The SBC Convention: CBN Was Routed, An SBC Database for Abusers Is Approved, and the SBC Doesn’t Know What to Do With Saddleback Church’s Female Pastors

A collision of galaxies NASA

” One of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is to shut their eyes to facts.”― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader


Good grief! Where to begin. This is just an overview of things that caught my eye. I’m sure others will write in-depth perspectives in the days to come.

The Conservative Baptist Network was soundly defeated.

Let’s take a look at some failures.

Baptist Global: Attempt to dismantle SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission fails. The CBN types appear to be convinced that the ERLC is a den of woke activists about to overthrow the righteous folks of the SBC. No joy for them on this one.

In yet another setback to the most conservative wing of the Southern Baptist Convention, an attempt to disband the denomination’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission failed June 15.

This vote was the culmination of a years-long campaign against the ERLC by allies of the Conservative Baptist Network, who believe the SBC has fallen into liberalism and has become “woke.”

Baptist Global wrote: Conservative Baptist Network loses SBC leadership posts. Basically, CBN candidates were given the boot.

The first early test of this coalition’s strength came Monday afternoon, June 13, when the Executive Committee elected new officers. The Executive Committee has been at the center of the conflict over mishandling of sexual abuse cases in SBC churches and institutions.

One of the most outspoken Executive Committee members in favor of transparency and full accountability was elected to lead the Executive Committee for the next year. Jared Wellman, pastor of Tate Springs Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, was chosen over Indiana pastor Andrew Hunt.

…Two other key leaders for the Executive Committee also fall in the same group as Wellman, seeking to right the wrongs of the past and create better systems to respond to known abuse.

The biggest ouch occurred when Voddie Baucham did not get the golden ticket.

The bigger headline of the day, however, is that a candidate for president of the SBC Pastors’ Conference heavily promoted by the Conservative Baptist Network also lost his race.

Voddie Baucham, a controversial author and dean of theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, was the conservative network’s choice. They settled on running him for Pastors’ Conference president after initially planning to run him for SBC president — which fell flat because Baucham is not a member of a Southern Baptist church and therefore not qualified according to the SBC’s bylaws.

However, the Pastors’ Conference, an autonomous organization

I wonder if Voddie knew he would lose since he wasn’t even present for half of the Pastors’ Conference. He went to listen to John MacArthur.

At the end of the day — literally — hours after the vote was taken, the results were announced and Daniel Dickard, pastor of Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., was declared the next Pastors’ Conference president. He got 690 votes to Baucham’s 608 votes.

Ironically, Baucham was not present in the hall for the first session of the Pastors’ Conference Sunday night because he was attending a Conservative Baptist Network event across the street featuring Calvinist author and pastor John MacArthur.

However, CBN put it all on the line by pushing Tom Ascol for the SBC Presidency. And they lost. Southern Baptists approve abuse reforms, elect new president at critical annual meeting.

On the first official day of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting here on Tuesday, voting delegates, known as messengers, picked Texas pastor Bart Barber to lead the SBC and faced head on the issue of how to prevent sexual abuse.

Barber defeated Florida pastor Tom Ascol in a narrow runoff election Tuesday evening. Barber received 60.87% of the vote.

So, where is the CBN after their historic loss on just about every front?

Today I asked a question on Twitter.

Apparently, the Baptist Standard asked the same question a month ago in Editorial: SBC is likely headed for further downsizing.

Should Ascol not be elected, history may repeat itself, but on the other end of the theological and political spectrum from CBF. The Conservative Baptist Network may see its hope for the SBC thwarted and, should it lose enough elections, may separate as CBF did 20 years ago—taking all their supporting churches out of the SBC. The Conservative Baptist Network already has its own mission, network of churches, leadership structure, events, press and giving channel.

History is shaping up for a repeat. With principled positions so firmly in place, it seems the SBC will need miraculous intervention to keep it from downsizing again.

Todd-do you think ARBCA would take them in? 😉

So, it seems like a database is possible after all, but I predict further fights on the issue.

Christianity Today posted Southern Baptists Overwhelmingly Approve Abuse Reforms, Public Database.

Two survivors in attendance hugged and cried, and supporters of the measure rose in applause as the move passed at the SBC annual meeting on Tuesday afternoon. The much-anticipated vote came less than a month after the landmark investigative report into the Executive Committee (EC).

…the new “Ministry Check” website will keep a public record of credibly accused abusers who have served in Southern Baptist churches and entities. It will be maintained by an independent firm, which will take and evaluate submissions.

A new task force, authorized by Thursday’s vote and to be appointed by the new SBC president, will coordinate the creation of the website as well as evaluating additional reforms over the next year.

Note that it appears these reforms will supposedly progress over one year. Christa Brown, who is finally receiving the attention she should have received over the decades, is not really sure about all of this. It appears she doesn’t trust the system and calls for secular authorities to investigate the SBC. It is possible that something like that could happen. Look at the RCC which has been investigated for criminal activity due to its own sexual abuse travesty.

I have to admit that I am feeling a bit skeptical about the database being well used in the SBC. There is a significant contingent affiliated with the Conservative Baptist Network who are not supportive of it.

CT. wrote SBC Task Force Asks for ‘Ministry Check’ Website, Other Reforms to Stop Sexual Abuse

One of the first responses to the recommendations came from Tom Ascol, a Florida pastor and leading candidate for SBC president. Ascol has been critical of the task force, claiming in a candidate forum that it had become “politicized” and saying local churches should handle any misconduct by SBC leaders.

“I am reading through the SATF recommendations for #SBC22 & looking for any Scripture reference & can’t find one, not even in the rationales,” he said on Twitter. “Did I simply overlook them?”

Tom Buck, a Texas pastor and Ascol supporter, said on social media that some of the task force recommendations are unbiblical.

I think Christa Brown is right to be skeptical. CBN had roughly 30% of the votes for offices in the SBC. 30% is enough to cause trouble. Hopefully, the new SBC leaders can prevail.

Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church is on the SBC hot seat and may be expelled due to female pastors or maybe not.

This story is a particular favorite of mine since it shows how a group can twist itself into a pretzel to make something work. The Christian Post published:  SBC committee delays decision on whether to expel Saddleback Church over female ‘pastors.’ 

