thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

why is voddie baucham really being marginalized by the sbc?

Ordinarily I don’t like to fill up too much blog space in a single week with the energy-sucking topic of patriocentricity. I much prefer sharing the wonderful testimonies of real homeschooling moms whose messages inspire and motivate me. I also prefer to cut and paste recipes from my file, yummy treats that will guarantee smiles when served by moms to their adoring fans around the dinner table. But, again today, I find myself needing to address the latest goofiness coming out of the patriocentricity camp and I hope the readers here won’t be too frustrated with me.

Voddie Baucham is currently the most sought-after homeschooling conference speaker around the country. Author, pastor, instructor at Henry Reyenga’s Christian Leaders Institute, and outspoken proponent for the Family Integrated Church movement, Voddie has many messages that the modern church and parents need to hear. We ARE a daycare society and moms and dads would do well to reconsider their participation in it. The church DOES often seek to disciple young people in lieu of encouraging and training parents to do the job that God gave to them. Fathers ARE often absent when it comes to raising children when they should be partnering with their wives in this most sacred of callings. These issues, among others, have a strong voice in Voddie and I wholeheartedly agree with him in addressing them.

A few years ago, Voddie took on his entire denomination when he challenged Christian parents to provide a Christian education for their children. I remember reading about Voddie’s attempts to persuade the Southern Baptist Convention of the need for training our children in all areas of education from a Biblical worldview perspective and I cheered for him from afar. I couldn’t agree more that today’s church is ambivalent about the dangers that lurk within public education and that they are wrong to treat all choices as equal.

I also applaud Voddie’s choices for his own family as he is providing what I am certain is an excellent education for his own young adult daughter. Articulate and intelligent, Jasmine appears to be a great example of the success of home education. But I do not believe that the Baucham family choices are the only Biblical way of approaching young adulthood, especially as it relates to daughters.

And that brings us to the whining coming from Mr. Baucham. In a blog article he wrote on Wednesday, he claims that he is being marginalized within the SBC because he is a 5-point Calvinist. Though he recognizes that he has ruffled feathers with his peers in his support for the FIC movement and home education, now he believes that embracing the Doctrines of Grace has caused those within his own denomination to reject him, a theory that I find hard to agree with, especially given events of the past few months.

Though I am an outsider with the SBC, I would like to offer what I think might cause Voddie’s peers to reconsider their alliances with him. I believe there are three reasons and they are big ones.

First of all, Voddie’s position at the far, far end of the patriocentric scale place him outside of the mainstream of even those within the SBC who have are drifting that direction themselves. A few weeks ago, Voddie went on national TV and equated the Gospel message of Jesus with his personal views of women. Calling on evangelicals to avoid voting for Sarah Palin, Voddie’s perspectives and interpretations of Scripture, I would imagine, did not set well with SBC leadership, including CBMW president Randy Stinson, who encouraged voting for Palin. Though I don’t know where all SBC leadership stands when it comes to Voddie’s assertions that the father serves as a type of mediator between God and his family, a “priest” to use Voddie’s own words, I do know that it is a long-time tenet of the Baptist faith that all men AND women are a royal priesthood, the priesthood of ALL believers, and I would believe that this doctrine has not been revoked by the SBC.

Secondly, Voddie’s concerns about home discipleship have not fallen on deaf ears. It is significant that Stinson, also the Dean of the School of Leadership and Church Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has promoted and enacted a family-centered approach for training seminary students for the past two years with the full support of seminary president Al Mohler Jr. In announcing the direction the school was taking in October of 2006, Mohler stated, “I don’t think we realize how revolutionary this kind of vision is. No other school on the planet is trying to do quite what we have just described here. There is something very unique that God has given us the opportunity to do here… when we were looking to the future of this school, to set its future in terms of direction, it was just really clear that the issue of family ministry was at the very heart of what we wanted to see take place in our local churches through this school.”

I believe Voddie’s influence had a tremendous impact on the school’s decision. But now, 2 years later, Voddie has associated himself with those who are not seeking to work within the traditional church system, but rather, are promoting the planting of FIC churches, Voddie himself training young men through the Christian Leaders Institute to pastor these churches. I cannot help but wonder if this week’s article is really a straw man so that Voddie can “honorably” disassociate himself with the SBC so he can further push the FIC agenda.

And finally, his association with questionable fanatics has also not gone unnoticed. Voddie has aligned himself with radicals like Doug Phillips in advancing the FIC and homeschooling cause. At a time when other Baptists in the south are realizing the folly of their racist history and are repenting, being associated with a man who hales Confederate theologian and racist R.L. Dabney might not sit well, especially with those African-American families who are attracted to the FIC and homeschooling lifestyles through Voddie’s ministry. Voddie references Dr. Cindy Kunsman’s patriocentricity presentation at an SBC seminary as a contributing factor in his plummeting popularity, perhaps a valid observation since she so bravely connected the dots between Phillips, many within the FIC movement, and the pro-south agenda.

I pray that Voddie reconsiders his extrabiblical views and his radical alliances so that the good and necessary message of home schooling and home discipleship can continue to be advanced without unnecessary offense.

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69 Comments»

  RichardD wrote @

Karen – I agree that there are other things in Voddie’s message and life that may be cause for disassociation in some people’s mind. But I don’t think any of those things are bothersome to very many people in the SBC.

However, my experience with the SBC (mainly through my SBC-affiliated church) would incline me to accept Voddie’s observations.

The SBC is going through a serious, albeit somewhat quiet, civil war regarding the Doctrines of Grace. Many pastors who hold to Calvinistic theology have been removed from positions of authority or from seminary/college classrooms.

Not only is Voddie outspokenly Calvinistic, but he has preached at John Piper’s conferences and Piper is practically the anti-Christ to these virulently anti-Calvinistic leaders in the SBC.

  jamesmelanie wrote @

It appears that many of the SBC’s more prominent leaders, Albert Mohler and Mark Dever for example, are 5 point Calvinists. I think you are correct in calling this excuse of Baucham’s a straw man and correctly point out that his views on FIC’s, homeschooling and patriarchy (rather than complementarianism) are what is setting him apart from his SBC counterparts. The Calvanist/ Arminian debate is an old one in the SBC.

  Cindy K wrote @

Richard,

Voddie came under strong criticism after his appearance on CNN after rejecting Sarah Palin. I happen to know that the repercussions of that were strongly felt in Louisville, Southern Baptist Calvinism central, not because of Calvinism but because of the election. Claiming that the criticism of his “patriocentric voodoo” as Karen would call was due to his Calvinistic beliefs is disingenuous.

For example:
If Voddie’s name does not appear in any of my workshop materials or the presentation anywhere, how can he in any good conscience claim that my workshop was a reaction to his book and his church?

I didn’t even so much as see a quote from his book and I never read an article on his website until several months after the workshop presentation.

If he’s grasping at the straw of my presentation where he is not even mentioned, how much of the rest of that article is twisted to make him sound like a Calvinist martyr?

John Piper is another fine example who has written lovely and profound Calvinist works, but when it comes to patriocentricity and the pagan patriarchy of the Roman paterfamilias that he tries to sell as Biblical Christianity, he takes that criticism not because of the Doctrines of Grace. He’s criticized because he’s pushing an agenda that is not clearly supported in the Word of God and then claims that his gender teachings are not intramural issues but are essential doctrine. The writings of Bob K McGreggor Wright, originally published in the late ’80s are an excellent example of this. He also applauds Piper’s work concerning Calvinism but rejects his eisegesis concerning his gender arguments.

That’s not to say that there’s not tension in the SBC regarding these matters, but why is it then that Calvinists like Hershael York strong arm other Calvinists who oppose the Louisville agenda and Baptist Identity? I don’t think that’s over Calvinism at all. It’s about the sacerdotalism and the resistance to sacerdotalism. It’s the attempts to take the loosely affiliated SBC, joined by the Baptist Faith and Message statement, and turn it into a group that is ruled by a top-down leadership. Voddie’s all about that. It just so happens that most of the people with most of the power who have this interest happen to be Calvinist. If this were about Calvinism, Al Mohler would be posting the same kinds of things on his blog. But it’s just business as usual for him, because he supported the candidate that the SBC endorsed. He didn’t think that, like McAtee, that Palin would be our “federal federal head.”

  Lin wrote @

“The Calvanist/ Arminian debate is an old one in the SBC.”

Yes it is.

“It’s the attempts to take the loosely affiliated SBC, joined by the Baptist Faith and Message statement, and turn it into a group that is ruled by a top-down leadership.”

That is exactly what it is. There is a huge fight over power in the SBC. And Calvinism is the strawman being used. The CR ran its course and the powerbrokers find themselves, once again, needing to consolidate power that is slipping away by numbers and loyalties.

They have been working toward top down leadership for 30 years and have nearly succeeded by stacking committees and trustees to their advantage. Now the fight is over which faction is going to win full power. If anyone thinks this is about doctrine, they are smoking crack.

Never forget: The SBC Calvinist/Free willers worked fine together when they were seeking the same goal.

Voddie’s views will never find a happy home in the SBC because he is too much into patriarchy and lording it over others. When one goes on TV and makes it sound like a vote for Palin is sin, watch out. IF he truly believes that all Christians should educate their own children, then he needs to find a way to pay for the Christian education of the children of all Christian working single moms. But then, single moms are in sin for being single moms, right? After all, lack of submission triggers abuse from husbands. And to divorce an abuser is sin in their eyes.

Don’t even get me started on the FIC strawman. Unless you look like the traditional family, FIC does not work. I happen to know that quite a few at SBTS are not happy about the tenor and direction that has project has taken and SBTS has backed off of their original position of that being the only biblical way to do church.

At the very least, Voddie was more honest in his false doctrine about a Palin vote. Mohler and Piper want us to believe she can lead and command men in the secular world but it would be a sin if she lead a bible study with male staffers!

  Cindy K wrote @

Richard,

I’m curious as to where pastors and teachers are being removed. I honestly would like to know to temper what I do know about the things that have taken place at Southern Seminary. I have friends that went there in the ’80s that watched professors get sent packing because they were considered to be too liberal. As one friend said to me, at least they were true Trinitarians, as they now have been replaced with Calvinists there who have just some outright wrong doctrines concerning the Trinity in particular. They rule with an iron fist there, from what I understand from so many who have written to me. You think like they think and tow the party line, or you suffer. They’re very intolerant. Very authoritarian.

Where are the other places where it works the other way? I honestly would like to know. I need to know. We all do. But I know only of the opposite.

I don’t think that this new move has to do with these doctrines related to God’s sovereignty. Both Paige Patterson and Al Mohler alike preach these doctrines concerning gender and strive to get women off the mission field and out of teaching positions (where they had no administrative/supervisory duties). Have you read what took place with the changing of the Faith and Message statement?

And I think of how Wade Burleson, a Calvinist, fought and fought these trends when he was on the Intl Missions Board and how people are still pursuing him. Wade fought to keep women in the mission field and he was vilified, too. I think if you say his name too loud in Louisville, the nearby windows start to break.

Who are the Wade Burlesons who are non-Calvinists and where can we read their sagas?

  Cindy K wrote @

I mentioned the work of Bob K. McGreggor Wright and something he wrote in response to the Danvers Statement, the foundational statement of CBMW. John Piper was one of the men to first pioneer that group. This was originally published in the Journal of Biblical Equality, I think in ’92. I have the whole document available if anyone is interested in reading it.

Wright says:

These considerations alone amount to the evacuation of the fundamental content of the whole project from the outset. Biblical Egalitarians should be properly thankful for what is virtually a logical expose by John Piper of the vacuous distinctions at the foundation of the traditionalist vision. The present writer was rather startled to read such a disappointing exegetical effort from Piper, after reading with profit and delight his excellent calvinistic treatise on pauline predestination in Romans 9, in his The Justification Of God (Baker, 1983.) The difference seems to be that the doctrine he wanted to exegete from Romans 9 actually exists in the texts treated, while the doctrine he wants to get from the Bible on male supremacy does not. I have not seen so spectacular a case of the difference between exegesis and eisegesis in the writings of one single evangelical scholar for a long time.

This is the kind of thing I’m talking about. Here is someone writing from an egalitarian perspective, but they are cheering Piper’s work concerning Calvinism. I’ve seen many such responses from all kinds of people.

It is difficult when you do trust and love so much of someone’s work in one area when it is really just top-notch stuff and could hardly be made better. Piper has produced a lot of really good work. John MacArthur is another great example of someone who has many good, solid teachings. But they all seem to come to subjects pertaining to patriarchy, and suddenly, their teachings are really, really off in this area. Baucham is the same way in many respects, and he is likeable like these others.

It’s hard when most of what you know about someone you’ve trusted and invested in emotionally, spiritually and intellectually because of their sound teachings produces material that is really off. It’s taken place here on this blog several times in the past year. Old professors who you’ve studied with are kind and fun and good teachers cause that bond of investment to go all the more deeper. When someone comes to you with really outrageous stuff when you know they’ve taught so much other good material, it literally boggles the mind. If you’re mind’s working well, it probably should knock you out of that automatic trust that we give those whom we trust.

