“…the rage of evangelical women”

About time some noise started to get made.

When it comes to fights, the Southern Baptists don’t mess around. Whereas other denominations and religious bodies (Methodists, Episcopalians) at least try to keep things looking civil on the surface, not so America’s largest non-Catholic flock.

When these Baptists want a street brawl, the rest of us need to clear the decks. And what’s interesting in this newest set of battle lines is how women are getting involved and helping redefine this battle as something bigger than theological jousting. It’s even more than sexual abuse and #ChurchToo.

It’s about whether women will ever be taken seriously in the SBC when problems first arise, not when things have gotten so bad, the police are being called in.

Southern Baptist wars: The untold story is the rage of evangelical women by Julia Duin

It isn’t supposed to be this way.

But it is this way.

Time to change the way things are.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — The Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee will launch a task force to examine the activities of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the convention’s public policy organization headed by the theologian and author Russell Moore.

Southern Baptist leaders fear controversy over Moore could lead to a drop in donations.

Moore, 48, who has been president of the ERLC since 2013, has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump since the president began campaigning for the White House. In 2016, Moore called Trump “an arrogant huckster” and wrote an essay for the National Review citing “Trump’s vitriolic — and often racist and sexist — language about immigrants, women, the disabled and others.”

Trump critic Russell Moore, ERLC to face scrutiny by Southern Baptists by Bob Smietana

Moore dislikes Trump, an attitude that is certainly justifiable and reasonable, especially in relationship to racist & sexist language.

I am perfectly aware of the standard argument

NOBODY CARES as Trump’s language strengthens, rather than weakens, Trump’s power… and power is what we’re interested in. And the man delivers, in contrast to all those pure-of-heart, free-of-fruit Religious Right politicians like the Bushes!

But this adoration of powerful men isn’t Abraham’s way… or Moses… or Christ’s.

…the conservative movement by its own nature is not an effective political competitor. Because local issues are far more tied to social issues, where conservatives say a country is established, they are better equipped to fight political battles of the local level than liberals are. Liberals look to Washington for salvation; conservatives ought to look to county government as a barrier against the expansion of the federal government into their lives. But they do not know the philosophy of local government which undergirded the foundation of this nation, beginning in the colonial era, and extending even through the period immediately preceding the ratification of the Constitution. That legacy has got to be restored, and conservatives have got to adopt it. If they do not adopt it, we are simply going to get more of the same, until the federal government finally goes belly-up.

Sadly, I think that is what is going to happen. I do not think most conservatives are going to spend the time, money, and effort to build up local resistance governments at the county level to step in when Washington’s checks bounce. They will have to do it after the Great Default.

Why Conservatives Have Lost the Political Battle for America’s Soul by Gary North

Too much looking up for a Leader to Save Us, instead of rolling up our sleeves and getting to work in our own neighbourhoods and communities.

Back to the Southern Baptist Convention:

What’s fascinating to me is how some of the SBC women are coming out in favor of Moore. Chief among them is author/teacher Beth Moore (no relation) who posted the below tweets on Feb. 19. She didn’t need to name names. Everyone knew what she was referring to.

[…]

Rachel Denhollander, the gymnast-turned-star-witness-against-sex-abusers, is also on the warpath against the SBC. The below tweet excoriates the convention for focusing more on what the ELRC has been doing than on rampant sex abuse in SBC ranks.

Southern Baptist wars: The untold story is the rage of evangelical women by Julia Duin

This is where the rubber meets the road.

If the Southern Baptist Convention doesn’t focus on purging it’s own leadership from perversion and filth, God will do it for them. One way or another.

Never mind Trump for now. Get rid of the filth in Christian stables.

(Her husband is a doctoral student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and the couple used to attend an SBC congregation in town, but felt forced out and have since taken refuge at a Reformed church.)

Southern Baptist wars: The untold story is the rage of evangelical women by Julia Duin

It’s been a while since I’ve felt good to be Reformed.

Keep it up.