Yep, that’s right. They are thinking about giving Saddleback the boot.

The Southern Baptist Convention has delayed a decision on whether to remove Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church from the denomination in light of the California megachurch’s ordination of three female pastors last year.

…The SBC Credentials Committee, tasked with handling concerns about whether churches that cooperate with the convention are abiding by the SBC standards of faith and practice, announced Tuesday at the SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, that it would delay a decision on Saddleback’s standing.

I love this next part. 🙂 🙂 🙂 There is a difference of opinion, it seems. People have been saying this for years, but the SBC has stood firm. Maybe not so much now.

Based on the information available to us currently, including direct communication with Pastor Rick Warren, … we have concluded that we are not yet prepared to make a recommendation regarding Saddleback Church, recognizing there are differing opinions regarding the intent of the office of pastor as stated in the Baptist Faith & Message 2000,” Committee Chair Linda Cooper told meeting attendees.

Read this next part carefully and see if you see the loophole I see.

“We feel it is very important for you to know that it is the unanimous opinion of the Credentials Committee that the majority of Southern Baptists hold to the belief that the function of lead pastor, elder, bishop or overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

But Cooper noted that the committee “found little information evidencing convention beliefs regarding the use of the title of pastor, for staff positions with different responsibilities and authority than that of lead pastor role.”

Interesting. This seems to imply that female assistant pastors, associate pastors, worship pastors, children’s pastors, missionary pastors, etc., might be overlooked if they are not the lead pastors.

This may not get resolved for a long time since:

The Credentials Committee initially recommended that the SBC messengers vote during the meeting this week to create a study committee that would report to the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting a “recommendation to provide clarity regarding the office of pastor.”

Some leaders, including Mohler, voiced opposition to the idea of creating a study committee.

Committees take forever. Here is my suggestion. Women who wish to be pastors and the men who support them should take this opportunity and get into all those positions I mentioned before the study committee completes their work. I doubt they would throw out a bunch of churches, so get moving!

I’m still processing this all. Special thanks to Jules Woodson, who, along with Christa Brown and David Pittman was quoted in just about every major media source I could find. So proud of them. It. is because of these folks that these changes are happening.


Comments

The SBC Convention: CBN Was Routed, An SBC Database for Abusers Is Approved, and the SBC Doesn’t Know What to Do With Saddleback Church’s Female Pastors — 134 Comments

  1. “This seems to imply that female assistant pastors, associate pastors, worship pastors, children’s pastors, missionary pastors, etc., might be overlooked if they are not the lead pastors.”

    This is not what Warren is thinking, IMO. If the Credentials Committee takes that approach – giving the green light for a woman to be called pastor as long as it’s not “lead” pastor – Warren may very well counter by naming a woman lead pastor at a Saddleback-affiliated church. It’s my understanding that he takes Galatians 3:28 seriously, that there are to be no distinctions in the Body of Christ in race, class or gender.

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  2. dee: Grab the popcorn, put a pug on your lap and watch the goings on.

    I suspect the Apostles popped a lot of corn when they turned female believers loose on the first century church in leadership roles: Anna, Phoebe, Junia, Priscilla, etc.

    “In the Last Days,” God says,
    “I will pour out my Spirit
    on every kind of people:
    Your sons will prophesy,
    also your daughters;
    Your young men will see visions,
    your old men dream dreams.
    When the time comes,
    I’ll pour out my Spirit
    On those who serve me, men and women both,
    and they’ll prophesy.”
    (Acts 2:17-18)

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  3. Pro-active suggestion, Dee.

    The loophole being a woman doing the work but with flexibility re: the job title.

    Which also indicates the woman will not be paid like a man for the work sans the proper title. (Nothing new with that.)

    (A woman, nationally known for her ministry work, faced this at Hybels’ supposedly woke pro-women Willow Creek. What a joke, she said. She’s in no way a bombshell personality type, so he never visited her afterhours. She left WC after she’d read the room and had had enough.)

    It’s also true that there are entitled and well paid men who do less work than the underpaid lesser titled women. Is there hubris in this arrangement? Duh …

    The fact that both men and women are willing to be engaged in this arrangement says volumes about ego and where to find it.

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  4. Anything or anyone Christian that self-identifies as conservative but tolerates, supports, hides, ignores:

    -adulterous leaders
    -porn engaged leaders
    -clergy sexual abuse leaders
    -pedo clergy
    -incest-engaging clergy

    is like the serialist who claims, “I am not a monster.”

    In these cases, the conservative identity is simply an absolute lie. Nothing conservative about any of these.

    While they gaslight, ignore, and/or silence evidence (victims). Even worse.

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  5. Max: I suspect the Apostles popped a lot of corn when they turned female believers loose on the first century church in leadership roles: Anna, Phoebe, Junia, Priscilla, etc.

    I happen to be reading a history text at the moment, “Women in the Classical World” by Elaine Fanthan, et al. In outlining the time periods covered, the preface states, “We have chosen to end with the later Roman Empire and not to deal with the Early Christian period, when many new issues relating to the role of women arose.”

    It’s certainly piqued my curiosity, particularly since so many fundamentalists seem to want to return us to the gender relations/roles of the BC world.

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  6. Comment repost:

    I heard Bruce Ashford is raising money for his speaking and writing career—$185,000 is the goal. If anyone is interested in supporting, he will mail you the newsletter via his Facebook page or email.

    He responded to an email that was sent to him, mentioned he resigned as provost because he “suddenly” had full custody of his kids in 2020. What was going on with his wife that made her lose custody? The fact that he used those words seems like court language, not the kind of language you would use if someone got sick and you had to take care of the fam.

    Then he said he quit as professor because he had a drinking problem, and he mentioned that all of that was public on his Facebook page. I couldn’t find a drop of any of that info. Did anyone else see it when they looked at his Facebook?

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  7. “I am reading through the SATF recommendations for #SBC22 & looking for any Scripture reference & can’t find one, not even in the rationales,” he said on Twitter. “Did I simply overlook them?”

