Moral Contradictions

Monday, August 28, 2006

Al Mohler has spoken... it must be so.

Dr. Mohler, I disagree with how you frame the issue of women ministers as being Biblically clear. I'm glad you seem to have all the answers and are not willing to a discussion of interpretation. It's good to have leaders who know exactly what God is thinking - it just makes our faith that much easier.

However, I have never received a straight explanation about how to deal with slavery in comparison to how women ministers are dealt. The Bible is clear in that it is acceptable, and your denomination used that argument for years to justify slavery in this God-kissed nation - yet it is now culturally unacceptable. How does the clear teaching of slavery jive with the clear teaching against women ministers?

Additionally, I am not clear on what the meaning of this statement:

And the fact is that men bear shame for leaving that vacuum into which many women have stepped. And there is blame among those who now will defend what I believe is biblically defenseless.

Why do they feel shame? Is it because women are willing, heck, maybe even called, to do what men have traditionally done? Do they feel shame for feeling inadequate in comparison to a little ole' woman? I wonder how many folks felt shame when little Miss Lottie Moon upped and left for China. Surely that was a man's job, now wasn't it?

Furthermore, the last quote of the article intrigues me:

The big issue for us all is to humbly come under the full accountability to the word of God. That's no easy task. But we better be very, very careful how we read and how we teach the word of God, so that we're not bringing our prejudices to the word, but are having our minds corrected by the word.

I'm glad to know that you strive to be a humble servant of God - it's such a relief to know that I can access your personal website from Southern Seminary's homepage and from there find all of your writings, commentaries, and even media photos. Our faith needs more humble folks like you along with their well-lit headshot. To God be all the Glory!

With reports of men standing up and walking out of meetings whenever women speak, or preaching professors teaching "women preaching are like dogs trying to stand up - they can do it, just not well" - I'm heartened to know that prejudice or shame isn't a factor at all.

Dr. Mohler, you ever wonder if your observation about very few moderate churches with women pastors could be because of proclamations such as these? It's amazing how many Methodist women ministers were former Baptists.

I see why the moniker Pope Mohler can be applied. It really is much easier now that you've declared your interpretation of the Bible as the only clear option - it's just so hard to figure out what the Holy Spirit says to us individually. I'm sure many Southern Baptists are thankful to have such a humble guard of their theology and interpretation of the Bible.

Heck, praise God for the Holman Christian Standard Bible - if you weren't able to control the interpretation of God's Holy Word, I don't know what would happen! Congregants may fall into heresy, or worse, a Martin Luther may rise up and birth a whole new movement of Separatists! Oh no!

//Sorry if I come across as sarcastic - My wife is currently in the interview process as youth minister at another church, so I really didn't need to read this today. I really don't buy into the whole humble bit, and I've really tried to look for examples of it, but between him and Paige Patterson (only the second link off Southwestern's page), I'm having a difficult time.


  • Nathan,
    I would like to ask all the Southern Baptist men who so strongly believe that women should not teach or have authority over men to take a good look at the woman sitting in the front seat of their automobile next Sunday. Do they have on their most expensive dress? Is their hair done up in the best "do" the husband can afford? Do they have on any gold or pearls? Then I would ask them to go back and read the whole passage that Paul wrote to Timothy regarding the issue of women's place in church. Wouldn't that be fun?

    By Blogger Mac McFatter, at Monday, August 28, 2006 1:19:00 PM  

  • Hehe... it's amazing the parts of the Bible we stress and the parts we blithely ignore.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Monday, August 28, 2006 3:12:00 PM  

  • Ah, the hypocrisy...

    It's flat-out wrong for men to allow women to more or less run the Church but then not allow those same women to serve in leadership roles as deacons and pastors.

    My grandma is a member of a small SBC/BGAV off Hull Street in Richmond. She plays the organ, teaches the Senior's SS class, heads up the WMU, and organizes various mission projects throughout the year. Two days a week, she visits the hospitals and senior citizens homes throughout the Richmond/Chesterfield area. She does twice as much pastoral care as the Pastor. Yet in the 20 years that she's been a member of Elkhardt - her name has never ever been on the deacon ballot...just because she's a woman.

    Something terribly wrong with that picture.

