Revealing past beliefs

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Speedpass, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. Speedpass

    Speedpass
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    What has led SBC president Frank Page and SBTS president Al Mohler to come out in recent days to say that they once supported women in the pastorate--only to "see the light" later on? Are they trying to open up the SBC to those who have these views, or what else could be going on with this?
     
  2. NateT

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    Looks as if Page didn't come out to say that, but it was brought out. Someone was looking for something against him and found his dissertation. He says now that he has changed his mind.

    As to why Mohler came out, it would be speculation (unless Mohler posts here and can tell us :) ) But it would seem like he might be trying to demonstrate that it is possible to change your view, and that even the president of a seminary didn't always get it right.
     
  3. Joseph M. Smith

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    If you are inclined to be a bit cynical, you could say that they have altered their views, at least publicly, in order to be acceptable to the rest of the conservative crowd and its key doctrinal items. I have heard it said that Dr. Mohler was by no means a conservative when he was a graduate student at SBTS.

    We do have to allow room for people to change and grow (or decline, as the case may be!). The Christian Century, some years ago, published a series of articles by prominent Christians on "How My Mind Has Changed". One such article was written by Billy Graham. Still, one cannot help smell some opportunism in the Page and Mohler "conversions".
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    I hope no one looks at some of the stuff I wrote when I was young and knew it all.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    I've seen a photocopy of an advertisement Mohler and other students placed in a newspaper (with their signatures) that affirmed women in vocational ministry positions - including pastor.

    Shortly after that, Mohler apparently changed his position and suddenly became an up-and-comer in the so-called "conservative" political movement of the SBC.

    When I was in seminary in the early 1990s, a number of students in my classes were more concerned about discovering what doctrinal positions certain key SBC political players took, rather than discussing what we believed the Bible said about those matters. And when I was a senior in college, completing my B.A. in theology, I was approached by a staff member from a prominent North Texas megachurch for a paid internship role. Apparently one or more of my college professors had recommended me as someone who was doctrinally sound (according to the interviewer), but he was mostly interested in whether or not I politically agreed with the leadership of the so-called "conservative" movement.

    He seemed uncomfortable with my answers (even though at that time I was still marginally in the "conservative" camp since I had been told such horrible things about the so-called "liberals" and "moderates"), probably because I didn't seem to be a hard-core fundamentalist.

    The more I interviewed with him, the more I sensed that accepting a position with that megachurch was not God's will for me. Before he could offer me a position (or reject me), I decided to inform him that I didn't think I was the right person for the position. He seemed greatly relieved and we had a good talk for the rest of the interview time.

    After our interview, I was asked about what went on the interview by some other theology students and was surprised that several of them would have said whatever they thought the interviewer wanted to hear because the church was huge, politically-connected, and the position would likely lead to a well-paying full time position in that church or another large church.

    I know I'm idealistic about such things, but I was shocked to hear that so many persons called to ministry seem to think in terms of a secular career ladder where they need to say and do whatever is necessary to get ahead and be "successful."
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    if you check the church where Dr. Page serves one might think his view has been moderated a bit, and not changed.

    Anyhoo...as for past beliefs that we've abandoned, I used to believe that to go to church I had to wear a suit and that if I was ever at a church function khakis and a shirt with a collar were required dress. For five years I couldn't walk into a building with shorts on and feel comfortable...
     
  7. LeBuick

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    You, as a young preacher I preached about a fool on a mule and somehow ended with Jesus on palm Sunday. Not sure how I got there but luckily it wasn't recorded.

    When I finished, the church all had this blank look on their faces but I didn't realize what I did. When I got home, boy did I get a years worth of earfull from my Dad. He had his preaching voice on and my sisters and Mom all left the house. It was me and him baby!
     
  8. Tom Bryant

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    I guess what amazes me in this thread is that apparently many people here have the ability to see the motivations of other people.

    According to this thinking, Dr. Mohler and Dr. Page have changed their mind, therefore, they did it so they could become up and comers in the SBC.

    Seems this is exactly what Jesus meant when he talked about not judging others. We can judge many actions because they are for the most part apparent, but only only God can judge the motives.
     
  9. Brother Bob

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    Wish I could of been there. :laugh:

    Fool on a mule

    AT least it rythmn, Glad you didn't try to sing it.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    I haven't seen anyone claim what you say. However, I have seen the attitude you describe (and worse) among theology students and young preachers on numerous occasions.

    I have no quarrel at all with Page (I'm glad he was elected) and my issues with Mohler have to do with his actions and teaching, not speculation regarding motives.
     
  11. Joseph M. Smith

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    I accept the critique about judging. It is a mode into which it is easy to fall, and I thank you for reminding me of that (since I am the one who first introduced speculation about Page's and Mohler's motives. In my "defense", however, I just suggested that one might feel that if one wanted to be cynical, and then went on to aver that changing one's mind is a natural outcome of maturation.