    I looked through the rules authorizing and governing 501c3 organizations and couldn’t find any Scripture references either…maybe Ascol needs to start paying taxes on donations to his church and ministries…

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  8. Wild Honey: I happen to be reading a history text at the moment, “Women in the Classical World” by Elaine Fanthan, et al.In outlining the time periods covered, the preface states, “We have chosen to end with the later Roman Empire and not to deal with the Early Christian period, when many new issues relating to the role of women arose.”

    It’s certainly piqued my curiosity, particularly since so many fundamentalists seem to want to return us to the gender relations/roles of the BC world.

    Southern Baptist have selective memories as it relates to women leaders. They had to revise their “biblical” knowledge after the 2000 BF&M.

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  9. The BFM 2000 was the first to address women as pastors. The BFM of 1925 and 1963 didn’t address it and from the 1970s to 2000 there were a small number of women pastors in the SBC that is not permitted now under BFM 2000.

    BFM 2000 doesn’t address women as deacons so like the earlier versions of BFM related to pastors women can be deacons although I would be surprised if many SBC churches have women as deacons.

    I have read this week that BFM 2000 was primarily used for SBC employees (IMB missionaries had to sign that they agreed to it to keep their jobs). The discussion now is do churches have to adopt this (technically not required) to be in fellowship. If so what do they do with the communion section that says it is for SBC members only when 94% of SBC churches hold open communion.

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  10. I thought I noted in yesterday’s CT article, that the SBC convention wants to apologize to the abused people by name. I sure hope that every one of them who is asked says: HELL NO!!! That would be the first step in doing NOTHING. They desperately want to apologize and pray over them and then forget it all. Each abuser should be publicly named (of course Paige Patterson and too many pastors, executive board members and lawyers with ranches who I can’t begin to remember ), and then the names of the abused should be announced with a financial settlement they’ve agreed to that fully covers all the awful pain and expenses they’ve endured.

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  11. Ruth Tucker,

    You are absolutely right on this, in both of your comments.

    Naming victims, for what? Target practice? Their privacy has already been violated by a monster, so now the grand org, a team of monsters, assaults their privacy again?

    On the other hand, the predators need to be named for the protection of the community.

    The team-of-protect-the-monsters type of orgs protect the predators (when they refuse to publish a database of offenders) while they target the victims.

    And yes, any offender et al serious about repentance will engage in serious restitution which is the fruit of repentance, Luke 3.8, Acts 3.8, and Zacchaeus x 4 repayment.

    Some of the antics of people in power like Paige Patterson further violated victims. These powerful people also need to repent with the fruit of repentance, with restitution for victims.

    “Sorry” is not sorry because it is not enough, according to Luke 3.8, Acts 3.8, and Zacchaeus.

    Are these monsters conservative Bible literalists as they claim? No, they are liars if they make these claims.

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  12. Ruth Tucker,

    Wouldn’t THAT have been something? If instead of a convention with mostly business as usual, they had taken the time to publicly name all those listed abusers from the podium of the SBC. Name them for all to hear, including all the press. For all to sit there & squirm & fidget while the naming goes on & on. Sure, people can read the names on that list, but for the SBC to publicly name them at the convention would be a public form of institutional ownership. It surely would have been meaningful to me to hear Tommy Gilmore publicly named AT THE SBC, and I expect it would have been for many other SBCtoo survivors as well. Appreciate the thought, Ruth.

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  13. Bait and switch, with the scheming now to expel these churches?

    Notice the pledge that Adrian Rogers, chairman of the BF&M Committee, made in convincing messengers to approve the revised document:

    http://m.bpnews.net/6020/southern-baptists-overwhelmingly-adopt-revised-baptist-faith-and-message

    June 14, 2000
    “Rogers said that in no way does the document, particularly the section on the pastorate, dictate who a Southern Baptist church may hire as pastor.”

    And the following is currently posted on the SBC website, and has been for years:

    https://www.sbc.net/about/what-we-do/faq/

    FAQs
    …..
    “Can women be pastors or deacons in the SBC?”
    …..
    “The BF&M statement says…’the office of pastor is limited to men’….The Southern Baptist Convention also passed a resolution in the early 1980s recognizing that offices requiring ordination are rightly addressed to men. HOWEVER, THE BF&M AND RESOLUTIONS ARE NOT BINDING UPON LOCAL CHURCHES. EACH CHURCH IS RESPONSIBLE TO PRAYERFULLY SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES AND ESTABLISH ITS OWN POLICY.”

    [capitalized for emphasis -Jerome]

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  14. Tom Parker: The SBC sure wastes lots of times over secondary issues.

    God’s plan of salvation is now a secondary issue in SBC … whosoever-will-may-come vs. predestination. To me, a single denomination does not need to be delivering two versions of salvation from their pulpits … salvation in Christ was the essential message in the early church and still should be today. If SBC is to divide (once again) in the days ahead, it should be over that issue.

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  15. Wild Honey: so many fundamentalists seem to want to return us to the gender relations/roles of the BC world

    Exactly. You will never hear a hardcore fundagelical preaching about the boldness of Anna, Phoebe, Junia, Priscilla, etc., who preached the Gospel in the early AD world. They want to keep female believers in the dark and their spiritual giftings contained. The Body of Christ is missing so much of what God intended by enslaving half (or more) of the church to errant teachings about gender roles. Folks who do this are cherry-picking Scripture to defend their theology, rather than looking at the whole of the Bible.

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  16. Christa Brown: Wouldn’t THAT have been something? If instead of a convention with mostly business as usual, they had taken the time to publicly name all those listed abusers from the podium of the SBC.

    Yeah, right in front of all the abusers sitting in the hall yet to be named! The bad-boy list, largely borrowed from the Houston Chronicle’s abuse of faith series, is just the tip of the iceberg, IMO.