I spoke with a wise man of the Word about statements that Denny Burk made before the Evangelical Theology Society when he said that Jesus was some type of juvenile type son of God before the foundations of the world were laid. And Jesus had to make a choice about whether He would become fully God like God was or whether he would choose to redeem us by becoming incarnate. He comes right out and says that he is not equal to God in all respects, only some. When I told this to this apologist and learned man, he said that it could not be true and that the ETS would have taken him to task. The ETS never did take him to task. They just plugged along — business as usual, because Denny Burk was one of the favored with the Calvinist leadership at ETS at the time. Yet, the AUDIO quotes are on my blog, and Cheryl Schatz put them in her latest video, and you can hear them with your own ears on her own blog.

So it’s hard to believe that there can be error or corruption. I spoke to someone on Monday who said that the would not ever have believed how a group of such respected people, some of whom you would know the names of here, could have done such things to him if them if they had not been the one suffering on the receiving end of their behavior. It’s just inconceivable for us sometimes.

I shake my head and RC Sproul sometimes, and have all along. Most of the time, he is just so good, but put him on a topic like infant baptism (not really a big deal to me), and I just can’t believe he draws the conclusions that he does from the New Testament. I just don’t understand how he could contend so hard and teach that stuff that does not seem to follow for me.

That is cognitive dissonance. It’s the sense that you get when you’re faced with contradictory information or evidence that just cannot be processed, given your current esteem of things. And this is when people say things like “But he’s a good man” and “If you met him and had dinner with him” comes in. Or people will say, but “So and so just preached there at his church and had no problems.” And “He’s my friend and he’s the friend of — ” say RC Sproul, since I brought him up. We are loyal creatures and we like consistency. We need consistency to make sense of the world, but when people are inconsistent, we have to make a choice about what we are going to do with all of that stress.

You can ignore it for as long as you possibly can, avoiding making any types of judgement calls at all. You can fight the information with denial (like my friend did about the response of ETS) and stick up for the majority of what you know that seems consistent. Or you can look squarely at what makes you uncomfortable, often painfully so, and call things as they are. I think people go through a lot of this with men like Piper and Baucham.

Thinking in black and white is no stress. Fleshing out our human inconsistencies, complexities and the reasons of the heart that reason knows not is often painful, threatening and troubling work. I’m so, so sorry that as Christians, we even have need for this. I heard some just outrageous stuff that came from Piper, something that actually originated with RC Sproul, that was just bad, bad doctrine. What do you do with that?

You have to think outside of black and white. That’s what we’re doing here with Voddie. He’s complex, intellegent, well-spoken, well-trained, and as Karen said in the beginning of the post here, he’s goofy when it comes to things related to women, men and other things like Sunday School because he’s received these submission doctrines as Biblical Christianity.

My mentor used to tell us in school that we could not ride into heaven on his coat tails. We had to learn discernment for ourselves.

  RichardD wrote @

Cindy – I don’t have a wide knowledge of these things, only a personal knowledge. In other words, I have not read about these things, I have lived them. I think the real is much more valid than the theoretical.

The president of Liberty Seminary told me personally that I represent a faction that is more dangerous than radical Islam because I am a five-point Calvinist. I have four personal friends whose jobs were terminated at Liberty University during the 2007 school year because of their stand on Calvinism. Paige Patterson fired two assistant pastors at his church the year before he died because they had made public statements in support of a man who proclaimed himself to be a “4-point Calvinist.” The webmaster at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Mark Devers church) told me of death threats that were sent to that church by other SBC pastors. Johnny Hunt described my pastor (a 3-pointer) as a “blatantly heretical nonbeliever” due to his Calvinistic leanings. When my church split about six years ago because the pastor was accused of unethical financial dealings, Jerry Falwell publicly stated that the reason for the failure of this church was that the pastor had become a Calvinist. This year’s Southern Baptist Convention featured an extensive squad of shouting leaflet distributors at all of the doors pressing the point that Al Mohler must not be considered for the presidency of the SBC because of his Calvinism.

Those are a handful of the myriad experiences I have personally had with the anti-Calvinist forces in the SBC. I have mild disagreements with Voddie about some FIC issues and some gender-related things. And I disagreed strongly with his statements about Gov. Palin. But I accept fully his view of what’s happening in the SBC and am not likely to change my acceptance of that based on the thoughts of folks outside of the SBC.

It’s not ALL about patriocentricity. There are a few other issues out there if you take the time to look.

  RichardD wrote @

Cindy (and Karen, etc.) – I didn’t mean the final statement in that last comment to be directed at you. I know that you have well-rounded views of the happenings in the theological world.

While I was writing that comment my thoughts turned to some other Voddie Baucham detractors (one of which commented recently on my blog) and I began respond to that totally non contextual situation.

If I may put it plainly in reference to where I stand re: Voddie. I would gladly put myself under Voddie Baucham’s ministry in spite of a few issues where I believe he and I would strongly disagree. That does not mean that I think he is above criticism, only that I have not found the negatives to come close to outweighing the positives I see in his ministry.

I am also appalled on a regular basis by the latent violence of the anti-Calvinist crowd in the SBC. They are crazed and outspoken and have made it close to impossible for most SBC pastors to speak with confidence and boldness about doctrines they find clearly supported in scripture. The big name SBC pastors get a bit of a pass because of their huge groundswell of support (Dever, Mohler, etc.), but the little guys are walking on egg shells all the time, hoping that no one will notice that they used the word “sovereignty” in their last sermon.

  Lin wrote @

“Paige Patterson fired two assistant pastors at his church the year before he died because they had made public statements in support of a man who proclaimed himself to be a “4-point Calvinist.”

Paige Patterson is alive and running SWBTS into the ground as we speak.

By the way, Adrian Rogers called Calvinism the doctrine of devils and supported Mohler for president of SBTS. :o)

Richard, with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, just let me say that YOU, a man, may have no problem under Voddie…but it sounds like legalistic pharisetical prison to me,,,a mere stupid woman whose only purpose on earth is to seek the ‘will’ of her husband/priest… More extra biblical teaching on roles, rules and formulas for Christian women.

  Lin wrote @

“I am also appalled on a regular basis by the latent violence of the anti-Calvinist crowd in the SBC. They are crazed and outspoken and have made it close to impossible for most SBC pastors to speak with confidence and boldness about doctrines they find clearly supported in scripture. The big name SBC pastors get a bit of a pass because of their huge groundswell of support (Dever, Mohler, etc.), but the little guys are walking on egg shells all the time, hoping that no one will notice that they used the word “sovereignty” in their last sermon.”

Richard, just a few thoughts. The ‘Calvinist’ SBTS is the most successful SBC seminary and growing The DoG conferences are packed and attended by younguns as opposed to the other ones that are attended by the middle aged and ancients.

If anyone is holding an ace card in the SBC, it is the Calvinists.

But the ‘little’ guys need to be honest with pulpit committees about their Calvinism. This is where I think ministry has become a career ladder. Why not get a real job and be bi-vocational and preach Calvin all they want for free? Why? Because there is no power and influence in that.

I beleive in election, I just detest Calvin. It reeks of following Apollos.

But the problem is even bigger…the doctrine coming out of SBTS, like Cindy pointed out above, is dangerous. It has morphed into a ‘lesser Jesus’ in a ‘chain of command’ Trinity and plenty of heirarchy for those who are the ‘fittest’ and hold man given titles. It is more Darwinian than Christian.

  RichardD wrote @

Sorry – I meant to say Adrian Rogers, not Paige Patterson. The man who is Adrian Rogers’ replacement has also wasted his time coming to my blog to chide me about some of my views on music (rather than spending his time dealing with the considerable problems of his very large church). I don’t know if his appearance on my blog had anything to do with my stand on Calvinism, but my only knowledge of his church is its anti-Calvinistic teaching from the pulpit.

  RichardD wrote @

I addressed the situation with pulpit committees on the Founders blog about two years ago. I don’t think very many prospective pastors misrepresent their doctrinal positions when they candidate.

What I have observed in this regard is that the anti-Calvinist crowd has presented a straw-man of Calvinism. This straw-man includes such things as a rejection of evangelism, a belief that infants that die go to hell, and a coldness that avoids speaking of the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

None of these things are typical of Calvinists and the first two are so blatantly false that they lead the congregations to develop a monster in their mind that is simply not what they see when the next Calvinistic pastor candidates at their church.

When the congregation or deacons/elders question the candidate, they ask such things as, “Do you believe that we cannot share the gospel with everyone because not all of them are elect?” and “Do you believe that Christ’s death on the cross provided no benefit to those who will not believe?” A true Calvinist rejects both of those things, but those beliefs are regularly attributed to Calvinists.

As far as labels go – Paul didn’t like people saying that they were of Christ any more than saying that they were of Apollos. The point he was making is that we should not be separating from our brothers by presenting ourselves as better than they are because we’re on this team or that team. The term Calvinism is useful only in circles where the theology of the Doctrines of Grace is understood. Outside of those circles, I would reject the label as well. We are not to present our theology as the reason we are better than someone else.

An application of that very thing would be that we should not belittle someone such as Voddie Baucham because he holds to a viewpoint that is different than ours — our viewpoint, of course, being the one that makes us better than him. We can discuss his stand on certain issues and agree or disagree with his stand. But rejecting him as a person because of his stand on a handful of issues is simply an exact violation of what Paul said we should not do when we align ourselves (or disalign ourselves) with a person.

  Lin wrote @

“Sorry – I meant to say Adrian Rogers, not Paige Patterson. The man who is Adrian Rogers’ replacement has also wasted his time coming to my blog to chide me about some of my views on music (rather than spending his time dealing with the considerable problems of his very large church). I don’t know if his appearance on my blog had anything to do with my stand on Calvinism, but my only knowledge of his church is its anti-Calvinistic teaching from the pulpit.”

You have got to be kidding me! BTW: Gaines , the pastor who replaced Rogers, allowed a confessed pedophile minister of prayer to stay on his staff a few years back….until it was made public and he was forced to make him resign. Evidently, he does not think too much of qualifications for elders in scripture. There is a blog dedicated to the bizarre preaching and doctrines of Gaines.

Richard, I think the really big fear with Calvinism within the SBC is based more on fear of losing congregational polity. Many well known Calvinists are very hierarchical and tend to lean toward a few men making all the decisions for the Body where many SBC churches believe that all ‘believers’ are ministers. Not all churches beleieve that anymore, I know. In the past 30 years, we have seen more and more SBC churches take on the mantle of a few running the whole show and those in the pews are spectators.

If Voddie is being ‘marginalized’ it is because of his fringe teachings that are extra biblical. That is not rejecting him as a person. It is rejecting his teaching which is extra biblical. When I say that, I mean the teaching he has chosen to be the most vocal about is not the pure gospel but many rules and roles for people which are extra biblical. I think it behooves us all to look at all teaching and ask one simple question: Does this person’s teaching elevate them in power over others? If it does, we do need to question their ‘goals’. Paul described himself as a bondservant. There is to be no lording it over others in the Body.

Voddie chose to go on TV and imply that a vote for Palin was sin. It is perfectly right to reject that view and question why someone as educated as Voddie holds that view. I question his view about women, daughters, etc.

His blog post that Karen wrote about here was bizarre. Why include Cindy? She made no reference to him in her presentation. She directly quoted those she spoke about. The bottomline is that Voddie is Patriarchal and thinks those who do not subscribe to his view of Patriarchy are in sin. But, he also believes those who are not inviting him to speak are doing it because of Calvinism ignoring the fact that he went on national TV and spoke about Palin the way he did. He may want to consider Mohlers speaking schedule, or Piper’s or Driscolls, or Ware’s or Moore’s who supported Palin. And who speak to mixed audiences (Calvin and Free Willers) all the time.

His blaming Calvinism is a strawman.

  Julie wrote @

OK. We spent four years at SBTS and I just don’t agree with you all that it’s some horrible, horrible place that is pushing some anti-Biblical agenda.

We’ve had personal dealings with a lot of the professors there and NEVER once did we get the impression that they had an “us four and no more” mentality.

My husband received an excellent education and was exposed to so many wonderful resources. It’s a place that is truly doing all for the glory of God in training young men to be pastors.

  Lin wrote @

Julie, I agree with you from a general point of view about SBTS and have many friends there. But there is some heresy coming out of SBTS from a few well placed and influential professors who are teaching the eternal subordination of Jesus Christ within the Trinity in eternity past and future.

Cindy made a good point above about us not wanting to believe negative things about our heros.

It is ok if you don’t believe me. Most do not. It is very subtle and one must be vigilant to catch it. Cheryl Schatz did a DVD dedicated to this subject and only used audio quotes from SBTS’s Bruce Ware and Denny Burke teaching on this subject. If you believe it is a waste of time to pray to Jesus, because He is a lesser Deity, you may agree with Bruce Ware and Denny Burke.

