One of my relatives was sexually molested by a Southern Baptist pastor.
To this day, I have a strong distaste for men in positions of leadership in the church, and the level of control that many of them walk in with the consequent abscense of the required vulnerability and transparency that should mark an elder and minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And I am one of the number that is gifted and called to pastor.
And I would say, based on her recent behavior, Beth Moore is acting more like a pastor and prophet than most of the men I have seen, with some exceptions.
So, I say this with a very cautious, but needed heart.
The Southern Baptist Convention Needs To Repent of the Conventional Wisdom
A report from February by the Houston Chronicle details some 220 men over 20 years assaulted some 700 victims. My relative is one of those victims.
And unfortunately, the convention might stand to reap judgment for wanting to protect their own reputations, and blaming the victims.
My relative was fired from their position at the church because of this mentality of “protect your reputation”. That church is reaping the judgment of not just the behavior toward the victim, but also toward their reputation.
And that church has yet to repent for permitting that sin and that serial violation.
Something has to change. Something has to give. Because people can only be freely justified (Romans 3:23) if they confess their sins (1 John 1:9).
Enter Beth Moore, Catalyst
It would seem Beth Moore has also found herself in hot water with the powers that be.
She let slip on Twitter that she was preaching on Mother’s Day, and Owen Strachan of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary replied that women should not preach in a pulpit on Sunday to the main service, given that is perceived as only the domain of men.
Now, I understand that a great many of my evangelical friends might agree with Strachan and a number of early church fathers that preaching is only the domain of men.
However, I happen to disagree with the incomplete interpretation of the sledgehammer texts of 1 Timothy 2:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, for an army of reasons, including A) the ignorance of their social and historical context, given Corinthian and Ephesian women were often caught up in prostitution and sexual idolatry, B) the Greek verb λαλέω in 1 Corinthians 14:35 which is the most generic word for speaking, C) the absence of the Greek verb κηρύσσω in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 or 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 which is the verb used to show preaching in an authoritative fashion, D) the fact that the text 1 Timothy 2:12 reads “I do not permit” rather than “G-d does not permit” (this is an exhortation of Paul’s for that context, not a command of G-d’s for all time), E) the examples of numerous women who testified, prophesied, preached, taught, and led (including Deborah, Huldah, Mary Magdalene, Phoebe, Priscilla, and Junia), many of whom were associates of the Apostle Paul.
Focusing on 1 Timothy 2:12
Paul says “I do not permit a woman to teach…”
Let’s look at that phrase. Teaching is something in the Ephesian church that Paul forbade of women, regardless of the perception. Given that pulpits did not exist back then, the Southern Baptist position is little more than a tradition of men based on a terrible reading of the text.
Let us show how terrible that reading is by taking that phrase to its logical end.
If Paul forbade women from teaching, then he would have forbade any form of teaching that could be remotely construed as authoritative. This includes teaching kids, teaching infants, teaching the human spirit, teaching the youths, teaching the women, teaching anyone. Teaching is by its very nature, an exchange from one in authority to one not in authority. Ephesians 6:1 does not say, “children obey your fathers in the L-rd, for this is right. Rather it says “children obey your PARENTS” γονεύς, which comes from the verb γίνομαι, which means “I cause to be”, or “I generate.” So, mothers AND fathers are both implied by that word. Translation: mothers have authority over male children.
Look, this is a reductio ad absurdum, given to show that the premise is unreasonable. And Beth Moore’s capacity to teach, among about 80 other women that I can name off of the top of my head who can teach, some of whom received their calling to teach precisely because “the last two men told G-d no” (Joyce Meyer). And for those of you who want to call out heresy in Joyce Meyer for adhering to prosperity messages, she did apologize effectively for that
If we are silent, the rocks would cry out (Luke 19:40). If a man were stifled by us, by himself, or by the enemy, do we honestly think G-d could be stopped from raising up a woman to do the thing that man was called to do? Really? After seeing the account of Deborah alone, one would hope that we would be more savvy in our reading of the texts.
When men drop the ball and choose to stifle their gifts and the call of G-d, G-d will call women, period. If men stifle their voices or are forbidden by religious leaders of any Christian denomination or within Judaism, the ROCKS will cry out. If adults will not speak, the children will speak. G-d is not slackened that He cannot reach and that He is incapable to using anyone He wants to use. If the messenger is a woman, then so be it.
Beth Moore is right to be used to call out this foolishness and anemic nonsense, and to continue functioning as the lively, vivacious, articulated and called speaker, teacher, and preacher that she is.
And Now For Dealing With the Sexual Abuse Scandal
I think Moore also, in her response toward’s Donald Trump, has been being prepared by G-d to be used, by her very presence, as an instrument for confronting the fever of perversion and sex abuse that has been allowed to grow in the SBC, in part, because of a rampant denial of the need for deliverance, spiritual warfare, and inner healing that pervades much of the run-of-the-mill status-quo of the cessationist theology of that denomination.
I think we men are being forced to deal with the perversion and sex addiction that grips us by the vessels of pure and holy women like Moore being used so readily and massively by G-d.
And it is about time.
The abuse of my relative, which happened some 26 years ago, and lasted for years, along with all those other baby boys and girls, is being confronted as the Mesmerizing Spirit is being dealt with, and if the SBC does not repent for its foolish behavior in many ways, tolerating and protecting ministers who enable iniquity (generational sin) in the camp rather than dealing with it, the judgment may only increase.
Just a few thoughts, from a man who is tired of covering over the nakedness.
The emperors have no clothes, gang.
And it’s taking women to point this out for us.
And supporting the pervert and perversion on the right is just as noisome as supporting the pervert and perversion or the enabler on the left.