Inappropriate Pulpit Talk

It’s a wonder women go to church at all.

The pastor of BBC (Big Baptist Church) here in my town preached on 1 Peter 3:1 only three weeks after the SBC Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, adopted the Danvers Statement.   You are familiar with that verse.  It is the “wives, be submissive to your husbands” scripture that they love to use.  He was laughing and made this derisive remark to women:

“Women, if you don’t like it, take it up with Peter.  He’s the one that said it.  I just read it.”

For one thing, that is not what the scripture means.  What it means is this: “Wives, don’t divorce your husbands now that you are a Christ follower.” The Apostle Paul says the same thing in 1 Corinthians 7: “You don’t have to hold on desperately. God has called us to make the best of it, as peacefully as we can. You never know, wife: The way you handle this might bring your husband not only back to you but to God. You never know, husband: The way you handle this might bring your wife not only back to you but to God.” (The Message).

I got this from another SBC pastor this past week in reply to a letter I sent him.  This is what he said:

Thanks for taking the time to write. I’m sorry you see the SBC position as a “hard line stance against women.” I would respectfully disagree. I believe the SBC has accurately interpreted the Scriptures and desires to obey our loving Lord on this issue.

This is obviously a cause you are very passionate about and committed to, and there is little chance of me changing your mind. But if you are “genuinely interested in learning more about what the Bible teaches on this subject” and “would be willing to yield to God’s teaching,” I would be happy to pass along some Scriptures and recommended reading. 

After I got his email, my husband checked him out on his website. This pastor had just finished a 12 part sermon and he summed it up in the last sermon by saying:  “men are ordained to be the head of the household, and the church.”  Same old story.  Men are ordained to lead, and it is just women stopping them again.  How big is that apple?

He is in California and I had great hopes that he would be supportive!  But you can see his mind is as closed as mine is when it comes to equality for women.

I wrote back and said, “I got a chuckle out of your reply.  I was so with you when you talked about my passion, but then you told me I had a closed mind and was unwilling to yield to God’s teaching.” 

Then I said, “I’ll see you in heaven someday.  I guess I will be in the women’s section.  I’ll wave.”

You think men would go to church to listen to a sermon on how unworthy they are just because they were born?

Isn’t a sermon supposed to be on something you can actually do something about? 

Unless we become trans-gender!

If you are not ready to change your gender, join us as we tell others that women are ok just the way they are!  Meet me at the CBE Houston Conference on April 27-28. 2-12.

(Please bear with me as I repost certain of my previous blogs. This is a repost of May 26, 2010.  In the past few weeks I have mailed over a hundred letters to Baptist pastors. I have reposted some posts that I really want them to see. Things haven’t changed.  What I said 2 years ago is still the same, and many of my new readers don’t have time to read all 270 of my posts.)

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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19 Responses to Inappropriate Pulpit Talk

  1. Temperance says:

    Every time I step into church I feel like I am entering enemy territory.


    • Welcome! So glad that you have joined us. You are walking into enemy territory when you step into some churches. Most SBC churches are enemy territory. They have a document in black and white that says that you can never be a deacon, or a pastor, simply because you are a woman. Subsequently, every man who walks into church knows that there are no limits placed on him based simply on his being male. Enemy territory? Yes!


  2. TL says:

    Here is a quick summation of my take:

    1 Peter 3:1-6 should not be read in a vacuum. It comes after a chapter about helpless people suffering sinful masters, which Peter prefaced with laying aside all malice, deceit, hypocrisy and evil speaking. Peter also just told them/us we are living stones, a spiritual house , a holy priesthood. Peter notes that to us Chirst is precious but to the disobedient Christ is a stone of stumbling and offense.

    We are the chosen generation, now not the Jews. And now we will go through similar wrongs committed against us by the disobedient. Even though some ordinances and rules of government are not beneficial, we must honor and respect our governments even while we seek to change the unjust laws. Even though some masters are of the disobedient ones, the slaves of the priesthood of believers must show honor and respect praying for those disobedient masters. While this does not say to flee from such, it is likely because for them there would be no place to go and generally escape meant death. It was more worthy to stay alive and be God’s emissary.

