SBC and CBF: A Look in Contrast

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Chris Temple, Sep 12, 2001.

  1. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    SBC and CBF: A Look in Contrast

    In 1998, the Missouri Baptist Laymen's Association (MBLA) published a "contrast" which served two basic purposes: First, it provided a brief list of concerns that MBLA had raised about CBF; and second, it showed in a brief, contrasting format, the significant differences between the leadership of the SBC and the CBF. The contrast was based on a fully documented publication entitled: Cooperative Baptist Fellowship: Serious Questions for Serious Consideration.

    As this contrast is presented, it is important to note several things. First, we certainly acknowledge that no human institution is perfect and that the sin nature of man transcends theological labels. However, when the "celebration" of illegitimate "diversity" replaces commitment to biblical Truth as the basis of fellowship and unity, to what shall we anchor ourselves -- to what shall we look to establish acceptable boundaries for theological and moral prescriptions? Secondly, while we do not suggest that everybody supportive of CBF is "liberal," it is equally clear that liberalism has most certainly found a comfortable home within CBF. Likewise, CBF leaders who publicly identify themselves as "theological conservatives," yet have participated in the exalting of unrestrained "freedom" above biblical Truth, have not only sent out an "uncertain sound" into the world, but have contributed greatly to a growing attitude that diminishes the seriousness of sin as well as the significance and necessity of repentance.

    Lastly, while conservative Southern Baptists argued that the issue in the SBC controversy was theological in nature, it is important to note that theological liberalism does not operate in a vacuum or in a void, but that it manifests itself in various ways. This contrast demonstrates clearly that CBF is full of the manifestations of theological liberalism and provides a glimpse at what the Southern Baptist Convention would likely have looked like had the "conservative resurgence" never taken place.

    The SBC has no leaders that deny the deity of Christ, the need for His sacrificial death or the importance of His virgin birth.

    But CBF does.

    The SBC has no feminist theologian leaders calling for the worship of the "Christ-Sophia."

    But CBF does.

    The SBC has no leaders calling for the ordination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons.

    But CBF does.

    The SBC has no leaders declaring that God sometimes commands a woman to abort her unborn child for the purpose of population control.

    But CBF does.

    The SBC has no leaders advocating federal funding for abortions or the elimination of parental notification and parental consent laws so minors can have an abortion without their parent's knowledge.

    But CBF does.

    The SBC has no leaders proclaiming that the Bible does not condemn all forms of homosexual behavior.

    But CBF does.

    The SBC has no leaders calling for the ordination of women as senior pastors.

    But CBF does.

    The SBC has no leaders that have worked in "coalition efforts" with Penthouse International, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Planned Parenthood.

    But CBF does.

    The SBC has no leaders who refer to God as "Mother."

    But CBF does.

    The SBC has no leaders that have signed a declaration stating that Biblical scholarship is an area of common ground between Baptists and atheistic "secular humanists."

    But CBF does.

    The SBC has no leaders that have worked for the passage of such pro-homosexual legislation as the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) granting minority-status to homosexuals/bisexuals based solely on their sexual behavior.

    But CBF does.

    The SBC does not embrace churches that ordain or "marry" homosexual persons.

    But CBF does

    The SBC is aligned with no organization whose leaders have openly declared their support of the partial-birth abortion procedure.

    But CBF is.

    The SBC is aligned with no organization that gave all of its "mission grants" (in 1997) to churches that welcome and affirm homosexuality.

    But CBF is.

    The SBC is aligned with no organization whose top leader has defended the reproduction and distribution of child pornography.

    But CBF is.

    CBF Responds
    By 1999, MBLA materials had circulated so widely across the SBC that CBF coordinator Dr. Daniel Vestal sent a certified letter to MBLA research director Roger Moran. As the author of MBLA materials, Vestal called on Moran to "issue a written retraction and a formal, public apology for the misleading and untrue statements" he had made in various publications and in a series of videos.

    In response to Dr. Vestal, Moran wrote back: "You have asked for a 'written retraction and a formal, public apology' from MBLA in part for the 'untrue' statements we have made. However, you cited no examples. Would you please provide me with a full list of those statements along with specific details about the factual errors we have made." Moran further inquired of Dr. Vestal: "...are there any concerns that we raised in our materials that you consider legitimate -- or 'honest disagreements?' If so, would you please provide us with a list of those legitimate concerns." Dr. Vestal did not honor the request. Instead, CBF issued "An Open Letter to Roger Moran," that was widely circulated by CBF as its defense against concerns raised by MBLA.