<surprises himself by giving a thumb’s up to a pastor>

What is fascinating is how Denhollander, whose theological and legal knowhow dwarfs any of her critics, is tackling the usual barriers that people hide behind when confronted in church settings. Too often, the accused whine that they weren’t properly approached along the guidelines of Matthew 18, a chapter in the New Testament that talks about confronting a sinning brother or sister in the faith.

As someone who has tried using the Matthew 18 guidelines when calling someone to account and having been ignored in the process, I like how Denhollander reframes it.

The rage of evangelical women is the sub-narrative here (along with tensions linked to the growing clout of African-Americans and Latinos in the SBC). Look at what happened earlier this month when it was announced a female pastor would speak at a pastor’s conference before the annual SBC meeting this coming June in Orlando.

An uproar resulted. This article summarizes the disgust of some toward the involvement of any women.

Southern Baptist wars: The untold story is the rage of evangelical women by Julia Duin

There’s going to be a fight, and things are going to get resolved.

I hope that the women win it:

Mandatory goal: respecting and honouring women, their lawful authority, and self-ownership under God.
Secondary goal: after gaining partial-human status, gaining fully-human status by gaining the lawful authority to preach and lead from the pulpit, so long as they hew close to the Law-Word of Christ. Bonus blessings if they push for the death penalty for adulterers, as God expects us to!

If they don’t win the fight in the SBC bureaucracy & hierarchy, no matter: I always felt that a loose, women-led network of home churches and home schools have a good deal of potential here.

If they wish, the justice-seeking women in the SBC can contact their Holy Spirit-led Iranian and Chinese women counterparts for advice, encouragement, and planning. (African & Latino sisters can lend a hand, too!) The elder sisters should teach and inspire the younger sister… and the younger shall forge new paths of righteousness, hewing close to the example of Moses and Christ, Abraham and Paul.

We need our younger sisters, just as we need our elder sisters.

Put another way:

“Fewer church buildings. Less bureaucracy. Deeper sanctification. Greater power to change the world, to expand the Kingdom of God into all of life.”

“Dumping the power-plays, and putting the pedal on the metal for love, compassion, and justice as defined by God and His Law.

Should men do likewise? Of course! But as a rule, they love their pyramid power’n’control hierarchies, and have chosen not to forge the new path, so women should… and must.

An example to clarify:

Remember the 1990s in North Korea, during the starvation times. The men stuck with their government-factory jobs, hoping to keep the family place in the hierarchy and society while getting paid nothing. But the wives learned to hustle, grow their food, make marketplace deals and feed their families.

Our spiritual famine, killing numerous souls and our entire civilization — and outright murdering & mutilating children — needs to end.

OK, back away from my thoughts, and returning to the article:

Relevant magazine has a decent video of Wong performing that I’ve included above this blog post. The article says more about how the Moore/Denhollander duo have called out SBC men for hypocrisy. Watch the video and notice how Wong appears closer to sanctified rap than anything else. Would you call it “preaching?”

And — this just in — there’s more.

Remember Paige Patterson, the former head of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, who was fired after it was revealed that he refused to protect a female student after she reported a sexual assault? And how it was SBC women who urged he be removed back in 2018?

The Washington Post reported on the womens’ roles in all that back then. There’s now some kind of scandal involving a petition that called for Patterson’s removal and that pro-Patterson forces purposely falsified the signatures and tried to blame that deception on his enemies. Denhollander (does this woman ever sleep?) just posted the latest on this one, again wondering why she, as a non-Southern Baptist, is always the first one to speak out.

It’s time to drive out the filth and corruption within the Christian church.

At the pulpits, yes. But also in the layman’s own hearts. Yes, even mine.

With a clean heart — being made cleaner, by the Holy Spirit and repentance before God — I will be able to see better, and toss more verbal torches and gasoline on the enemies of God.

I trust that I am not the only one, interested in getting the log out of his own eye first.

I pray that I am just one of many men, turning away from evil, pushing for greater obedience to God’s will, as God expects. In time and on earth.

And this time, the major enemies of God are not pagan witches.

The core of the rot — in the church, in the nation, in the West — are corrupt pastors, preying on the sheep, smashing the weaker vessels for their own pleasure.

Purge the pulpits.

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