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  17. so, we’ve got the office of pastor

    the function of the lead pastor

    the use of the title of pastor

    the study committee will provide clarity only on the office of pastor
    .
    .
    somehow, this reminds me of male headship / female submission where when she does the dishes, it’s submission. when he does the dishes, it’s leadership.

    same dishes, same sink, same dishsoap, same apron…

    surely, this must be some deep theological magic understanding the difference between submissive dish washing and leadership dishwashing.

    and it must be really deep magic divining the dividing lines between office, function, and title of pastor.
    .
    .
    i’ll save them all months, years, and tons of money by stating the obvious about the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 and evangelical culture:

    it comes down to who has the donger.

    have donger, have power and better paycheck. no donger, do what you’re told with lesser paycheck.

    the study committee will spend resources and come up with the exact same scenario as now, just with different nomenclature.
    .
    .
    if this isn’t the stupidest theology…i marvel how anyone can practice it and maintain their dignity.

    the only way is to dress it up in rarefied language, and deceive oneself and hopefully everyone else, too.

    when that doesn’t work, then come the threats.

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  18. and when did this lead pastor thing come into the mix?

    -part of creating more jobs?

    -not enough hierarchy?

    -the need for more middlemen to create a larger and larger middle level of power to lower the threshold on those below?

    “my, what a large pastoral staff you have!”

    “all the better to control you with.”
    .
    .
    there’s nothing savory or honorable about it.

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  19. In my youth in my home SBC church there was a rule that if a woman needed to speak to the congregation (announcement, info, etc.) she had to stand to the RIGHT of the pulpit because only the MALE PASTOR could stand behind it.

    Last time I checked a pulpit was a hunk of shaped wood, not a holy instrument.

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  20. elastigirl: when did this lead pastor thing come into the mix?

    In my area, when New Calvinism showed up. The NeoCals love that title. I can take you to SBC church plants in my area which have a “Lead Pastor” in his 20s fresh out of seminary with no ministry experience, with a band of hand-picked “Elders” of same age trying to do church … it’s a sight to see!

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  21. Christa Brown: Wouldn’t THAT have been something? If instead of a convention with mostly business as usual, they had taken the time to publicly name all those listed abusers from the podium of the SBC. Name them for all to hear, including all the press.

    For the well being and safety of all. Turn the tables on the current status quo of the church as predators’ Heavenly Hunting Ground.

    Those signs with cute quotes in front of churches? “Predators’ Heavenly Hunting Ground” posted would save lives. In every case, and certainly where LE and the DOJ have found probable cause.

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  22. Christa Brown: for the SBC to publicly name them at the convention would be a public form of institutional ownership.

    From the NYT:

    “Southern Baptist Leaders Mishandled Sex Abuse Crisis: Report Alleges Executives of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination were mainly concerned about their liability.”

    Nothing about the victims, the children, and all those damaged, by their BFF predator pastors.

    Iconic. Legacy.

    (Did the year 2000 SBC initiative create an even more predator-friendly culture in the SBC? If so, was that intentional? Who were the major players? Who drafted this initiative? Are they being held accountable? Who benefitted? Who was damaged? Is there a straight line from the SBC 2000 Initiative to the SBC 2022 Report of Predators + Supporters?)

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  23. Christa Brown:
    Wouldn’t THAT have been something? If instead of a convention with mostly business as usual, they had taken the time to publicly name all those listed abusers from the podium of the SBC.

    Christa, I’d forgotten your story. I copied this to give readers it in a nutshell.

    Christa Brown survived the abuse and says she knew one day stories about the Southern Baptists would come to light.

    Brown says her pastor in Texas, Tommy Gilmore, assaulted her more than 30 times.

    When Brown says she reported Gilmore, the church told her she needed satan cast from her body.

    “I set out to try to do something about it, and located them and realized he was still in ministry,” Brown recalled. “I notified 18 Southern Baptist leaders in four states, including Florida, also Georgia, Texas, and Tennessee, and not a one of those men did a thing.”

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  24. Max: I can take you to SBC church plants in my area which have a “Lead Pastor” in his 20s fresh out of seminary with no ministry experience, with a band of hand-picked “Elders” of same age trying to do church … it’s a sight to see!

    Though not to experience from the inside.

    Except for the mention of seminary, that was the demographics of the Christian Fellowship (i.e. Shepherding/End of the World Cult) that messed up my head back in the Seventies. Though they didn’t have a single leader (unless you count Hal Lindsay in absentia), groupthink was enough of a Cult Leader for the group’s “Elders” – all in their EARLY 20s.

    I was lucky. I attended my first SF Litcon in late ’75 and discovered Dungeons & Dragons. That (and the group’s reaction) was what pulled me out of there. Many years later I heard that several of the groups “Brothers and Sisters in Christ” needed to be abducted and forcibly deprogrammed.

    P.S. Some of the damage is permanent, even almost 50 years after-the-fact.

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  25. Luckyforward,

    “Last time I checked a pulpit was a hunk of shaped wood, not a holy instrument.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    heavens to betsy, what will they worship next??

    a golden calf, a wooden pulpit, a lucite pulpit, the professional christian, the donger, the professional christian with a donger,…

    just waiting for the last 3 to be forged in gold…

    (if golden hemorrhoids were a thing,…i mean, it’s just obvious)

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  26. Ava Aaronson: Is there a straight line from the SBC 2000 Initiative to the SBC 2022 Report of Predators + Supporters?

    Now that’s a potential connection to contemplate. There’s no doubt that the Conservative (Calvinist) Resurgence, Baptist Faith & Message 2000 revision, purging SBC entities of non-fundagelical leaders, releasing an army of young, restless & reformed into SBC churches, and assorted other missteps by SBC in the 21st century have caused a lot of heartache. When you do wrong things, other wrong things happen. When bad leaders are calling the shots, bad deeds follow.

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  27. From a new SBC leader’s perspective:

    “Barber said sexual predators have used the convention’s decentralized polity to turn congregations “into a hunting ground.” But with systemic changes and reforms, Barber hoped sexual predators will be put on notice.”

    “The hunters are now the hunted,” he said.