    In Moran's letter to Dr. Vestal, he directed 15 specific questions to Vestal based on a fully documented MBLA publication entitled: CBF Circle of Friends: Religious Voices Advocate Homosexuality. However, Dr. Vestal did not respond. Those questions were as follows:

    Does it not matter...

    ...that a significant portion of CBF leadership and CBF-related organizations consistently align themselves with Religious Left groups supportive of homosexuality?


    ...that the CBF-funded BJCPA played a leadership role in the production of an extreme pro-homosexuality political training manual?


    ...that the CBF-funded Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America advocates the ordination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons?


    ...that numerous members of the CBF's Coordinating Council serve (or have served) on the governing board of Americans United, a participating organization in the National Religious Leadership Roundtable which exists to support and affirm gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons?


    ...that the CBF's Coordinating Council includes the executive director and a board member/treasurer of The Interfaith Alliance, also a member of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable which claims that its existence confirms the broad base of religious support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons?


    ...that the president of the CBF-funded Baptist Women in Ministry served (until recently) as associate pastor of University Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, which was "kicked out" of the Baptist General Convention of Texas for ordaining a homosexual as a deacon? (Kathy Manis Findley, pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, and a former president of Baptist Women in Ministry, received a mission grant from the Alliance of Baptists in 1997. According to Stan Hastey [executive director of the Alliance of Baptists], that church also has a "pro-gay stance." Findley is a member of the CBF's Coordinating Council.)


    ...that the CBF-funded, national, moderate newspaper, Baptists Today, operated for years out of Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia, which has ordained openly homosexual deacons, named a homosexual to the chairmanship of the deacons' board, and ordained a homosexual minister?


    ...that Wake Forest Baptist Church in North Carolina -- whose pastor, Richard Groves, served on the Interim Steering Committee of the CBF and from 1991 to 1995 on the CBF Coordinating Council -- allows its ministers to perform gay marriages and has openly homosexual members serving on the deacon board, in the choir and as Sunday School teachers?


    ...that the Alliance of Baptists, which claims to have "provided much of the leadership of the [Cooperative Baptist] Fellowship," has openly declared its support of homosexuality, giving all six mission grants in 1997 to churches that "have a pro-gay stance?" (Kathy Manis Findley's church was one of those churches.)


    ...that you, Dr. Vestal, as CBF coordinator served on the BJCPA board of directors with Carole Shields, president of People for the American Way, whose organization has been working in the courts to legalize homosexual marriages?


    ...that the BJCPA, which receives about a quarter-million dollars each year from the CBF, played a significant role in an extreme pro-homosexuality AIDS conference sponsored by the AIDS National Interfaith Network (ANIN), an organization headed up by two homosexual men?


    ...that the CBF's AIDS resource packet, which recommended ANIN as an AIDS resource, re-defines the family to include "gay families and lesbian families" by virtue of their "enduring covenants?"


    ...that the CBF's AIDS resource packet declares that: "We do not choose our sexual orientation, but rather we 'awaken' to it?"


    ...that former CBF Coordinating Council member Dr. Paul Duke (a leading Baptist advocate for biblical acceptance of homosexuality and [formerly] a professor of New Testament at the CBF-funded McAfee School of Theology at Mercer) states in his two part series entitled: "Homosexuality and the Church," that: "Having taken the time to study the [biblical] texts, I cannot with confidence say that the Bible condemns all forms of homosexual behavior?" (Dr. Duke led a CBF Pre-Assembly Institute by the same title at the 1994 CBF General Assembly)


    ...that a significant portion of CBF leadership and CBF-related organizations consistently oppose conservative Christian organizations that have stood firm regarding the sinfulness of homosexual behavior (organizations like James Dobson's Focus on the Family, Don Wildmon's American Family Association, Beverly LaHaye's Concerned Women for America...), referring to such groups as the "Radical Religious Right?" (In 1995, it was you, Dr. Vestal, that signed the statement published by the CBF-funded Center for Christian Ethics, condemning the "Radical Religious Right," stating that: "We are alarmed because the Radical Religious Right poses significant dangers to our churches, our political system, and our American way of life.")
     