    However, if there are means of escape built into the laws of the land we live in, we are not dishonoring God by choosing to use them. This goes for women who live with disobedient husbands. Wives of disobedient husbands should still show what honor and respect they can to such disobedient husbands hoping that by their example the disobedient might be convicted by God’s Spirit reaching out to them.

    There are other epistles that contain wisdom for those seeking to leave such disobedient spouses when one can no longer live within such an atmosphere. Peter is not saying one cannot. Peter is just focusing on dealing with the disobedient and encouraging God’s people to take heart. He goes on to give some directions to the husbands of disobedient wives. And finishes with admonishing all who are suffering to not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling but rather to bless, citing Ps.34:12-16. No matter what the disobedient choose to do, we the priesthood of believers must be followers of what is good.


  3. Anne says:

    I thought I recognised this from somewhere. Anyway, this is what stood out to me from his response: “I believe the SBC has accurately interpreted the Scriptures and desires to obey our loving Lord on this issue.”

    Do you know what REALLY annoys me about the ways many of these guys speak? It’s the way they drop the word ‘loving’ or ‘lovingly’ into everything like it’s an appropriate adjective. It’s not, it’s just an add-on to soften the blow of their patriarchal demands. Like telling a husband to ‘lovingly’ lecture his wife for not submitting to him in the way he thinks she should. Telling him to ‘lovingly’ make decisions on what she should do with her life, and then ‘lovingly’ report her to the pastor if she doth protest too much. Saying that a husband should ‘lovingly’ control his family is like telling women to ‘willingly’ submit because God commands them to. It means nothing, because the two things are opposites.

    Likewise, saying that ‘our loving Lord’ condones the restriction of women’s freedom means nothing. Because our TRULY loving Lord doesn’t do such a thing. Trying to mask a false gospel with false love doesn’t mean that gospel is either true or loving.


  4. Mabel says:

    Amen! Retha! Are you still in Africa? Where? CBE’s conference this year is in Kenya. Any possibility of going? I am thinking of skipping this one, but if you go, I’ll re-consider.


    • Retha says:

      I’m flattered! You’ll actually reconsider attending a conference very far away if I attent it?

      No, I can’t make it, sadly.

      (By the way, you will be very disappointed if you ever meet me. I’m as unremarkable as can be. Acquaintances who tell me they want to introduce me to a guy they think will be a good match usually introduces me to slightly mentally handicapped men with no hobbies/ passions who lodge in a single room somewhere cheap.)


      • TL says:

        Retha, there is no human being alive who is unremarkable. Everyone is incredibly unique. And we all have our “problems”. But when we truly get to know a person, we see the hand stamp of God as Creator upon them. An acquaintance doesn’t know another well enough.


  5. TL says:

    “Please bear with me as I repost certain of my previous blogs. This is a repost of May 26, 2010. In the past few weeks I have mailed over a hundred letters to Baptist pastors. I have reposted some posts that I really want them to see. Things haven’t changed. “

    That is awesome that you have emailed Baptist pastors. \o/\o/\o/


  6. Mabel says:

    we need to clone you, Shirley.


  7. Mabel says:

    Retha, U R funny. I do not for a minute believe U R unremarkable. If U go to the CBE Facebook page, 2 commenters (Jedidiah and Jean) are both in Africa. I just invited them to the CBE conference also.


  8. Mark Cunningham says:

    I want to quote what you asked in the preceeding response to the SBC pastor. You asked ” You think men would go to church to listen to a sermon on how unworthy they are just because they were born?” The answer is “Yes, every Sunday, and every day in between.”
    Rom.3:12 “All have turned aside: together they have become worthless; no one does good,not even one. I can except that truth. Can you?


    • Welcome! That quote from my blog will be in my new book “Women Equal-No Buts” which will go directly to Kindle probably the first week in February. Glad you brought it up. But you are wrong, of course. Paul is quoting Psalms 14:1-3 which says that man has made the decision to turn away from God. Psalms 14:3 “All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Making a decision to turn away is different from being born into a certain state. Wouldn’t you agree?


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