    But from a survivor’s perspective:

    “Survivor and longtime advocate for reform, Christa Brown, said the convention did the “bare minimum” this week, and renewed her call (for) a government investigation into abuse in the SBC.”

    https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2022-06-15/new-sbc-president-commits-to-move-sex-abuse-reforms-forward

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  28. John: I heard Bruce Ashford is raising money for his speaking and writing career—$185,000 is the goal. If anyone is interested in supporting, he will mail you the newsletter via his Facebook page or email.
    He responded to an email that was sent to him, mentioned he resigned as provost because he “suddenly” had full custody of his kids in 2020. What was going on with his wife that made her lose custody? The fact that he used those words seems like court language, not the kind of language you would use if someone got sick and you had to take care of the fam.
    Then he said he quit as professor because he had a drinking problem, and he mentioned that all of that was public on his Facebook page. I couldn’t find a drop of any of that info. Did anyone else see it when they looked at his Facebook?

    John,
    I would take any information received from Bruce Ashford with a grain of salt. He has proven to be untrustworthy with me. I emailed him on April 14, 2020 concerning his bio on his blog. It said he serves as the Provost and a Professor at SEBTS. I knew that he had, in fact, “resigned” from his Provost position In July 2020 and been terminated from his professor job in October 2020. He replied to me on April 15 saying he was working on correcting the bio that morning. Here we are, 2 months later, and his false bio still remains on his blog. And it has been 20 months since he was terminated from SEBTS! ( https://twitter.com/ThouArtTheMan/status/1537186479381745666?s=20&t=aSijT7Qvo_X5iXxxOH0PjA ).

    Also, I told Bruce I was working on an article on his resignation/termination from SEBTS for the Wartburg Watch and offered him a chance to give his side of the story. He wanted to know who I wrote for, who was my editor, etc, so he would know “how to frame his response.” I gave him his answers and he said he would have his response for me shortly. After about a week he wrote and said he had been traveling and was it alright if had his response to me the next day. I said that would be fine. That was about the end of April and I have not heard from Bruce since then.

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  29. My 2 cents on the SBC Annual Meeting.
    I watched much of it live and have made some videos. I have put them on Twitter including this one of Ryan Fullerton, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville. You may recognize his name. He was a huge defender of Mahaney, who spoke at his church twice. Also a fan-boy of Mark Dever. He hitched his wagon to those guys hoping it would pave his way into celebrity stardom. He is also the pastor that drove Denhollanders out of his church because they questioned him speaking at Mahaney’s church and Mahaney speaking at their church. But once Rachael became famous Fullerton suddenly saw the error of his ways and did a public about-face. Now it appears Fullerton has ditched Mahaney and Dever and has hitched his wagon to Tom Ascol in hopes of gaining fame and fortune.

    https://twitter.com/ThouArtTheMan/status/1536871387213594624?s=20&t=Sa7lgOLnGUt62QOlaY6DQQ

    One of my complaints about the SBC meeting is it appears a very small minority of messengers had any idea of how Roberts Rules of Order work – including their President, Ed Litton. His lack of knowledge of Roberts’s Rules of Order was embarrassing, he was continually turning to the official parliamentarian for help.
    If you watch the Fullerton video he attempts to ask a question when he was recognized for a point of order. He was not alone in his ignorance.

    Another complaint I have was all the time taken up by attempting to have a church service at an annual business meeting. I would guess the singers up front led music for at least two hours of total time over the course of the business meeting. As time was drawing to a close they were forced to rush many resolutions and amendments through and some were not brought up for discussion because of a lack of time.

    And no disrespect to the musicians, but Baptists don’t do a very good imitation of Charismatics when it comes to music.

    That’s all I have.

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  30. Todd Wilhelm: I would guess the singers up front led music for at least two hours of total time over the course of the business meeting. As time was drawing to a close they were forced to rush many resolutions and amendments through and some were not brought up for discussion because of a lack of time.

    Todd, I really believe this is a feature of the Convention planners and not a bug. IOW, this is done by design.

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  31. I’m just going to point out that in a lot of churches, the title of “pastor” that is given to some male church workers has a great perk in the USA. You can exempt the cost of the fair market rental of your parsonage from your income, thus lowering it for the purposes of Federal income tax. (It should be noted that imams, rabbis, Buddhist monks, Zoroastrian priests, etc., etc.) are also eligible for this (in my slightly irate opinion) tax dodge.

    I do not know if those perks come to women who hold positions like “Music Director or Childcare Supervisor.” I doubt it.

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  32. Ava Aaronson:
    Ruth Tucker,

    You are absolutely right on this, in both of your comments.

    Naming victims, for what? Target practice? Their privacy has already been violated by a monster, so now the grand org, a team of monsters, assaults their privacy again?

    On the other hand, the predators need to be named for the protection of the community.

    The team-of-protect-the-monsters type of orgs protect the predators (when they refuse to publish a database of offenders) while they target the victims.

    And yes, any offender et al serious about repentance will engage in serious restitution which is the fruit of repentance, Luke 3.8, Acts 3.8, and Zacchaeus x4 repayment.

    Some of the antics of people in power like Paige Patterson further violated victims. These powerful people also need to repent with the fruit of repentance, with restitution for victims.

    “Sorry” is not sorry because it is not enough, according to Luke 3.8, Acts 3.8, and Zacchaeus.

    Are these monsters conservative Bible literalistsas they claim? No, they are liars if they make these claims.

    Bah.
    Abuse happened over and over and was hidden for years, and not one of these guys was sorry about about anything —- the abusers were not sorry for their atrocities and their protectors were not sorry they provided cover —— until they were caught and publicly exposed.

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  33. AUCPA:

    I have read this week that BFM 2000 was primarily used for SBC employees (IMB missionaries had to sign that they agreed to it to keep their jobs).

    This is true and then some. All SBC missionaries and church planters (ahem, as well as their wives) must sign documents saying that they agree 100% with the BF&M2000.

    Women cannot be church planters….. full stop.

    Married women cannot be missionaries, but a missionary’s wife is more than welcome to serve in the field as a Missionary Wife (how’s that for a catchy title?). Of course, only the men get paid – wives are free labor for the SBC.

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  34. Todd Wilhelm: One of my complaints about the SBC meeting is it appears a very small minority of messengers had any idea of how Roberts Rules of Order work

    In the late ’80s when we Moderates were trying to stop the “Resurgence” it was powerful for the president or parliamentarian use Robert’s Rules to shut off debate and/or limit others to speak.

