Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Leonard Pitts put this word into print in September 2006: “Talibaptists.”

Pitts, a columnist for the Miami Herald, was talking about the sometimes brash influence of “Talibaptists” on Florida politics, and he complained that they allow little room for those who refuse “to drink the Kool-Aid of fundamentalism.”

Even though Pitts didn’t say anything at all about clergy sex abuse, his word “Talibaptists” resonated with me. By that time, I had already had quite a few encounters with state and national Baptist leaders, and the word “Talibaptists” rang all-too-true.

Pitts’ word came to mind again when I saw the recent EthicsDaily article about Baptist seminary professor Bruce Ware’s sermonizing on wifely submission.

Ware says men abuse their wives because the wives refuse to adhere to their proper biblical role and refuse to be submissive. So, according to Ware, abuse occurs because women rebel against the God-given authority of their husbands.

Nothing new here. This is a strongly dominant strain in Southern Baptist theology: It’s the woman’s fault.


For me, that one word just about says it all by way of response to Ware’s way of thinking.

The sad thing is how unsurprised I was by Ware’s remarks. That’s because the same sick belief-system bleeds over into the arena of clergy sex abuse.

Men who abuse their wives do so because of their need for control and dominance. With Southern Baptist teachings on “biblical manhood,” those abusive men find biblical justification for their dominance.

Baptist clergy sex abusers also have control and dominance issues. And guess what? They also use biblical justification. Why? Because their victims were raised from the cradle to believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

“The Bible tells me so.” Every 3 year-old in a Baptist Sunday School sings that song. If the Bible says it, then I believe it, and that’s what I must do. It’s what we were all taught. Thinking otherwise wasn’t even thinkable.

Clergy-predators know how to exploit that early indoctrination. They become masters at biblical perversion and they turn the word of God into a weapon.

They even convince themselves they’re entitled. After all, they’re called by God Himself. And countless other Southern Baptists fall into that same thinking whenever an abuse victim tries to speak up. “Touch not mine anointed!”

In Baptist churches all across the country, pastoral “authority” carries the day when abuse allegations are raised.

It’s tempting to dismiss people like Ware as being a fringe-element. But that would be a mistake because Ware is hardly unique in his views. To the contrary, he’s a prominent Southern Baptist seminary professor, and there are countless other Southern Baptist leaders of similar mind.

Ware’s words are not idle words. These men mean it. They teach it. They train the next generation of Southern Baptist pastors.

Pollster George Barna, himself an evangelical, did a study which concluded that women in traditional, male-dominated marriages were 300 times more likely to be beaten than women in egalitarian marriages. (Christine Wicker, The Fall of the Evangelical Nation, p. 80)

Yeah. Words like Ware’s have an impact. They bring about blood, bruises and broken bones. They also bring about dreadful emotional wounds in women whose faith leaders have inculcated in them the belief that they brought abuse down on their own heads by failing to follow the way of “biblical womanhood.”

Now here’s the real kicker. You all know that the SBC executive committee recently rejected the creation of a “database” of clergy-predators. Less widely reported was the fact that the SBC executive committee also rejected a rule that would disfellowship churches that harbored clergy-predators or that failed to respond appropriately to clergy abuse allegations. This was action that SNAP requested of Southern Baptist officials almost 2 years ago.

Yet, the SBC executive committee is now considering a proposal to amend the SBC constitution so that they can disfellowship churches with women as senior pastors. There’s actually only a few such female-led Southern Baptist churches in existence, but apparently that's still a more important issue for SBC leaders than what to do about clergy who molest kids.

"Talibaptists." The word fits.

Thanks to the undermuchgrace blog for the photo.

Read more on "The Strange Sexual Obsessions at Southern Seminary."
Read more on the theology of submission as proclaimed by former SBC president Paige Patterson.


Phyllis Gregory said...

Talibaptists! That is great! Is that perfect or what. One of the good things that will come from all the things that Bruce Ware has said is that the world will see how really pathetic and backward and arrogant Southrn Baptist seminarians are. I would like to think they are not all like that -- but I figure they all are like that.