SBTS’s Russell Moore is also calling for less complimentarian and more Patriarchy.

  RichardD wrote @

Lin – here’s the link to the post on my blog that Steve Gaines stepped into. I was shocked that he thought he should waste his time on my little blog, but he did. You’ll see his comments in the comments thread. I think his entrance into my tiny sliver of the blogosphere was because he is really bothered by the web site that was established for the purpose of shining the light on his shenanigans.

http://richgelina.blogspot.com/2007/11/why-hymns.html

I have seen the authoritarian ways of some strong Calvinistic types. But my personal experience has been on the opposite end of the scale. The further away from Reformed doctrines, the more strong-armed were the tactics of the pastors. Although I must admit that I have had trouble locating churches that preach what I believe to be fully biblical.

Regarding Voddie Baucham – I do recognize some areas where I disagree with him and I don’t like that fact that he seems to question the scholarship and even sometimes the salvation of those who would disagree with him on some of what I consider to be secondary issues, but I have been strongly impacted toward personal commitment to Christ by many of his sermons.

A recent visitor to my blog likened Voddie Baucham to Stacy McDonald and said that “you can’t ignore his nonsense, but you hope for the best because of his other gems of wisdom. This is just how I feel about Stacy. ” I do not see a correlation at all between Voddie Baucham, who I believe to be in error in a few minor areas and Stacy McDonald, who I believe to be wrong about everything I’ve ever read of hers. We all fall into a balance in the eyes of others and it would be best if our good stuff outweighed the bad. I think Baucham’s good significantly outweighs the bad.

Thanks for giving me a bit of a pass on my earlier exaggerated comments, which I believe fell victim to the concept of in vino veritas.

  Lin wrote @

“Thanks for giving me a bit of a pass on my earlier exaggerated comments, which I believe fell victim to the concept of in vino veritas.”

Richard, You are my brother and get a pass, of course! (me too, right?) Except that now I have to go look that last part up. (sigh)

Vino is wine, right? :o)

  Cindy K wrote @

Richard,

Thank you for pointing out those specifics about the things that have gone on at Liberty U. I take it that it was essentially the same thing that happened at Southern Seminary, but it was the Calvinists that ran people out. So what we are really talking about here is power and the misuse of power, and a failure to abide by the Baptist Faith and Message statement — hold only to those central tenets and tolerate the distinctions. There are people that are guilty of it on both sides. What they are doing at Liberty is no more justifiable than what they are doing at Southern. Both are guilty of the abuse of power, then. Neither should be glossed over. Friends of mine have been dismissed from positions in non-denominational colleges for Calvinistic thought, yet other institutions like Lee University (Church of God / Pentecostal) have had a Reformed presence on the faculty for 40 or 50 years now, and the co-habitate well with their arminian/semi-pelagian counterparts there in the same institution. So I know that it can be done and done well.

The Christian differences regarding free will/determinism are perspectives, not a holy grail in and of themselves. They are not the Gospel. When either perspective/interpretation is assumed to be THE GOSPEL message or central to it, placing those interpretations on equal footing with doctrine that has more direct clarity (the profound ramifications of either perspective not withstanding), it destroys Christian liberty. Many are Calvinist first or Arminian first and THEN Christian second. (We human beings tend to be tribal, but we are called to a diverse group of those under what some use as a pejorative and call it the big tent, both regarding intramurals and even race.) There is the good, the perfect and the acceptable will of God. We must be on target, and those from either perspective can claim that they are perfectly at center, becoming intolerant of all that they see as not within what they define as the true, central perfection of God’s will. Along with the abuse of power comes intolerance. That’s not Jesus or the fruit of the Spirit but the work of the flesh. And we all have plenty of flesh, don’t we? (Some people do the same thing with the holy grail of homeschooling, or creation science, or the charismata, or for example.) The further away that we get from the True Vine and the more we make those peripherals our center supplanting Jesus, the more likely we are to end up in the flesh.

But I know personally that it is difficult, having held both beliefs and having respect for both beliefs as a result that the Calvinist side of the argument often has a very negative impact on evangelism and over the past fifteen years or so has degraded into the practice of officially declaring people (believers and non-believers alike) to be clearly non-elect FOR SOME, certainly not all, Calvinists. I’ve also had my own mother call me a heretic for defending the Doctrines of Grace in an otherwise civil (until then) conversation. (Her body seemed about 5 times larger than real life, too, because she was furious.)

There are things about Voddie that I like. He is very disarming and he has many good things to say which is why my husband became so upset when he then talked of his daughter like property in that “Return of the Daughters” video. Excluding the two small sections in his chapter on the DVD, we agreed with much of what he said. He is another who holds these extra-biblical doctrines as non-optional. And then there are the sensational things like his statement that Sunday School is Communistic (on his first “Biblical Womanhood” video on You Tube). He makes a lot of reactionary arguments using loaded connotations to prove his point, and he discounts other views in the process. I don’t think that anyone has cause to go that far.

And as I said many times before online, considering all of the Vision Forum advocates and affiliates, Baucham definitely appears to have more integrity than the rest of the whole lot put together.

  RichardD wrote @

Lin – In Vino Veritas “In wine there is truth.” It means, essentially, that a small amount of wine tends to lower a person’s inhibitions and it tends to free his tongue to say what is truly in his heart, without spin and without a covering mask of political correctness (or the conservative religious version thereof).

Cindy – I agree that abuse of power is not attractive from any side. My experience, probably because I’m one of those who you described in your comment who holds Calvinism to be “the Gospel,” is that the vitriol and abuse of power is much more prominent on the Arminian or lack o’ theological depth side.

I don’t think it is a good thing for us to sweep differences under the rug when the Bible clearly states doctrine. I don’t see any room for discussion or debate regarding such things as the depravity of man, unconditional election, the definite atonement of Christ for his people, effectual grace, or God’s preservation of his saints. I find these things simply dripping from every page of scripture and must view those who reject it as either lacking in scholarship or intentionally opposing the revealed word of God. So I tend to not see the dismissal of anti-Calvinists as an abuse of power, but rather as discretion and good judgment.

I admit that I am an all-or-nothing type of person and I see in shades of solid black and solid white. It makes life much easier with the simple exception of trying to get along with others. Oh well.

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Julie,

I am so glad to see you here after the past few months of such a hectic life! I continue to pray for your husband’s full recovery and yours after delivery, too!

I have never been a Southern Baptist but do have several friends who attended a Baptist college with me who went on to get their seminary degrees in Louisville. My only other experience has been reading Wade Burleson’s blog. Wade is a solid, Bible-believing and teaching pastor who is also a complementarian and who has spoken out extensively against what he is seeing happen in the SBC as far as patriocentricity is concerned. I would encourage you to check out his writings. He shares your love of the SBC and that is the very reason he desires to hold them accountable when some of these abhorrent views have been introduced and are even taught in some places as sound doctrine. Here is a link to his blog. I think you will be blessed by it.

http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/

One of my biggest concerns with Voddie is that he will most certainly and already has influence people to leave good churches where pastors are committed to home discipleship but are not completely FIC. He is a powerful voice within the SBC and I think those who hold to some of the more scandalous views of the Trinity will be incited by his teachings.

  thatmom wrote @

It is such an interesting thing to me that a teachings as basic as the sovereignty of God can create such a firestorm in some places.

I once heard this interesting story that supposedly happened in BJU’s pastoral training department.

A group of young seminarians were reading Calvin and their enthusiasm began to bubble over to their classmates. They began asking lots of questions of their Arminian profs and finally, in desperation, the dean of the division announced that the students were to bring in all of their Calvinistic books and pile them at the front of the classroom for disposal. One by one they all heaped their Bibles on the pile! 🙂

  thatmom wrote @

Richard, you said “A recent visitor to my blog likened Voddie Baucham to Stacy McDonald and said that “you can’t ignore his nonsense, but you hope for the best because of his other gems of wisdom. This is just how I feel about Stacy. ” I do not see a correlation at all between Voddie Baucham, who I believe to be in error in a few minor areas and Stacy McDonald, who I believe to be wrong about everything I’ve ever read of hers.”

I wouldn’t agree with this statement. Whereas I have disagreed with Stacy on many things, I think I would agree with her on more things than I would disagree with. It is just that those areas where I am troubled by what she writes are so harmful to women, especially as they seek to build relationships with their children and husbands.

Voddie, while I think he and I would be in solid agreement on most things, even the Doctrines of Grace, my areas of disagreement with him are the same areas where I find Stacy to be wrong. And I certainly do not see them as “minor.”

I listened to several of the youtube videos with Voddie last week and found myself really frustrated at his take on fathers being the priests of their homes. Does he, as a Baptist, really believe this stuff? is that a minor issue? Scripture teaches that Jesus is the ONLY mediator between God and man. It also teaches that we are ALL part of a royal priesthood. Why is it minor for Voddie to say otherwise. And are you forgetting that he was front and center in the movie The Return of the Daughters? Oh my.

And then I watched the clip where he uses the analogy of the US Marine Corps in talking about turning “sullen and rebellious” teenagers into mature adults. He says that if the USMC can do it, parents can do it armed with their Bibles.

This analogy is really troubling and I think it says a lot about his views of relating to our kids. The military method is to take a young person and totally destroy any self-worth that they might have, totally dehumanizing them, making them believe they are scum. They spend 6 weeks doing this in order to make them believe that their only hope is to become just like the drill sergeant and just like the standard that has been established not only for that one soldier but for all soldiers, a uniformity that is displayed in shaved heads (all the same) and uniforms, all the same as well. Some of them are so demoralized and destroyed they are of no use to the Marines.

Raising children who are compassionate and loving adults with servant’s hearts cannot be accomplished apart from the work of the Holy Spirit who works in each and every believer in a unique way, giving each one unique gifts, and calling them to individual service within the body of Christ. I takes patience, compassion, and most certainly one anothering, rather than a chain of command approach.

  thatmom wrote @

Richard, you are correct that even a little wine takes away inhibitions. But sometimes those inhibitions are a good thing.

Proverbs 15:2
The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

  RichardD wrote @

Yes – BJU has had an interesting history regarding the Doctrines of Grace. When the Christian school that my father’s church founded was looking for teachers, the graduating education majors at BJU were told not to apply to our school because at Bob Jones there were being trained for Christian service and our church was Calvinistic.

Regarding Voddie/Stacy – my statement was that I (personally) had not ready anything of redeeming value from Stacy McDonald, including the venom-laced personal communications I have had with her. While she may have written much that is of value, I have not been privy to it.

On the other hand, I have benefited greatly from Voddie Baucham’s public teaching, which developed, in a sense, into a bank of merit against which he has made withdrawals with his overemphasis on FIC and some of his patriarchal teachings. I have not looked for his statements on YouTube. My mother once told me that it is foolish to look for dirt, because when you look for dirt you are certain to find it.

With that in mind, discretion is a good thing and the mouth of fools pours out foolishness, but on the other hand “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

You weren’t calling me a fool, were you?

  Cindy K wrote @

Richard wrote: My experience, probably because I’m one of those who you described in your comment who holds Calvinism to be “the Gospel,” is that the vitriol and abuse of power is much more prominent on the Arminian or lack o’ theological depth side.

Richard, Calvinism is a perspective and is thus a construct of man in his attempt to understand the Gospel. So is Arminianism and Pelagianism and any other -ism in between. Each is a perspective that represents the Word of God and falls within the pale of orthodoxy. Each perspective has it’s positive and its negative aspects. It is an intramural issue, and as Augustine said, in matters of non-essentials, we should have liberty. LIBERTY, not exclusion. We are called to lovingly bear one another’s differences of perspective and personal conviction. When either perspective is placed on the same footing as the Gospel (above the level of conviction and as TRUTH rather than an understanding of it), the sovereignty of God is denied. Arminians do so by placing man in too high a ranking in comparison to God’s sovereignty. Calvinists assume the place of God when they become fixated on limited atonement (forgetting their own depravity outside of Christ’s mercy), the often fit matters of the mystery of God’s perspective into the confines of the box of human understanding, assuming to be able to share God’s perspective. Both demonstrate human hubris. Neither is the Gospel itself, but it represents man’s comprehension of God.

Based upon our personalities and the marvellous diversities in which God has created us, each person makes sense of the world in a different way. The mathematician who has more of an affinity for analytical matters probably gets much more out of the Calvinistic perspective. The artist and those skilled in relationships and the subtle nuances of relating to people probably relates better to God from some perspective that is not full blown Calvinism. How gracious is God to present the Gospel in such a way so as to relate it to both of these types of people? This is why we have synoptic Gospels, because each one had a specific target audience. I love Matthew and John the most, and Mark and Luke appeal more to others. I believe the same is true of this debate.