    That said, however, I still am suspicious of representatives of the SBC conservative resurgence, on the basis of the infamous declaration made years ago to James Sullivan, then President of the old Sunday School Board, to the effect that the group was looking for something around which to rally Southern Baptists and decided to wave the flag of Biblical inerrancy because they knew they could get the average Southern Baptist to think s/he was defending the Bible against so-called "liberals". That is about as manipulative and cynical as one can get. And so since the movement was and, I believe, is all about power and not really about theological correctness ... the theology being a necessary smokescreen ... then isn't it reasonable to suspect motives?

    Opinions about what to wear in worship are by no means the kind of sea change that seems to be represented in moving from affirmation of women in ministry to denial of their place in pastorates.
     
  12. NateT

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    I'm inclined to not see anything behind it other than honesty.

    One of the most refreshing moments I've had since I've come to SBTS has been in Sunday School when a prof said that he used to beat his wife over the head with the idea of submission, but has learned that's not what it meant to submit. He detailed how his bad theology and practice on this issue really damaged their marriage. But now that he has the correct understanding and practice his marriage is better than it ever has.

    He wasn't advocating egalitarianism, but he was willing to say "this obviously wrong position used to be one I held very dear."
     
  13. tinytim

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    What did you do, compare Balaam with Jesus... That could be a sermon if organized right
    Balaam = false prophet
    Jesus = true prophet
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    A couple of thoughts.

    Are Dr. Page, Dr. Mohler and I the only three people in the SBC who have embraced a view different from the one we previously held? Do any of you hold exactly the same theology, ecclesiology and eschatology that you did 10, 20,30 or 40 years ago?


    As to the view that the conservative resurgence was about power instead of theology: Of course it was about power. It was also about theology. It was about the power to change the theology taught in our seminaries That's why we elect SBC presidents, to ultimately affect the direction of the Convention and its agencies.

    The election of conservative presidents is merely the convention exercising power. The liberals and moderates who were replaced by conservatives screamed loud and long about the conservatives' lust for power--the same power they exercised when they were in control.
     
  15. LeBuick

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    I wish, if I remember right I was preaching about Absalom.
     
  16. Tom Bryant

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    Baptist Believer,
    If I misread your meaning, I am sorry. But you said in your post:

    "I've seen a photocopy of an advertisement Mohler and other students placed in a newspaper (with their signatures) that affirmed women in vocational ministry positions - including pastor.
    Shortly after that, Mohler apparently changed his position and suddenly became an up-and-comer in the so-called "conservative" political movement of the SBC."

    Isn't that judging someone's motivations? I have known people who have changed opinions because the current changes. I am ashamed to say that I have done this at least once. But that change didn't stick.

    I would think that 20 years of ministry done in the open would show that Mohler's change was real and not just the product of business like motivations of trying to get ahead.
     
  17. Baptist Believer

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    Since I don't know his motivations, I used the word "apparently" -- it appears that way.

    I appreciate your honesty. I'm glad you reclaimed your integrity.

    There are too many people out there who don't have a bit of integrity in these matters.

    Actually, that's no evidence at all. Look at what has happened...

    Mohler became the youngest major agency head and received a plum position as the president of the flagship seminary of Southern Baptists. He has gone on to greater and greater prominence and power in the SBC since those days. But the kingmakers and his grassroots supporters would not tolerate him renouncing his current positions.

    If he is acting dishonestly (and I have no method of knowing, either way), he has nothing to gain and everything to lose by coming clean now.

    I personally know of two prominent SBC leaders who don't like the so-called "conservative resurgence", but go along with it because they enjoy their positions and compensation packages. And Charles Stanley publicly backtracked on his position regarding women as preachers when the so-called "conservative resurgence" leadership informed him that his view could not be tolerated. (That incident was regarding an interview with Jim Jones of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, my local newspaper. When his statements on women in ministry began to circulate, Stanley claimed he was misquoted and his words taken out of context. After he had firmly staked out that position and Baptist Press had run a story, Jones released a transcript of the interview recording -- Jones is no amateur and has interview SBC leadership before. Baptist Press somehow failed to report that Jones' had taped the interview and released the transcript... what a shocker. :rolleyes: )
     
  18. gb93433

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    If your theology does not change while trying to live the christian life then you are not reading and studying the Bible. Certainly you are not applying it.

    One who is never challenged never grows.
     
  19. gb93433

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    That has been my big beef with so many leaders and pastors today. How can a pastor lead people if he is not led by the Spirit? If leading a congregation is a matter of self will then we are in trouble.

    A major leader in a Baptist denomination once told me that prophets do not stay long in a church. The idea being that pastors who hold the people accountable do not stay long. If being lazy and not holding people accountable is what the church is all aboutr then that would clearly explain why so many are ineffective and wonder why they are not doing God's work. I have met with churches that do not even know what God's work is. They see the church as a group of programs. The church is about giving itself away. It is about helping people to mkature and grow in such a way thta they can help the next person to help another.
     
  20. genesis12

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    Just imagine .. 100 years from now someone will find all of our college / university papers (before computers) in a landfill, tossed out by professors loaded with paper! They'll use them to form an opinion about who we were!! I can see the headlines now:

    "Startling Revelations from Landfill in Denver, Colorado!"

    I guess the same would apply to any CDs/DVDs surviving these forums.

    "Truth about Forum Posters uncovered! News at 10!!"
     

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