I do hear lots of people talking about the SBC POPP (Protect Our Predator Pastors)operation. My husband said that they were talking about it on WREG talk radio this morning and many people were calling in. Sadly, there were those who felt that helping these people is the CHRISTIAN thing to do. That of course makes me want to gag.

But, more and more people are aware of the craziness going on in the convention and in the seminaries. And, if nothing else, maybe these people will eventually be shamed into doing the right thing. They sure have used shame to work congregations -- maybe it could be used on them now.


Anonymous said...

I just caught the fact in reading this that they rejected a rule to not disfellowship another church that harbored a sexual predator which is actually biblical and the right thing to do. You know, there needs to be a reading of Acts 15 about first things again. It never states anything about tithing or regular three days a week attendence as first things. But it does state that sexual integrity is a first thing.

Anonymous said...

I went back through and caught more of your testimony concerning Gilmore. I was stunned as I have missed some elements before. This is heartbreaking to hear of the collusion of the noted leaders in light of this sick, sick man. I gather he is not even remotely conscience strickened at all Mrs. Brown and never offered any monitary restitution. Moose take better care of their young then this against wolves.

Christa Brown said...

"This is heartbreaking to hear of the collusion of the noted leaders in light of this sick, sick man."

Yes... I'm glad you're able to see the reality of that, Anon. It's heartbreaking and also profoundly troubling. When so many noted leaders can know about a substantiated report involving a minister's sexual abuse of a kid... and nothing happens... then kids in Baptist churches are not safe. Most Baptist clergy are NOT child predators, but because the denomination lacks any system for exposing the predators and because the system does not hold leaders accountable when they turn a blind-eye, it's virtually impossible for people in the pews to find out who the predators are.

And you're absolutely right: Moose would do a better job of protecting their young against wolves than Southern Baptist officials would.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

I think Page Patterson has a few moose heads on his wall from his good ol boy man hunts.

This is the leader in the SBC that likes women so much, he thinks every man should own one... (that's documented)

and agrees with the backward mentality of sending a woman back to her abusive husband ...in the hopes that by her sacrifice the husband might be saved.

None of this even remotely looks like the example Jesus lived concerning women and children.

Anonymous said...

"Because their victims were raised from the cradle to believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God."

The Word is inerrant. The translators are not. The Word has been mutilated by translators with an agenda for centuries. The most wonderful thing to come down the pike is the interlinear bible. I would like to encourage everyone to use

My goodness! You can see first hand how many verses have been translated to fit the 'authority over others' agenda.

For women, It all starts with a wrong interpreation of Gen 3:16. In the early days of the church, this verse was understood to mean that a woman would turn from God and toward her husband. This was a consequence of sin. NOT a command.

A monk, Paginini, changed the meaning of 'turn' to desire meaning lust.

Here is an example of the mutilation of Tesuqa as 'desire' over the centuries:


Of course there is more to it than this...including the mutilation of the interpretation of 'ezer' which means help. It does not mean subordinate because God is described as our 'ezer' in scripture.

Oh, there is so much more and scholarship is bringing this out. A great source to check on Greek meanings is a very smart lady you can find here:


You can search her site for all kinds of information on the interpretation of certain Greek words that have been used for centuries to subordinate women.


Anonymous said...

I hate to say this but The Da Vinci Code as a favorite will "flag" you as to not take you serious. Pastors flee from this book.

Christa Brown said...

Anon 9:48 - I laughed and laughed at your comment. That's just silly. Thanks for the grin. A person who would "flag" me simply because I like The DaVinci Code as a work of fiction isn't likely to be a person whose view of me is going to matter much to me anyway. And obviously, I don't attribute any inherent authority to pastors simply because they carry the title of pastor.

Incidentally, for those who might be looking for another good book... I also recommend Dan Brown's Angels and Demons.

Anonymous said...

It does not just question Constantinized Christianity. It ridicules the faith all together.

Anonymous said...

