Part 2. Demand for an apology from the CBMW

How the demand originated

Listening to Dr. Pam Durso preach at South Main Baptist Church in Houston to a large group of women and a few men, tears came into my eyes. Then anger arose as I looked around me at all those women who desired to serve God as they were called, but who were flatly denied that calling by certain religious leaders who held the SBC in their hands and under their thumbs.

Somebody owes us an apology!

That thought sprang into my mind and would not leave. When Jocelyn Anderson contacted me a short time later about a conference she was planning, it was the perfect opportunity to demand for that apology. So we did. More about that later.

I was new to the game of fighting for women’s equality and was not real familiar with all the other players. I didn’t know who was at bat and I didn’t know the coaches. I thought it was just Dr. Paige Patterson himself but learned that it was the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) that culminated the whole mess in 1987 in response to their fear of women wanting to preach. Dr. Paige Patterson and his wife Dorothy and Wayne Grudem and John Piper and others were all in this together and formed the CBMW.

Below is a paragraph from the book, The Fundamentalist Takeover in the Southern Baptist Convention. A Brief History, by Rob James and Gary Leaser with James Shoopman, produced by Mainstream Missouri Baptists in 1999. They did not know the rest of the story. What fundamentalists have sown, we have reaped.

The Café Du Monde in New Orleans was the site of the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. Their plan was written on a paper napkin. Paige Patterson, now president of the largest SBC affiliated seminary, and Paul Pressler were the architects of the plan, and they used their unique knowledge of the inner workings of the SBC to systematically put their people in key positions. This stacked the dominoes in a certain way, and when they started to fall, they continued in the orderly fashion set forth on a table in a café. What began in 1967 was finalized in 1990. his eleventh election (of a fundamentalist president of the SBC) seals the fundamentalist victory, and they celebrate at Café Du Monde in the French Quarter, where Judge Pressler and Paige Patterson had first conceived the whole plan for the takeover, many years prior.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 with its inclusion of gender equality really got to these fundamental religious leaders. They stewed for 20 years while the dominoes in the Southern Baptist Convention fell into place making the governance of the SBC right for a takeover. They issued the Danver’s Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. They determined they would put women in their place and keep them there.

They have. In evangelical circles, and churches, and seminars and books, and seminaries, women are told they are part of God’s grand design which meant they could sit at the table, but could not lead the table in prayer or preaching or anything else these religious decided was not fit for women.

Churches have clung stubbornly to their complementarian teaching, to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 which was written by some of the same people who penned the Danver’s Statement in 1987, and to their Grand Design for male headship to rule the church and the home

Next Part 3. Demand for an apology from the CBMW


About bwebaptistwomenforequality

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