Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Women pastors | Cultural and personal

"I have said publicly that I would not personally lead my church to hire a female pastor, would not be a member of a church where the senior pastor was female, and I have no problem personally with the BFM 2000* on this issue. However, I am honest enough to say that my discomfort is personal and cultural — and not Biblical." (Wade Burleson)

"I certainly respect your feelings of personal and cultural discomfort. I have some things that make me personally uncomfortable as well. But, that being said, if we realize it is just that personal discomfort, don’t we have some obligation to change our comfort zone? Some have made comparisons of the female pastor issue to both slavery and segregation. What if we inserted those into the statement — 'My discomfort (with ending slavery) is personal and cultural — and not Biblical' or 'My discomfort (with integration) is personal and cultural — and not Biblical'?"
(R. L. Vaughn)

Wade Burleson wrote the above comment in a blog thread called Who Should 'Have Authority Over a Man'. Burleson is representative of what some people think on the issue. Others believe that having or not having female pastors is a Biblical rather than a personal & cultural issue. In several blogs I've read online, folks have compared the female pastor issue with past issues like slavery and segregation. Wade Burleson himself made the comparsion in the thread from which I am quoting. My point is that one can't have it both ways. If you want to compare keeping women from being pastors to keeping slaves, then perhaps you should react the same way to both. Wouldn't that be consistent?

Do you view this as a personal and/or cultural issue? Is it a matter of indifference on which a Christian or church may come down on either side and still be OK?

* BFM 2000 is the year 2000 version of the SBC's Baptist Faith and Message doctrinal statement.

Update: In his blog post A Call for Intellectual Honesty and Consistency (Wed 5 Sept), Wade Burleson references my post. I am providing you a link in order that he may speak to you for himself on the issue of female pastors, slavery, etc. Though Bro. Burleson and I don't agree on the female pastors issue, we seem to agree on the need for consistency. Plain talk on the subject may also be found in Bart Barber's The Pernicious Evil of Mere Preference.


Bro. Matt said...

I do believe you are correct in your assessment of the situation. If it is purely cultural, etc. then it is no different than the issues of slavery, etc. If it is not a scriptural issue, then we must be willing to change when needed. However, if it is scriptural, then we most hold fast to what the Bible says.

Well, I'm sure you know where I stand on this issue. I do not believe it is a cultural/personal issue. I believe it to be a biblcial issue. I believe that the Bible only allows for the ordination of men.

Okay, I'll stop there for now, but there is more I would like to add to this, but for the sake of time (as in, I'm out of time!) I'll quit.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Of course, I agree that is a Scriptural rather than a cultural or personal issue. The Word of God must settle the question.