One has to trust the Holy Spirit to do His work in the lives of others. We are all on different stages in our transformation into the image of God’s son. I’ve heard Sproul say (and I don’t know if he originated the phrase or not) that when we first get saved, we are Arminian. When we study a little longer, we get semi-pelagian. And when we mature, whether we realize it or not, we accept Calvinism. By saying that only Calvinism represents truth (and it may be truth on a deeper level), you are ostracising untold numbers of believers that love God with their whole being for the sake of your own, albeit limited perspective. You are not the Holy Spirit who tenderly changes us, doing all things in love.

We are to contend for our beliefs with meekness and patience, and the process approves us. Both perspectives, when approached with grace, respect, and “one-anothering” fosters and deepens the faith of all, both in the process of the challenge and in the quest for greater truth. We make one another think about what our own perspective does not appreciate. That does not mean that those who are not “digging deep” on your side of the fence are not digging deep at all. You can contend with all passion for the truth, but we must love one another in the process. And no one has said that we should sweep differences away. The differences enrich us all and teach us how to love one another as God stretches our hearts like Jesus told the man with the withered hand to stretch his own tough, contracted skin.

If we feel strife, bitterness or such when we are contending for rock-solid truth, that frustration tells us something about our own hearts. Defining terms in only black and white in regard to something as mind-boggling complex and diverse as human understanding tells us much about our own focus. If we are contending for God’s truth and we believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in the heart and mind of the committed believer and finishes the good work that God began, why should we feel personally offended? Chances are that we are feeling our own unhealed wounds. (All or nothing reasoning is classified as a defense mechanism, and this is what small children who lack discernment do.) God is more likely pushing us toward our own healing and is likely not asking us to separate from our own flesh. He’s teaching us how to stretch, how to trust him with the heart of another and how to love.

We need to be just as focused on loving our brethren (with whom we share the Love of Christ’s Word and His character and the church) as we are on contending for the truth. One without the other is empty, just like faith without works. We are not called to be the Holy Spirit in the hearts of others, and we have to learn to be patient with His work in us as well as His work in others. We are not all that we were and not all that we will be.

That does not mean and need not imply in any way that there wont be disagreements. But if our foundation and our security is really in truth, why should it bother us when we differ on matters within the pale? It’s our job to state our apologia, but it is the work of the Lord to change the other person’s understanding. It is by staying grounded in the True Vine of the Gospel and not in the tenets of perspective on any matter that keeps us rooted and grounded in love, the love that we are given freely by the Lord, while we were yet sinners. We need to model that kind of love, not to dismiss sin but to learn forbearance of one another’s differences which James says comes through suffering, the trying of our faith. God is using these things to teach us his character, and never stops until we draw our last breath.

Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, and when He could have prayed anything else, He prayed for us to be one like He and the Father were one. We read how the early church gathered and were of one mind and one accord. That was not uniformity but true unity. God worked that through the fruit of love via the Spirit and not through uniformity — the working of what man wants. Men want uniformity based on the outward things. God calls us to faith in him and to love for one another. That is the key to our unity.

  thatmom wrote @

“I have not looked for his statements on YouTube. My mother once told me that it is foolish to look for dirt, because when you look for dirt you are certain to find it.”

I don’t think watching a video of someone’s teaching, trying to understand the perspective he or she is coming from, or reading their books or articles or blog entries to do likewise is “looking for dirt.” In fact, many times we don’t really understand someone’s perspective because we haven’t looked far enough into what they are teaching. Were the Bereans “looking for dirt?” Given the influence that Voddie currently makes it even more important that we read and watch all we can that he writes and says.

  thatmom wrote @

Actually, Richard, I was referring to those who open their mouths and tell all they think or know because alcohol has lessened their inhibitions. I would put the word “inhibition” in the category of self-control, which we are told is one of the fruits of the spirit and too often those who take in too much fruit of the vine show a lack of it.

  Jack Brooks wrote @

A few comments from the EFCA end of the table here…

There will always be people in every organization who will use the ineptitude of others, in order to spread false claims in order to get other people to vote their way. We have a district superintendent who desperately tried to stop our adoption of a revised Statement of Faith (which, after much storm and thunder, we did adopt in June of this year. It’s actually more conservative than the old 1950 one). This superintendent, among other things, tried to float the specter of a secret Calvinist conspiracy to take over the EFCA. He represents the 1950s-1970s era, dispensational, Arminian consensus of the EFCA.

I got up to the mic and pointed out to the entire assembly that the new Statement of Faith didn’t state whether or not original sin destroys someone’s ability to desire God; didn’t mention “election”; didn’t address the extent of the atonement; didn’t say whether saving grace was resistible or irresistible; and didn’t say whether or not we persevere in faith and godliness. So how could it represent TULIP? Many others of my colleagues pointed out similar facts. The new SoF passed by a more than 80% margin. But this superintendent’s gambit reminds me of what you all are complaining about. It is fear-mongering, panicky slander, and it needs to be opposed.

2. The reason Arminian preachers in the SBC like the late Adrian Rogers, or Ergun Caner at Liberty, have to use strong-arm tactics to persecute Calvinists is because they can’t win this debate on exegetical grounds. They end up losing, the same way Pelagius got steamrolled by Augustine — Pelagius couldn’t make his case, neither did Erasmus, neither could Norman Geisler in his book Chosen But Free. So, because they invariably lose their debates with competent Calvinists, they just smear and excommunicate all the Calvinists, like the Calvary Chapels under George Bryson have done. Beat up the Calvinists using institutional brute force. But what it’s actually doing is strengthening the Calvinistic Baptists. Ed Stetzer at our EFCA Minister’s Forum in February said that Reformed theology is one of two movements with real energy amongst American Evangelicals right now (the other being the emergent church movement).,

3. I am as opposed to egalitarianism as I am opposed to Vision Forum. They are equal evils. Egalitarianism is a distortion of the Biblical teachings on the equality of men and women. It is a cloaked form of feminism, which itself is pagan and anti-Christian to its nasty little core. Regardless of their essential equality, the Son is under the Father, and the Spirit is under the Father and the Son. But we all need to stop listening to the demagogues and intoxicated kooks who populate whichever end of this spectrum we like the best.

4. There are people who say things that are so egregiously bad that it outweighs the good things. This Voddie Baucham sounds something like that. It wouldn’t matter to me how much I might agree with a preacher’s pro-family stance. I agreed with maybe 70% of Vision Forum’s web statement on Patriarchy, when I researched it months ago. But the 30% I rejected was appalling. Any guest speaker who got up and said that his daughter was his property, or that he stands between God and his family as a priestly mediator, or that God imputes the sins of his family to him, is unsound. I would have to correct such teaching immediately; and he would never be permitted in my pulpit again, in the same way that we will never support the Asbury Seminary-connected campus ministry worker who pulled up to my office for a fund-raising visit with an Obama sticker on her car bumper.

  santafeboy wrote @

Cindy – I understand your point and agree with you. I have even argued that the gospel is presented differently in, for example, John and Romans because God has created each of us differently and we respond to different things.

But I concur with Charles H. Spurgeon who said that to tell the gospel to its fullest is to proclaim what has been called Calvinism. Although I absolutely believe the Bible clearly addresses and proclaims the definite atonement of the called and chosen ones – those who are known by the fact that they are also the believing ones, as they are called in John 3:16, it is not a doctrine that I push at people who have not yet had this truth revealed to them. And I absolutely believe it is the truth, which they will eventually understand – in this world or the next. If I did not believe it to be truth, I would believe something else.

My beef is not with those who are on a journey of understanding as R.C. Sproul described, but with those who position themselves against the theological system most commonly known as Calvinism. And I, too, would seek their removal from institutions of higher learning.

Karen – I’m glad you were not referring to me as a fool. However, I saw myself in your comment. I am quite often foolish in my speech. And I don’t actually need wine to lower my discretionary filter. It should keep me humble, but I keep my humility carefully cloaked behind a solid veneer of bluster and bravado.

  Lin wrote @

“3. I am as opposed to egalitarianism as I am opposed to Vision Forum. They are equal evils. Egalitarianism is a distortion of the Biblical teachings on the equality of men and women.”

Yikes. Is it ok if we still vote? Is Gov. Palin evil since she is a professing Christian? Or is she just not allowed to lead a bible study with male staffers?

  Jack Brooks wrote @

Yes, Lin, from those words you can clearly tell that I want all women dressed in burqhas and sweeping up after me. And throwing rose petals in my path, please.

There’s never any excuse for celebrating the parts of the bible we like, and ignoring the parts we don’t like. It’s also not allowable to point the finger at Vision Forum kooks, as if Vision Forum’s kookiness means that egalitarianism is true. Vision Forum is kooky, and egalitarianism is wrong, both at the same time.

We also never have the right to ignore context in order to misapply Bible texts — taking verses that clearly address equality in redemption (such as Galatians 3:28) and forcing them onto matters of church governance.

The Bible teaches that men and women are equal in some ways, and that men are over women in other ways. Men and women are equally made in God’s image, equally dead spiritually speaking, equally in need of redemption, equally redeemed by the shed blood of Christ, we come to God the same way (by faith alone), we come to God directly by means of Christ (women don’t come to God through Christ via their fathers or husbands), we’re all sons of God through faith in Christ, and have Christian women access to the same spiritual gifts, including teaching and administration gifts, that men do.

It also teaches, just as authoritatively, that God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man/or husbands, and man/husbands is the head of woman/wives (1 Cor. 11:3). The fact that God is the head of Christ proves that “head” doesn’t mean “source” there, since God is not the source of Christ (unless you a heretic, and say that the second Person of the Trinity depends on the first Person of the Trinity for His deity). “Head” means “ruler” or “overseer.” God is over Christ; Christ is over Christian men; Christian men are over Christian women in authority. This is a generalization.

That was why Christian men, in their cultural setting, were forbidden to wear anything on their heads while praying or prophesying, while women were required to wear a symbol of submission (a head-covering, 11:4-7). This was a universal rule among all Christian churches, not a just local command (11:16).

We accept Genesis 1-3 as historical. Womankind was created out of Adam, which means God gave him priority, and Eve was created for Adam’s help (1 Cor. 11:8-9). Both of these are fixed historical events which don’t change with the times. A consistent creationist has to be some degree of complementarian.

Women were not allowed to speak in tongues or prophesy in the Lord’s Day meeting (1 Cor. 14:34, in light of the preceding context). They could receive the gift of prophesy (which wasn’t the gift of preaching, btw), but there were limits on where and when they could exercise it that weren’t on the men.

Adam was created first, and Eve was the one deceived; therefore, women should not exercise an on-going Bible teaching ministry to men, or rule over a man (i.e., be pastors or elders). 1 Timothy 2:12-14. This is different from Priscilla interacting with Apollos as a sister in the Lord. She wasn’t acting from a position of authorized pastoral authority.

God ordained that men head up 100% of the covenants He cut with people — Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, and Christ. Israel’s priesthood was limited to men. Pastor/ eldering is similarly limited to men only.

Egalitarianism rejects God’s Word on all this. But some man;s evil or obnoxious actions from one’s past should never be the determining factor in one’s theology. And the Scripture doesn’t change its contents to validate the prevailing tenor of our times.

  thatmom wrote @

Pastor Brooks,

I would be in agreement with you that the offices of pastor and elder are reserved for men since they are ruling offices. I see the office of deacon as one of service and therefore think it could be held by women, as it was in the NT. Of course, there are many churches who have deacons by name who are really serving as elders so that can become confusing.

I don’t exactly know what you mean here: You said “God is over Christ; Christ is over Christian men; Christian men are over Christian women in authority. This is a generalization.” Ephesians 5:23 says “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Could you explain how you have arrived at your position and what do you mean generalization?

You also said that women ought not to be ongoing Bible teachers of men. What do you think of women like Elizabeth Elliott or Joni Earekson Tada who regularly speak to men and women, even from the pulpit, but are not pastoring? Our family were members of an E-Free church 20 years ago and it wasn’t unusual for women from a crisis pregnancy center to be invited in once a year to give a pro-life message. Is this still allowed in your denomination?

  thatmom wrote @

I would also agree that the extremes on both ends of the continuum are the problem. But it seems to me that there has been a shift toward the patriocentric end of the balance in the past few years and that the standards for orthodoxy when it comes to women’s roles in the church (and home) are becoming more in line with the teachings of Vision Forum. I see it all as a pendulum swing in reaction to the rank feminism within the culture and (in some places) within the church.

  thatmom wrote @

Pastor Brooks,

Another thought here…is the OT priesthood our standard for ministry now?

Thanks for being willing to dialogue.

  Cindy K wrote @

Pastor Brooks,

I must agreeably disagree on the point of an hierarchical Trinity. (I’m not egal, BTW but read broadly. I remembered the Wright reference because it is so unique, and we had a discussion about other issues in that article, but I was impressed with his graciousness.) I don’t agree with many of the applications that Giles makes in his books that deal with the Trinity, but I agree with the material that deals directly with the Trinity.

