Begging the question

A church I know will be looking for a new minster soon and there was some talk about finding a woman pastor.  Two people told me “I hope she is not homosexual.”

I asked them “What if it is a he?  Don’t you hope that he is not homosexual?

In November there was a story in the Associated Baptist Press about Sammy Nuckolls.  This knucklehead was a Southern Baptist evangelist, former camp pastor at Life Way FUGE summer camps and had a great following of people who came to hear him speak.

But he had one little problem.  When he was a house guest while preaching at revivals, he had a little camera hidden in a writing pen.  He would leave this camera in the bathroom and video anybody who came inside.  The woman of the house saw the pen and picked it up and saw that it had a USB port on the back and – you guessed it – pictures of her bathroom. He was arrested and there were other women who didn’t realize the pen accidentally left in the bathroom was a camera.

Then there is the story today of the Youth Minister Mitchell Rousse who was arrested Jan.11 after police reportedly traced the IP address of a computer used to solicit minors for sexual purposes to his workplace at a Baptist church.

Also in today’s Associated Baptist Press stories, Daniel Acker was arrested for sexual abuse.  He had avoided arrest 20 years ago when he was a youth minister at a Baptist church.  But now at 49 years old they finally got him. 

Why is it that we automatically wonder if a woman is homosexual and never give a thought as to whether the male we hire is homosexual, or if he is engaging in some sexual behavior which would harm women and children, or pornography which is one of the big problems facing the clergy today?

I can tell you why.  Both of those people who expressed the feeling that she might be homosexual have been long-time Baptists, and that is what they are taught.

Begging the question – “the premise depends on the truth of the very matter in question.”

Will you help spread the word that women preachers are no more likely to be homosexual than a man is?  Will you pray for women that they will be seen as worthy of holding the position of pastor, and not judged to be sinful before they are given a chance?


About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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11 Responses to Begging the question

  1. EricW says:

    Why is it that we automatically wonder if a woman is homosexual and never give a thought as to whether the male we hire is homosexual, or some other sexual pervert.


    While it may technically be correct from some viewpoints to equate being homosexual with being a sexual pervert, I think this could be phrased better than to seemingly label all homosexuals as being by definition sexual perverts.


  2. Kristen says:

    It’s unbelievable to me that you live in a world, Shirley, where people would assume that a woman leader is probably a lesbian. Here in the Northwest I simply can’t picture a comment like that being made.


    • How innocent you are! Listen to what is said in “How I changed my Mind about Women in Leadership” by Walter Liefeld: “Another issue was the alleged relationship of the egalitarian movement with secular feminism, or worse, guilt by association, with homosexuality. The former charge is too common to need illustration here. The latter is illustrated in a large advertisement by those associated in the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Homosexuality was cited on the same page as the criticism of the egalitarian position. the two were not specifically related, but the impression given was clear.” (page 138) And here is what he is talking about as it is seen in the Danvers Statement:

      3. the increasing promotion given to feminist egalitarianism with accompanying distortions or neglect of the glad harmony portrayed in Scripture between the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives; 4. the widespread ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood, vocational homemaking, and the many ministries historically performed by women; 5. the growing claims of legitimacy for sexual relationships which have Biblically and historically been considered illicit or perverse, and the increase in pornographic portrayal of human sexuality; Baptists cannot say women preachers without saying homosexuality in the very next breath. No comma in between. No breath. They are one and the same to most Baptists (especially within the leadership of Baptists). I cannot imagine a world where women pastors are not connected to homosexuality. However, I hope to see that day come.


  3. Kristen says:

    Question: Do Baptists talk the same way about women leaders in other areas? Women CEOs of companies? Women heads of law firms? Women senior medical staff? Or is it just women pastors?


  4. Kristen says:

    Ok. No one up here would believe a woman leader outside the church is more likely to be a lesbian, so I’m glad we’re on the same page withthat. I still don’t think even Baptists up here would automatically associate a woman pastor with homosexuality. They might assume she was a “bossy feminist,” but I don’t think they’d automatically jump to “lesbian.” It’s just a different culture up here, no matter what the Danvers Statement says they’re supposed to think. Oregonians are very independent, don’t-tell-me-what-to-think people. It comes from the pioneer mentality brought by our earliest settlers.


  5. Mabel says:

    One time someone is trying to explain to me that their church has hired a woman pastor who didn’t work out, so they shy away from women pastors. So, if a male pastor didn’t work out, would they then shy away from male pastors? Why not? Sooooo many people are sexist without even realizing that they are. We need to be constantly educating them every chance we have.


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