  2. Michael Wrenn

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    I would like to comment on the issue of ordained women as senior pastors. This is presented as a liberal position, but nothing could be further from the truth. For many years, many very conservative denominations have licensed and ordained women to pastoral ministry, and these women have been serving in all aspects of same, including serving as senior pastors. The opposition of the SBC hierarchy to this is nothing more than sexist exclusivism and legalism, a desire to keep the SBC a "good ol' boys club" and a fear of losing same; it has nothing whatsoever to do with conservatism vs. liberalism.
     
  3. Eladar

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    If they are conservative religious groups, it is the liberal 'denomination' within the denomination that is doing it. I don't think you'll find a female minister in a Missouri Synod Lutheran church.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that is the way it is.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Chris - THANK YOU for the excellent summaries of the deviation from the faith of the CBF leadership and overal position. The only SBC with which I have ever been involved (FBC Dallas under Criswell) made me think that SBC was finally "turning around" and going to head more conservatively.

    With this rump group and their deviant doctrines, I am not so sure. But appreciate your work. God bless, friend.

    Michael - Bail out on this one. No conservative denomination ordains women as senior pastors. By nature of the term, this is self-contradictory.

    If they did ordain women as senior pastors, they would no longer be a "conservative" denomination!

    Remember, this is a "Baptist" Board and conservative here actually MEANS conservative!

    [ September 12, 2001: Message edited by: Dr. Bob Griffin ]
     
  5. Michael Wrenn

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    Bob,

    The Holiness denominations and Pentecostals, for example, have given women equal status with men from the beginning; these groups could teach even IFB's the meaning of the word "conservative".
     
  6. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael Wrenn:
    Bob,

    The Holiness denominations and Pentecostals, for example, have given women equal status with men from the beginning; these groups could teach even IFB's the meaning of the word "conservative".
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    ROTFL! You're kidding, right? :eek:
     
  7. Chris Temple

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    CBF and Homosexuality

    Eight years after Southern Baptists settled the homosexual issue within the SBC, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship issued a "value statement" regarding homosexuality. At the CBF's October 2000 Coordinating Council meeting, the group adopted "A Statement of an Organizational Value Regarding the Funding of Partners," described by CBF leaders as "welcoming but not affirming."

    Unlike the SBC's clear position on homosexuality, CBF had attempted to take a "position" that would ostracize neither the powerful pro-gay faction of the CBF nor those who believe that homosexual behavior is sinful and should not be advocated. Referring to CBF's statement on homosexuality as "a middle-of-the-road solution," CBF coordinator Dr. Daniel Vestal stated: "I do not want us to fragment over this... I don't want anyone to leave over this."

    According to Dr. Vestal: "The council's policy sets forth an 'organizational value' that will guide decisions related to hiring staff, appointing missionaries and funding our partners."

    Quoting Dr. Vestal, the CBF-funded Associated Baptist Press further reported that "the value statement would also not affect current employees, describing the organization's hiring practice as 'don't ask, don't tell.'" Thus, the new CBF "Value Statement," which prohibits the "purposeful" hiring of homosexuals as CBF staff or missionaries and the "expenditure of funds for organizations that condone, advocate or affirm homosexual practice," raises additional concerns about homosexuals serving as CBF missionaries and as CBF staff.

    Dr. Vestal also noted that the CBF statement on homosexuality is not "intended to be a mandate to congregations in terms of what they should practice or to individuals in terms of what they should believe." Thus, CBF churches that practice the ordination of homosexuals or perform same-sex ceremonies will remain in good standing within CBF.

    Nevertheless, the time had come for CBF to deal with the homosexual issue, not out of conviction, but out of financial necessity. According to Associated Baptist Press, "If any sentiment was unanimous among council members, it was that they would have preferred not to deal with the divisive [homosexual] issue."

    Arguing against the "Value Statement," CBF council member Steve Harris, an attorney from Liberty, Missouri, stated: "While it may be true that we will lose some churches and money if we don't accept this statement, know that if we do we will lose some of CBF's future." Responding to Harris, Dr. David Currie, who served as chairman of the CBF finance task force for the last two years, argued that "rejecting the value statement would not be 'saving the future but shutting it down' by positioning the Fellowship 'left of center.'" Ironically, Dr. Currie serves as an officer on the board of the extreme pro-homosexual Interfaith Alliance.