Please note that I think many egal arguments go too far, and I take a conservative stance. But I think it is an intramural issue and not an abundantly clear and essential matter. Though I don’t think that a conservative interpretation supports women pastors and elders which is why I consider myself a comp. And my only marriage vow to my dh was that I would submit to him as unto the Lord. I’m not out on a male rebellion tour. Some women pastors may be on one, but I generally stay out of those venues.

If you’re advocating an economic Trinity, the “house rules” if you will, in Greek, then I understand the Trinity in those same terms. It’s a functional relationship that does not have implications for authority so that the Son of God has less authority than the Father. (I’m wondering if you’re a social trinitarian?) But if you are working back to a Covenant of Redemption thesis, I respectfully disagree.

I’d also be curious to hear what you do think about the OT priesthood as a standard now. Sounds like a question hinting at Covenant Theology and whether the NT church finds it original continuous identity in Abraham or in the the Upper Room.

Do you strongly follow Covenant Theology might be a more telling question (as these things all touch on that one)?

  Lin wrote @

“Yes, Lin, from those words you can clearly tell that I want all women dressed in burqhas and sweeping up after me. And throwing rose petals in my path, please.”

Actually, mainstream comp teaching is very confusing and seems to need a rule book (or Talmud) to follow as there are so many different interpretations of what things mean.

“There’s never any excuse for celebrating the parts of the bible we like, and ignoring the parts we don’t like. ”

I completely agree with this

“We also never have the right to ignore context in order to misapply Bible texts — taking verses that clearly address equality in redemption (such as Galatians 3:28) and forcing them onto matters of church governance.”

Galatians 3 is not about just about redemption. It is about sanctification if you take it within the entire context of Galatians which I encourage everyone to do. Here is a link to an exegesis of this passage from the context of Galatians which is very good: http://strivetoenter.com/wim/

I find it interesting that you claim egal is evil and the first verse you quote is Gal 3. This verse has been a problem for comps so they have made sure to teach it is only about redemption.

“he Bible teaches that men and women are equal in some ways, and that men are over women in other ways. Men and women are equally made in God’s image, equally dead spiritually speaking, equally in need of redemption, equally redeemed by the shed blood of Christ, we come to God the same way (by faith alone), we come to God directly by means of Christ (women don’t come to God through Christ via their fathers or husbands), we’re all sons of God through faith in Christ, and have Christian women access to the same spiritual gifts, including teaching and administration gifts, that men do.”

But they do not have access to EXERCISE their spiritual gifts as men do? That is what is ‘unequal’ and why saying that men and women are ‘equal’ is a bit silly.

What you are saying is that they DO recieve the same spiritual gifts but cannot use them in certain areas. Even though scripture never says this.

“t also teaches, just as authoritatively, that God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man/or husbands, and man/husbands is the head of woman/wives (1 Cor. 11:3). The fact that God is the head of Christ proves that “head” doesn’t mean “source” there, since God is not the source of Christ (unless you a heretic, and say that the second Person of the Trinity depends on the first Person of the Trinity for His deity). “Head” means “ruler” or “overseer.” God is over Christ; Christ is over Christian men; Christian men are over Christian women in authority. This is a generalization.”

Actually Kephale does NOT mean ruler, overseer or authority. That is where you are dead wrong. If the Holy Spirit had meant to communicate authority over in that passage there are many Greek words that would have been chosen that clearly communicate that. Such as Arche, Exousia and many more.

But, He did not. HE used “Kephale” and it is VERY hard to interpret because our modern eyes see: Head over someone. The Greeks would never have used Kephale to mean authority over.

It does denote a whole…source or origin. It is a head/body metaphor.

There are many “body’ metaphors in scripture and ‘head’ fits those metaphors as source or origin. Paul made it clear that the hand cannot say to the eye…I have no need of you. This passage is NOT talking about authority. And where you get it wrong in a very scary way is to denote this means that Jesus Christ is subordinate to God outside the INcarnation. I can take making women less than men. What I cannot take is the lessening of the Diety of my Lord, Jesus Christ. You may want to check out who Jesus was in the OT: Lord of Hosts.

“hat was why Christian men, in their cultural setting, were forbidden to wear anything on their heads while praying or prophesying, while women were required to wear a symbol of submission (a head-covering, 11:4-7). This was a universal rule among all Christian churches, not a just local command (11:16). ”

You just blew any credibility you might have had at all. “Symbol of’ is NOT in the Greek in verse 10 at all. It was ADDED by the translators. Paul is actually saying that women have authority over their own heads. If you study the passage in an interlinear there is much that was translated badly. (even the bizarre translation about hair length which makes no sense in light of the fact Paul let his hair grow for a Nazerite vow)

Paul makes it clear that it is the woman’s CHOICE whether to cover or not. In that culture it could cause problems but he was making it clear it was not necessary and we have no such ‘traditions’ in the Body of Christ.

“e accept Genesis 1-3 as historical. Womankind was created out of Adam, which means God gave him priority, and Eve was created for Adam’s help (1 Cor. 11:8-9). Both of these are fixed historical events which don’t change with the times. A consistent creationist has to be some degree of complementarian. ”

Genesis 1 says they were both CREATED male and female. Gen 2 uses ‘formed’. God NO WHERE says that Adam has ‘priority’. YOu are reading INTO the text. If created order means authority then animals are more important than Adam. As for being created as Adam’s help…Ezer Ken. means help comparable to. We know that God is referred to as “Ezer’ in the OT. So, Eve and God have a lot in common. :o) I realize that some scholars, including Grudem, try to say that God being an Ezer means that God subordinates Himself when He helps us but that is really a stretch. Many believe it, though.

“omen were not allowed to speak in tongues or prophesy in the Lord’s Day meeting (1 Cor. 14:34, in light of the preceding context). They could receive the gift of prophesy (which wasn’t the gift of preaching, btw), but there were limits on where and when they could exercise it that weren’t on the men.”

Where did you find the ‘law’ in verse 34 that Paul refers to? Can you quote it for me? You can, but it is NOT in the Torah. Or anywhere in the OT for that matter. It is in the Talmud. YOu think Paul was advocating that they follow Talmud?

In any event, verse 36 negates verse 34. Paul was answering questions sent to him from the church all through Corinthians. His answer to verse 34-35 is verse 36:

36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? (NKJV)

36What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? (KJV)

Verse 36 is set up as a contradiction of verses 34 & 35. Paul answers by stating “n” which is a disjunctive conjunction which is used “to distinguish things or thoughts which either mutually exclude each other, or one of which can take the place of the other” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon. Thayer’s lists 1 Cor. 14:36 as an example of “n” used “before a sentence contrary to the one just preceding, to indicate that if one be denied or refuted the other must stand”

The bottomline is that you cannot use 1 Corinthians 14 to silence women UNLESS you can quote the ‘law’ that is referred to. Where is it in scripture?

“dam was created first, and Eve was the one deceived; therefore, women should not exercise an on-going Bible teaching ministry to men, or rule over a man (i.e., be pastors or elders). 1 Timothy 2:12-14. This is different from Priscilla interacting with Apollos as a sister in the Lord. She wasn’t acting from a position of authorized pastoral authority.”

If this was not so sad it would be amusing. Are you saying that Eve’s being deceived is WORSE than Adam willfully, knowingly sinning? So, that makes men MORE qualified to lead and teach scripture because Adam WILLFULLY sinned with his eyes wide open?

You may want to check out 1 Tim where Paul talks about himself being decieved out of ignorance.

“God ordained that men head up 100% of the covenants He cut with people — Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, and Christ. Israel’s priesthood was limited to men. Pastor/ eldering is similarly limited to men only.”

So, I guess we have to say that God ordained and commanded polygamy, slavery, etc. and since He regulated it, we ignore the fact that He was working through a sinful Patriarchal culture for HIs purposes. The priesthood was also limited to Levites. Where is the fairness in that? And how on earth does that translate to the NC?

“galitarianism rejects God’s Word on all this. But some man;s evil or obnoxious actions from one’s past should never be the determining factor in one’s theology. And the Scripture doesn’t change its contents to validate the prevailing tenor of our times.”

What I have found is that Christian egals only want truth of scripture. I do not see them going around telling comps they are evil. Most that I have read used to be comps and have studied scripture in depth. They realize that much of what we are seeing taught today in scripture is a backlash to the culture of the 60’s and 70’s. The church has had many bad translations of the Word. It taught infant baptism as the norm, slavery as God’s way, the church/state government, sacaraments
and many even believed in transubstantiation!

But, for some reason, many Christians decided these things were not of God. It was because they studied the Word.

  Lin wrote @

Forgive the spelling mistakes as I am in a hurry.

et me add something here…I do not think comps are evil even though read into scripture what is not there too many times and seem to need a rule book to follow for ‘roles’.

I also do not think women should have authority over men. In the Body of Christ, the only authority is Jesus Christ and His Word. We are simply messengers and instruments that He uses and if we are truly saved, we are gifted by the Holy Spirit to edify the Body. All believers are ministers as we are a Holy Priesthood with Jesus as our one and ONLY HIgh Priest..

The only human authorities in scripture are the civil authorities. God was working within a Patriarchal culture and Jesus Christ turned it all on it’s head. ( pun intended) Jesus said that we are not to lord it over as the Gentiles do. There are tons of ‘servant’ passages we tend to overlook when we are thinking of our ‘position’ in the church or the Body.

Think about it. If we really teach that elders are our authority and we must obey them (Hebrews passage does NOT teach this but teaches us to be ‘persuaded’ by them) then those who did not follow Jim JOnes would have been in sin. WE are to individually discern through the Word and be careful for false teachers, wolves and hirlings.

A blanket command to obey elders is quite dangerous and why we see so many fake Christian cults.

There are no ‘offices’ in scripture. That word was added in, too. There are functions. Example: Elders are the spiritually mature and as overseers they care for our souls and the correct teaching of the Word. (Not adding to it to elevate them over others)

(In Acts, the word for ‘appointing’ elders means ‘handstretching’ as in voting)

I would think a REAL elder would look much like what Matthew 5 describes as blessed. That is not a prestigious description at all!

Too much of comp teaching is to elevate men. It has become a snare for power, influence and even money.

Christians are servants. We are to be humble and not seek position but to serve and sacrifice for one another. Men and women believers together.

  Jack Brooks wrote @

I’ll try to reply.

1. 1 Corinthians 11 describes an economic subordination within the Trinity. The Father holds authority over the Son. Christ taught the same, particularly in several of His discourses in John. I think Paul intended to talk about men and women in general, in chapter 11; Ephesians 5 is more specifically about husbands and wives. But a generalization allows for lawful exceptions, like Deborah. It wasn’t a sin against the law of God for Deborah to be a civil judge.

2. Should someone say that “head” [kephale] means “source”, e.g., “head-waters”, rather than “overseer”, that person plunges immediately into anti-Trinitarian heresy. The Father is not the source of the Son. There’s no ontological subordination within the Trinity, only an economic subordination. Christ is autotheos, God-in-Himself, as are the other two members of the Trinity. Christ doesn’t have less authority than the Father; but He doesn’t have authority over the Father. The Son, the Father, and the Spirit have equal authority over all created things. But the Father has authority over the Son and the Spirit. So if Cindy is asking whether there are different degrees of authority internally within the Trinity, as opposed to the Trinity’s external authority over everyone and everything else, then the answer is yes. Jesus said (in John 5, I think), that He does perfectly whatever the father shows Him that he (the father) is doing, so that, whenever Christ acted, such as healing that man, that was God acting, and vice-versa. there was perfect synchronicity, which is why Jesus could say, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” But the Father sent Christ to us; Christ didn’t authorize and send Himself. That’s why 1 Peter called Christ the Chosen, which was a title of divine authorization.

3. There are parallels between the OT priesthood and the NT pastorate, but you would need to go through the NT bit by bit and pick them out. It’s clear that the OT priesthood was fulfilled and abolished in the Person and cross of Christ. His priesthood is of the line of Melchizedek, which puts Him outside the Aaronic system completely. I think the connections between the OT priest and the NT pastor are moral. For instance, I resonate as a pastor with the Lord’s admonition in Malachi that a priest’s lips should “preserve knowledge.” I mean, as opposed to ceremonial; obviously we don’t need to be descendants of Aaron, or wear jeweled breastplates. But it is significant that, in all of God’s covenants, the representative who stands for everyone in that covenant, including the women, is always a man.

4. It’s possible that 1 Timothy 2 is describing the office and activities of an elder, since Paul goes right on to discuss the qualifications of an elder (3:1ff). Elders have to be men, among other qualifications. But that implies, I believe, that women shouldn’t “elder” men — in other words, the practical functions of an elder are not allowed, even if a woman isn’t titled “elder” or “pastor”. It would be interesting to write Joni Tada, considering she’s quite Reformed in her theology, and in light of the fact that John MacArthur is her pastor, and ask her about this. I might do that, because I’m curious about it.

