Sunday, September 21, 2008

Women pastors treated "like pornography"

The Southern Baptist Convention pulled the latest issue of Gospel Today from the shelves of its bookstores. Why? Because the magazine has a picture of women pastors on the cover, and women pastors go against the SBC’s beliefs.

So they put it behind the counter and refused to display it in over 100 of the SBC’s Lifeway bookstores all over the country.

“They basically treated it like pornography,” said the magazine’s publisher, who emphasized that Gospel Today wasn’t advocating for women pastors but simply reporting on a trend.

Gospel Today is one of the largest and most widely distributed Christian publications in the country. It’s a far cry from any sort of fringe rag.

Yet, SBC honchos decided to protect people against it by removing the magazine from the shelves. I guess they thought the very sight of that cover, or the article within, might somehow corrupt people’s thoughts.

So SBC honchos leap into action to protect people against a magazine article about women pastors, but they plant their feet in cement when it comes to protecting kids against clergy child molesters.

They can mobilize fast to pull a magazine from Baptist bookstore racks, but they can’t mobilize at all to pull credibly accused child molesters from Baptist pulpits.

Does this make sense?

Where are their priorities?

If anyone had any remaining doubt, this magazine-pulling incident surely demonstrates how dreadfully disordered the SBC’s priorities actually are. Families have more to fear from clergy child molesters who remain in their pulpits than from smiling women in black who appear on a magazine cover.

And anyway, if SBC honchos want to pull from their bookstores all the publications with something that goes against Baptist belief, why don’t they pull all the books by men who have covered-up for or kept quiet about other preachers’ sexual abuse?

They could start by pulling all the books by Paige Patterson and Steve Gaines.

Surely, religious leaders who keep quiet about clergy sex abuse are as much of an affront to Baptist belief as women pastors who appear on a magazine cover.

Thanks to everyone who sent me the Fox News article on this!

Additional News:


Phyllis Gregory said...

Oh, please! Is this not just typical SBC. Women are not supposed to be preachers; they aren't supposed to be deacons; when they go as missionaries they are not considered equal with their husbands or other male missionaries. Many SBC men, not all but many, do not think God calls women to do His work; they are just called to follow men.

What right do they have to tell any person that they are not called to the ministry? How dare them. How arrogant. How typical!

Thy Peace said...

I read this somewhere, that according to Paige Patterson, women's role is to be only of being mothers and grand-mothers. I am assuming he means to produce babies.

God help us from men like this.

Thy Peace said...

According to Patterson, the "the highest and noblest calling of God" for women is that of "mother and grandmother."

Excerpted from the above link:

The role of women in the church, Patterson said, is bound up in the enigma Paul wrote about when he said that women would be “saved in childbearing” in 1 Timothy 2:15.

“She will find her greatest contribution and impact through the children she bears,” Patterson said. He said that many women do not view rearing children as an honorable profession. Many women who fill out paperwork write their occupation as “homemaker” in small letters.

“Ladies, the highest and noblest calling of God is mother and grandmother. Equal to men, yes, but do what God has called you to do,” Patterson said. “Write it in bold letters with a big magic marker.”

Patterson said he believes a seminary education is perfectly suitable for women. “Any woman who loves Jesus is welcome at this school. We have even established a full women’s studies program here. We will raise a generation of women committed to doing it God’s way. They will shake the world in ways a stumbling old preacher never could.”

John said...

I think we would be missing the real issue here if we spend our time trying to argue the question of women in the ministry. There is a much bigger issue shown in this action that further helps us to understand the "do-nothing" mentality of the SBC leadership when it comes to addressing the issue of perverts in the ministry.
First of all, unlike the local church, the SBC does own the Lifeway Bookstores. Therefore their ability to use a heavy hand on what they object to is completly within their power.
Secondly, what you see here is the prevailing attitude of the "spiritual authoritarians" of the SBC. They have such a low opinion of the average SBC member that they must censor all materials they are exposed to less they become "perverted" in their faith.
Thirdly, this is a classic example of the misuse of the scripture of abtaining "from the appearance of evil."
When my first wife died I made the fatal mistake, in the SBC's eyes, of marrying a lady who had been divorced. The magazine Home Life came out with a great article on divorce a few moths after my marriage. I contacted the lady responsible for the magazine to thank her and ask for more materials like it and I was amazed at her response. She told me that she had been told not to do anymore articles like it because the "leadership" was afraid that it would give the "appearance" of approving of divorce. The year was 1981.The divorce rate was already at almost 50%. But let's protect our appearance and deny reality.
My concern is that we are responsible for appearance but not perception.We cannot control what people think but we can control what we do. The SBC continues to refuse to admit there is a problem and hopes that they can "protect" the average SBC member from the truth by refusing to allow it to be told.
In summary; the real issue is that the leadership of the SBC wants total control of what its membership reads and believes but accept no responsibility for what its leaders may do.
How sad that we are so stupid that we cannot possibly know the truth without their help and when we are damaged by their leaders we "owe it to the ministry" and the "overall work" to just quietly go away and suffer in silence.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I do think righteous men should lead as pastors in churches, (and when they won't lead in a righteous manner, God may call up some righteous women to help show them the way...)