    According to Dr. Vestal, the homosexual issue had become a serious public relations problem and was becoming CBF's defining issue. Its pro-homosexual "friends on the left" as well as its "enemies on the right," were both portraying CBF as a pro-homosexual organization. Dr. Vestal stated: "We are being defined by our enemies on the right and our friends on the left." He further noted: "In the past two years, I have spent an inordinate amount of time on the homosexuality issue."

    In a January 17, 2001 article by Cecil Sherman, the former CBF coordinator reiterated the concerns of Dr. Vestal. Complaining that "CBF is being defined by Roger Moran and Baptist Press," an obvious reference to their "enemies on the right," Sherman also complains of their "friends on the left." Identifying the left-wing of the CBF as the Alliance of Baptists, Sherman states: "Sometimes I wonder if some Coordinating Council members know what an average Baptist church is like. If a few council members from furthest left churches define CBF, the Fellowship will wither." (Click here to view Alliance of Baptists Churches)

    The homosexual issue came to a head when a CBF pastor informed Dr. Vestal of his intention to bring a recommendation from the floor of the CBF's 2000 General Assembly to withdraw funding from Wake Forest Divinity School, a CBF "partnering" school, because of its pro-homosexual policy. Dr. Vestal recommended that CBF leadership "address the issue of homosexuality" through a "deliberate process." The pastor agreed and the "Value Statement" on homosexuality was presented to the CBF's Coordinating Council at its October 2000 meeting.

    While the "Value Statement" passed on a 35-23 vote, Associated Baptist Press reported that, "Council members rejected a portion of the original recommendation that would have ended direct financial support of theology schools that affirm homosexuality."

    Though the pro-homosexual policy of Wake Forest Divinity School was the stated purpose of the CBF's "Value Statement," the problem arose when Dr. Vestal reported that four of the CBF's 11 partnering schools of theology have an open admission policy for homosexuals: Wake Forest Divinity School, Duke Divinity School, Candler School of Theology at Emory and Texas Christian University's Brite Divinity School. Thus, the CBF's "Value Statement" now had the potential of de-funding four CBF partnering schools. (It is also important to note that three of these CBF partnering schools, Wake Forest, Emory and Duke, allow same-sex ceremonies in their chapels.)

    Opposition to the CBF's "Value Statement" came quick and continued to mount. At a January 2001 "spiritual retreat," for the CBF's Young Leaders Network, 32 of the 80 participants signed a letter objecting to the statement on homosexuality. One of the signers, Brian Ford, is a member of the Missouri CBF Coordinating Council and a member of the Mainstream Missouri Baptists board of directors. The coordinator of Mainstream Missouri Baptists, Rob Marus, is a member of the steering committee of the CBF Young Leaders Network.

    At the February 2001 CBF Coordinating Council meeting, a motion was made by council member Dixie Petrey to rescind the "Value Statement." However, because prior notice is required to rescind a previous action, the vote on her motion was delayed until the council's meeting in June 2001.

    Reinforcing Dixie Petrey's motion to rescind the CBF's "Value Statement," the Alliance of Baptists, at its 2001 annual meeting, also urged the CBF Coordinating Council to rescind its statement on homosexuality. According to Associated Baptist Press, one of the questions raised at the Alliance of Baptists meeting was whether the CBF's new statement on homosexuality would apply to exhibitors at this summer's CBF General Assembly.

    According to ABP: "A letter sent by a CBF representative to prospective exhibitors said they must 'enhance and affirm the mission and shared commitments' of the Fellowship. Background documents included the value statement on homosexuality." However, ABP also reported that:

    "Ken Sehested, executive director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, another gay-friendly organization, said CBF leaders took three months before finally granting his request to exhibit at the [2001] General Assembly. He said the Peace Fellowship is free to display any of its materials, including a controversial [church] resource booklet for promoting dialogue about sexual orientation in churches. 'We are not censored in any way,' Sehested said."

    Interestingly, in a July 25, 2000 article entitled: "CBF and the issue of homosexuality," Dr. Vestal responded to criticism about the distribution of the Baptist Peace Fellowship's controversial pro-homosexual "church resource" at the 2000 CBF General Assembly's exhibit area. According to Dr. Vestal: "If any of the materials displayed at the Resource Fair are determined to be in conflict with CBF's mission and core values, then future participation by that vendor will be reevaluated." The pro-homosexual church resource, which supports homosexual marriage and the ordination of homosexual persons, was co-published by the Baptist Peace Fellowship and the Alliance of Baptists, both of which have taken strong, "official" positions in support of homosexuality. Apparently, the "church resource" doesn't conflict with the CBF's "mission and core values." In fact, Ken Sehested, executive director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship, will not only be allowed to distribute his pro-homosexual "church resource" at this year's CBF General Assembly, but is also scheduled as a "breakout" leader at this year's CBF General Assembly.