Women ought not be presented or commissioned as preachers to men. But if men choose to sit in on a Christian women’s event because they’re interested, or buy a book, or listen to a CD or radio broadcast, that’s their own business. But I don’t think women ought to get up behind a lectern and exposit the Scripture to a mixed audience, with that as the intention. So perhaps intentionality plays a role here.

  Lin wrote @

“1. 1 Corinthians 11 describes an economic subordination within the Trinity. The Father holds authority over the Son. Christ taught the same, particularly in several of His discourses in John. I think Paul intended to talk about men and women in general, in chapter 11; Ephesians 5 is more specifically about husbands and wives. But a generalization allows for lawful exceptions, like Deborah. It wasn’t a sin against the law of God for Deborah to be a civil judge. ”

1 Corin 11 is about headcoverings. You are doing a Bruce Ware here and making it about something much more than it is.

Eph 5 is aobut mutual submission between beleivers and how that looks in marriage. (can’t ignore verse 21. It does NOT exlude husbands if they are believers, too)

You would also have to ignore all the ‘one anothers’ all through scripture. As they are all about mutuality.

“2. Should someone say that “head” [kephale] means “source”, e.g., “head-waters”, rather than “overseer”, that person plunges immediately into anti-Trinitarian heresy.”

“Kephale’ is a metaphor and communicates ‘unity’. Here is what I believe about the Trinity:

There is ONE TRUE God in three persons

God is God
Jesus is God
The Holy Spirit is God

They have a united will. There is no chain of commnd within the Trinity because there does not need to be one. Too many verses from Jesus as Incarnate Son are teleported to eternity past and future. But it does help to do that in order to teach earthly heirarchies. But it does lessen Jesus Christ for eternity past and future. Not a good thing.

“The Father is not the source of the Son. There’s no ontological subordination within the Trinity, only an economic subordination. Christ is autotheos, God-in-Himself, as are the other two members of the Trinity. Christ doesn’t have less authority than the Father; but He doesn’t have authority over the Father. The Son, the Father, and the Spirit have equal authority over all created things. But the Father has authority over the Son and the Spirit. So if Cindy is asking whether there are different degrees of authority internally within the Trinity, as opposed to the Trinity’s external authority over everyone and everything else, then the answer is yes. Jesus said (in John 5, I think), that He does perfectly whatever the father shows Him that he (the father) is doing, so that, whenever Christ acted, such as healing that man, that was God acting, and vice-versa. there was perfect synchronicity, which is why Jesus could say, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” But the Father sent Christ to us; Christ didn’t authorize and send Himself. That’s why 1 Peter called Christ the Chosen, which was a title of divine authorization.”

1Corin 11 is communicating ‘unity’ in Kephale as in Head/Body metaphor.. Jesus is the ‘begotten’ Son. As Incarnate Son, He does come from God. He is 100% God and 100% Man.

Being “sent” does not mean authority over. IF your wife sends you to the store, she is not your authority because of that.

Here is an example…the Pharisees were angry with Jesus because he made himself equal with the father. John 5:18
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

Being ‘sent’ does not mean unequal or subbordinate no more than being a ‘Son’ made Him unequal. The Pharisees understood this but we don’t.

Phil 2 is instructive here because Jesus ‘humbled’ Himself. Left the Glory of Heaven and made HIMSELF of no reputation. How could He do that if subordinate before Incarnation”

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father

“3. There are parallels between the OT priesthood and the NT pastorate, but you would need to go through the NT bit by bit and pick them out. It’s clear that the OT priesthood was fulfilled and abolished in the Person and cross of Christ. His priesthood is of the line of Melchizedek, which puts Him outside the Aaronic system completely. I think the connections between the OT priest and the NT pastor are moral. For instance, I resonate as a pastor with the Lord’s admonition in Malachi that a priest’s lips should “preserve knowledge.” I mean, as opposed to ceremonial; obviously we don’t need to be descendants of Aaron, or wear jeweled breastplates. But it is significant that, in all of God’s covenants, the representative who stands for everyone in that covenant, including the women, is always a man. ”

What ‘pastorates’ in the NT? Can you name them, please? If you are referring to the 12 Apostles they map to the 12 Tribes. Me thinks you are reading into it what you want to see.

It would be like me saying that because God chose to allow slavery and did not command it was a sin that it is ok. God was working within a sinful Patriarchal culture that was living out the consequences for sin in Gen 3.

“4. It’s possible that 1 Timothy 2 is describing the office and activities of an elder, since Paul goes right on to discuss the qualifications of an elder (3:1ff). Elders have to be men, among other qualifications. But that implies, I believe, that women shouldn’t “elder” men — in other words, the practical functions of an elder are not allowed, even if a woman isn’t titled “elder” or “pastor”. It would be interesting to write Joni Tada, considering she’s quite Reformed in her theology, and in light of the fact that John MacArthur is her pastor, and ask her about this. I might do that, because I’m curious about it. ”

1 Tim 1 and 2 is talking about false teachers. He even begins by describing himself and what he was formally…

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

The goes on to talk about Hy and Al. then he talks about the ONE (the Greek is singular here) woman who ‘authenteo’ a man. Probably her husband (Gune and Aner). She is a false teacher but Paul is commanding Timothy to “Let her learn” in quietness. Authenteo is used no where else in the NT. Research on it comes up with murder, domineering, Lording it over, etc. We have evidence of Chryostem (sp?)teaching that a husband should not authenteo his wife. So we know it is a very bad thing and neither men or women should do it to others.

This is a very hard verse because if we interpret it YOUR way, then I am saved by a WORK. Childbearing. That cannot be true as it would negate the free gift. There has to be a local context we are missing. It could have to do with the fertility cult in the Temple of Artemis (One of the wonders of the
World right there in Ephesus) that taught that Eve was formed first and if women did certain things they woudl not die in childbirth. That was a real fear back then.

Saved in childbearing could be a play on words meaning ‘saved’ as in birth of Messiah. Or it could mean that even if she died in childbirth she would be saved if she beleived the correct Gospel.

But to turn this verse into a WORK of salvation or even sanctification as so many do is heinous and does violence to what our Lord did on the Cross. Please do not do that.

Actually there is no ‘office’ for anyone but no where does Paul make it clear that an elder has to be a man. While I have no problem with that…a very close study makes it clear we have read into it. The Greek is tic which means ANYONE. Where we read into it is ‘husband of one wife’. We do not know if that means no polygamists can be elders or divorced, etc. There is even some evidence this phrase means ‘Faithful Spouse’ as was on some headstones.

I don’t want to give you a coronary but we know from scholarship (even though many want to hide it) that Junia, a woman. was an apostle (little a) and mentioned by one of the early church fathers as such.

“Women ought not be presented or commissioned as preachers to men. But if men choose to sit in on a Christian women’s event because they’re interested, or buy a book, or listen to a CD or radio broadcast, that’s their own business. But I don’t think women ought to get up behind a lectern and exposit the Scripture to a mixed audience, with that as the intention. So perhaps intentionality plays a role here.”

There were no lecterns that we know of in the early church. You are trying to tell me that Phoebe was only a mail carrier and that Lydia had a church in her home but dared not teach men even though she was the first convert in that part of the world?

At what age should a boy/man stop being taught the word by their mom’s? Or do mom’s get a pass? Timothy only heard the word from his Grandmother and mother as a boy. Is there somewhere in scripture, even in the OT, that gives me an age that men can no longer sit under teaching of a woman?

I really think you are sincere. And I think you are sincerely misguided. You cannot even hear the arrogance of what you said in the last paragraph. Because you have a Greek view of the ‘pastorate’ you cannot see that the early church was not structured like we see today. In Corinthians we see Paul telling them to have several speak and the others judge. That includes prophesying and tongues. What we do not know, ironically, is who were the ‘pastors’ or even elders of all the NT churches. And if the structure were so all important…chain of command…why didn’t Paul write ALL letters to elders only?

  Jack Brooks wrote @

Lin., what does this saying mean: “An assertion, even a loud one, doesn’t prove anything”?

You began your interaction with me, very first sentence, by smearing/ridiculing me. I’m not at all interested in talking to you.

  Lin wrote @

“Lin., what does this saying mean: “An assertion, even a loud one, doesn’t prove anything”?”

Was I ‘loud’? But it is true that a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

But remember, you called me and many of your brothers and sisters in Christ, evil….. first. A definite smear of your fellow believers who love and follow after Christ.

I do not see a personal ‘smear’ at the beginning of my comment. I only pointed out that your interpretation of 1 Corin 11 is exactly like Bruce Ware’s and much has to be read into it to get your conclusions.

I did say that your last paragraph was arrogant. But, I do not think you actually mean to be arrogant. I don’t think you can hear yourself or see past your exhalted postion over others. This teaching is a snare for many and I think it would be hard for me, too, if I were a man.

But, this is a great way to divert away from content. of the discussion. You are safe because you never have to learn anything from a Christian sister in Christ. It perpetuates the cycle.

But you declared that a ‘symbol of’ in 1 Corinthians 11 teaches that a woman is under the authority of a man. Those words are not in the Greek. They were added in by translators. This was a huge clue for me about your comments and as a teacher of the Word, you should be concerned.

Gal 4:16

  Kathleen wrote @

Lin, thank you for all of that study. I was blessed to tears. I was reminded of how much God HAD to come down and humble Himself to save us — we’re wrecks and we need Him so much to save us from misunderstanding Him and His Work in us.

I would love to know how/where/what resources to find to study these passages. My husband has some Greek study (4 1/2 years of Greek at Multnomah) and I’ve been asking him about these passages, too. I did a little reading on blueletterbible (to see that “n” disjunctive conjunction thing) and, there it was.

As I was reading your thoughtful response to Mr. Brooks, I was surprised at his response. I didn’t hear/read you come across as a smear at all. You took some time to explain your reasoning and understanding of the Scriptures. You started off with a rhetorical question to his first statements, as I’m sure happens in many lively debates in internet cafes on deep meaningful passages and topics.

Just to let you know, I was blessed and it has sent me to the Word and prayer, so — good job!

  thatmom wrote @

“At what age should a boy/man stop being taught the word by their mom’s? Or do mom’s get a pass? Timothy only heard the word from his Grandmother and mother as a boy. Is there somewhere in scripture, even in the OT, that gives me an age that men can no longer sit under teaching of a woman?”

Lin, this is such a crucial point today with the teachings that are floating around in homeschooling circles that teenaged sons shouldn’t be taught by their moms. I always come back to Proverbs 31. It is the teaching and counsel of a mother to her son, telling him what to look for in a wife. It always amuses me that it is the favorite passage of choice to tell women what they ought to be doing in their homes (which I agree with) but ignore the fact that it is a passage of Scripture that was written by a woman. (smelling salts, please)

  thatmom wrote @

“And if the structure were so all important…chain of command…why didn’t Paul write ALL letters to elders only?”

Lin, believe it or not, there are people who believe that the Pauline letters WERE written ONLY to elders. I personally know someone who told me he believes this. Thankfully this man hasn’t been given the office of elder himself, though I think it will happen one of these days.

Have you (I know Kathleen has) seen
Barna’s book Pagan Christianity that examines all the practices in the modern church, showing their historical roots? Fascinating and certainly eye-opening.

  Cindy K wrote @

Regarding the Trinity, man tends to forget that man is not the standard against which all things are weighed. We are much lesser creatures which undeniably do not share God’s vantage in matters regarding space, time or even the ability to see God as He is. Moses, whose hair turned white from looking only at God’s wake and He removed His tangible presence from him, could not bear the weight of the full presence of God just to cast his eyes upon Him, let alone evaluate how the Persons of the Godhead related. It is a mystery, and a marvellous, wonderful one at that. We see through a glass darkly and will not see God as He is until that day our mortal coils are changed and rise (one way or the other) to meet Him in the air.

Not that I am Barthian in terms of my Christianity, I do appreciate his analogy of being observations. If an artist creates a replica of himself, the work of art is never and can never be greater than the creator. (The “Rock From Which We Were Hewn” casts images of that on that argument.) We are not greater than others, and we are certainly not greater than our Master, our Creator. How presumptuous is it to got to one’s Creator, and using the Van Tillian imagery, crawl up onto God’s lap like the children we are to slap him in the face with our hubris? We are the sheep of his pasture, not fellow shepherds who stand high above the sheep with broad and infinitely unbridled perspective. Another secular work that demonstrates the implications of perspective (and also gender and authoritarianism in the process) is Edwin A. Abbott’s “Flatland” (which is now available in 2 film versions). How does a one dimensional being even begin to comprehend something outside of it’s realm of existence in a two dimensional world, let a alone a three dimensional object? It has no vantage, unless the greater force in terms of perspective intervenes on their behalf. (If you’ve never seen something or heard of something, how do you first conceive of it, let alone evaluate it? It is impossible.

