Portions of the Southern Baptist Convention have been dancing on the edge of the Complementarianism cliff for years. In fact, that’s why I was assigned in 2015 by Southern Baptists of Texas Convention news editors to research this topic — which I did for an entire year, traveling all over the country — and to write a special report about it — which I also did, though the full article was trimmed significantly during the robust editing process by those doing their best to be as charitable and optimistic as possible.
Throughout that year many within SBC life tried to convince me this was not a rising issue in the convention. Some presumed upon friendships in asking that I not publish information pointing to this gender role drift within their SBC entities. Some entity leaders offered only curt replies to my quest for quotes and understanding. Some denied my requests to interview public figures and influencers in their organizations altogether. Some just never answered my many phone calls and emails, which was certainly their prerogative. It was an enlightening year of study — something I was reminded of just this past week while sifting back through my research files and transcripts as the topic of women preachers has gained more and more attention in evangelical conversations.
Comments made May 9, 2019 by some Southern Baptists to Dr. Owen Strachan and his article affirming that the Bible reserves the pastorate and the pulpit for male leadership are significant. It seems some have leapt off the proverbial cliff, and sadly, many appear to be following over the edge. Though directed at Strachan, he is merely the middle man. Those taking exception with what Strachan wrote are really taking exception with God and His Word. The passages that address gender roles are clear, and any straight reading of them free of hermeneutical gymnastics gives easy direction as to how we are to order church and home life. Any notion that these are difficult-to-interpret passages most likely points to the interpreter wishing the text to say and mean something other than what is plainly written and understood.
This day and this drift bring me great sadness, especially for the many women, and men, who have been and are being led astray in this way. There is blessing and so much beauty in following God’s plan and design. I will continue to pray that hearts are redirected and that they willingly bend to the authority of God’s Word. Scripture underscores that anything less brings only pain, trouble and terrifying results.
In reverence to the true, everlasting, unfailing Word of God,
May 9, 2019