacon.  Paul is telling them that the person they choose must be able to take care of his own household.  His children must be raised right, he must be of strong moral character, and not be a recent convert.  They should be men who do not have a household of wives who would be squabbling and causing disagreement among themselves.

Paul was not referencing gender at all.

We know that today many Mormons in Utah, Arizona, and even Texas, have more than one wife.  Right now the FLDS are in trial in Texas because the men have married multiple girls at a time.  The Muslims can have 4 wives at a time, and probably do even here in our own country, and our missionaries encounter this problem in Africa in the churches.  We know also that it was common in Paul’s day that the pagans, Jews, and Christians alike had multiple wives at a time.

I have had pastors actually admit that they knew that.  But they insist on misusing that scripture anyway because it says what they want it to say.

It is time that we allow our women in the Baptist churches to join the 21st century.  We have allowed the men to grow along with each century and culture, but we clothe our women in the First Century. That dress doesn’t fit anymore.

Thank you for quoting me.  I have revamped my website and would like for you to visit it again.

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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, Deacons, Do Baptists Really Believe That? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Almost Persuaded – Part 1 of 4

  1. Kristen says:

    Yes, so often verses are read liberally with regards to men and as restrictively as possible with regards to women — it says he must be husband of one wife and that his children must be well-behaved. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be single, or childless– oh, no! Surely Paul didn’t mean to restrict single or childless men!

    But “husband of one wife” DOES mean Paul meant to restrict women. Riiight.

    Like

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