So is it not presumptuous to say that man can even begin to evaluate what when on in the mind of any being with whom he does not share a common perspective. Some saw the Face of Jesus, and we have the words of a Shepherd to His sheep speaking of mysteries, which by definition are partially hidden from us. We’re given types and shadows so that we might begin to understand and have faith in that which is unseen, not through our own intellect, but through the revealing of the Holy Spirit of Himself and the Word of God to us.

So how is it that man can even begin to know the inter-workings of the specifics of these matters regarding the Divine Three, other than through what we are explicitly told in the Word of God? With all do respect and acknowledging the areas where we share agreement, Pastor Brooks presents his own view of the ETERNAL relationship between and among the Persons of the Godhead with a sense that his view is the only rational, reasonable and true perspective. It is one of social trinitarianism which simply means that when considering the mystery of the Trinity, one focuses more on the distinctions between the Divine Persons rather than the unity that they share. This PERSPECTIVE has it’s pitfalls when it is not balanced with the wisdom of who man truly is in his relationship to God, including tritheism, varied degrees of Arianism and what has recently been called “unitarianism of either the First or Second Person of the Godhead” (meaning that one makes either the Father — the 1st Person of the Godhead as a FUNCTIONAL or ECONOMIC descriptor — or the Son who is the 2nd Person of the Godhead THE pre-eminent figure Who is representative of the whole). The Eastern Orthodox Church holds to a perspective called the filoque (the controversy that split them from the RCC), wherein (for the sake of simplification) the Son and Spirit proceed from the Father, but it is not in the sense that the Son and Spirit are not of equal authority. What Each does is distinct and functional (economic), but it does not imply authority. It is more akin to the understanding of “kephale” as origin versus a ruler. (Like taking out the trash… If dad, mom, son or daughter carries the trash out of the house and to the curb, it doesn’t necessarily imply authority or even role.)

Regarding this view, Moreland and Craig in “Philisophical Basis for a Christian Worldview” say (and be forewarned that IVP published it) on page 586: Without begging the question in favor of social trinitarianism, it can safely be said that on no reasonable understanding of “person” can a person be equated with a relation.

The other perspective is anti-social Trinitarianism which seeks to preserve and focuses upon the unity of God wherein aspects like authority are not divided. For this reason, Augustine argued that we should not even use the term “person” in regard to the Divine Three because it remakes God into man’s image by shoving him into a box that we presume to comprehend in fullness. It is not God’s qualities that add up to make Him God. His being and His qualities/attributes are not separate components that can be removed from His identity. So you cannot pull authority or will out from the rest of Who God is and What He is which the social trinitarians do (which is why they fall into Arianism, actually a form of Freewillism). Anti-social Trinitarians also have their potential pitfalls when their view is not also tempered by the due consideration of the unique qualities of the Father, Son and Spirit. They can fall into Unitarianism and Modalism.

So we can hold either view which is merely a vantage (as is Calvinism or Arminianism), but we cannot insist that only our vantage is valid because God is incomprehensible to us in our mortal flesh. One day we will have a more clear perspective, but until we do, we can neither fully comprehend nor assert with any legitimate authority that either view is absolute or the exclusive truth. Our contending for either view keeps us balanced as our iron sharpens iron.

Of this we can be sure of and should agree:

God is God and we are not.

  Jack Brooks wrote @

The Scripture isn’t written in a code language. God is wise enough, kind enough, and powerful enough, to have supplied us with an sufficiently understandable Bible. The Bible is perspecious — another important but neglected teaching of the Reformation, against the priests who invokved incomprehensibility as a means of keeping the common people in bondage to their supposed Magisterium. We’re not permitted to say, “God is unknowable” (which is itself not a Biblical teaching), or invoke divine mystery, if Jesus says, “My Father is greater than I.”, or Christ through Paul said, “God is the head over Christ, Christ is the head over man, and man is the head over woman.” If God says, “X” about Himself, from that point on I can no longer say, “X is too mysterious to understand.” No, it’s not, that option is no longer open to us, because it is God who has said “X”. I don’t need to know every true thing about God in order to know some true things about God. In fact, when God is clear and keep on insisting that He hasn’t been, we become guilty of unbelief — of His insistence that he’s been sufficiently clear.

  Jack Brooks wrote @

Pardon me, perspicuous.

  Lin wrote @

Kathleen, It took a huge crisis to get me to examine what I was doing. I got sucked into the whole political realm of comp which many do not realize is a huge money making business. I left my FIRST LOVE and followed man.

Ironically, some of my dearest sisters in Christ are comps and you read many of them here and I include you in that, too. This is not something to divide over. I am not a feminist. I believe homosexuality is a heinous sin. But, I do not believe there is enough evidence in the NT to silence over half of all true believers from teaching ANYONE, anytime or anywhere regardless of age, gender or position.

I grew up in a situation where my mom was witnessing to ANYONE all the time. She spent a lot of time witnessing to young muslim men who were here for studies at the university. She worked in inner city churches where you did what you had to do. No one even thought about gender. It was just Glorifying God and proclaiming Him to ANYONE reqardless of gender. She was no feminist. She was just a worker in the fields that are ready for harvest. the workers are few and many want to make them fewer with assigned ‘roles’ for their spiritual gifts which are bestowed by the Holy Spirit…not man.

It started for me with a reading of Genesis without my pink colored glasses on and all the presuppositions we have been taught. So much of what we have been taught is read into it. If we get that part wrong, we get it all wrong. I am no scholar. But then, neither was Peter or Phoebe. The Holy Spirit teaches us. And today, with all the free resources at our disposal with interlinears and lexicons on line, we have no excuse not to dig deeper in the Word. We live in both a dark and glorious time. It is like when the printing press was invented ….on steriods. :o)

  Lin wrote @

“Have you (I know Kathleen has) seen
Barna’s book Pagan Christianity that examines all the practices in the modern church, showing their historical roots? Fascinating and certainly eye-opening”

Yes, I read it a while back. It is a great historical look at the church and traditions that are of men.

I once read Acts 17x in a row and each time I had a different perspective I was looking for while the church was being built. One time it was to highlighted the Holy Spirit at work. What an eye opener. So much of the silliness that man has brought into the ‘Body’ vanishes when you do that.

  Lin wrote @

“The Scripture isn’t written in a code language. God is wise enough, kind enough, and powerful enough, to have supplied us with an sufficiently understandable Bible.”

The Holy Spirit teaches us through the Word. And HE teaches individuals who prayerfully seek truth. And the Holy Spirit is more than capable of over riding the bad translations or agendas of mere men and leading us to check translations of Greek words. IF that were not so, no pastor would ever explain the Greek of anything in a sermon or check different translations. And many do. If what you say is so, then who so many translations?

Don’t ever forget that the ‘brilliant theologians’ of the Reformation continued to baptize babies, believe in sacraments and the state/church. Where are those in scripture? Are they ‘clearly’ taught?

The “Word’ is inerrant. Translators aren’t.

  Lin wrote @

“Pardon me, perspicuous.”

No problem! You must be cringing at all my misspellings. Did I even spell misspelling right? :o)

  Cindy K wrote @

Pastor Brooks,

I am not saying that God is not knowable at all, but he is not knowable in all His fullness so as to be able to discern ALL of the aspects of Him, particularly when we don’t share His omnipotence and everything that comes along with it. He is inscrutable would be a better choice, one used several times by others far greater than me.

I don’t think I would want to serve a God that I was fully able to scrutinize, and I am quite content in faith to not be able to comprehend the universe in the way that God does. If others see it differently, that’s between them and their maker. If I”m looking at the matter and am making the wrong assumptions, as I am following the conviction from the Holy Spirit as well as what I honestly understand from the Word, then it will have to be the Holy Spirit that turns my heart. But as I am convicted at present, I am not persuaded that we, as Gods workmanship, can know all the nuances of these mysteries. Paul called them mysteries, not me. That doesn’t make me Roman Catholic or mystical, it just makes me limited in perspective by virtue of my not being God.

The church didn’t coin the term of Trinity until the 3rd century, right? And there’s been quite some debate over it since then, striving to figure out how we can best comprehend God, making ourselves into heretic and saint in the process. Moving into the holidays, I always ponder what it was like for Jesus to grow up and be fully God, yet a growing boy. These are mysteries. I remember being amazed that in the 19th century, Thomasius and Gess and Dorner contemplated how the kenosis could be understood. We are no more further along now than they were then, because these things are still a mystery. We see through a glass darkly. We can’t even agree as Christians whether man is composed of a body, soul, and spirit or just a body and a soul/spirit combination. We don’t know how where the brain stops and the mind/soul begin in our own right. How can we discern these things about the Godhead?

And God is not holy other or anything like that, but if He appeared to Job in the manner that He did, offering Job the response that we are told of in the Word, in these matters, I’d rather just place my hand over my mouth.

  Corrie wrote @

““My Father is greater than I.” or Christ through Paul said, “God is the head over Christ, Christ is the head over man, and man is the head over woman.” If God says, “X” about Himself, from that point on I can no longer say, “X is too mysterious to understand.” ,”

Jesus only said that because He was still in His humbled form on this earth. Jesus told His disciples that they should be rejoicing because He is going back to the Father and will then resume His equality and fully glory as the true God. The context of this passage clearly shows us that Jesus is NOT saying that the Father is greater as in any sort of rank or divinity or authority.

The problem is that people think they know what Scripture teaches but really do not understand it at all. Even the Pharisees, who knew Scripture inside and out, did not understand it. It is a stumbling block and a rock of offense. It is not going to be discerned correctly if we approach it with preconceived notions about what we want it or think it should say.

Also, the very fact that you added in “over” into the Scriptures shows your bias about headship and what you think it means.

It does not say that God is head OVER Christ. Wording it this way is misleading, imho. And when I started really studying the Word for myself, I saw how many times people added little words to the word of God in order to shore up their own particular belief system.

Another good example is when people say that the Bible teaches that womEN are MORE EASILY deceived. Never says that nor does it come close to intimating that. It says that the woMAN (Eve) was deceived.

Another one is where people say that the man was given the commandment to take dominion and to subdue when it was BOTH Adam and Eve with no distinction that was given that command.

Another place is right in 1 Cor 11 where people claim that woman was made for man and totally skip the NEVERTHELESS which is the great balancing act and Paul’s blow to the Corinthians’ wrong idea about men and women. The first woman was made for the first man BUT/NEVERTHELESS since that time every man has come from a woman and all things come from God.

Paul was refuting their argument not agreeing with them. He found one tiny point of agreement and used that to drive a truck of truth through. That is a wonderful debate tactic. Look for a chink the opponent’s armor and drive it home in that spot.

These are things that cause people to be swayed a certain way in a very subtle manner.

It says that the head of every man (plural) is Christ, the head of woman (singular) is man (singular), and the head of Christ is God.

I think, by your addition of “over”, you believe “head” to mean “authority” and the addition of the word “over” certainly strengthens your position in the eyes of others.

But, are you quite certain you are understanding this passage in the way God would have you to? Is this passage really that perspicuous? I don’t think so as evidenced by the multitudes of different interpretations that are out there.

Deut. 29:29 talks about the secret things belonging to God. I think there are many things we will not fully comprehend or even know until we see Him face to face.

I know this is probably off the topic but these are the things that highlight where the patriocentrists have derailed and gone off the tracks in their doctrine.

  Cindy K wrote @

Corrie,

You mention about women being easily deceived…. I guess I was supposed to just accept the first, blanket apology from Voddie Baucham and let the rest drop. It makes me wonder if patriocentrics expect women to never hold the men accountable like I did with Voddie for confabulating a story based on little fact. He sent me several long emails (mostly talking about being persecuted in the FIC), but only one mention of apology and expressed a desire to talk. But when another person steps in to validate the truth that seemed to have no weight with Voddie when I stated it, I get no more emails, no notification that he’s responded on his blog, no specific apology and the blog has no contrition but does contain a smack at me? Maybe you only apologize to people when you think you’ve done nothing wrong. When someone else shows you that you’re wrong, retaliate?

See what happens to women when they try to think!

http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2008/11/corresponding-with-voddie-baucham.html

BTW, Voddie said that he wanted to talk with me and to clarify his views with me. I assume that means email. So if anyone has any questions about his doctrine or beliefs, please send them on to me. Since everyone says that Voddie is so full of virtue, I would like to think that he meant what he said to me and that it was not damage control. If he is a man of his word, he will answer some questions. so send them on to me at my blog.

  RichardD wrote @

To get back to the original discussion on this post, I don’t think Baucham’s association with the patriarchy or with those who espouse aberrant Trinitarian views are the reason for his reduction in speaking engagements. With all due respect to those who have been negatively impacted by the teachings of the patriocentrists, this teaching is hardly even hitting the radar screen in conservative Evangelical circles. 10 out of 10 people who I speak to about these things have never heard of the patriarchy and totally reject the teachings as I explain them. This is not the issue that it seems to be if you hang out on web sites that discuss this issue.