    And on a different note, there was Billy Graham’s telegram supporting Charles Stanley for his second term as SBC president. Also in this 1985 UPI article from 1985, notice the ages of the voting messengers.

    https://www.upi.com/Archives/1985/07/12/Religion-in-AmericaNEWLNBaptist-battle-still-boiling/1197489988800/

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  35. Todd Wilhelm: But once Rachael became famous Fullerton suddenly saw the error of his ways and did a public about-face. Now it appears Fullerton has ditched Mahaney and Dever and has hitched his wagon to Tom Ascol in hopes of gaining fame and fortune.

    Dunno, doesn’t sound like he learned much of a lesson. To me, Tom Ascol is just like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. He has little respect for survivors.

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  36. Why does Rick Warren want the SBC to keep Saddleback? Look at the Lifeway (SBC printing and sales outlet) webpage for Warren:

    https://www.lifeway.com/en/searchpage.html?prod.dotcom.products%5Bquery%5D=rick%20warren

    If Saddleback gets booted, Warren’s books get booted from Lifeway. And Warren loses $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!

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  37. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): the abusers were not sorry for their atrocities and their protectors were not sorry they provided cover —— until they were caught and publicly exposed

    SBC’s newfound repentance rings hollow when this stuff went on for decades. Protecting and covering for abuser-buds as they hopped from church to church, while victims/survivors were called sluts and Jezebels is rotten to the core. Adopting a “We’re sorry” resolution at Disneyland is an additional slap on the face, only a small step for mankind.

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  38. I kind of had a revelation when I was picking up my breakfast at the drive-thru this morning. I was reading a tweet from someone who said that pastors could only be men because pastoring involves oversight, authority, protection and teaching of a flock.

    Well, I like to say I’m a professional cat herder and my Twitter profile says that. The title comes from an old Super Bowl commercial from EDS in 2000, about bringing together technical resources to solve problems. And that’s what I do at work. I manage major technical incidents for a well known temple of capitalism. But my job requires me to exert all those things the person said were roles that only men could exercise as pastors.

    Thing is, I have oversight of incidents, and I’m responsible for driving them to resolution as quickly as possible. (One of our statistics is “mean time to resolution”.) I use my authority to get people to recognize (for example) that we can’t wait three weeks for a fix to go in, it needs to go in as soon as testing is complete. My job requires me to protect the assets of my employer, which includes Other People’s Money and customers’ personal data. As for teaching, I provide on the job training and advice not just to people in my group, but also my technical partners. If that ain’t shepherding / pastoring, I don’t know what is.

    Just to be clear, I’m not called to pastor a church; that’s not my call. My call is to be a rabble-rouser. 🙂 But the thing is, I do the duties of a pastor in my tech job, that was the revelation to me. So now I kind of understand better why the idea that women can’t pastor annoys me so much–because it’s not a far step to say that women shouldn’t have that kind of authority in secular jobs. That’s all.

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  39. Luckyforward,

    This little discussion “publishers/$$$” reminds me of pitfalls of “theological scholarship”. Whenever one reads a “religious book”, including theBible, one needs to look careful at not just authors and editors, but the institutions of the authors and publishing house. As we have discussed on TWW, the “ESV” Bible translation has “gender politic” imbedded in it, just like the translators of The King James Bible had royal politics imbedded… And there is much more about all the different Bible translations, and “issues” with respect to Latin Vulgate and Septuagint…

    And it was recently explained to my by a philosophy professor how much Augustine, and his contemporaries, were influenced by Greek Philosophy… ( scary pagans!!!)

    What makes me mad is how so much of fundy/evangelical land ignores all this…. I was taught that KJB as G$D’s WORD, as is, in ENGLISH, and I need to read it word for word…. Never mind there is GREAT debate about Hebrew words, let alone Hebrew-> Greek-> English, or Hebrew->Aramaic-> Latin-> English, or some other path…

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  40. @Dee

    ION, I received my alumni magazine from SEBTS yesterday and learned that they are launching a BBA program in their College. There was a feature on one of the business professors (I believe he is already teaching at the college) and the accompanying image was a photo of their EVP of Operations “teaching” a class, so I assume he will also serve a faculty.

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  41. Jeffrey Chalmers: I was taught

    Such a great day when stepping out on one’s own with the Holy Spirit as given to us by Jesus Himself. Our Comforter, our Guide, the presence of God Himself in our lives, personally and individually. Free. Cut out the middleman, the static, the noise and confusion.

    Just noticed that some guy named David Jeremiah is net worth $50,000,000. All from his Bible teaching empire.

    Peter and John said, “Silver and gold we do not have but in the name of Jesus, get up and walk.” Not a nickel passed between the disciples and the guy who walked. Not one cent.

    In these tumultuous economic times, nice to know that God and his disciples neither ask for nor accept payment.

    Jesus NEVER took up a collection. His disciples NEVER took up a collection for themselves or their ministries.

    Thank God that Jesus left us with His Holy Spirit. FREE.

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  42. Max: the Conservative (Calvinist) Resurgence, Baptist Faith & Message 2000 revision, purging SBC entities

    The SBC’s purging of women’s voices means that a man can dally with a woman any which way he desires, without repercussions, without consequences.

    The woman dallied with is evidence of who this man is, his actions & heart & soul – whom and what he really serves. Evidence leads to probable cause, then prosecution. Oops.

    Safety in church community, by definition and their mandates, is clearly outside the SBC.

    (How long did it take women like Beth Moore to figure this out?)

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  43. Jeffrey Chalmers,

    Jeffrey,

    One of the key losses from the “Conservative Resurgence” is the loss of the Priesthood of the Believer. I joined my home church at age 16 and a wonderful man with a booming radio announcers voice declared to me, “Welcome to the SBC where you can have 50 people in a room and 51 ideas about the Bible and everyone loves each other.”

    The Priesthood of the Believer suggested this very reality. Guess it was one of the first things to do after the takeover.

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  44. Luckyforward: One of the key losses from the “Conservative Resurgence” is the loss of the Priesthood of the Believer.

    Long-standing Baptist doctrines of “Priesthood of ‘the’ Believer” and “Soul Competency” were diminished in the BFM2000 revision. SBC’s New Calvinists will not say a word about either of these Biblical truths … they stand in the way of their agenda to dominate the pew and keep women in bondage.