    It is also important to note that in 1994, CBF published its own pro-homosexual "church resource" entitled: "HIV/AIDS Ministry: Putting a Face on AIDS." Arguing that "sexuality is a gift from God," and that it is the role of the church to "educate our children and young people about sexuality, sexual identity, and sexual orientation," the CBF publication states: "During pregnancy, the fetus is developing characteristics that will determine the person's sexual orientation. Therefore, a person does not choose to be homosexual or heterosexual." The CBF publication also redefines the family to include "gay families and lesbian families" by virtue of their "enduring covenants."
     
  8. Pioneer

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael Wrenn:
    I would like to comment on the issue of ordained women as senior pastors. This is presented as a liberal position, but nothing could be further from the truth.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The Bible says that a pastor is to be the husband of one wife. Tell me, how can a woman be the husband of one wife? Obviously you do not believe the truth of the word of God.
     
  9. Michael Wrenn

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    Pioneer,

    Was Paul the husband of one wife? Was Jesus? Neither of them, then, would qualify to be pastor of your church, according to your method of interpretation. That's the kind of corner you back yourself into when you take an *extremely* literalistic, legalistic view of scripture. Obviously, you do not believe that the written word is to be interpreted according to the criterion of the Living Word, Jesus Christ. When scripture conflicts with scripture, which it sometimes does, soul competency comes into play--interpretation through Christ by the Spirit.
     
  10. Michael Wrenn

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    Chris,

    Don't split a gut.

    Also, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church has been ordaining women for well over a hundred years.

    BTW, I used to be a strong supporter of CBF but I have problems with them allowing affiliation of churches that condone homosexuality, although I affirm their value statement. So, I guess i don't have a denominational "home"--it's certainly not the SBC or the Alliance of Baptists. I guess I come closest to the General Baptists (Poplar Bluff, MO); the Baptist General Convention of Texas; and, somewhat, to the ABCUSA.
     
  11. Pioneer

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael Wrenn:
    Pioneer,

    Was Paul the husband of one wife? Was Jesus? Neither of them, then, would qualify to be pastor of your church, according to your method of interpretation. That's the kind of corner you back yourself into when you take an *extremely* literalistic, legalistic view of scripture. Obviously, you do not believe that the written word is to be interpreted according to the criterion of the Living Word, Jesus Christ. When scripture conflicts with scripture, which it sometimes does, soul competency comes into play--interpretation through Christ by the Spirit.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    #1 - Paul was not a pastor. He was a missionary evangelist.

    #2 - Jesus is the husband of one wife. The church is his bride.

    #3 - Scripture never contradicts scripture (unless your using a perverted bible that calls itself scripture).

    #4 - Your so-called "soul competency" is a smoke screen to justify rebellion against the word of God.

    Bro. Steve Smith
     
  12. Michael Wrenn

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    Pioneer,

    (1)If Paul was living today in your town, he could not be the pastor of your church, according to your interpretation of scripture; the same is true of Jesus--your own Lord and Savior could not pastor your church, according to your interpretation of scripture. This shows how ludicrous your method of interpretation is.

    (2)Scripture DOES contradict scripture; if you claim it doesn't, you are either being dishonest, or you haven't read enough of it.

    (3)If you can't affirm soul competency, you're no Baptist--period.
     
  13. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael Wrenn:
    (2)Scripture DOES contradict scripture; if you claim it doesn't, you are either being dishonest, or you haven't read enough of it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Care to point some out? I've found that people who make such claims find contradictions only because they are over-enamored with their own presuppositions of what Scripture does not mean, as you have concerning pastoral qualifications.
     
  14. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pioneer:
    #4 - Your so-called "soul competency" is a smoke screen to justify rebellion against the word of God.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I hate to agree with Pioneer, but he's right. "Soul Competency" is the wild card moderates and liberals deal out which means they can make Scripture mean anything that they want it to. Curiously though, that meaning is never a conservative, fundamental and exegetically realized interpretation.
     
