Fundamental nastiness

Mabel sent me a link this week to the Associated Baptist Press story about the church in Mayberry that was disfellowshiped from their Baptist association in North Carolina.

Flat Rock Baptist Church was expelled from the Surry Baptist Association simply because they had hired a woman as a pastor.  Two weeks after Bailey Nelson began her service at Flat Rock Baptist Church, the whole church was held accountable by her peers and the church was denied continued fellowship with these holy guys.

A Baptist association is made up of local SBC churches, with each pastor in that group of churches (anywhere from 10 to 1000 or more) having a vote.  They stood up when asked if they voted for disfellowship.  Big men standing on their principles.  Big men forgetting the principles of Christ.

For your information the pyramid goes like this:  the local Baptist church is separately affiliated with the local Baptist association, and are also separately affiliated with the State convention, and separately affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.  They can join either or, or neither one, but the normal situation is that they affiliate with all three. (Some states such as Texas have two state conventions).

I was sent a link to a discussion of “whether or not a church can be a Southern Baptist and have a woman pastor”, and clicked on it and got involved in something that I rarely do.  For five hours we went back and forth on the subject.

One of the men made this absurd statement: “It is my duty as her husband to sacrificially provide for her spiritual development as a fellow servant of Christ. B) It is her duty as my wife to assist me in the work that God gives me to do.”

I couldn’t let that stupidity go unchallenged so I wrote again: I was chastised for not sticking to the subject of can a church be SBC and have a woman pastor, but here I go again.

I would be ashamed to say such things as Jim P did. If your wife is a fellow servant of Christ, she doesn’t need your “sacrificial sacrifice.” Besides that, you can’t sacrificially provide for her spiritual development. Just what do you have in mind? To sacrifice means to give up something. What are you giving up?

What hogwash! She is a grown adult woman and can make decisions of her own. Do you read the Bible to her? Did you marry a child or did you marry a woman?  If she is so spiritually immature, how can she assist you in the work God has called “you” to do?

I have to admit that the person who sent the link to me suggested that women speak to this group with Greek scriptures and be intellectual.  Not having the ability for either, I failed on both accounts.

But I found something that I think you will find interesting.  I googled one of the participants and found his website.  I would like for you to read what SBC pastor Howell Scott had to say about this in response to the question of what was his most surprising thing to come of his post:

I was most surprised about the complete unwillingness of most people who are against female pastors to at least acknowledge that what Surry Baptist Association did was less than grace-filled. Some have tried to bend over backwards (both here and at Voices) to defend the Association’s actions. That is surprising, but I guess it shouldn’t be since this issue is one that is so black-and-white for so many people that they can’t even see the shades of gray. (Howell Scott)

I recommend you read his post.  He is a Baptist speaking out against injustices.  He is not egalitarian (yet) but we need to know that some pastors are looking at this situation with an open mind.

Will you join me in speaking out for women’s equality with all nitwits who think they know what God “intended for women?”

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 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Fundamental nastiness

  1. Mabel says:

    It should be noted that the vote was “overwhelmingly against” the female pastor. I don’t think these men ever read the Great Commission, which is made up of T=W=O, let me repeat, T=W=O parts: not just evangelize, but teach them all that Jesus has taught us. Whom is the Great Commission for? I want them to say it to my face, that the Great COmmission is only for men, probably Baptist men only. Since I started to read the Bible more, personally, I am extremely uncomfortable with this denominational, organizational, institutional mindset. Many denominational members identify themselves as member of a denomination first and foremost. ” I am a Baptist” , not ” I am a Christian.” There is in the conservative Baptist denomination a movement called Landmark. These men seek to define who can be called a Baptist. They do not seek to define what is a Christian.

    Shirley, I am sorry to have caused you to lose 5 hours of your precious time.


  2. Marg says:

    Just this past week I have heard of so many sad stories where churches and pastors seem to be pulling the reigns in tighter around women.

    Have you read this week’s Gender Blog from CBMW? Horrendous!

    Ther ridiculous inconsistencies in theology and in logic, and their rigidity and lack of grace are going to harm the Complementarian cause.

    Yet, in all this gloom from Hierarchical Complementarians I see hope. I do believe they are digging their own grave.


    • They are digging their own grave, but it won’t be soon. I am hoping that one day it will be like a bowl of water teetering on the edge and one wave topples the whole thing. I commented on the SBCVoices website that I wrote about, but this time they pulled my comment and did not let it stand. What I said was that there were 182 comments arguing over whether or not women could be preachers. Reminded me of when my Sunday school teachers guide said that “Jews loved nothing more than to go to the marketplace and argue over whether or not women had souls. Then I asked how many of the readers would like 182 comments on their scriptural qualifications. Guess he couldn’t take that. That was my bowl of water that fell off!