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  45. Max: “Priesthood of ‘the’ Believer” and “Soul Competency” were diminished in the BFM2000 revision.

    Diminished or obliterated?

    “Soul competency is a Christian theological perspective on the accountability of each person before God.”

    Jesus is Heaven’s gatekeeper.

    But post BFM2000, Paige Patterson et al are Heaven’s gatekeepers? (Nevertheless LE and the DOJ have jurisdiction on Earth, so report the crimes, while Patterson welcomes the pedo perverts into church and supposedly Patterson will welcome the same into Heaven.)

    “The Priesthood of All Believers doctrine asserts that all humans have access to God through Christ, the true high priest, and thus do not need a priestly mediator. This introduced a democratic element in the functioning of the church that meant all Christians were equal.”

    1 Peter 2:4-5 “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

    The book of Hebrews also states Jesus cut out the middleman; Jesus became our sole mediator between God and each believer.

    Rom 12, 1 Cor 12, & Eph 4 further describes 18 free and equal gifts dispersed by the Holy Spirit throughout Jesus’ followers for the benefit of all Jesus’ followers. Free. Given by God Himself. Each believer bringing at least one to the table. Equal value.

    Who were these guys that met at a Cafe and drew out the BFM2000 plan on a napkin? Who was SBC president that then ushered in the BFM2000 era?

    Obviously what’s in it for these guys and their cronies:
    1. Power
    2. Women, voiceless, at men’s pleasure
    3. $$$ payment to God’s middlemen. The pay-as-you-go plan of salvation for the controlled and duped masses.

    Rich. Their plan. What kind of mindset does this? What kind of mindset accepts this? They claim to be Bible literalists and conservative when they usher in clearly anti-biblical mandates? Does anyone in the SBC actually read the Bible? Or is it cherry picking? Smorgasbord?

    Great Bible teachers? Not so much, it seems.

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  46. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Back to the Old Testament laws for us……… no freedom in Christ.

    Sisters, look up!! Jesus set you free!! You are New Testament Christians!

    “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

    “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

    “Live as free people” (1 Peter 2:16)

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  47. Ava Aaronson: They claim to be Bible literalists and conservative when they usher in clearly anti-biblical mandates?

    I’ve often wondered why, if they are literalists, they don’t practice what Paul tells the Corinthians to do here:

    “All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.”
    1Corinthians 16:20 NIV

    Different time, different culture you say?

    Cherry picking, I say.

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  48. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Dunno, doesn’t sound like he learned much of a lesson. To me, Tom Ascol is just like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. He has little respect for survivors.

    I agree.

    Like Driscoll, it’s not really all about Jesus with Fullerton. The bottom line is it’s all about Fullerton.

    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Dunno, doesn’t sound like he learned much of a lesson. To me, Tom Ascol is just like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. He has little respect for survivors.

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  49. Max,

    Well, Max, thank your wife, as I often question the value to others of sharing my What in the World is Going On Here?!

    Our family is trying to figure out church community without leaving our Bibles, hearts, and brains outside the door as we enter.

    A couple years ago I wrote out what I see as church issues in a novel (shielding everyone’s privacy). I would send a copy your way but it’s cheaper, faster, and easier just to access via Kindle: $2.99. (Link to my website on my name.)

    God bless. Always appreciate your sharing, particularly with biblical references.

    I’m aware that biblical is questionable for some. Both my husband and I became Christians after reading the WHOLE Bible. We had been exposed to strange biblical stuff but solved it by reading the whole book. The cherry picking was exposed. Never looked back.

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  50. John: Thank you, Todd. He also expressly denied EVER having an extramarital relationship of any kind in the email from him. I can provide you a copy if you need it.

    I’d love to have a copy, John. I have been following Ashford and hope to write about him soon. Dee has already written about him and his sudden (and quiet) departure from SEBTS. One doesn’t normally resign from a position such as Provost with nothing in the works to replace the job. I mean, the guy resigns from Provost (it was rumored he may have been the next President of SEBTS) in July 2020 and is relegated to being a professor, and then is terminated from that job in October 2020. To borrow a phrase from Shakespeare, “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark.”

    Check out my Tweet on Ashford today:

    https://twitter.com/ThouArtTheMan/status/1537911486932058112?s=20&t=vB09NvXNcM2QJzzbop8lsA

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  51. Max,

    Thank you for these verses. Flies in the face of the inerrant literalists sharing their completely false and unbiblical message that denies the Priesthood of Believers and Soul Competency.

    If the false teaching of BFM2000 is what the SBC missionaries are exporting, thank God SBC has defunded their missionaries.

    Moreover, with SBC missionaries like sex offender Mark Aderholt sent out to preach the Gospel, better to defund than support exporting our American sex offenders to the foreign mission field for the sake of the Gospel.

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  52. Ava Aaronson: If the false teaching of BFM2000 is what the SBC missionaries are exporting, thank God SBC has defunded their missionaries.

    David Platt, during his term as President of SBC’s International Mission Board, recalled 1,000 missionaries and their families from foreign fields. Most of those were long-time career missionaries who adhered to Baptist identity as non-Calvinists. I suspect that new SBC missionaries now being appointed are of Calvinistic belief and practice, since NeoCals have pretty well taken over the whole denomination (seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house, church planting program, etc.).

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  53. Jeffrey Chalmers: I find so many times that the “preacher types” that get into being “inerrant literalist”, are VERY selective on their BIBLE quotes… how convenient

    Fundagelicalism and New Calvinism would not exist if it weren’t for that trick. Their theology simply does not hold up when considering the whole of the Bible. Belief and practice of “inerrant literalist” preachers depend on cherry-picked text out of context and an audience who don’t know Scripture as they ought.

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  54. Todd Wilhelm: I’ve often wondered why, if they are literalists, they don’t practice what Paul tells the Corinthians to do here:

    “All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.”1Corinthians 16:20 NIV

    Different time, different culture you say?

    On two different occasions (at two different SBC churches), I’ve pointed that out to some menfolk —- including a couple of deacons —— and then ask why they never greet one another in a biblically appropriate manner.