    By Blogger Big Daddy Weave, at Monday, August 28, 2006 5:10:00 PM  

  • Guys & Gals,

    Surely you over here do not think all SBC men allow Drs Mohler and Patterson think for them, do you? I must be a grave disappointment, then.

    For I am an SBC man and I have only one earthly authority who speaks for me--MY WIFE!


    Have a great evening. With that, I am...


    By Blogger peter lumpkins, at Monday, August 28, 2006 7:00:00 PM  

  • Hehe... thank you Peter. I do know that it's not as wide-sweeping as it always seems to be, but I guess the "seems" part is because the men have positioned themselves as "authority".

    I've heard several times... 'happy wife, happy life'. :)

    By Blogger Nathan, at Monday, August 28, 2006 8:44:00 PM  

  • Nathan,

    Please send over to us Methodists all of the Baptist women you don't want preaching and teaching in your churches. If they are called of God, we will be proud to train them in the Wesleyan tradition and welcome them. We might even be able to pay them - not very much - to do the job they are not welcomed to do elsewhere.

    Excuse me, did Mother Mary instruct the boy Jesus? No? Couldn't have? Oh, that's right: Jesus's Mother was a woman.

    One of the most brilliant preachers I've ever had the privilege of hearing - Sarah Jobe - is a wonderful young Baptist firebrand. We pleaded with her to become a Methodist when she graduated. Maybe we'll get her yet! :)

    Bless you, Nathan! But the Baptists aren't the only folks having issues because of inappropriate placement of our heads. Whether you realize it or not, you're speaking to many of us Methodist bretheren as well. Your clarity and discernment are welcomed (but my toes are bleeding). Don't stop now!

    By Blogger Tom, at Monday, August 28, 2006 9:05:00 PM  

  • Nathan,

    I have a serious question. I know it may seem I'm chav...chau...or whatever that word is. Here it is: Could one be a complementarian and not necessarily be one of those creepy things I could not spell?

    Have Grace for Today and Peace for this Evening. Wit that, I am...


    By Blogger peter lumpkins, at Tuesday, August 29, 2006 7:52:00 AM  

  • Tom, thanks for stopping by - I look forward to reading your blog.

    Peter, I think one can, but so many times I've seen examples that negate that view and reveal a bias toward, that big word.

    I have nothing against beliefs in others, though different from mine, that derive from the Bible - I do have problems when culture and prejudice, conservative or liberal, are part of the equation.

    Even with complemntarianism, I still have not received any explanation of how our cultural views on slavery versus the Bible's views compare to how our culture views gender roles versus the Bible. Even with that, there are several sound Biblical interpretations of the key passages regarding gender roles (I'm still studying them and this issue), so to have Mohler proclaim that his opinion is the only clear interpretations strikes me as anything but humble.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Tuesday, August 29, 2006 10:47:00 AM  

  • Maybe I'm biased here, but can I just say AMEN!

    By Blogger Jillian, at Tuesday, August 29, 2006 2:07:00 PM  

  • Hey Man!

    I've read a couple of books, and about to start another one. The topic of the book is men in general, and specifically the spirituality of men.

    They are: "Healing the Masculine Soul," by Gordon Dalbey. And, "Why Men Hate Going to Church," by David Murrow. I haven't gotten the third yet, and when I do, I'll let you know.

    Why I've started reading these things? Because, there aren't hardly any men left in the church. The men to wome ratio in the USA is 1:1, yet in church it is 3:1, or even 4:1 (women:men). Yet both Mormonism and Islam is making huge inroads into evangelizing men. Now, figure into the mix that when a woman gets saved there is a 20-30% that the rest of the family will follow; and that when a man gets saved there is a 80-90% chance that the family will follow...I start to get worried.

    Thus far I've learned this: Church isn't made for regular men. It's made for women. I know that comment will get me into trouble. That's ok, I'm used to being in trouble. But, I'm worried that I may wake up one day realizing that I missed the mark in my pastorate. That I totally marginalized guys.


    P.s. just so you know, I'm for women in the pastorate and other ministry positions. I'm just worried that there is no place for men.

    By Blogger Tim, at Wednesday, August 30, 2006 11:47:00 AM  

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