The sermon was from Luke 9:20 and as the members of First Baptist Church filed out, I am sure most were in complete agreement with Peter’s answer. At least they thought they were.
But I had a different understanding during the sermon. I, too, have heard this sermon many times, but this time it struck a different note with me. I realized that the answer Peter gave is what most think they would say, but most people sitting in that church have let the church tell them something else entirely different about who Jesus is.
The people were confident in their belief that they would answer as Peter did. But this church, like most SBC churches, is known by its by-laws, its organization, and its mission in the exclusion of women from pastoring, preaching, or even being a servant deacon, and they cannot answer like Peter did. In fact, most Southern Baptist churches and members cannot answer this question like Peter did, because they have redefined what “Christ of God” means.
- Southern Baptist churches have accepted the current sexual definition of Jesus as being represented by the husband in families. Mary Kassian, an influential Southern Baptist speaker, said “I will long to unite with my husband physically (have sex) to symbolically honor my spiritual longing for Christ.”
- Southern Baptist churches have demoted Christ to the point that He shares headship with husbands. Baptist Faith and Message 2000: Article XVIII of the BF&M states, “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.”
- Southern Baptist churches have allowed husbands and pastors to supersede the gospel. If the words in 1 Timothy are absolute that women cannot teach men, then husbands cannot change that prohibition simply by their presence or agreement that their wife can teach males. As reported in Baptist Press News: “While some believe 1 Timothy 2:12 and related passages prohibit women from teaching the Bible to any coed adult group in the church, others say “a woman can teach a mixed audience as long as she does so under the ‘headship’ and authority of the pastor/elders and her husband.”
Let’s look back at Luke 9:20. Jesus had just asked his disciples “Who do people say that I am?” They had answered with ‘Elijah, John the Baptist, or one of the other prophets.’ But the people had it wrong. Jesus was none of these.
Then Jesus asked the disciples, “But who do you say that I am?”
- Is Jesus the ‘husband having sex’ as Mary Kassian claims?
- is Jesus the ‘co-head of women’ as the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 says?
- is Jesus willing to let men ‘change the rules by their presence and word’ as many complementarians believe?
If husbands are in the ruling line of authority, this would make Jesus a wife’s Father-in-law.
What about you? Who do you say Jesus is? Is Jesus the Christ in God, or is he your Father-in-law?