  15. Michael Wrenn

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    Chris,

    Yes, I will, but I don't have time tonight.

    Oh, and you don't have any presuppositions--right.

    E.Y. Mullins was THE champion of soul competency. I guess you would call him a liberal, and you would probably also slander him the way some SBC foaming fundies have done.
     
  16. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael Wrenn:
    Chris,

    Don't split a gut.

    Also, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church has been ordaining women for well over a hundred years.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The following "Question" was asked by a member of the congregation at Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, and "Answered" by their pastor, John MacArthur Jr. It was transcribed from the tape, GC 70-10, titled "Bible Questions and Answers." A copy of the tape can be obtained by writing, Word of Grace, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412 or by dialing toll free 1-800-55-GRACE. Copyright 1990 by John MacArthur Jr., All Rights Reserved.

    Question

    Would you tell me why the Pentecostal churches use women pastors?

    Answer

    There are a lot of churches that have women pastors; that is not just the Pentecostal churches. I’m sure you well know that there are women pastors in the Methodist church, there are women pastors in the Presbyterian church, there are women pastors in the Episcopalian church, there are women pastors in the Baptist church--I think the American Baptist church has ordained some women--there are a number of churches that would have women ordained.

    Why do they do that? Well, there are a number of reasons. Some are historical: the Pentecostal church, from its inception almost, has had women pastors because in the main early on, it was generated largely by women. I think it was more experience-oriented than doctrinally-oriented. Consequently, women sort of led with that experience. There was not a strong theology; there was not a strong theological foundation to that movement at all. And, of course, from a more contemporary perspective, the modern foursquare movement was basically generated by a woman: Aimee Semple McPherson, who had a real impactful ministry here in Los Angeles. So, there’s a historical element to it as well. That wouldn’t be true in the Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopalian, or Methodist areas--that is a late capitulation to the feminist movement, which is a completely different issue.

    But, from the standpoint of historic Pentecostalism, most of those groups go back to sort of a common source, where women were very high profile, and it’s been sort of a historic thing. Once you get in the flow of that and you see that women have ministry and it seems that people get saved under their preaching and good things happen and so forth…and experience is your compelling issue; then, experience will dictate continuity to that.

    As a footnote to that, perhaps it ought to be said that from a biblical standpoint, there is no tolerance in Scripture for women leaders in the church, apart from women leading other women--older women teaching younger women and leading their children and so forth.

    It is so patently obvious that God created Adam and that Eve was made as a helper to Adam. So, man and woman were designed in the way that man leads and a woman helps, and comes under his leadership. What literally sent the human race down the proverbial drain was when woman stepped out from under submission, acted independently and sinned, taking the male role by leading. Man then, went under woman. He wasn’t even deceived! He just sinned because his wife sinned. And before you get too mad at him, think men: we’ve done things because our wife did them too. And if you were the only man in the world and she were the only woman, there might be a sort of a compelling there that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

    But, Eve steps out from under the authority of Adam, Adam steps under the authority of Eve--the whole thing is convoluted. But it’s interesting to me that when we go back to who is responsible for man’s sin, Paul doesn’t say, “As in Eve, all died.” He says, “As in Adam, all died.” Because even though Adam vacated his role of leadership and Eve usurped it, God still held the leader responsible, and that means He sees male headship.

    When you come into the New Testament, out of all the patriarchs it never says “the God of Rebekah,” it never says “the God of Sarah,” it never says “the God of [any woman]”; it’s “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” It’s not the God of Rachel, not the God of Rebekah, not the God of Sarah. Why? Because God sees male headship. There was never a female priest. There was never a queen in northern or southern kingdom. There was no woman who wrote any book out of the 66 books of the Bible. There was no woman chosen to be an apostle. There were some women God uniquely used, as Deborah, to speak His Word on one occasion, though she--you remember--gave up the leadership role to someone else. There was occasion when the four daughters of Philip spoke for God, but as far as we know they had no ongoing ministry.

    So, there is a very clear indication in scripture, from front to back that leadership belongs to men. And what I was saying this morning kind of fits that, doesn’t it? How God has designed us genetically to fit that role.

    Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "MacArthur’s Questions and Answers" by:

    Tony Capoccia
    Bible Bulletin Board
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  17. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Pioneer,

    Do you genuinely believe there are no internal contradictions within Scripture?