I think home-schoolers have been hit harder with this than most because it has somehow infected the home school conference circuit. And I think it is something that must be rejected vocally and fought as we are able to do so because it is hitting the younger generation and sucking them in unawares. So we need to make the older generation aware of this new attack on younger folks (home school parents, especially).

But I think we all need to realize that it’s not nearly as big an issue in the general public as we might be led to think it is.

I would venture to guess that you could choose a hundred SBC churches at random across the nation and discuss the patriarchy with the members of the congregation and less than 5 of them would have any knowledge at all of the patriarchy and would quickly be able to identify the problems in their teaching.

But if you chose a hundred SBC churches at random and discussed Calvinism with them all 100 would know that Calvinism is a huge issue in the SBC. I think that most of them would have firmly rooted inaccurate stereotypes related to Calvinism and would be very vocal in their opposition to it. So I think Baucham’s original assertion is much closer to the truth than we’re admitting here.

I think it’s unfortunate that he called out Cindy by name and with some strong and unnecessary language. And I think it would be good for folks to pursue ongoing dialog with him about his more radical views that may be interfering with his ability to share the gospel. But I think it must be done with a realization that his involvement in the Daughters video is probably not known by more than a handful of Christians nationwide and probably doesn’t impact his speaking engagements negatively at all.

  Lin wrote @

“With all due respect to those who have been negatively impacted by the teachings of the patriocentrists, this teaching is hardly even hitting the radar screen in conservative Evangelical circles”

The largest SBC seminary is affirming Patriarchy by its teaching. Russell Moore, who is being groomed to replace Mohler, said that comps are wimps and we need more Patriarchy. Both his writings and teachings and those of Bruce Ware, prove this.A whole generation of future pastors is being taught Patriarchy as biblical. They call it complimentarian but isn’t. Moore has been more forthright in calling it Patriarchy…exactly what it is.

It is more than on the Radar screen. It is the basic doctrine of CBMW if you read the articles and listen to the sermons by the CBMW contributors.

Where they disagreed with Voddie is over Palin and the election.

The Patriarchal issue cuts across Calvin/Arminan lines. There are quite a few SBC leaders who are both Arminian and Patriarchal. Paige Patterson is one of them.

“So I think Baucham’s original assertion is much closer to the truth than we’re admitting here. ”

Bauchman did not do his homework before he wrote about Cindy and the seminary. What else in his blog article did he not do his homework on? He is much too famous to do such things.

  Cindy K wrote @

Richard,

When he was found to be in error, something he would not even consider until a person of authority stepped in to validate what I’d said, why didn’t he apologize for that? He’d sent me many emails. Why did he not even email me to say that he’d responded on line, and why didn’t he simply say “I’m sorry, Cindy. I was wrong and you were right. I offended you and had every good reason to believe that I knew the truth but was mistaken. I didn’t mean to harm you.” ???

He was only willing to apologize to me when he thought I was wrong and he thought he was right. When it was discovered that he was in error, he responded with a mean smack to me online, and the emails stopped coming. He had a simple out, a real apology, and he could not take it. I would have gladly forgiven him of that, despite our different beliefs. I never expected an apology from him to begin with. Just because I’m not a pushover does not mean that I’m unforgiving. He and I do share disgust of many aspects of patriarchy, and he’s right about that. If he made an apology, I would be happy to have praised him for it online. But he responded with cruelty and pride.

There may be aspects of his message that are valuable, but in my own dealings with him thus far, he has not demonstrated integrity or accountability. I think he was only willing to admit to the technical aspects of the truth online because someone with much authority validated the truth. If he’d been interested in being a loving Christian who sought unity, he would have offered me the specific apology that I’d asked for in my first email to him, something he completely ignored.

It’s really very sad to me. I would have loved to have counted him as someone with whom I could have discussed these matters with. If he fails to make good on his word to “talk” as he put it in one of his many fairly long emails to me that talked about the FIC, then he demonstrates that he never really cared about anything other than being right. How disappointed I am. I didn’t set out to prove Baucham as anything other than virtuous, much of which came from your own attestation that he was so, Richard. How is it that I am to trust in his virtue now?

  Cindy K wrote @

Richard,

I was getting ready to write to you offline, and I wanted to review what you’d written here before I did. I know that you don’t homeschool, so you are likely not as intimately familiar with the issues of within homeschooling as are most of the people who post here. Most all of my Christian friends homeschool and have done so. This is my peer group. And this blog is specifically to encourage homeschoolers.

That said, within the homeschooling community, these ideas of Bauchams have not “somehow infected the homeschooling circuit” but have openly, deliberately and forcefully infected the homeschooling circuit. They’ve threatened to take it over and have pushed their agenda in other ministries like American Vision. (I’ve supported American Vision for many years until every page of their literature contained a reference to Vision Forum and affiliates.) As discussed in the previous thread about the conference Baucham has been scheduled as a plenary speaker, these men have overrun homeschooling conferences. There’s nothing insidious about their agenda at all from within these circles. It’s shoved down our throats and is working to divide Christians and homeschoolers alike.

So I think it is unfair of you to address what goes on in homeschooling circles as insignificant because you like Baucham. You downplay the significance of his abrasive views because they are not well-known to “more than a handful of people.” Well, I see that as a major problem, not as something to gloss over. That is exactly why the Calvinists in the SBC take issue with him. Baucham is trying to ride the fence, both siding with the Palin rejecting VF and trying to be one of the power-players in the SBC Calvinist Club. And he’s capitalizing on this John 3:16 Conference (and perhaps other unrelated examples like that of my own) in order to get himself back into good graces with those Calvinists he’s insulted.

So, yes, there is a problem between Calvinists and Dispensationalists in the SBC. No one denies that. But the garbage promoted in the homeschooling community is not low-key by any stretch of the imagination. And in certain areas within the SBC, Baucham’s ideas are by no means benign. His Calvinist friends are happy with his Calvinism, but its his extra-biblical doctrine that he shares with VF that they reject. This is all about money and power and politics.

It seems that you’re saying that we should downplay his aberrant views. Would the same be said of someone like Al Mohler if we found out that he believed — hypothetically of course — that he believed that homosexuality and following Islam was permitted in the NT — hypothetically, of course. If only a few people were aware of his views, would it be right to say that they were insignificant too? Only a handful of people really know about what he got up and defended and taught in a video, so we should ignore this? I don’t think that would fly with anyone. But this is what you’re asking us to do with this poison that Baucham promotes — that which we’ve watched infiltrate our churches and the minds of many of our friends, causing division.

So with all due respect, it’s not fair to those who are well-aware of what goes on in homeschooling for you to come onto a blog that discusses homeschooling issues to tell everyone that they don’t really know that much about their own area of experience.

We know you like Voddie Baucham. I liked him a whole lot more a week ago, too. And we admire your devotion to those you love as you evidence through your advocacy for him here. But I find many inconsistencies in what you’ve said.

  RichardD wrote @

I’m sorry. I’ll hang out with my own folks from now on.

  Cindy K wrote @

Richard,

I think people appreciate that you’re sorry. But I don’t think not commenting here is the solution. That’s not what I meant. You pointed out valuable things — that Voddie Baucham does actually teach some good doctrine and that though there’s just as much authoritarian and heavy-handed junk going on at the hand of the power mongers at SBTS, this same type of behavior is not limited to that seminary — that it is taking place at Liberty, too. We need to hear that kind of thing.

I’m sorry if I expressed that in a way that meant to say your perspective was not valuable.

  thatmom wrote @

“With all due respect to those who have been negatively impacted by the teachings of the patriocentrists, this teaching is hardly even hitting the radar screen in conservative Evangelical circles.”

Richard, nearly every single evangelical church in this country has someone who homeschools in it. And those homeschoolers attend conventions where the most requested speakers today are patriocentrists. Patriocentricity may not show up on their radar but they are being affected whether anyone realizes it or not.

Not long ago I heard a homeschooling mom from a non-patriocentric church use the phrase “my husband, who is priest of my home…” as a general part of a conversation. I am certain she heard this or read it somewhere and was using the phrase, not really thinking about its meaning.

And then there is the upcoming conference we have already discussed. The patriocentrists are assuming that they can cast a vision for all of us and Voddie is part of that leadership. If you go back and look at the questions I had for the head of CHEC in Colorado (which he never answered) you will see the same questions I have for Voddie. If his name is listed FIRST in the line up of speakers, does he not bare some responsibility for seeking to bring these teachings into the churches around this country?

  thatmom wrote @

One more thing to note. The homeschool blogger awards were named last week and there are at least three winners who are people who are patriocentrists and outspoken ones at that. Several are Vision Forum affiliates, which means that every time someone comes along and looks at the list of this year’s winners, they will have Vision Forum’s free advertising greeting them as they do. Though it might not be showing up on the radar of most evangelicals, it is affecting them whether they know it or not.

  Jack Brooks wrote @

I think you’d all find a blog article I wrote today (12/4/08) on Patriarchalist Movement of interest.

  Lin wrote @

From Jack’s article:

God as Masculine

1. God reveals Himself as masculine, not feminine. God is the eternal Father and the eternal Son, the Holy Spirit is also addressed as “He,” and Jesus Christ is a male. (Matt. 1:25; 28:19; Jn. 5:19; 16:13).

Sorry, Jack. Could not get past this biblically to read the whole thing. God is Spirit. He also describes Himself as a mother hen, a bird and other metaphors. The Holy Spirit is even called an ‘it’. You do not seem to understand that what you refer to as the ‘eternal Jesus’ is also the Lord of Host Armies in the OT. Jesus is God. Your love of heirarchies, because it gives you power over others, is sending you down the wrong road.

And guess what? Jesus is even described as a father in scripture. See if you can find it.

So, because God chose to reveal Jesus Christ as son and Himself as Father then that means us gals are definitly not as important in the world of Christianity. Sorta like the Mormons view it or the JW’s.

Jack, How do you deal with being a part of the BRIDE of Christ? Have you figured out how to make that masculine or are you going to tell me it is only a metaphor?

  Cindy K wrote @

I’ve had the privilege to study with a rabbi and some other conservative Jews along the way, and I found myself asking all of them about this subject at some point. No Jew that I ever talked with believes that God is male only but transcends gender. Maurice Lamm also writes about this in his book “The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage.” So not even the patriarchal Jews see this in the Talmud or in the Tanach.

They believe and are taught that God created Adam both male and female. God then chose drew the feminine out of Adam, separating those traits from him (that he contained when he was created). Even one of the Yeshivite traditions that studies language says that the Hebrew language contains the hidden message that God drew the “fire” out of man and put it into woman. She is man’s fire of life. Ish is man and Isha is woman. The sound of “Ah” is associated with both fire and life, seen as the outbreathing of life from God, the sound of which is like exhaling. It is the “Ah” sound that God adds to the names of Abram and Sarai when the fullness of time comes for them to conceive Isaac. God breathed the “Ah” into them, reflected in their changed names, which soon followed with a baby named “laughter.”

But my point is that even the patriarchal Jews of old did not believe that woman was any kind of derivative, and if you read the text in Genesis with no preconceived notions or agendas, this is what the even the Jews believe the text says.

Why would Christians seek to redefine this? Only through a hierarchical and power motivated interpretation of male headship (presupposition) based not solely upon what God has commanded but through a redefinition of the ontology (essence) of woman.

  Cindy K wrote @

The biggest reason why Voddie Baucham should be marginalized in the SBC:

http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2008/12/linguistic-snare-of-men-as-prophet.html

I am amazed at how he can declare that he his orthodox and show that he is not, all in the very same statement.

  Jack Brooks wrote @

We teach it because it’s Biblical. Jesus said that the Father was greater than him, the Father sent him, and Christ did whatever the Father told him to do. Christ was subordinate to the Father.

The rabbis’ opinion is only as good as their exegesis of the Scriptures. Their being Jewish doesn’t grant their opinions any validity, or their interpretations any credibility.

  Lin wrote @

“We teach it because it’s Biblical. Jesus said that the Father was greater than him, the Father sent him, and Christ did whatever the Father told him to do. Christ was subordinate to the Father.”

You are taking Incarnation passages and teleporting them to eternity past and future.

Jesus said ‘greater’ in position because at the time He was 100% man and 100% God. He did not say that God was ‘better’. He was most definitely subordinate during HIs incarnation. But what do you make of this:

John 5

18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

How could saying that God was His Father make Himself equal with God????????????

The Pharisees know how it did. Because they understood Father/Son. But many now do not. They have been too busy lessening Jesus and His Deity in order to elevate themselves and prove patriarchy as biblical because it is inherent in the Trinity for all time past and future.

Jesus is God. He and the Father have the same will. Same essence. Same Sovereignty. The Holy Spirit is God. God is God. Triune God.

  thatmom wrote @

Lin, I couldn’t help but think about the book of Colossians when I read what you wrote. Jesus is preeminent. And, again, in Hebrews God himself called Jesus God. I think there is a confusion between the state of the incarnated Christ and the pre-incarnate one and the risen Jesus. Jack, can you explain what you are thinking in light of this?


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