Dear Dr. Floyd,
It is doubtful that those who authored the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and the Danvers Statement of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood would see the comparison of their actions to the story we find in the Book of Esther 3. But you might, when told this way:
There was a man who sought to lord it over those under him. When one man, a Jew, would not bow down to him, he became outraged and decided to take vengeance over all Jews. He went to the King and told him:
“There is an odd set of people scattered through the provinces of your kingdom who don’t fit in. Their customs and ways are different from those of everybody else. Worse, they disregard the king’s laws. They’re an affront; the king shouldn’t put up with them. If it please the king, let orders be given that they be destroyed. I’ll pay for it myself.”
The King issued the edict.
“Bulletins were sent out by couriers to all the king’s provinces with orders to massacre, kill, and eliminate all the Jews—youngsters and old men, women and babies— and to plunder their goods. Copies of the bulletin were to be posted in each province, publicly available to all peoples, to get them ready for that day.”
Now, Dr. Floyd, compare that to the Danvers Statement and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000:
“By force of argument, by use of facts, by careful exegesis, by the power of the clear word of God, by the truth, I expected the entire church would be persuaded, the battle for the purity of the church would be won, and egalitarian advocates would be marginalized and have no significant influence.
But it has not completely happened yet! I still believe it will happen. Jesus Christ is building and purifying his church that he might present it to himself without spot or wrinkle. But on this issue Christ’s purification process is taking much longer than I expected!” –Wayne Grudem, CBMW Journal April 2012
(purifying His church by eliminating women? My God! Who will help us?)
Signed: Shirley Taylor, Street Evangelist for women’s equality
(Shirley’s note: The Danvers Statement was sent out all across the land, and was the forerunner of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 – written by some of the same people. Dr. Ronnie Floyd is president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In Grudem’s own words, “In 1998 we rejoiced to see that the Southern Baptist Convention added to the “Baptist Faith and Message” (the doctrinal statement of the denomination) and included some strong new statements on marriage and the church that affirm the complementarian position. This is wonderfully helpful because it sets the denomination on the right course on this issue for a generation or more to come.”
But there is a solution and a wise King found the solution (Esther 8):
After the man was found untrustworthy, the King was in a bind. He had given his royal edict and that edict could never be changed. But like most things, there was a way around it. This King was wise and found the way to save the people he sought to destroy.
So, the King had another edict posted all across the land. This new one authorized those who were about to be destroyed in every city to arm and defend themselves to the death, killing anyone who threatened them or their women and children, and confiscating for themselves anything owned by their enemies. The order was posted in public places so everyone could read it, authorizing the Jews to be prepared on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
The city of Susa exploded with joy. For Jews it was all sunshine and laughter: they celebrated, they were honored. It was that way all over the country, in every province, every city when the king’s bulletin was posted: the Jews took to the streets in celebration, cheering, and feasting. Not only that, but many non-Jews became Jews—now it was dangerous not to be a Jew!
Lord, we don’t need another Esther! Raise up among us a new wise King! A King who will issue a new edict that will save your people.)
Will you be that King?