    Ha! They stammered, stuttered, used the culture excuse, and scampered off before I had time to ask any comparison/contrast questions.
    I can function as a pretty good pest repellent sometimes.

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  55. Max,

    In context, the first two verses relate to the difference between the Law and the Gospel; the third is in the context of submission “for the Lord’s sake”(v13 onwards), “not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” Yes, we are free, but free to serve God.

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  56. Muff Potter: They (fundagelicals, neocals, calvary chapelites, whomever) can easily manufacture just about anything from any verse in the Bible.

    That’s why there are 30,000 different Protestant denominations and organizations on planet earth … most claiming to be the sole keeper of truth. After 70+ years as a Southern Baptist, I returned to where I began … seeking the Holy Spirit to teach me Truth, rather than trusting in the teachings and traditions of mere men.

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  57. Max: That’s why there are 30,000 different Protestant denominations and organizations on planet earth … most claiming to be the sole keeper of truth.

    Welcome to the ultimate theoretical End State of Protestantism:

    MILLIONS of One True New Testament Churches, each with only ONE member, each denouncing all the others as Heretics and Apostates.

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  58. Muff Potter: They (fundagelicals, neocals, calvary chapelites, whomever) can easily manufacture just about anything from any verse in the Bible.

    The breaking up of the narrative into Chapters and Verses for easy cross-referencing also has a destructive side effect. It disconnects the verses from the overall narrative whole, turning them into a checklist of independent one-liner Verbal Component Incantations.

    Especially when the break comes between the long setup and the punch line like Romans 1 & 2. The entire point is lost.

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  59. Max: Belief and practice of “inerrant literalist” preachers depend on cherry-picked text out of context and an audience who don’t know Scripture as they ought.

    Whenever I hear “inerrant literalist” or “plain reading of SCRIPTURE”, I remember the Inerrant Plain Meaning of the Demon Locusts in Revelation Plainly being helicopter gunships with chemical-weapon “stingers” piloted by long-haired bearded Hippies. “IT’S PROPHESIED! IT’S PROPHESIED!”

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  60. Luckyforward: In my youth in my home SBC church there was a rule that if a woman needed to speak to the congregation (announcement, info, etc.) she had to stand to the RIGHT of the pulpit because only the MALE PASTOR could stand behind it.

    In our church, there was the big pulpit center stage for the male preachers only. Off to the side was a similar-in-style but much smaller podium for when a woman or lay person had to make an announcement.

    These were symbolic of the class system in our church and denomination, the good ole days. Haven’t been back there in decades so I don’t have updates.

    Would men get away with predation in that environment, that culture? Sure. Men typically ruled and circled their wagons. Where there men who were not predatory? Most were “good guys” who would never violate a woman or child (the underclass). But would the “good guys” do anything about the underbelly of predators? No. Never. Therein lies the problem.

    Did Hollywood deal with Weinstein? Did television deal with Cosby? The film industry deal with Woody Allen? Television news and reporting with Matt Lauer or Charlie Rose? No. Church is no different. In other venues, women staffers in DC knew to never get in an elevator near Jesse Helms.

    Polite society has an underbelly. The dark side.

    So even the pulpits kept or keep women, their voices, in their designated place.

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  61. Max: seeking the Holy Spirit to teach me Truth, rather than trusting in the teachings and traditions of mere men.

    Following men has always been a bad idea with dire consequences.

    One ends up dodging a lot of bullets in the Evangelical world with various teachings about this and that.

    Better to fellowship than follow.

    Regarding guys that don’t walk on level ground with women – it’s a dealbreaker. There are stages with whole groups of distinguished Christian leaders that disqualify themselves in that regard (i.e. SBC biys). Best to walk away without wasting time on nonsense. Those guys are nothing without their audience anyway.

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  62. Now that the SBC dust has settled at Disneyland, I don’t see that Southern Baptists did much at their annual meeting to scare the devil out of SBC churches. Words, crying without tears, resolving to do better won’t drive the enemy from the camp. Time will tell, I suppose, but in the absence of a widespread revival and spiritual awakening in SBC ranks, I don’t hold out much hope that things will be better.

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  63. Max: widespread revival and spiritual awakening in SBC ranks

    They do need something, but I have to wonder if it should to be in the customary style of a show. “But this time I truly AM a Christian!” “I really mean it this time!”

    A lot of repentance and awakening happens quietly. People can talk at home, go elsewhere or nowhere on Sundays. Since SBC numbers are down, maybe this is a silent revival… of spirits, bank accounts, common sense, the Golden Rule, etc.

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  64. Friend: A lot of repentance and awakening happens quietly.

    Well, however it happens, there’s no doubt that Americans desperately need something to shake them from lukewarm apathy to an awakening of their souls. Again, perhaps things are better in your area … the apathy in my neck of the woods is deafening. By all appearance, the reality of Christ is not real in many places … most churches and churchgoers just go through religious motions without the presence of God. I just wish some of those folks repenting and awakening quietly would get loud for a while and let us know they’re out there!!

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  65. Max,

    To be clear, I’m not challenging your observations.

    People are just so exhausted these days. Troubled churches are exhausting at the best of times, and these are not the best of times.

    I wonder if many are just at home tending to their loved ones. That’s what seems to be happening in my neighborhood, but I only live in one place.

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  66. Ava Aaronson: there was the big pulpit center stage for the male preachers only. Off to the side was a similar-in-style but much smaller podium for when a woman or lay person had to make an announcement.

    Another lesson from ancient history, i.e., 2022. Some churches have 1) a pulpit, where sermons are preached, 2) a lectern for readings, announcements, and prayers, and 3) a whole sanctuary where the Gospel is read, and a preacher can choose to preach if he or she wants to change things up or sit among the children and offer a sermon written just for them.

    This is not rocket surgery.

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  67. Friend: Most hardware stores sell restroom signs that might come in handy to label the male-only pulpit

    Now that’s an idea! Maybe if there was a big “MEN ONLY” sign on the front of the pulpit, pastors would realize just how stupid the whole thing is when compared to God’s desire for the Body of Christ to be one, with no distinction in race, class or gender.

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