A few weeks ago I posed the question “What do you want to do?” From the responses, it is easy to see that some of you are eager to take on the challenge, while there are some who advocate more prayer and more reflection.
Remember that Southern Baptists are the largest Protestant denomination, and what they teach in their seminaries are taught to those who will pastor your church, and influence your denomination. So, while you may not be Baptist, it is likely you will be influenced by what they teach.
I want you to read what two great Baptist men (in my estimation) have to say about challenges. Please take a minute to read what Marv Knox of the Baptist Standard wrote in his editorial this past week:
“But God never told people to play it safe. Not in this life. God always assigned ominous and dangerous tasks. God told Abram to leave home and family for a new land and future. God set Moses up against the leader of the most powerful nation. God sent the boy David to battle a giant. God commanded the prophets to rebuke wicked kings. In one famous parable, Jesus praised two risk-takers and condemned the person who played it safe (Matthew 25:14-30). Jesus sent his followers into a ferocious world, where they would be persecuted by the religious establishment and challenged by an empire’s army. God repeatedly led the Apostle Paul on dangerous journeys into hostile territories.”
Now read what the great Baptist professor Leon McBeth had to say:
I think the time is past when a man can speak about the role of women. For generations, men have defined you and defined your role. Men have interpreted the Scripture passages about you; men have passed the laws that determine your rights in society; men have interpreted your place in history; men have decided what you could do, say, wear, or own. Men have pronounced the verdict on whether God can call you and if so, to what; men have decided if you could serve as deacons, teachers, or ministers. We have jello-molded you to what we think you ought to be.
I feel very deeply that the time has come for a moratorium of men making authoritative pronouncements about women. You must do your own speaking. You must define your own roles. You must become biblical scholars and interpret for yourselves, and for us, what it means to be a woman; you must research Baptist history and recover your part of the heritage; you must discern how God is dealing with you; you must determine if God is calling you and if so, to what; and you and only you can determine your proper response to God’s call. Leon McBeth (1987)
What are we going to do?
We have our options. We can play it safe or we take care of our own futures. Dr McBeth laid out the course in 1987 and we have done some of that. But the opposing voices are very loud. John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Al Mohler, Mark Driscoll, Paige Patterson, Dorothy Patterson, have drowned out our voices. Those are the voices that echo in our church buildings, and are parroted by young pastors who have learned at their feet.
What are we going to do? What are you going to do?
What can you do? Commit to 5. Urge your family and friends to Commit to 5. Take charge. God will reveal and present other courses. Commit.