It is not about the issue of a pastors authority. Dan Brown can indeed question that! The understanding of the Christian faith is based "an understanding" on redemptive history. I know of a young lady that read the book and started to shake and wondered if what she was "taught" in Sunday School was to be believed.

Anonymous said...

I will tell you this much as the SBC Convention reversed a decision in 93 that they made in 92 and DID NOT allow local assemblies to govern this problem WHICH they SHOULD have!! Much of the problem of collusion is due to this very problem.

Anonymous said...

Dwayne Mercer at First Baptist Oviedo has also made the statement from the pulpit that he likes women and every man ought to have one. Was he just quoting what he had heard Paige Patterson say? If so, he did not give credit to Patterson. Is this what they talk about when they get together or are they taught this thinking in seminary? I can't help but think of the image of cave men.

Anonymous said...

Getting back to you, you are right sbout those who claim pastorship. There are those who are are "annointed" or "seminarized" as pastor don't have a lick of authority. I just got a call from one of those Hagee types fearing "liberals." Fruit will indicate if they have true authority not how much Scripture they know. Shakespeare will attest to that.

Anonymous said...

Why this is serious:

80% of those in porn industry were sexual abused (from Shelly Luben's site)

65% of those reporting to be homosexual also reported being abused in their youth

The SBC will rethink this issue issue of the database again. You need to link Collin Raye's 11th commandment to your site.

Anonymous said...

The SBC is so afraid of controversy when it comes to challenging anyone in a power osition that when they rewrote the Baptist Faith and Message they said that the office of pastor should be filled by a man but failed to say anything about the office of deacon. The SBC has long held to the position that a deacon should be a man. So I asaked one of the MEN involved in the rewritting why they omitted the deacon role. The answer I got was, "We did not want to open that can of worms."
If you believe something is right you should stand for it regardless of the cost. If you will not stand up for your convictions, you do not have any. All you have is an opinion.
All the SBC has with respect to the devil inspired attack on our children and women by these devils in saints clothing is opinion that sustains power not addresses the truth.
Keep challenging them. Any power or authority they have comes from God and you can bet that God does not endorse abuse of ANY kind.

john said...

Sorry everyone, I never sign my e-mail with anonymous. I am not a "snipper".
The previous e-mail was from John Harrison.



Anonymous said...

I am not a "snipper" either. Maybe I just don't want any notority. I have my reasons. It is merely wake up call to anyone who read this. Edmond Burke once stated that "evil pursists when good men do nothing." I have some contacts that I know that can be influential.

Anonymous said...

"Dwayne Mercer at First Baptist Oviedo has also made the statement from the pulpit that he likes women and every man ought to have one. Was he just quoting what he had heard Paige Patterson say?"

Got it on tape?

Anonymous said...

It would be on tape. Maybe someone else might know the date.

Steve said...

"Ware says men abuse their wives because the wives refuse to adhere to their proper biblical role and refuse to be submissive."

Nobody has commented on this assumption. I expect that most wives act the way they do because it is the husbands that fail at their Biblical role not the women. Any time someone blames someone else for their behavior you need to have a harder look at what is really being said.

Read Ephesians where it talks that the husband should treat his wife like Christ treated the church. he died for the church. He raised her up and encouraged the church. Look at His patience with Peter. That is how the husband should treat his wife. There is no Biblical precedent of any kind for violence, physical, verbal or emotional. It is love that reveals the face of Jesus in us, not expressions of power and superiority.

Anonymous said...

Yea, Ware should be threatened with removal of tenure. They judged Klouda for compentency why not Ware. This statement of his has abusive sentiment all over it.

Kathryn said...

I loved this post! I have my own blog, dealing with domestic violence. Bruce Ware's message was forwarded to me by 31 separate individuals. His comments were both outrageous and inflammatory.

A friend, who is a published author, also contacted me. Since we've both been asked to address B. Ware's message...we decided to do it collaboratively. Hopefully, we'll be able to do that before too long.

There is a severe disconnect in some that stand behind the sacred desk...and it is causing injury to the Lord's people.