Many preachers would love to be compared to the Apostle Paul, but few want to be compared to him when he was Saul.
I can’t get Denny Burk’s “My vision for the future of CBMW” out of my mind. If you haven’t read it, you need to do so. He reminds me of Saul who persecuted the first followers of Jesus known as people of The Way.
Just as Denny Burk feels a clear vision about the importance of the Danvers Statement, a clear vision began forming in Saul’s mind as he held the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen. It took Saul to a very dark place where he was willing to go to any extent to carry out that vision. After the Damascus Road, he suffered the same treatment from the Jews that he sought for people of The Way.
The church in every generation needs to be taught what scripture says about the complementary differences between male and female and how those differences impact family and church leadership. (Denny Burk)
Saul went to the high priest asking him for letters that he could take with him to the synagogues so he could round up anybody they knew who were of The Way. Then Saul went from house to house, dragging out both men and women and throwing them into prison. Saul stole the letters from those prisoners when they wrote back for help from their families. Now he had names of others whom he could rout out and throw in prison. All because these people were following Jesus who said, “Love your neighbor. Treat others like you want them to treat you.”
Burk wants to renew this war against women with “resources, conferences, etc. in order to equip churches and organizations to face these current challenges.” They already have those resources plus they have locked egalitarian books from being sold in Christian bookstores. What more do they want?
This is what Denny Burk wants. He wants to spread the net further and encompass all gender and sexual identities. He doesn’t seem to understand that even if a Christian has strongly held objections against homosexuals and transgendered people, it is not right to embark on a crusade against your fellow man. Christians should never be complicit in exacting damage to those we disagree with or see as less than ourselves.
Saul’s destruction began with holding the cloak of those who stoned Stephen. Denny Burk is holding the cloak of those who began the destructive Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and who wrote the Danvers Statement in 1987.
I want to thank the CBMW board of directors for their support and for the opportunity to serve an organization that I care so deeply about. I also want to thank my friend and outgoing president Owen Strachan for the faithful labor that he put into this work over the last four years. Owen has built a platform and organization that did not even exist at this time four years ago, and we are the beneficiaries. Truly we reap in fields others have planted, and we give thanks. (Denny Burk)
Saul – now Paul – became a changed man. Now that he was a follower of Christ, he became the one beaten, jailed, and imprisoned for almost 6 years. Paul was held accountable for his sincerely held belief that he was right and the men and women of The Way were wrong. He staked his reputation and his life on it. In the end, he suffered beatings and imprisonment and death, just as he did to those first Christians.
We look to Paul today for some of the most encouraging, uplifting scriptures to be found in the Bible. He is our hero. But it didn’t start out that way because Saul was wrong in what he thought God wanted.
My prayer is that Denny Burk will see that this rage he has against women and women’s equality, and now homosexuality, is not about what Jesus wants, but is about what Denny wants.
It is 2016. Whose cloak are you holding?