    Joshua
     
  18. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael Wrenn:

    Oh, and you don't have any presuppositions--right. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Everyone has presuppositions - what is key is how one honestly deals with them and the subject at hand. One presupposition that is non-negotiable for the believer is the witness of the Holy Spirit to that inerrancy of ALL of God's Word.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> E.Y. Mullins was THE champion of soul competency. I guess you would call him a liberal, and you would probably also slander him the way some SBC foaming fundies have done.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I would slander no one, but properly critique them against the standard of the truth. Mullins was certainly the Father of Modern Liberalism in the SBC and opened the doors to all types of deviant theology due to his hyper-soul competency view.

    As Al Mohler has wisely said:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> The central thrust of E. Y. Mullins' theological legacy is his focus on individual experience. Whatever his intention, this massive methodological shift in theology set the stage for doctrinal ambiguity and theological minimalism. The compromise Mullins sought to forge in the 1920s was significantly altered by later generations, with personal experience inevitably gaining ground at the expense of revealed truth.

    Once the autonomous individual is made the central authority in matters of theology--a move made necessary by Mullins' emphasis on religious experience--the authority of Scripture becomes secondary at best, regardless of what may be claimed in honor of Scripture's preeminence. Either personal experience will be submitted to revelation, or revelation will be submitted to personal experience. There is no escape from this theological dilemma, and every theologian must choose between these two methodological options. The full consequences of a shift in theological method may take generations to appear, but by the 1960s most Southern Baptists were aware of a growing theological divide within the denomination, and especially its seminaries.

    Mullins greeted the new philosophical currents of his day with enthusiasm. Pragmatism and Personalism were particularly attractive to Mullins, and both were grafted into his theological method. But Pragmatism is an unstable basis for religious experience, much less religious authority. Pragmatism's test of truthfulness leads to relativism, for personal experience is diverse by its very nature. Personalism, on the other hand, is dangerously reductionistic, denying the importance (if not the existence) of any truth not rooted in personality.

    The influence of Schleiermacher is also problemmatic. Schleiermacher's theological revolution swiftly became Protestant liberalism, with the supernatural elements of the faith discarded because they were not required by religious experience. Though Mullins was no liberal in terms of doctrine, he stood near the liberals in terms of method. The generations to follow would be tempted to make the shift in doctrine, as well as method.(58)

    Mullins' attempt to forge a mediating theological paradigm for Southern Baptists eventually failed because mediating positions are inherently unstable. Delicate compromises established in one generation are often abandoned in short order as new generations assume leadership.

    The emphasis on soul competency is, as Mullins must have both hoped and expected, the most enduring element of Mullins' legacy. The concept does underscore the necessity of personal religious experience--including repentance and faith--to the Christian life. But soul competency also serves as an acid dissolving religious authority, congregationalism, confessionalism, and mutual theological accountability. This, too, is part of Mullins' legacy. As American Baptist church historian Winthrop S. Hudson asserted: "The practical effect of the stress upon 'soul competency' as the cardinal doctrine of the Baptists was to make every man's hat his own church."(59)

    Thus, E. Y. Mullins stands as one of the most important figures in Baptist history, and a figure who raises some of the most important questions facing contemporary Baptists. He deserves our historical appreciation and respect, and our most careful consideration and analysis. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    E. Y. Mullins:The Axioms of Religion
     
  19. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    Al Mohler is a punk and a Presbyterian-in- disguise; he wouldn't know the truth if he saw it.

    Mullins, the "Father of Modern Liberalism in the SBC"? You've got to be kidding! This is simply not true. Have you ever read his *The Christian Religion In Its Doctrinal Expression*? If you had, you couldn't make that charge. He was the champion of soul competency, but he was also a totally orthodox Baptist theologian. He believed in the substitutionary atonement, the inerrancy of scripture, the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the bodily resurrection. He was more conservative than I am, and I consider myself a moderate-conservative.

    Both groups in the present SBC controversy have claimed Mullins; that's because he was able to combine inerrancy with a strong belief in soul competency. I believe that's how the SBC stayed together all these years, and would have continued to do so if it hadn't been for fundamentalists on both the right and left trying to shove their ideologies down people's throats.
     
  20. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael Wrenn:
    [QB]Al Mohler is a punk and a Presbyterian-in- disguise...QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Michael, sometimes you are a true poet.

    Amen!

    Joshua
     

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