But what is extremely inappropriate and hypocritically strange, to say the least, is that if Lifeway makes PROFIT from the magazine, but they treat it like pornography, and put it under the table.

It's typical, tainted, good-old-boy gain. Use people to make money, but put them down as if they are dirt.

It's dishonest gain, guys. If you're in that much disagreement with that edition of the magazine, then refuse to sell it at the stores.

You big-wheels and decision-makers at Lifeway and the SBC need to remember the Lord is the discerner of the innermost thoughts and intents of your hearts.

Christa Brown said...

"They have such a low opinion of the average SBC member...."

Yes. I agree. It seems beyond-obvious to me that SBC leaders have no genuine respect for the people they serve and that they look upon them with disdain. Why isn't it obvious to people in the pews? Why isn't it obvious to people who attend the conventions? Why do people tolerate leaders who demonstrate so little respect for them?

John said...

It is just like OC so painfully pointed out in the last blog ot is so hard to just walk away. You have been taught that "the work" is " God's work" amd to challenge it is almost ungodly. That is one of the reasons I believe that what you are doing is so important. You are forcing people to face what they would rather ignor or deny. And in so doing are gradually opening some of their eyes to the problems at the helm of SBC leadership.
Please do not grow weary. You are doing a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Crista, I tell you this issue is sorely distorted. There is never anything about the denial of women preaching, teaching, or even being an minister role in a church. The letter to Timothy is about him dealing with young or new couples. In Timothy's congregation wives were begining to be their husbands discipler, this was Timothy responsibility, he was to discipling the men. This by no means deny roles in ministry or denying their insight or observations, it is principle of wives not being the premier teacher of their husbands. If you consider the context Adam and Eve were husband and wife. This text has been taken out of context for present dogma. Paul would be totally contradicting himself when he encourages the single women in Corinthians to consider being single in order to better serve God. Also there were women deacons in the early church, Deacons were merely "designated servants" and never were considered in terms of high authority.

Lin said...

"First of all, unlike the local church, the SBC does own the Lifeway Bookstores. Therefore their ability to use a heavy hand on what they object to is completly within their power. "

This from Wade Burleson's blog where he explains this in comments:

"LifeWay bookstores are independently owned and operated by general managers, but are ultimately accountable to the board of trustees of LifeWay - simply because they carry the SBC agency name."

Knowing this only makes it worse. Which means that a 'buyer' with serious influence complained. Probably a trustee. They have not listened to the average Joe baptist since before the CR. This came from someone influential.

Funny how they do not have any problem carrying a lot of books, etc. that go against Baptist teaching. Not only that but why not rid themselves of their real big money maker: Beth Moore, a woman preacher. I have even seen Joyce Meyer books in Lifeway. Why? Because they have a Talmud that says that neither one are preachers so they get a pass for teaching men.

John, you have hit on the areas that concern me the most, too. One is 'millieu control'. They are literally trying to control what we see and a cult.

'Thirdly, this is a classic example of the misuse of the scripture of abtaining "from the appearance of evil."

This one says it all. It is exactly like Patterson ruining Dr. Klouda's life saying he was following scripture.... but we all know that one does not have to sin to follow scripture.

So, our leaders make a huge deal out of women, their 'roles' and rules but ignore and even protect sexual predators. Who does this sound like...twisting scripture to make rules that make them look 'pious'?

Can you say: Pharisee?

And Christa, you nailed it. Why are they selling books by those who have protected sexual predators like Patterson and GAines?

The SBC leadership are such hypocritical pharisees!

Anonymous said...

God is not pleased! He is no respector. Is this the mind-set of the GOP also? Someone please clarify since the data states a 96% GOP affilliations with the SBC. I will register as a democrat if this is true!

Anonymous said...

Give me brake, their are sexual predators in the democratic party as well. Remember Bill Clinton??? Of course, he was a SB as well.

John Doe said...


The SBC leadership will "protect" us from Godly women...

..yet they won't protect us from the wolves in sheeps' clothing that preach, teach, and worship alongside us?

To me, this issue isn't about women preachers.. I don't have an opinion on that issue. This issue (the pulling of this magazine because of its cover story) has more to do with SBC priorities more than anything else.

God save us..

John Doe

Lin said...

John, Looks like you were we are hearing that Lifeway stores are NOT independently owned.