  3. Kristen says:

    “Then I asked how many of the readers would like 182 comments on their scriptural qualifications. Guess he couldn’t take that.”

    Yes, but it’s an excellent point. Even the fact that we have to argue over this is wrong. The fact that everyone else thinks they have a right to determine whether a person should be allowed to have a calling from God, rather than it being between God and that person, is wrong. If the gifting of the Spirit is there, it will make itself plain. All the church should be doing is acknowledging what the Spirit is doing– not debating whether or not He has the right to do it.

    The tree is known by its fruit, Jesus said. History is full of women like Susannah Wesley and Phoebe Palmer, who spoke by the gifting of God, and the gift made itself known in the grace manifested to the listeners. Let women whose fruit is good, bear the fruit without opposition. But the fruit of complementarianism is rotten; it quenches the Spirit and causes the growth of self-righteous Phariseeism. Let the axe be at the root of that tree.


  4. Mabel says:

    “The fact that everyone else thinks they have a right to determine whether a person should be allowed to have a calling from God, rather than it being between God and that person, is wrong.”
    This is not an easy sell because they’ll imm. mention homosexuals.
    “But the fruit of complementarianism is rotten; it quenches the Spirit and causes the growth of self-righteous Phariseeism. Let the axe be at the root of that tree.” Triple Amen!


  5. Kristen says:

    “This is not an easy sell because they’ll imm. mention homosexuals.”

    Seriously– the issue is supposed to be about sin, isn’t it? The church should not have a problem with a person who has a same-sex attraction but does not act in such a way as to commit any sin, having a calling from God. If they do, then the church members are the ones with the problem. But the issue is the sin, not the calling– is it not?

    Similarly, if a heterosexual man has a calling from God, he usually is allowed to serve according to his calling– but if he comes to be in serious sin, the church is to ask that man to step down. If they do not, that’s favoritism.

    If a woman has a calling from God but is in some sort of sin, the issue should be the sin, not her womanhood. If she is not in sin, her womanhood should not stand in the way of her calling.

    This isn’t rocket science. Why does the church insist on confusing the issues?


  6. Kristen says:

    Let me make that even plainer. I have an opposite-sex attraction. Sometimes I am attracted to men who are not my husband. If I were to act on that attraction by lusting after them, or especially by having affairs with any of them, I’d be in sin, and that would disqualify me from my calling (should I have a calling to ministry). Otherwise, there should be no disqualification– and certainly not on the basis of my womanhood.

    Sin can disqualify one for God’s calling. Sin and womanhood are not the same thing. And it’s nobody’s business but the person’s and God, if a person is called and gifted by the Spirit, so long as there is no disqualifying sin. The Spirit is God– and we are not.

    This is where the problem lies. They equate being a woman with being in sin.


  7. Mabel says:

    “This is where the problem lies. They equate being a woman with being in sin.”
    I could not have said it better. I love the way you poke holes in that awful, derogatory argument. Excellent Kristen.
    Actually, just last week, my daughter (youth minister) came home from our church’s youth camp and told me that one of the counselors in the camp is a homosexual. They accept him as a counselor because he is honest about it: he admits he has this desire, but he also realizes that he cannot act on it. He sets a very good example for this issue. I was very happy to hear that our youth camp (youths from several Chinese churches in our area) is enlightened enough not to have this attitude that all homosexuals are bad. I think the conservative christians overly persecute the homosexuals and behave in a most self-righteous manner while doing so.


  8. Tom Parker says:


    What I find interesting about the Surrey Baptist Association is that everything I have read is after allocating 5 minutes to this issue at a quarterly associational meeting and not having it on the written agenda and the majority voting to disfellowship Flatrock Baptist Church the Association thought this was over–Wrong, Wrong and Wrong.


    • Sorry to take so long to approve this comment, but my missionary niece and nephew were here last night and we had a family get-together.

      Welcome! We are glad to have you join us. You make excellent points, and I also want to comment on the fact that you demanded respect for the pastor of Flat Rock on the blog of Pastor Dave, of SBC Voices. She was being called “that lady” by some of the commenters and you told them she should be called by her name. Reverend Bailey Nelson. Thank you. When you take up for one woman who is being demeaned, you take up for all women. Thank you for your comments.


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