The internet is still buzzing over John MacArthur’s “Go Home” comment about Beth Moore. A few days ago J.D. Greer, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, offered the following tweet:
Is J.D. opening up his home if Beth Moore is in the area and needs a place to stay, or is he opening the pulpit to her? If it’s the later, is this an opening to potentially changing the 1984 SBC Resolution on Ordination and the Role of Women in Ministry?
While women in the Southern Baptist church seem more open to accepting women in leadership positions, the challenge lies in convincing the messengers, many whom happen to be pastors that this is an acceptable change. Wade Burleson is one vocal SBC pastor who values the voice of women:
To MacArthur and other male misogynistic ministers, qualification for Christian ministry revolves around one’s sexual genitalia rather than one’s spiritual giftings.
The overwhelming teaching of the New Testament is that men and women are to teach, preach, lead, and serve as the Spirit gifts us, independent of our specific gender.
It is interesting to note that the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message did not prevent women from being pastors. Take a look:
VI. THE CHURCH
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth.
This church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a congregation members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.
Mat 16:15-19; 18:15-20 Acts 2:41-42, 47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23, 27 Acts 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Rom 1:7 1Co 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12 Eph 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11, 21; 5:22-32 Php 1:1; Col 1:18; 1Ti 3:1-15; 4:14
Now notice how clearly the pastorate is limited to only men in the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message:
VI. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of Baptized Believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, Believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3
It will be interesting to watch if there is any movement toward women preaching and leading in the SBC.
UPDATE: Well, it looks like we have our answer sooner than later. Just noticed these tweets by JD Greear:
11 thoughts on “Is J.D. Greear’s Welcome to Beth Moore Intended for the Home or Pulpit?”
I think it’s basically mean comp’s verses ‘nice’ comps, but I did see an interesting article shared that shows a much higher support for women preaching in the SBC than I had realized. Their thesis is basically that “support for women clergy is incredibly low among Southern Baptist men who are biblical literalists and attend church multiple times a week.” These are the messengers and the pastors and deacons and so on and so forth. The people who go to meetings and vote on stuff.
They also said ‘Only half of children raised Southern Baptist stay that way as adults’. That includes me and a bunch of people at my church for sure.
Sorry I missed that you linked the same article! But yes.
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I will believer Greear when he quits tweeting gibberish and saying gibberish about women and invites Beth Moore to preach at his church from a Pulpit. I am so tired of these guys BS when it comes to women. Or he can lead the charge to change the 2000 BF&M. I am afraid I will be waiting.
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I think this argument becomes circular through a lot of loops. The first line of defense is that God excluded women from office, and would not gift women to those offices. When that defense fails (obviously, people like Beth Moore, are being gifted in these areas), then somehow God becomes cruel and capricious by giving people gifts and desires, but then forbidding them from using them. This is justified by the “prooftexts” which can never be questioned.
Another circle is the “teaching women” circle. It’s okay for Beth Moore to teach women, and that appears to be her desire with respect to her complementarian views, but men become drawn to the truth as well. At that point, Moore must be stopped at all costs.
But… think about the priority.
1) Patriarchy is more important than Christianity being about a loving God
2) Patriarchy is more important than understanding scripture in light of experience
3) Better to call something evil than to acknowledge it could be Spirit-led and deal with the consequences [I think this goes to the heart of MacArthur and Johnson’s response which was out of pride and jealousy]
I can’t speak to when or if Greear will go egalitarian, but it strikes me (list of 10 churches, etc..) that his typical approach is to be rather upfront about what he’s going to do. So I don’t anticipate that if and when it happens, he’s going to give a lot of subtle hints. He’ll rather say it to his church after asking the elders if they want him to continue, then deal with his positions in the SBC as a whole and promote a resolution walking back the complementarian position nationwide.
Could be wrong, but that’s my gut feeling.
Pastors are to be the husband of one wife so that settles it!!
“so that settles it!!”
Are you thirteen?
How does that settle it?
Why don’t you want women preaching?
Are you only a Christian because of the misogyny in Christianity?
You realize that back in the day when this was written, women didn’t have to be told that they could only have one husband. That was already a rule.
But men could have multiple wives. So this was addressed to men, not women.
You don’t take instructions given to men and decide that it restricts women. That has never been the point of the verse.
Mara – the woman at the well in John 4? !
” If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.” – the Bible never prohibits lesbianism?
Also, what about the Catholic Church where priests take an oath of celibacy? Do they qualify because the don’t “have one wife”?