In a CNN column today, Martin rebuked the Southern Baptist Convention for its shameful action of pulling Gospel Today from its bookstore racks because of the magazine’s cover story on female pastors.
Martin’s wife is a female pastor and a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. So Martin knows what he’s talking about. It’s obviously not the first time he’s seen this sort of hubris from the male-dominated Southern Baptist Convention.
I had the honor of being a guest on Martin’s radio talk show about a year ago. It was right after the story broke about a Chicago-area Southern Baptist church that knowingly put a convicted sex offender in the pulpit. I remember being impressed with how knowledgeable Martin was of Southern Baptist ways, and now that I know about his wife’s seminary training, it helps to explain why.
At the time, I was grateful to Martin for his willingness to use the power of his voice to shine light on the problem of Baptist clergy sex abuse. Now once again, we see Roland Martin using his media power to confront Baptist leaders with the nonsensical hypocrisy of their action in pulling the magazine.
Martin wonders about whether Lifeway might now cull through other publications to pull from their shelves. It’s a good question and one that I posed in my prior blog posting.
If Lifeway is so concerned about the doctrinal purity of their bookshelves, why don't they pull every book authored by former Southern Baptist president Paige Patterson and mega-church pastor Steve Gaines? Why should Baptist bookstores give any credence to these men as moral leaders?
Surely, Baptist leaders who cover for and keep quiet about clergy sex abuse are more of an affront to Baptist belief than smiling female pastors on the cover of a magazine.